Five Pillars of Islam

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Checkpoint: Five Pillars of Islam The central beliefs of Islam include an oneness of God and humanity, Prophethood, human relationship with the divine, the unseen life, and the last judgment. These beliefs are further extended and explained through the “Five Pillars”. The “Five Pillars” provide instructions for rituals and ways to live. These instructions enable the Muslim people to live their lives in a fashion that brings them closer to God (Fisher, 2005). The first pillar is believing and professing the unity of God and the messengership of Muhammad. The faithful are required to spread the word to others so they might have the information needed to make an intelligent choice. The second pillar defines prayer rituals. Faithful should pray five times each day. The belief is that prayer strengthens the belief in God’s existence, purifies the heart, develops the mind and conscience, comforts the soul, encourages good and suppresses evil, and awakens the innate sense of higher morality and aspirations. The third pillar is zakat. Zakat refers to the required tithing and almsgiving. Muslims are required to present two and a half percent of their accumulated wealth to needy Muslims. This is one way that Muslims attempt to decrease wealth inequalities and prevent personal greed. Additionally, Muslims must provide one-fifth of their disposable income to the Imam. The fourth pillar details rituals for fasting. Several fasting periods are recommended; however, only one is required. Fasting allows the body to burn impurities and liberates the body from heaviness. Muslims gain the needed ability to control emotions such as jealousy and anger by strengthening their control of the desires of the body. Finally, the fifth pillar explains the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca. Every Muslim is required to make pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Through symbolic rituals they
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