The essence of the message of Islam has been the same since beginning of mankind – to believe in One Almighty God.
The Book with the Message
“The Qur’an: literally, “that which is often recited.” A web of rhythm and meaning, the words of which throb through Muslim worship and which, at every point in the believer’s life , break surface, sanctifying existence with the scent of eternity.” [Abdul Wadod Shalabi in “Islam – Religion of Life”]
The Qur’an represents the fountainhead of Divine guidance for every Muslim. Its revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and his practical implementation of the revelation, completed God’s blessing for humanity, in providing us with a belief and value system that is valid for all times.
The Qur’an confirms the revelations given to earlier Prophets, though these might not be accessible to us, in the form they were originally revealed. The most sublime poetry in any language, and a rational message that directly appeals to the human heart, have caused this Divine book to move nations and civilizations. It will continue to guide those who turn to God with a sincere heart, for all times.
For more info and to listen to or read the Book, visit the Resources page and to learn who brought it, check out The Messengers.
The foundation of Islam are built on five important concepts that are practiced to build a believer’s relationship with God in addition to good ethics and moral values. These five concepts or pillars are Faith or belief in the Oneness of God (Allah) and the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh), Prayer or Salah, Alms or Zakah, Fasting or Sawm, and the pilgrimage to Mecca or Hajj.
“There is none worthy of worship except God (Allah) and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” This declaration of faith is called the Shahadah, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. The significance of this declaration is the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey God, and this is achieved through the teachings and practices of the Last Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh). This first pillar is established on six essential beliefs – “The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.” Quran 2:185
To reaffirm of own faith and connection to God (Allah), each and every Muslims pray daily. Prayer (Salah) is a duty that must be performed at least five times daily and can be prayed essentially anywhere clean. The five prayers are completed at certain times throughout the entire day. This structure throughout the day creates a constant reminder of Islamic values and develops a stronger resistance from potential transgressions. Prayer (Salah) is the second pillar of Islam.
Contributing to the community
Alms (Zakah) is given to help those who are struggling to survive or are in need of basic necessities. Muslims who can afford are expected to contribute 2.5% of their annual net income. By giving alms, people become considerate of their community and become aware of the hardships many others face while empowering those receiving alms. By giving away some of the wealth, this allows for reflection on the insignificance of money, and work towards freedom from material wealth and towards appreciation of God and His creations. Alms giving (Zakah) is third pillar of Islam.
The actual Arabic word (Zakah) means purifying and cleansing because giving alms allows the chance for both of these characteristics to better oneself. Muslims are always expected to strive to better their life through acts of goodness like alms. In the Quran, the holy book of Islam, this important obligation is repeated 32 times to signify its great notability for the individual and for the community as a whole. Furthermore, alms allows people to re-evaluate their lives and to seek purification as a way to strengthen the bond with God.
Self-control and Reflection
Society labels fasting as a practice where one abstains from some or all types of food for a certain amount of time. In Islam, fasting isn’t just about starving yourself or trying to lose weight. Fasting is a way to change your daily habits which can ultimately change your life. Muslims often refer to fasting as a “Spiritual Cleansing”. When fasting, Muslims are trying to better themselves by refraining from physically, mentally, or spiritually deleterious temptations. This doesn’t just include the temptation to go and have various meals through the day, but also to avoid various bad habits or sin. By abstaining from food, sexual intercourse, and other indulgences, one practices applying various traits that a righteous person should have. One learns how to be patient, thankful, and how to control emotions in even the most tense situations. It makes one disciplined and kindhearted. In terms of pious dedication to Islam, fasting helps one better themselves so they can better the world around them and become closer to God.
Trip of a lifetime!
We have rendered the shrine (the Ka`aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.” -Quran 2:125
The fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj, is a pilgrimage in which believers from all around the world converge on Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Mecca is home to the most holy place in Islam, the Ka’aba. This structure, whose name literally means “cube” in Arabic, is known as the House of God and is the place that all Muslims face when they pray their ritualistic prayers. The point of the pilgrimage is to purify oneself, and be absolved of sins. The pilgrimage ends with the festivities known as Eid al-Adha, in which sheep are sacrificed as a way to celebrate to commemorate the story of Abraham and Ismael.
For definition of Islam, visit Islam page.
To learn who spread it, visit The Messengers page.
For more info and to listen to or read the Book, visit the Resources page.