Islam is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion founded on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as revealed in the sacred text known as the Quran. With over a billion adherents worldwide, Islam is one of the major global religions, and its followers are known as Muslims. The word “Islam” itself is derived from the Arabic root word ‘S-L-M,’ which conveys the concepts of peace, submission, and surrender to the will of Allah, the Arabic term for God.

The central religious text of Islam is the Quran, believed by Muslims to be the literal word of God as revealed to Prophet Muhammad over a period of approximately 23 years through the angel Gabriel. The Quran serves as the primary source of guidance for Muslims in matters of faith, practice, morality, and law.

There are six core tenets of Islam: belief in one God, belief in prophets, belief in the divine revelations (Holy Books), belief in angels, belief in the Day of Judgement, and belief in destiny and free will. The first fundamental principle in Islam is the belief in the oneness of God (Allah). This belief, known as Tawhid, emphasizes the absolute monotheism of God and rejects any form of associating partners with Him. Muslims are encouraged to develop a close and personal relationship with God through prayer, supplication, and acts of worship. 

The Five Pillars of Islam are foundational acts of worship and practice that form the basis of a Muslim’s faith and practice. These pillars are considered obligatory for all Muslims and serve as a framework for a devout and righteous life. The Five Pillars are:

Shahada (Declaration of Faith): This is the basic creed of Islam, proclaiming the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad. The declaration is “La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah,” meaning “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” 

Salah (Prayer): Muslims are required to perform ritual prayers five times a day, facing the Kaaba in Mecca. These prayers, known as Salah, serve as a means of establishing a direct connection with God and are performed at specific times throughout the day.

Zakat (Charity): Zakat is the mandatory giving of a portion of one’s wealth to those in need, typically 2.5% of one’s savings and investments. This act of charity is meant to purify one’s wealth and contribute to the well-being of the less fortunate in society.

Sawm (Fasting during Ramadan): Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, abstaining from food, drink, and sinful behavior. Fasting is seen as a way to develop self-discipline, empathy for the less fortunate, and spiritual purification. 

Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca): Muslims who are physically and financially able are required to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. The Hajj occurs annually and involves a series of rituals, symbolizing the unity of Muslims and the equality of all before God.

These Five Pillars collectively constitute the foundation of a Muslim’s faith and practice, emphasizing the importance of both personal devotion and communal responsibility. Beyond the Five Pillars, Islam provides a comprehensive ethical and moral framework governing various aspects of life, including family, social interactions, and economic dealings. Islam, as a religion, encourages justice, compassion, and righteousness, with the ultimate goal of achieving closeness to God and attaining salvation in the afterlife.

For detailed information on Islam visit our Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) Hub.

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