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What's Islam all about?

Religion is the believing on which a human being sets the foundation of his entire life. It is the set of principles which define the mannerism about everything we perform in daily routine. Islam is a religion that is based on the certain foundation which comprises five major components, which are generally called 5 pillars of Islam.

These 5 pillars of Islam are an integral part of the lives of all the Muslims, without which the religion cannot be considered to be completed. Some of these are the part of daily routine and others are performed according to the defined timelines and certain conditions fulfilled. These components are as follows:

The faith (Tawheed) is the most basic part of the life of a Muslim; to believe that God is only one and Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of God. This is declared through recitation of a specific statement in Arabic which is mandatory to recite for becoming a Muslim. This belief is the major part of lives of Muslims; none of them can think against this believing and consider anyone parallel to God.

Muslims offer prayers (Salat) 5 times a day on particular time for each of the prayer. These five prayers are compulsory for each Muslim in any condition; these are called Fajar, Zuhar, Asar, Maghrib and Isha. Fajar is offered at the dawn, Zohar in the noon, Asar in the afternoon, Maghrib in the eveniong and Isha at night. For each of the prayer there is a loud call from the mosque called “Azan”. For offering prayers, it is compulsory to have ablution which is meant for purifying the body. Muslims can offer prayer on any clean place and in the office or homes; however, offering prayers in the mosque is the act which is most admired by God.

Islam has an emphasis on the rights of the human beings. Charity (Zakat) is another important pillar of Islam which commands the rich Muslims to help poor. There is a certain percentage; 2.5% to be paid every year against the money accumulated for a year, gold (if it is above 84 grams) in the possession and other productive assets. The aim of this act is to purify the remaining amount by helping the poor who need it; however one must be careful to ensure that the beneficiary is actually a needy one according to the specifications already defined by the Prophet.

Islam is the religion which is based upon the concept of tolerance. The Muslims fast (Saum or Roza) every year for 29-30 days in the month of Ramazan. This involves a patient act of abstaining from eating or drinking from dawn till evening; Fajar to Maghrib. This month is believed to be the sacred month which may lead to forgiveness of God if the good deeds and prayers are performed with great affection and forgiveness is requested by heart from God. Fasting is an obligation for all the Muslims; but the sick, old people, children and travelers are exempted from fasting because it can be harmful for their health.

Every prosper Muslim has to offer pilgrimage (Hajj) of Mecca once in life. This comprises a set of religious activities in Mecca in the month of Zulhajja. Every year, billions of Muslims from all parts of the world visit Mecca and perform pilgrimage together. This is considered to be the biggest religious gathering in the world, in which all the participants are dressed in the similar white dress, without any distinction of race, class or nationality. This gathering takes 7 rounds around Kaaba followed by other rituals as guided by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

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