Islamic Beliefs

Muslims believe that God revealed his direct word for humanity to Muhammad (c. 570– July 6, 632) through the angel Gabriel and earlier prophets, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last prophet, based on the Qur'anic phrase "Seal of the Prophets" and sayings of the prophet of Islam himself, and that his teachings for humanity will last until the Day of the Resurrection. Muslims assert that the main written record of revelation to humanity is the Qur'an, which is flawless, immutable, and which Muslims believe is the final revelation of God to humanity.

Muslims hold that Islam is the same belief as that of all the messengers sent by God to humanity since Adam, with the Qur'an, the text used by all sects of the Muslim faith, codifying the final revelation of God. Islamic texts depict Judaism and Christianity as prophetic successor traditions to the teachings of Abraham. The Qur'an calls Jews and Christians "People of the Book", and distinguishes them from "Polytheists". In order to reconcile the often radical disagreements regarding events and interpretation that exist between the earlier writers and the Quran, Muslims posit that Jews and Christians distorted the word of God after it was revealed to them, deliberately altering words in meaning, form and placement in their respective holy texts, with Jews changing the Tawrat (Torah) and Christians the Injeel (Gospels). Without this distortion, known as tahrif, or tabd?l, meaning "alteration, substitution", the content of the Torah and Gospels would ostensibly have been in accord with the later teachings of the Prophet.

Five Pillars of Islam

Shahadah - The basic creed or tenet of Islam is found in the shah?dat?n ("two testimonies") — "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God) and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." As the most important pillar, this testament can be considered a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam. Children are taught to recite and understand the shahadah as soon as they are able to do so. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims must use the creed to formally convert to Islam.

Salat - Muslims must perform five daily prayers, salat, throughout the day as a form of submission to God. The ritual combines specific movements and spiritual aspects, preceded by wudu', or ablution. It is also supposed to serve as a reminder to do good and strive for greater causes,[10] as well as a form of restraint from committing harmful or shameful deeds.

It is believed that the prayer ritual was demonstrated to Muhammed by the angel Jabr?l, or Gabriel in English.

Zakat - Zakat, or alms-giving, is a mandated giving of charity to the poor and needy by able Muslims based on the wealth that he or she has accumulated. It is a personal responsibility intended to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality.[11]

Sawm - Sawm, or fasting, is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins that are prohibited. This activity is intended to allow Muslims to seek nearness to God as well as remind them of the needy.[12]

Hajj - The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Mecca. The pilgrimage is required for all Muslims who are both physically and financially able to go and is to be done at least once in one's lifetime.[13]