Introduction to Islam
Islam is the religion of nearly 1.6 billion people around the world. Muslims are the followers of Islam. Muhammad the Prophet (SAW) was asked what is Islam. He said "Islam is to witness for One G-d"
The Five Pillars of Islam
Shahadah (Declaration of Faith): "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the One and Only, without any partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger." Muslims have the absolute belief in the Oneness of Allah and Prophet Muhammad (SAW), is His last Messenger. A Muslim accepts Allah as the one G-d, with no partner. He is One, Absolute, Greater than anything.
Salat (Prayer): Salat, the obligatory Muslim prayer, is done at appointed times, fixed in relation to the sun's position throughout the day, and fluctuates depending on the season. They are:- Fajr (pre-dawn)- Dhuhr (noon)- Asr (afternoon)- Maghrib (sunset)- Isha (evening)
Zakat (Charity): Zakat means purification and growth. Muslims calculate zakat (charity) individually equal to 2.5% one's capital. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.”
Sawm (Fasting) - Fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and it is the month of mercy, repentance, and purification, lasting for 29 or 30 days. During the hours of fasting (dawn to sunset) one refrains from food, drink, and conjugal relations with their spouse. Muslims read the entire Holy Quran during the month of Ramadan. "In the month of Ramadan, the Quran, a book of guidance with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong, was revealed. Therefore, whoever of you is present in that month let him fast. But who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. Allah desires your well-being, not your discomfort. He desires you to fast the whole month so that you may magnify Him and render thanks to Him for giving you His guidance." 2:185
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah): Obligatory for Muslims once in their lifetime. The annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar). The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka'ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as Hagar did during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafat and join in prayers asking for G-d's forgiveness.
What is a Muslim?
A Muslim is one who believes in obedience to Allah and submits to Lord, Creator of the Heavens and Earth. A Muslim is one who follows the disciplines of his / her religion, Islam.
The Quran is literally translated as revelation as was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Allah (SWT) revealed the Quran in this night (Lailatul Qadr), and when the Quran is revealed there is light and guidance. In the Quran we have light, we have guidance, we have mercy, we have knowledge, we have logic. The Quran is the answer, the completion. It fulfills what was promised to the Prophets before, and it completes the religion for us.