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1. Believes in one God Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, The Creator and The Provider, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none equal or comparable unto Him.
2. Believes in all Messengers of Allah without any discrimination among them, as every known nation has a Warner or messenger from Allah. They were chosen by Allah to teach humanity and deliver His Divine message. The Qur'an mentions the name of some of them, and Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) stands as the last messenger.
3. Believes in all original scriptures and revelations of Allah, accepting them as the guiding light that the messengers received to show their respective people the right path to Him. In the Qur'an, special reference is made to the books of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus (Peace Be Upon Them), but long before the revelation of the Qur'an to Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) some of these books and revelations had been lost or corrupted. The only authentic and complete book of Allah in existence today is the Qur'an, which has been preserved as it was revealed to prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in its pristine, pure form.
4. Believes in the angels of Allah, recognizing them as purely spiritual and splendid beings whose nature requires no food or drink or sleep. They are honored servants who are assigned certain functions, and spend their days and nights in the worship of Allah. They do not speak before Allah does, and they act only by His command.
5. Believes in the last day of Judgment, acknowledging that this world will end someday, and that the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to the heaven of Allah, and those with bad records will be punished and cast into Hell.
6. Believes in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah, measured and ordained for all creatures according to his previous knowledge, and as deemed suitable by his wisdom. And in the timeless knowledge of Allah, and in His power to plan and execute His plans, nothing could happen in His Kingdom against His will. His knowledge and power which are always in action command over His creation. He is wise and merciful, and whatever he does must have a meaningful purpose.
If this is established in our minds and hearts, we should accept with good faith all that He does, although we may fail to understand it fully, or think it is bad. Faith without action and practice is a dead end as far as Islam is concerned, for faith by nature is very sensitive and can be most influential. When it is out of practice or out of use, it quickly loses its liveliness and motivational power.
There are Five Pillars of Islam (The Action)
1. Shahada (Testimony): To bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah (The Creator), and that Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) is His messenger, with the Prophethood of Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) essentially professed to oblige the Muslims to follow his exemplary life as a model.
2. Salah (Prayer): Daily prayers are offered five times a day as a duty towards Allah. They strengthen and enliven the belief in Allah and inspire man to a higher morality. They purify the heart and prevent temptation towards wrong-doings and evil things. They are: - Fajr (The Dawn prayer) - Duhr (The noon prayer) - Asr (The afternoon prayer) - Maghrib (The sunset prayer) - Isha (The evening prayer).
3. Zakah (Charity): The literal and simple meaning of Zakah is purity, while its technical meaning designates the annual amount in kind or cash that a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries from his yearly net savings at 2.5%. But the religious and spiritual significance of Zakah is much deeper and more valuable than its Humanitarian, and socio-political value.
4. Sawm (Fasting): The Muslims during the month of Ramadan do not only abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset but they are also required to abstain from evil intentions and desires throughout the whole months of the year in general, and during the month of Ramadan in particular. It teaches love, sincerity, and devotion, and develops a sound social conscience, patience, selflessness, and will power as well.
5. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah): It is to be performed once in a lifetime, so long as one can afford it financially and physically, and it is the largest annual convention of faith where Muslims meet to know one another, study their common affairs and promote their general welfare without prejudice or bias as to one's color, race, nationality as well as status in life. After all, everyone is equal in the face of Allah, and so hajj therefore demonstrates in effect the universality of Islam and the brotherhood and equality of Muslims.
"What is Islam and who are Muslims?"
Islam simply means to achieve peace - peace with God, peace with oneself, and peace with the creations of God - through wholly giving oneself God and accepting His guidance. Islam is not a new faith. Muslims believe that it is the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world's population, Islam is not just a personal religion, but a complete way of life. Muslims come from all races, nationalities and cultures across the globe. They have varied languages, foods, dress, and customs; even the way they practice Islam may differ. Yet they all consider themselves to be Muslim. Islam is a qualitative term - the quality of accepting God's supreme authority above one's own. As such, being a Muslim does not mean having to give up one's culture or traditions; rather it means adopting the simple and logical principles of Islam to better one's life and attain peace. Less than 15% of Muslims live the Arab world; a fifth are found in Sub-Saharan Africa; and the world's largest Muslim community is in Indonesia. Substantial parts of Asia, and almost all the Central Asian republics, are Muslim. Significant Muslim minorities are found in China, India, Russia, Europe, North America and South America. Muslims believe in the One, Unique, Incomparable, Merciful God - the Sole Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher of the Universe; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to humankind; in the Day of Judgment, and in individual accountability for actions; in God's complete authority over destiny, be it good or bad and in life after death. Muslims believe that God sent His messengers and prophets to all people. Biblical prophets mentioned in the Qur'an include: Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael, Isaac, Job, Ezekiel, Jacob, Joseph, Jonah, Jethro, Moses, Aaron, Elijah, Elisha, David, Solomon, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus; peace be upon them all.
God's final message to humanity was revealed to the last prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), through the Archangel Gabriel. It confirmed and finalized all previous revelations that were sent to humankind through God's messengers.
One becomes a Muslim by believing and proclaiming that, "There is no deity except God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God." By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all of God's messengers, and in the scriptures revealed to them.
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