Islam and its five pillars

Islamand its five pillars

Introductionand Thesis

Islamis amongst the most followed religion in the world. In this briefreport, a brief introduction to the five basic acts of Islam,referred to as ‘Five Pillars of Islam’ is provided. Each pillarof Islam is discussed in brief.

FivePillars of Islam

Islamis one of the oldest religions in existence with followers numberingmore than a billion and half people. The Islamic holy book is theQuran. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims, and they believe in agod who is referred to as Allah, the one and incomparable. . There isa misconception that Islam is just an Arabic religion, but nothingcould be further from the truth. Principle components of Islam arethe five basic concepts called as Five Pillars of Islam.

TheFive Pillars of Islam are

  • Faith in the Oneness of God.

  • Daily Prayers.

  • Taking care of the needful.

  • Self-purification via fasting.

  • Pilgrimage to the Makkah.

Eachand every pillar has a purpose attached to it. It wraps around to thebelief system of the one god. The system that this god isincomparable to anything else.

Faith

Thereligion of Islam runs on a strong belief system. Much of this isderived from the sayings of Muhammad, the prophet. As per Islam, Godis the ultimate being. There is no one else above him. He is theultimate power figure. Acting as a messenger between the followersand God is the prophet Mohammad. There is a declaration that is anintegral part of the faith pillar.

Thedeclaration – “Thereis none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger ofGod”

Prayer

Perhapsa unique element of Islam is the prayer system. A devoted Muslim isexpected to pray five times a day. Prayer is how they connect withthe Almighty God. Unlike in other religions, there are nointermediaries in Islam between the follower and the God (Hussain,2012).Forinstance, a priest or father acts as an intermediary in Christianity.In Islam, there is no middle man, to put it bluntly.

Thereis a learned elderly person who guides the prayers, but he is not inthe role of a priest. He is simply helping those who may not bewell-versed with prayers, say the prayers clearly. According to Zahid(n.d.) the five prayers have to be conducted at the following times –dawn, noon, late afternoon, sunset and nightfall. These indicated themovement of the sun, indicated a change in the state of the day.

Islamprefers if the follower does the prayer at a Mosque. However, thefollower may pray at pretty much any place he or she wants. Often youwill find a Muslim praying right next to his office chair or in asilent spot at the corner of the library. The prayer takes precedenceover everything else.

FinancialObligation

Islambelieves that all wealth belongs to the God (Zahid, n.d.). This is inline with the faith system where God is incomparable and hence is allpowerful. This power influence extends to the wealth situation aswell. Muslims believe that any wealth that is around them is providedby God. Hence, they are simply caretakers of this wealth. They do nothave any ownership over it, and their wealth also belongs to the God.

Thatis why it is their obligation to help anyone who is needy. They havea system where, any excess money they have after taking care of theirexpenses (called as zakah) is donated for the benefit of thecommunity.

Fasting

Inthe month of Ramadan, every Muslim has to go through a fastingroutine. A fast is defined as no consumption of food or water betweendawn and sunset. This also includes staying from sexual relationswith better halves. Exceptions to this rule occur where if a Muslimis unwell or elderly. Any days that were missed due to these problemswill have to be made up with a fasting on some other day of the year.

Fastingis looked at as a way of purifying the mind and body (Hussain, 2012).Itis also an indication of self-restraint. Self-restraint plays a rolesince six is pretty much banned from dawn to dusk.

Pilgrimage

Thefinal pillar of Islam is pilgrimage. The city of Makkah is thedestination of pilgrimage. All followers of Islam are expected tovisit this city once a year. Some exceptions are however made just asis usually the case with the rest of the pillars of Islam. Accordingto the FivePillars of Islam.(2004) TheQuran mentions that only those who are physically able and alsofinancially able to make this trip. Depending on a person’sphysical location on the planet, they have to spend considerableamount of time making this trip. The trip can also be grueling.

References

Hussain,M. (2012).The Five Pillars of Islam: Laying the Foundations of Divine Love andService to Humanity.Kube Publishing Ltd.

FivePillars of Islam.(2004, March 17). Retrieved April 19, 2015, fromhttp://www.religionfacts.com/islam/practices/five_pillars.htm

Zahid,I. (n.d.). FivePillars of Islam.Retrieved April 19, 2015, from http://islam101.com/dawah/pillars.html