Islam is an Arabic word, which has a dual meaning, one is peace the other is submission. At large, Islam means peace acquired by total submission to the will of the Almighty God. Islam is not here for a culture, tribe, race or color; it simply invites mankind to turn to the only one Creator.
Islam is not a new religion. It is the way of life taught by all Prophets and Messengers from Adam Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jacob, John the Baptist, Jesus till the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all). They preached mankind nothing else than self-surrendering and obedience to the All Mighty.
The 5 Pillars of Islam
The five pillars of Islam are the foundation of a Muslim’s life:
- The declaration of faith
The declaration of faith commonly known as the shahaadah, is testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah (THE One TRUE GOD), and Muhammad (Pbuh) is His Messenger. One must firmly and sincerely believe it in his/her heart, utter it with his/her mouth and follow it by actions of enjoining good and forbid evil.
2. The five daily prayers
Prayer (Salaah) is a mean of establishing a personal and spiritual connection between Muslims and their Creator. It is a constant and practical way of a worshiper to remind him/herself to obey God. The five prayers prescribed are: at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. Each prayer averages between 5 to 10 minutes to perform.
3. The annual charity
The annual charity (Zakah) is an obligation on every Muslim who has wealth above a particular treshold. Whatever legal wealth one has accumulated over a year, 2.5% of that wealth must be paid to the poor, the needy or those in debt. Zakah purifies one’s wealth and ensures that the basic needs of those eligible to perceive it are met.
4. The annual fasting
The annual fasting is commonly referred to as Sawm or fasting during the month of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Every year during this month, Muslims fast from dawn till sunset, abstaining from food, drink, sexual relations as well as all bad behavior and doings. It uplifts one spiritually and nurtures patience and self-restraint. It also provides many health benefits.
5. The Pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage or Hajj, occurs annually in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Once in a lifetime, a Muslim who is physically and financially able must perform pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah, in Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage unifies people from various backgrounds, races, status and ages in worshiping the One True God. All pilgrims wear simple and similar clothing so that all stand equal to God.