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Pillars of Islam, the Five Religious Acts, Essay Example

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Essay

Islam believes in a monotheistic God (Allah) who is omnipotent (ThinkQuest). Relating any one to Allah is called shirk in Islam and is one of the greatest sins. This means that Christian concept of Jesus as a son of God is forbiddenin Islam which considers Jesus as merely a messenger of Allah. The purpose of life is to worship Allah, follow his commands, and live a moral life. Besides the singularity of God, another primary of being a Muslim is a belief in Mohammad as the last prophet and Koran as the final and most perfect holy book. The Five Pillars of Islam are Testimony of Faith, Prayer, Almsgiving, Fasting, and Pilgrimage (Huda) and sum up the minimum expectations from every Muslim. These five tenets of Islam incorporate some of the most central beliefs of Islam.

Testimony of Faith is also called Kalima or Shahida and is a declaration of conviction in the singularity of God as well as the prophet hood of Muhammad. Every convert to Islam is required to recite Kalima and Kalima is probably the first step towards becoming a Muslim. Prayer refers to worshipping five times on a daily basis. Prayers are mandatory for every Muslim because Islam calls upon his followers to regularly worship their creator, the Allah. Almsgiving refers to the concept of charity or Zakat in Islam and is meant to promote social welfare and income equality. Muslims are required to fast for thirty days every year. Fasting has been prescribed under the assumption that it will help rich people understand the circumstances of poor people and make them generous towards less well-offs. The last one is Pilgrimage which refers to at least once in a lifetime trip to Kaaba, the holiest place on earth according to Islamic faith. Unlike other four tenets which are mandatory for all Muslims, Pilgrimage is only required of those who have the financial resources as well as the time to make the trip.

The easiest one is Kalima because it is basically a one-time declaration of belief in Allah and Muhammed and after that requires nothing but personal conviction. The most challenging is pilgrimage because it requires one to be in good health, have financial resources, and make approximately one month time commitment for the trip to Kaaba. A Muslim performs various tasks during the pilgrimage and every day on the most part is spent in worship and remembrance of Allah.

References

Huda. (n.d.). Introduction to Islam. Retrieved August 27, 2011, from http://islam.about.com/od/basicbeliefs/p/intro.htm

ThinkQuest. (n.d.). Central Belief. Retrieved August 27, 2011, from http://library.thinkquest.org/28505/islam/centr.htm

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