Islamic Belief in God and the 5 Pillars of Islam
Muslims follow the religion of Islam. They believe that there is only one God and Muhammad was his messenger. In this religion God is called Allah.
The Five Pillars of Islam are the five obligations that every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life according to Islam.
The first pillar is called Shahada. This is the belief that there is only one God and Muhammad was his messenger.
The second pillar is Salat. This is when Muslims pray five times each day
The third pillar is Zakah. This is when Muslims give 2.5% of their wealth to the poor
The fourth pillar is Sawm. This is when Muslims fast in the month of Ramadam
The fifth and last pillar is Hajj. This is the pilgramage to Makkah Muslims make once in their lifetime.
On Hajj men wear exactly the same clothes, two sheets of cotton, which do not have any seams. The first sheet covers the bottom half of their body and the other is worn over the left shoulder. These clothes are called 'Ihram'.
The first thing they do on Hajj is visit the Ka'bah, which is a cube-shaped building. It is covered in a black cloth. Every pilgrim walks or runs round the ka'bah 7 times. Those who are close enough touch or kiss it. Those further away raise their hand.
After this they go and pray, then hurry between two small hills 7 times. This is to remind them how Ibrahim's wfe ran between the hills looking for water for her son Ism'il. She is believed to have found water by digging her feet in the sand. This place is now called the Well of Zamzam. Pilgrims drink from the water.
Next they travel to the Plain of Arafat. This is where they ask Allah to forgive their sins and 'stand before Allah'-wuquf.
Finally, they go to Mina where 3 small pillars are. They throw stones at these 7 times.
The Life and Importance of Prophet Muhammah
The night of power, also known as Lailat ul Qadr, is a very important story about Muhammad.
Muhammad was on a walk to the Cave of Hira. He came here a lot to meditate. All of a sudden an Angel appeared. It was the Angel Jibril. Words appeared in the sky and he ordered Muhammad to read them. Muhammad could not read or write so therefore told the angel he could not do it. The Angel ordered him again. This time Muhammad began to recite the words as if they were written in his heart. The angel then told him he was the Prophet of God and was given the Qur'an.
From then on Muhammad spread the word of Allah and taught people how to live a good life. God then told him to move to Madina. Makkan soldiers followed him so Muhammad hid in the Cave of Thawr. God put a tree and a spiders web with birds nesting in them in the way of the cave so it looked like nobody was there. When he got to Madina he let his camel (Kaswah) decide where to build his home. He then taught people in Madina to live accordingly to the way of God and treat people fairly.
Night of Power Key Words
Makkah: Makkah (also known as Mecca) is the Holy City of Islam. Muslims go on a pilgramage here once in their lifetime.
Lailat ul Qadr: Lailat ul Qadr is the 'Night of Power'.
Mount Hira: Mount Hira is where Muhammad met Angel Jibril on the Night of Power.
Revelation: Revelation is when something (often suprising) is revealed.
Recite: Recite is when you say words alound from memory.
Angel Jibril: The Angel Jibril told Muhammad he was the messenger of Allah.
Prophet: A Prophet is a religious teacher who is believed to be inspired by God.
How Muslims Think of Muhammad Today
Muslims try to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad today. They believe he was the perfect Muslim therefore try to copy his actions.
Sunnah is the sayings and livibg habits (practises) or Prophet Muhammad
Hadith is the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. It is part of the Sunnah.
The Qur'an is the Holy book of Islam. It is the words of Allah, written in Arabic. Muslims all around the world will try to learn how to read the Qur'an in the original Arabic, even if this is not the language they speak in everyday life. Because Muslims believe that the Qur'an contains the actual words of God, they treat it with great respect.
In the Qur'an there are 114 chapters. These are called surrahs.
Key Words and Ideas
Rak'ah: Rak'ah is the movements and words followed by Muslims during Salat
Du'a: Du'a is calling or asking for help from Allah.
Ramadam: Ramadam is the month where Muslims fast. Fasting is where you do not drink or eat during the hours of daylight. This shows that they have submitted themselves to Allah. One of the aims of Ramadam is to make everyone equal because hunger is the same for everyone whether they are rich or poor.
Id-ul-Fitr: Id-ul-Fitr is the festival that takes place after Ramadam. This brings the whole Muslim community together for a time of prayer and celebration. It is celebrated in different ways alll over the world. No one goes hungry at Id-ul-Fitr.
The Mosque - Part 1
Minaret: The tower is called the Minaret and it's purpose is to call Muslims to the Mosque for prayer. it reminds Muslims that they are looking up to Allah.
Muessin/Mu'adhin: The person who rings the minaret is called the Muessin/ Mu'ahdhin.
Dome: The Dome is in the shape of the universe and surrounds and contains all of creation. It is also a practical shape because it helps carry sound inside the mosque. The symbol on the top is a cresent moon (the symbol of islam).
Shoe Racks: The mosque contains shoe racks because Muslims take their shoes off in the mosque to show respect to God and stop dust getting around.
Wudu: Wudu is the name for the washing before prayer.
Mirhab: The Mirhab points to Makkah.
Minbar: The Minbar are steps used as a platform by a preacher in the mosque.
The Mosque - Part 2
Women's area: Women have a separate place to pray so the don't get distracted. If there are any men around to stop themconcerntrating, then they cannot give their full attension to God.
Adhan: The Adhan is the Islamic call to prayer and is proclaimed 5 times a day to remind Muslims of the 5 compulsory prayers.
Qiblah: Quiblah is an Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during Salah.
Prayer Hall: In the Prayer Hall, Muslims sit on the floor. The floor is carpeted with patterns and the Qu'ran is kept on a stand to keep it clean. On the right side of the Prayer Hall there is a bookcase that contains copies of the Qu'ran.
Importance of having a Special Building for Worshi
It is important to have a special building to worship because all the people from your religion will be with you and you have a nice clean place to worship. The mosque is the special worship.
Imam: A person who reads prayers in the Mosque.