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Islam: Beliefs and Practices

Muslim Prayer

Islam means the submission to the Will of God, Allah, and active obedience to His Law. Allah is the creator of all creatures, including all of mankind and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Allah is the only supreme God. He is to be worshipped and his commands are to be obeyed. In the eyes of Allah, mankind is made equally. In Islam, you must not only ‘believe’ all of this to be true within the heart but the belief should be shown through actions as well. Islam teaches the oneness of God and the unity of mankind.

In Islam, it is believed that all of mankind is born free of sin. After the person reaches puberty, and sins are committed, it is then that they will be held responsible. In Islam, one can seek forgiveness through repentance to Allah. One must speak directly to Allah in order to seek forgiveness. The only way to attain salvation in Islam is through both belief and practices.

The Five Pillars of Islam are very important to the Islamic way of life. The Five Pillars Include: Shahada (Testimony), Salah (Prayer), Seyam (Fasting), Zakat (Charity), Hajj (Pilgramage).

Shahada: For the testimony, there must be a verbal commitment and belief that Allah is the only God and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Salah: After reaching puberty, it is the duty of every Muslim to do five prayers. Before doing these prayers, each person must cleanse parts of their bodies with water. It is only after the cleansing is complete that the person can start their prayer. Each of these prayers is to be done at specific times: Dawn, Noon, Afternoon, Sunset, and Night.

Seyam: During the month of Ramadan, Muslims, if able, should fast. Fasting in this aspect goes from day to night. This means that Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, having intimate relations. Basically, mankind should refrain from taking anything into the body during this time period. This time should be used to better oneself.

Zakah: An annual obligatory charity for every Muslim. This charity goes towards the people that are in need. It also helps mankind rid themsleves of the love of money.

Hajj: If able, every Muslim should take a pilgrimage to Mecca. When one performs the Hajj, they are rid of their sins, if they repent and do not wish to commit the sins again. This is a spiritual journey, where a Muslim forgets all worldly things and focuses on Allah only!

In Islam there are six pillars of faith which are deemed very important. These pillars include: Belief in Allah, His Angels, His books, His Prophets and Messengers, Judgment Day, and Destiny. These pillars should be known not only through belief but through everyday actions.

The traditional beliefs in Islam include the dress of both men and women. Islam requires that the attire should be proper, modest, and clean at all times. Allah also instructs Muslim women to wear a hijab, head covering, while outside of the home and around men that are outside of the family. Along with the traditional dress for both men and women, both are treated with respect, dignity, and honor. In a marriage situation, the man is required to provide for the household, and the woman should take care of the house and raise the children.

Sources:

http://www.muslim.org/islam/int-is2.htm

http://www.islamicbulletin.org/newsletters/issue_24/beliefs.aspx

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