The Five Pillars of Islam (Salah (Shi'as and Sunnis pray differently -…
The Five Pillars of Islam
At the end of Hajj, Id ul-Adha is celebrated to commemorate Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when Allah tested his loyalty towards him
Muslims circle the Ka'aba 7 times anticlockwise - this is called Tawaf. This is followed by standing and praying at Arafat for God's forgiveness, and throwing stones at 3 pillars to drive away the devil
Muslims believe Hajj increases the unity between Muslims and frees them of sin - "he will return as if he were born anew"
The Ka'aba is the holiest place in Islam, and non-Muslims are not allowed near it
The pilgrimage to Makkah taken by Muslims at least once in their lifetime
The Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr) is the holiest night in the Islamic year when Muhammad received the last part of the Qur'an
Muslims celebrate this night by praying and listening to readings from the Qur'an, and may even spend the whole night at the mosque
Allah will forgive your sins on this night
It is "better than a thousand months"
Fasting focuses on God and cleansing your soul, as well as to appreciate your blessings/sacrifice your physical needs. It may also make Muslims more motivated to donate zakah because they have experienced how hard it is to be hungry.
During Ramadan, Muslims believe the devil is chained up, so all bad deeds done are on you and you only. This teaches self-discipline and self-control, and makes Muslims feel part of the Ummah (Muslim community)
Sawm is fasting during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar (Ramadan) from sunrise to sunset
Zakah teaches honesty and self-discipline, cleanses the soul and removes selfishness and greed. It also encourages a good attitude towards money.
Muslims who earn enough (nisab) give 2.5% of their annual salary to the poor, usually at the end of Ramadan
Shi'a muslims, in addition to giving zakah, donate 20% to Islamic leaders - this is called khums
Any additional money donated to charity is called sadaqah
"God is well aware of whatever good you do"
Muslims believe wealth is given by Allah, so should be used to serve him. Since we don't really own anything ourselves and we cannot take anything with us when we die, we need not cling to it.
Jummah prayer takes place on Friday, and is attended by men at the mosque. It is lead by an Imam, who gives two sermons.
Before Muslims pray, they wash themselves (wudu) to be clean and pure for Allah. In order to pray, you have to be spiritually and physically clean. They face Makkah when praying (this direction is called the qiblah)
Salah keeps Muslims in close contact with Allah and encourages moral + spiritual discipline. It also brings a sense of unity/solidarity and a reminder that every Muslim is equal in the eyes of Allah
Shi'as and Sunnis pray differently - where as Sunnis put their head to the ground, Shi'as put their head on a clay or wooden tablet
Putting something natural on your head is what Muhammad advised
Rak'ah is a set prayer ritual done in groups by Sunni Muslims - it involves standing, kneeling and putting your forehead to the ground
This shows submission to Allah
Both Sunni and Shi'a Muslims may combine the daily prayers - Sunnis only combine them if they have a good reason e.g travelling, and Shi'as usually pray 3 times a day, but they're still the same prayers
Not one of Shi'a Muslim's 10 obligatory acts, and not specifically mentioned in the Qur'an
To become a Muslim, all you need to do is recite it three times in front of witnesses
It applies to two fundamental Islamic beliefs - tawhid and the belief in prophets
"There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger"
Muslims say shahadah several times a day - anyone who cannot recite it wholeheartedly is not a Muslim. It is also said at rites of passage and during prayer, emphasising it's importance.