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The Five Pillars Of Islam Essay

947 words - 4 pages

Under the Divine Law, otherwise known as Shari'ah, the Five Pillars of Islam are identified. These were told by the Prophet Muhammad and were accepted and followed by all Muslims. The Five Pillars of Islam can be described as Islam's most basic beliefs and practices. Even though these five Pillars are under the religion of Islam there is a variation, not only culturally, but also historically within the Islamic community of believers. These duties are obligatory upon believers. The following is an identification of each of the five pillars and how it relates to the lives of the people who obey them.The first of these pillars is the Shahadah, which expresses that there is only one god (Allah) and that they must recognize Muhammad as his messenger. Allah is the God of Islam. However, the word Allah was used by Muhammad when he was referring to God, but this God is the same God as the Hebrews and the Christians. Muslims believe that God is unique, omniscient, everlasting, omnipresent, living and eternal. Everything occurs and exists because of God. He is the creator of the Earth, the elements, the angels, of men and even the mysterious creatures known as the jinn, which is described as a duplicate of man that has evil inside it. The acceptance of the body of duties and obligations is required in order to believe in one God and accept His word as revealed to Muhammad. Since one must individually regulate the relationship with God and His fellow men, these duties are societal, devotional, spiritual and legal. These duties are the five pillars of Islam and the first pillar one must follow is the Shahadah.The second of the five pillars is the Salat, or the prayer. Prayer, according to the Koran, is a mandatory duty that must be done at appointed hours. These hours are not specified in the Koran, but they are practiced about five times daily. The number(5) of prayers a day was found to be a sort of a compromise between one of the early chapters of the Koran which requested prayer twice a day and the forty prayers a day that were demanded to Muhammad by God. Muslims are recommended to pray these five times anywhere and at anytime. Prayers begin when the call to prayer is announced from the minaret or the towers of the mosques.The third pillar of Islam is the Zakat, or "alms tax." The Koran emphasizes that one must give part of one's wealth to those who are in serious need of it. The Koran expresses this idea stating that one's wealth is only something temporary and that those who have a lot of wealth should not hesitate to help those in need. The Koran also states that the Zakat is a form of self-purification since...

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