Islam

Where can I find information about Islam?

Entry last updated: 5/07/22

Introduction

Islam is the second largest religion in the world, and believers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims believe in one god, Allah, whose revelations were given to the prophet Muhammad in the holy book, the Quran, which can also be spelt Qur'an or Koran.

Beliefs and traditions

Have a look at these websites to find out about Islamic religious beliefs, practices, prophet Muhammad, and festivals such as Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Use these words in your searches to see what you find.

Britannica School

Britannica School is part of the EPIC databases, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Britannica School has a really good introduction to the basic beliefs of Islam, as well as divisions and different schools of thought within the religion.

  • Once you have logged in, select Middle and enter the word 'Islam' into the search bar.
  • Select the article Islam (religion).
  • You will find information about the beliefs, practices, branches of Islam such as Sunnism and Shi'ism, and the importance of the holy pilgrimage.
  • You can always go up or down a level by selecting the Article Reading Level from the top of the page.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Gale in Context (Middle School)

This is another EPIC database with topics that cover cultures, geography, people, governments, science, social issues, history and more.

  • Enter the word 'Islam' into the search bar or go to Browse Topics from the top of the page and find Islam.
  • This article covers the history of Islam, the Quran, Five Pillars of Islam, and Islamic festivals such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
  • Remember to explore the topics listed under Related Subjects listed to the right of the page. This will lead to information on Prophets and Ramadan.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [Islam]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

FactMonster

FactMonster is an online encyclopedia and homework site. It has lots of basic facts and is a good starting point for all sorts of questions. If you scroll down to the bottom of the site, you will see it’s run by Pearson Education, a publisher of educational books.

  • Use the search box at the top of the page to enter your keywords, such as 'Islam'.
  • You will find a selection of links. Select Islam Glossary to understand words and terms used in this religion.
  • Or select Islamic art and architecture seen in countries where Islam is the main religion.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Islam around the world

The Epic databases include plenty of resources about Islam around the world, and throughout history. Check out these databases, and remember to chat with your school librarian or one of our AnyQuestions librarians if you need a password.

Global Issues (Gale in Context)

This EPIC resource includes many current global issues concerning the environment, climate change, conflict, health, governments, law, and politics.

World History in Context

World History in context offers you information about 5,000 years of world history, from ancient times right up to modern history.

  • Go to Browse Topics to find topics like Islamic Spain— when Spain was ruled by Muslims, and Mecca and Medina — two of the holiest cities of Islam.

Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

Islam in New Zealand

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • From the homepage, go to the story Social Connections, and choose Religion.
  • Find Diverse Religions to select Muslims to read about the origins of Islam in New Zealand.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Federation of Islamic Organisations of New Zealand

This is the federation of regional Islamic organisations in New Zealand, so it is a good place to get local information about the Muslim community.

  • Go to the tab FIANZ to understand more about this organization and its mission.
  • The tab Islamic Articles has explanations and the relevance of Zakat, Halal and Haram, and Sadqah to Islam.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Books

There are heaps of books about Islam. Ask your school or local librarian for one of these, or see if they have any other good recommendations.

SCIS no: 1987294

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