What are the central beliefs of Islam, and how are they reflected in the "Five Pillars” (McInerney, 2003)? Which of the Five Pillars do you feel would be easiest to fulfill, and which would be the most challenging (McInerney, 2003)?
The Islam was founded in Mecca, Saudi Arabia around 622 CE by Muhammad, a camel driver. It is the second largest religion in the world and is worshiped in mosques throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
The basic beliefs of Islam are known as the Five Doctrines of Islamic Faith. They include a belief in the absolute unity of God, belief in angels, belief in prophets, belief in scriptures, and belief in the Final Judgment.
Islam has the “Five Pillars” also known as “acts of worship” The Five Pillars outline the minimal obligations required of a Muslim. They are said to be the framework for a Muslim life: faith, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. The first Pillar is Al-Shahada (Declaration of Faith). It says that all must pronounce their faith to enter into Islam in front of witnesses. Also that Allah is the only one and thing worthy of worship. The second Pillar is Salat (Prayer). Prayer required of all Muslim adults after they reach a certain age and it is done daily, five times, for around five to ten minutes each time. The third Pillar is Zakat (Charity). Muslims believe that all wealth belongs to God, and God wishes for Muslims to be generous. Zakat is the required giving of a portion of one's savings to charity at the end of each year. The fourth Pillar is Sawm (Fasting). All Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The purpose of fasting is always to cleanse the body and soul, and shift the attention from bodily needs to spiritual needs. During times of fasting, Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset. The fifth and final Pillar is Hajj (Pilgrimage). All...
Cited: Ahmed, Akbar S. Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World. London: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1999.
Badawi, Jamal, Ph.D. "An Introduction to Islam." Islam in Your Life- About Islam. Muslim American Society. 23 September 2004
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