By definition, Islam is the worship of the One and the Only true god Allah. It is not solely the religion preached by all of the prophets that Allah has blessed mankind with. Starting from Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist and Jesus, through to the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all).
All of the Prophets I have mentioned are referred to in the Qu’ran and other Islamic literature by their Arabic names. Islam is the Arabic for submission; it implies complete obedience of God. The message written to all Muslims are: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. In Islam there are the Five Pillars which hold the Muslim faith together. They are: Shahadah, Salat, Zakah, Sawm and Hajj. Shahdah means Faith, Salat means Prayer, Zakah means Charity, Sawm means Fasting and Hajj means Pilgrimage.
Ashadu, Allah, Illa, Ha, Illah, Lah, Wa Ashadu Ana Muhammad Rasululah- There are no Gods besides Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
The declaration of faith is called the Shahadah.
Ash-hadu anla ilaha illal-Lahu Wahdahu la Sharika Lahu wa-ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu WA rasuluhu. This is the English version to the Arabic writing.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the One, without any partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.
Salat. Salat (prayer) is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is a most important constituent of the faith. It is prayer of a very high level. The Holy Quran repeatedly enjoins the offering of salat and indeed declares it to be a fundamental trait of a believer. The benefits of salat are countless. The Holy Quran says:
Islam is one of the three major religions in the world that professes the belief in a single God. In Arabic language, the word Islam means surrender or submission to the will of Gods. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim meaning to surrender to God. The Arabic word for God is Allah refers to the same God that is worshipped by the Jews and Christians.Islam's teaching of God is that there is only ...
“And enjoin Prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not for provision; it is we that provide for thee. And the end is for the righteous”
Salat is a Muslim Prayer that has to happen, it is said to happen at a time fixed in relation to the sun’s position. The time of Fajr, the Morning Prayer begins at dawn and ends just before sunrise. The time of Zuhr, the midday prayer, begins after the sun has crossed the zenith point and has begun to decline. The Asr prayer is said when the sun has further advanced in decline, in the late afternoon. The time of the Maghrib prayer begins immediately after sunset. It lasts till dusk. The Isha prayer can be said after dusk has finally disappeared, giving way to darkness of the night.
The Holy Quran also says:
“Recite that which has been revealed to thee of the Book, and observe Prayer. Surely, Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil, and remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue. And Allah knows what you do.” (29:46)
Zakah. Zakah (charity) is a part of devotion enjoined upon Muslims by the Holy Quran. It is a means where the well off pays a set amount of their wealth. Zakah means to purify oneself. It is obligatory on Muslims to pay a little percentage of their accumulated wealth towards Zakat, which is used for the benefit of the needy and the poor. Zakat is not levied on one’s property that is in personal use, rather on the assets which have a means of increasing and which are surplus to one’s needs. It is a means of social justice and order. It teaches sympathy of the highest order.
Sawm. Sawm (fasting) happens in ninth month of the Muslim calendar. Along with salat, another important form of worship is fasting. Every Muslim has to fast, apart from some exemptions, to fast in the month of Ramadan. During the hours of fasting, food and drink and sexual relations between husband and wife are forbidden. It is enjoined that during fasting one should pay attention to remembrance of God and study the Holy Quran. You should try to curtail your worldly pastimes as much as possible during Ramadan, and to be particularly inclined towards charity.
We need to look at prayer with deeper thoughts. Prayer isn't just closing your eyes, folding your hands and speaking. Prayer is a much more meaningful part of religion. We all need to pray, God himself demands us to pray. Prayer is defined as an act of God, a god or another object of worship, such as in devotion, confession, praise, or thanksgiving. When most people pray, they just say the same ...
Human life is dependent on food and drink and the continuation of the human race depends on the marital relationship. While fasting you refrain from them both, as if bearing witness to God that for His pleasure man gives up the factors (temporarily) upon which his very existence depends. The various other benefits of fasting are that men get to exercise sacrificing physical comfort and to endure hunger and thirst. Fasting creates a sense of equality between the rich and the poor. By developing an appreciation of hunger and thirst, it makes the well-off think of the needs of the poor and impresses a feeling of compassion in their hearts. It makes them appreciate, through the practicality of it, the pain a human being has when hungry and thirsty. Ramadan is most effective and has excellent means of spiritual development for mankind.
Hajj. Hajj (pilgrimage) is the fifth Pillar of Islam and another form of worship. It is an annual pilgrimage to the holy sites in Mecca, which each adult Muslim, who can afford it, has to perform once in lifetime. Apart from the financial aspect, the ability to afford the pilgrimage also means that one is able to travel and perform the Hajj in peace.
Muslims perform Hajj in order to visit the holy sites where their faith started. More importantly it is a pilgrimage to the Ka’aba, which we believe is the first place of worship ever built on this earth, Muslims thus refer to it as House of God. The ceremony of Hajj is also symbolic of the Unity of God; all Muslims gather from four corners of the earth in one spot at one time and worship God. There are no difficulties to perform Hajj apart from the financial commitment in order to travel to Mecca. That is the reason why, strictly speaking, Hajj has to happen to those who have fulfilled all their worldly needs and have no pressing commitments left and indeed can afford to travel to Mecca.
It is a Muslim belief that God is everywhere and He answers those who truly seek Him. In this respect indeed going to a particular place to seek the pleasure and nearness to God is not the issue. However, it is the physical presence of being in the holiest of the holy places for the Muslim faith and indeed the congregational worship with millions of other fellow Muslims that leaves an non removable mark on the spiritual life of a person. It is a most supreme form of worship and is most desirable to God.
... universal brotherhood and sisterhood to worship the One God together." Globally, millions of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca each year during the last ... person who performs Hajj properly 'will return as a newly born baby [free of all sins].' The pilgrimage also enables Muslims from all ...
During Hajj, the person who intends to perform it is required to travel to Mecca during the days set and observe all the rites and ceremonies. During Hajj Muslims from all corners of the world gather in Mecca and perform the rites of Hajj and thus strengthen the bond of Muslim unity.
During Hajj each place brings to mind some event of the blessed life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings on him).
It refreshes the memory of the supreme sacrifices made by the Holy Prophet for the sake of Islam.
I think all of the Five Pillars of Islam are equally important. They all represent a meaning in a Muslims life. The Five Pillars of Islam hold the Muslim faith together (as I have said before) so they all have equal jobs to for fill.