Introduction to Islam
Islam is the religion of nearly 1.6 billion people around the world. Muslims
are the followers of Islam. Muhammad the Prophet (SAW) was asked what
is Islam. He said "Islam is to witness for One G-d"
The Five Pillars of Islam
Shahadah (Declaration of Faith): "I bear witness that there is none worthy of
worship except Allah, the One and Only, without any partner. And I bear
witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger." Muslims
have the absolute belief in the Oneness of Allah and Prophet Muhammad
(SAW), is His last Messenger. A Muslim accepts Allah as the one G-d,
with no partner. He is One, Absolute, Greater than anything.
Salat (Prayer): Salat, the obligatory Muslim prayer, is done at appointed
times, fixed in relation to the sun's position throughout the day, and
fluctuates depending on the season. They are:
Sawm (Fasting): Fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan which is the ninth month of
the Islamic lunar calendar and it is the month of mercy, repentance, and
purification, lasting for 29 or 30 days. During the hours of fasting
(dawn to sunset) one refrains from food, drink, and conjugal relations
with their spouse. Muslims read the entire Holy Quran during the month
of Ramadan. "In the month of Ramadan, the Quran, a book of guidance
with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong, was revealed.
Therefore, whoever of you is present in that month let him fast.
But who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on.
Allah desires your well-being, not your discomfort. He desires you to fast the
whole month so that you may magnify Him and render thanks to
Him for giving you His guidance." 2:185
Zakat (Charity): Zakat means purification and growth. Muslims calculate
zakat (charity) individually equal to 2.5% one's capital. The Prophet
(SAWS) said, “Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.”
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah): Obligatory for Muslims once in their lifetime.
The annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which
is lunar). The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin,
include circling the Ka'ba seven times, and going seven times between
the mountains of Safa and Marwa as Hagar did during her search for
water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafat and
join in prayers asking for G-d's forgiveness.
Six Articles of Faith
The six articles of faith are the main doctrines of Islam.
All Muslims share beliefs in the following:
1. Allah. Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam believes there is
one true Allah (The Arabic translation of the word God). Allah
alone is the creator of all the universe.
2. Angels. Angels exist and interact with human lives. They are
comprised of light, and each have different purposes or messages to bring to
earth. Each man or woman has two angels who record his actions; one records
good deeds, the other bad deeds.
3. Scripture. There are four inspired books, the Torah
of Moses, the Psalms of David, the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Injil) and the
Qur'an. All but the Qur'an have been interpreted and changed by Jews and
4. Prophets. God has spoken through numerous prophets
throughout time. The six most known are: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and
Muhammad. Muhammad is the last and seal of Allah's messengers.
5. Afterlife. On the last day there will be a time
of resurrection and judgment.
6. Divine Decree