By Fatima Muraina
Islam is a religion of peace. Peace with God and peace with man.
Peace with God is to be faithful to God in serving Him diligently without associating anything or any other god with the creator of the universe, which is total submission to the will of God.
It means the oneness of the Most High While peace with man is one’s relationship with his fellow human being and the neighbours as the case may be. Islam preaches good relationship with one’s neighbour and fellow human beings doing good to one another and being there for one another in the time of need.
The religion of Islam entails an attestation that there is only one God, who is supreme and should be the only one to be worshipped and that Muhammad (SAW) is the prophet and servant of God Almighty.
Apart from that declaration as a Muslim, the religion is centered around what is called the five pillars of Islam and the six articles of faith.
The five pillars of Islam must be observed by a true Muslim which are oneness of Allah, salat or prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, zakat or “poor rate”and the holy pilgrimage. These are the pillars, that uphold the religion making those practising it to be called Muslims.
Every Muslim must observe the five pillars including performance of the holy pilgrimage at least once in the life of every Muslim.
Oneness of Allah is not associating anything with Him, but believing that there is only one God. Prayer entails praying five times a day as instituted by the holy prophet Muhammed (SAW).
The prayers are subhi prayer at the early hour of the day between five and six am,the Zuhuri prayer at two pm, the Asri at four pm, Magrib at seven pm and the ishai prayer at eight pm.
Ramadan fasting is compulsory for all Muslims and it is observed during the Ramadan period like what is going on presently and it is for 30days.
It is compulsory for every Muslims from the age of seven years to fast not only for forgiveness of sins but to keep Muslims closer to their creator, behaving well and relating well with their neighbours and a period which reminds people about the poor and the less-priviledged ones within the community where they reside and beyond.
Zakat is payIng alms which comes in two folds ; First the Zakatul Fitri, which is giving at the end of fasting as from the twentieth day of fasting to the morning before the Eld prayer marking the end of Ramadan.
The second one is associated with wealth and is measured according to the rate of the wealth of the Muslim concerned . A percentage rate is calculated from the wealth of the wealthy Muslim.
The second type of Zakat is not too common because there are just very few people that fall into this category.
Sadaque is another form of alms giving which is voluntary . It is to give. ones desired gift, either monetary or any other thing to the poor, including the street beggars and the likes.
Pilgrimage to the holy land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the fifth pillar of Islam which is compulsory for every Muslim to perform at least once in a life time. For every Muslim who has the financial means to observe this pillar, it is compulsory.
The beauty of Islam could be seen from the practice of the religion itself.The oneness in the supreme being and the unity among the believers. The uniqueness of the religion cannot be over emphasised
The unity among the believers is seen in the common practice of the religion everywhere in the world.
Any Muslim can worship in any mosque whereever a Muslim finds himself or herself. The process of worshipping is the same all over the world and in all the mosques.