What are Muslims? What do they do? What do they believe?
The 5 Pillars of Practice
The practice of the Islamic faith is based upon 5 simple principles commonly referred to as pillars.
The 5 pillars are:
1. Declaration of faith
This is to declare that there is only One God, and Muhammad is His last and final prophet.
2. Observing the five daily prayers
Muslims observe prayers five times a day. These times include dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, dusk and night.
3. Giving charity to the needy
Charity is such an integral part of the faith that it is mandatory for Muslims to give a small portion of their wealth to those in need at least once a year. This is done to purify one’s wealth, build bonds of kinship & distribute the wealth to help those suffering from poverty.
4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
As with other Abrahamic faiths, Muslims fast for a certain period of time during the year. This is done during the month of Ramadan. The purpose of this is A) to become God-conscious and B) to appreciate what they have and show gratitude.
5. Performing the Pilgrimage to the Holy sanctuary in Makkah
The annual pilgrimage to Makkah is performed every year. It only has to be performed once in a lifetime and even then one is excused if it is not financially feasible or if they are physically unable to perform it.
6) Belief in the Divine Decree and Destiny
Muslims believe that everything that was meant to happen has been pre-ordained & decreed by God. However, every individual has free will within the realm of responsibility, therefore they are able to make their own choices in life. Nothing can alter the divine decree besides God.
5) Belief in the Day of Judgement
Belief in the day of judgement is paramount for Muslims. They believe that after their death, they will be resurrected on this day and questioned by God about how they lived their lives.
4) Belief in the Messengers sent by God
Muslims believe that the prophet Muhammad is the last and final messenger of God. However, they believe that there were hundreds of messengers sent before him. Some of these messengers are Jesus the son of Mary, Abraham, Moses, David and Noah to name but a few.
3) Belief in the Divine Books
Muslims believe in all of the Divine Books that were revealed unto the Messengers of God. These include the Bible, the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms and all those that came before.
2) Belief in the Angels
These include the arch-angels such as Gabriel and Michael as mentioned in the biblical scriptures.
1. Belief in God
Allah is the majestic name of the Creator of everything in existence. This is the very same God worshipped by people of the Jewish and Christian faiths.
The 6 Pillars of Faith
The 5 pillars of Practice define what Muslims practice throughout their lifetimes but don’t really clarify what they believe. This is clarified by the 6 pillars of Faith.