What is Islam? What you will learn in Basic Islamic Course?
Islam is a monotheistic religion that believes in one God - Allah. Islam originates from the Arab, but it has gained massive popularity all over the world. The basic course on Islam teaches people about Islam's history and beliefs so when people come across Muslims in their daily lives they can better understand them.
To help you better understand Islam, we at Basic Islam have created this article to give you some basic information on Islam, Muhammad (Catholic), and what Muslims believe in. This article will also explain different teachings of Islam like prayer, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, etc.
What are the 5 Pillars of Islam? What are they and what do they mean?
The five pillars of Islam are a set of 5 acts that every Muslim must carry out in their life. By completing these 5 acts, you will have successfully adhered to each pillar.
The 5 Pillars of Islam are as follows: Shahadah (the testimony of faith), Salat (prayer 5 times a day), Zakat (almsgiving), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime if you can afford it). Each pillar is important on its own but by performing all 5 together you complete your faith and reach Jannah (Paradise) by the will of Allah.
Let explain the each pillar in detail.
Shahada: The first pillar of Islam
This is the most basic test in that it is what actually brings you into Islam in the first place. It declares 'La Ilaha Illa Allaho, Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah' (there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger). By saying this 5 times you are accepting to have Allah as your only God and Prophet Muhammad as his prophet. This means you must not worship anything or anyone other than Allah. You must believe that everything he has said in the Qur'an is true and all his teachings are correct, even if they go against things you have been brought up believing.
Salat is more commonly known as prayer 5 times a day. Muslims are required to give one 5 daily prayers. Prayers are performed 5 times a day at specific hours of the day, these being Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (sunset) and Isha (night). Here is an example of how it works:
Fajr prayer is around 2-3 am, Dhuhr prayer is at about 12 pm, Asr prayer is at about 5 pm, Maghrib prayer is right after sunset finishes and Isha'a prayer is around 7 or 8 pm. You can work out each prayer time by referring to your local Mosque's timetable. These 5 prayers are super important because they are a direct link to Allah. They have physical benefits too, for example, making sure blood is being cleaned 5 times a day and any toxins in the body are being pushed out 5 times a day. 5 prayers a day can be hard at first but you get used to it.
Sawm is the third pillar in this list. It is also known as “fasting” during Ramadan (The Islamic calendar month). Fasting in Islam means we are supposed to avoid all food, water, sexual activity, anger etc from before sunrise until after sunset for 30 days every year. The reasons are more religious but fasters mainly do it for physical benefits like weight loss, getting more energy, skin staying nice etc. They also do it for spiritual reasons which are way stronger than any physical benefit.
Ramadan is month number 9 in the Islamic calendar so every Muslim has to fast for 30 days a year which makes it easy to remember the 5 pillars of Islam!
Another important pillar of Islam is Zakat. Zakat means 'to grow' and this growth comes from your good deeds i.e if you help someone in need or give money to charity then this is considered zakat which will allow you to grow closer to Allah. This is different from giving sadaqah (charity) which is more like random acts of kindness that anyone can give not just Muslims. Zakat is 5% of your wealth and property (excluding your home) and it must be given away to the poor and needy. It is important to give Zakat because Allah is testing whether you really do believe in Him or not. If you believe, then giving 5% of what he has provided for you should be an easy task, but if you don't then 5% will feel like a big number and something that would only hurt you financially!
Hajj is one of the most important pillars as it allows all Muslims with the means to visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime. All Muslims are required by Allah to complete Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they have the financial freedom. After performing Hajj they are known as 'Haji'. Hajj is the 5th pillar of Islam and is one of 5 rituals required to complete your faith. This will only happen when Allah permits you to visit and it is not always necessary because if you can't physically or financially, then also it is fine.
All these things are seen as obligations by followers of Islam; without them, one is not considered a Muslim. They must do regularly and correctly for one to be considered a Muslim. For instance, 5 times a day Muslims must pray to God; if they miss it even once the entire 5 prayers are invalidated. The 5 pillars of Islam explain how one can become closer to Allah and enter paradise by following the tenants of Islam.