Five Articles of
The five articles of faith
are the main doctrines of Islam. All Muslims are expected to believe
1. A single, indivisible
God. God, the creator, is just, omnipotent and merciful. "Allah"
is often used to refer to God; it is the Arabic word for God.
2. The angels.
3. The divine scriptures, which include the Torah,
the Psalms, the rest of the Bible, (as they were originally revealed)
and the Qur'an (which is composed of God's words, dictated by the Archangel
Gabriel to Muhammad).
4. The Messengers of God, including Adam, Noah, Abraham,
Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad–the last prophet. Muhammad's
message is considered the final, universal message for all of humanity.
5. The Day of Judgment when people will be judged on
the basis of their deeds while on earth, and will either attain reward
of Heaven or punishment in Hell. They do not believe that Jesus or any
other individual can atone for another person's sin. Hell is where unbelievers
and sinners spend eternity.
6. The supremacy of God's will.
Five Pillars of Faith
The five pillars of faith are observances in Islam which are duties
each Muslim must perform.
1. Creed (Kalima)- One must state, "There is no
God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah." publicly
to become a Muslim.
2. Prayer (Salat)- Prayer must be done five times a
day (upon rising, at noon, in mid-afternoon, after sunset, and before
going to sleep) towards the direction of Mecca. The call to prayer is
sounded by the muezzin (Muslim crier) from a tower (minaret) within
3. Almsgiving (Zakat)- Muslims are legally required
to give one-fortieth of their income to the needy. Since those whom
alms are given are helping the giver achieve salvation, there is no
sense of shame in receiving charity.
4. Fasting (Ramadan)- During the holy month of Ramadan,
faithful Muslims fast from sunup to sundown each day. This develops
self-control, devotion to God, and identity with the needy.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)- Each Muslim is expected to make
the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they have
the means to do it and are physically capable of the trip. It is an
essential part of gaining salvation, so the old or infirm may send someone
in their place. It involves a set of rituals and ceremonies.
A sixth religious duty associated with the five pillars is Jihad, or
Holy War. This duty requires that if the situation warrants, men are
required to go to war to defend or spread Islam. If they are killed,
they are guaranteed eternal life in Paradise.
Other beliefs include:
God did not have a son.
Jesus is a prophet,
born of the Virgin Mary. They regard the Christian concept of the
deity of Jesus to be blasphemous; it is seen as a form of polytheism.
Jesus was not executed
on the cross. He escaped crucifixion and was taken up into Paradise.
The existence of Satan
who drives people to sin.
Muslims who sincerely
repent and submit to God return to a state of sinlessness.
All people are considered
children of Adam. Islam officially rejects racism.
All children are born
on Al-Fitra (a pure, natural state of submission to Islam). His
parents sometimes make him Christian, Jewish, etc.
When a child reaches puberty an account of their deeds is opened
in Paradise. When the person dies, their eventual destination (Paradise
or Hell) depends on the balance of their good deeds (helping others,
testifying to the truth of God, leading a virtuous life) and their
Alcohol, other drugs,
eating of pork, etc. should be avoided.
Gambling should be avoided.
The teachings of Islam are comprised of both faith and duty (din). One
branch of Muslim learning, "Tawhid", defines all that a man
should believe, while the other branch, "Shari'a," prescribes
everything that he should do. There is no priesthood and no sacraments.
Except among the Sufis, Muslims receive instruction only from those
who consider themselves adequately learned in theology or law.
The basis for Islamic doctrine is found in the Qur'an (Koran). It is
the scripture of Islam, written by Muhammad and his disciples as dictated
by the Angel Gabriel. It alone is infallible and without error. The
Qur'an is comprised of 114 surahs, or chapters, arranged from longest
to shortest. For Muslims, the Qur'an is the word of God, and he carrier
of the revelation of Muhammad, the last and most perfect of God's messengers
In addition to the Qur'an, other documents are also referred to by followers
of Islam. A number of additional sayings of Muhammad were complied in
the Hadith ("tradition"). The Torat (of Moses), Suhuf (books
of the prophets), Zabur (psalms of David), and the Injil (gospel of
Jesus) are also studied and considered to be revelations, although they
are believed to have been corrupted through time. When Muhammad
was about 40, he began preaching a new religion called Islam. It taught
that there was one God and that he (Muhammad) was the last of a series
of prophets. Through these prophets and messengers, God had sent codes
and laws for living, which are drawn out in the Islam holy book called
the Qur'an (Koran).
It is also believed that these messengers included Moses and Jesus,
who Christians believe to be the son of God rather than a prophet. Islam
teaches that the Christian Bible and the Hebrew version are both holy
books, but that they have been altered over time from their original
forms given by God, and that the Koran is the only "perfect"
holy book with no distortions.
Islam does not teach or encourage
men to be violent or overpowering of women. Although in many Islam countries
this is the case, they aren't following the true teachings of the Koran.
It actually teaches that men and women "are but twin halves",
each is equal in the part it plays in society. The covering of the body
is not required by the religion, however it does teach to dress modestly.
Islam doesn't encourage reducing women to sex objects and revealing
themselves. Islam regards women's role as mother and wife as her most
sacred one, however she is still allowed to seek employment. Islam allows
women to reject marriage proposals, get divorced (but not encouraged),
have individual rights to own property, get an equal education to a
man, to have participation in social and political life, and other rights