If I Became A Muslim Essay

1296 words - 5 pages

A Changed Lifestyle As a new convert to the Islam religion, my life has changed drastically due to the new standards and rules of Islam. The basis of the Islamic religion is the Five Pillars of Islam. These pillars are: the shahada, a profession that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is his prophet; the salat, prayer five times each day; zakat, almsgiving to the poor; sawn, fasting during the month of Ramadan; and hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Some of these pillars do not conflict with my daily routine as a college student, but others make interesting and sometimes difficult new additions to my schedule. The first pillar, the shahada, is one that I have already completed. This pillar signifies the profession that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is his prophet. To become a part of the Islamic faith, I had to announce this belief publicly, in front of other Muslims. The shahada was a very rewarding experience for me because I was able to profess my belief in front of others, and I came to realize that my conversion was the right choice. This was only the beginning of my newfound religion, and I continue to profess the shahada in each of my daily prayers. I feel that this is the most important part of the five pillars, because it illustrates the dedication and belief in the religion. The second pillar of Islam is the salat, which has greatly conflicted with my daily schedule in a beneficial way. Although I believe that the salat is a very important part of the Islamic faith, it is very hard to incorporate it into my life. The salat is praying at specific times during the day- sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and early evening. Usually a call to prayer occurs, the adhan, which is made by a muezzin from a minaret (tower). Neither my hometown of Cary or Bloomington-Normal has a mosque, so it makes it difficult to keep to this rigid schedule. I have been completing my prayers by myself, instead of in the company of other Muslims. I enjoy having the time to myself, but at the same time, I would like to converse with other newly converted Muslims to compare our experiences. Another problem with my on-campus prayer ritual is the lack of an efficient place to pray. Since there are few clean and quiet places on campus, I usually end up praying in my room when my roommate is at class or work. The salat requires a community prayer on Fridays, so I make a trip to the nearest mosque to complete it. This is what I enjoy most, because I am fully immersed in the Muslim tradition and culture each time I share my prayer experience with other Muslims.The most appealing aspect of the salat is the rigid schedule. I am a very organized person, and play my days out according to my prayer, work, and class schedule. I keep an assignment book in which I plan out every hour of each day, which allows me to keep track of my prayer times and homework. I have to admit that having to pray five times a day causes a bit of conflict...

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