Islam is a monotheistic religion founded on the belief in one God, Allah. Muslims believe in the prophethood of Muhammad as the final messenger, and they consider the Quran as the direct word of Allah. The Five Pillars of Islam shape a Muslim’s life, including faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. Islamic jurisprudence, known as Fiqh, provides guidance on various aspects of life. Tawhid emphasizes the unity and uniqueness of Allah. Muslims strive to adhere to halal practices and avoid what is prohibited (haram). Jihad means striving in the path of Allah, and Islam promotes respect for other religions, as well as modesty and humility in behavior and interactions.
Islam is founded upon the belief in monotheism, the worship of one God (Allah). Muslims firmly believe that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, who is the Creator of the universe and everything within it. This belief is the foundation of Islamic faith and forms the core of their religious practices.
2. The Prophethood
Muslims believe in the prophethood of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), who is considered the final messenger sent by Allah. They also acknowledge and respect the previous prophets, such as Moses, Jesus, and Abraham, among others, who conveyed Allah’s message to humanity. Muslims consider Muhammad as the seal of the prophets and believe that the Quran is the final revelation given to guide humanity.
3. The Quran
The Quran is the holy book of Islam, believed by Muslims to be the direct word of Allah as revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It serves as a guide for Muslims in all aspects of life, including religious, moral, and social matters. Muslims consider the Quran to be a source of spiritual enlightenment and guidance, memorize and recite it, and seek to understand its teachings throughout their lives.
4. Five Pillars of Islam
The Five Pillars of Islam are the five fundamental acts of worship that shape a Muslim’s life. They are:
4.1 Shahada (Faith): The declaration of faith stating, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.” This declaration serves as the entrance into the Islamic faith.
4.2 Salah (Prayer): The performance of prescribed prayers five times a day, demonstrating remembrance and submission to Allah.
4.3 Zakat (Charity): The giving of alms to the poor and needy, typically 2.5% of an individual’s excess wealth, as a means of purifying one’s wealth and fulfilling the obligation of financial responsibility.
4.4 Sawm (Fasting): The observance of fasting from dawn to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, as a means of self-discipline, spiritual reflection, and empathy towards those less fortunate.
4.5 Hajj (Pilgrimage): The pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, an obligation for physically and financially able Muslims to perform at least once in their lifetime, demonstrating unity and equality among believers.
5. Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh)
Islamic jurisprudence, known as Fiqh, is the study and interpretation of Islamic law derived from the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Fiqh provides guidance on matters including personal ethics, family law, contracts, crime, and government. The practice of Fiqh helps Muslims navigate various aspects of their lives in accordance with Islamic principles.
6. Tawhid (Unity of God)
Tawhid refers to the fundamental belief in the oneness of Allah, emphasizing His uniqueness, singularity, and transcendence. Muslims believe that Allah is beyond human comprehension and that associating partners with Him or assigning human attributes to Him is strictly forbidden. Tawhid encompasses not only the belief in Allah’s unity but also leads Muslims to focus on worshiping Allah alone, ascribing no partners to Him.
7. Halal and Haram
Halal refers to what is permissible according to Islamic law, covering various aspects of life, including food, drink, behavior, and business transactions. Conversely, Haram refers to what is strictly prohibited. Muslims strive to adhere to halal practices, ensuring their actions align with Islamic guidelines. This extends to dietary restrictions, modesty in dress, abstaining from harmful substances, and engaging in ethical business practices.
Jihad is often misunderstood and wrongly associated with violence. In Islam, Jihad means “striving” or “struggling” in the path of Allah. It encompasses personal and collective efforts to maintain righteousness, combat evil, and improve society. Jihad is not limited to armed conflicts but includes internal struggles against personal shortcomings and social injustices. Islam promotes peaceful resolutions and prohibits acts of terrorism and unjust aggression.
9. Respect for other Religions
Islam promotes the respect and protection of other religions. Muslims are taught to honor the Abrahamic faiths by acknowledging their prophets and recognizing the legitimacy of their religious texts. Islam emphasizes religious freedom and discourages forced conversion while encouraging dialogue, understanding, and tolerance among different faiths.
10. Modesty and Humility
Modesty and humility hold great importance in Islamic teachings and practices. Muslims are encouraged to display modesty in their clothing, behavior, and interactions. Humility is regarded as a virtue that cultivates a sense of equality and discourages arrogance. Muslims strive to be humble before Allah, recognizing that all blessings come from Him and acknowledging the imperfections of human beings.
In summary, the ten key beliefs and practices of Islam revolve around the belief in the oneness of Allah, the prophethood of Muhammad, and the holy Quran. Muslims adhere to the five pillars of Islam, follow the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, and strive for unity, modesty, and humility. Islam promotes respect for other religions and encourages peaceful efforts, rejecting violence and terrorism.