Islamic Belief and Practice in Five Pillars
Muslims believe Islam is a complete faith that is governed by five pillars: Profession of Faith, Prayer, Alms, Fasting, and Pilgrimage. The Profession of Faith (shahada) disputes the existence of other gods and argues there is only one God. Shahada also points out that Muhammad is God’s Messenger. Player (salat) describes the praying pattern of the Muslims, which is five times a day. Alms (zakat) encourages Muslims to give out a certain amount of their earnings to needy members of the community. Fasting (sawm) guides the eating pattern of the Muslim adults during the daylight hours of Ramadhan whereby they are directed to avoid eating and drinking. Pilgrimage (hajj) encourages Muslims faiths who are able physically and financially to at least make a single visit in Mecca. Among the five pillars, the Player is mainly connected to the Muslim faith, and as such, it is essential to explore it in depth to understand how it is performed.Muslim prays five times: dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and after the dark in a day, and they do so while facing Mecca (Faruqi, 2007). The prayer involves the recitation of the sura, the first chapter of Qur’an. Salat can be performed individually or in a group in any location or a mosque. In every Friday men attend mosque for the noonday prayers. While women are allowed to join the prayers, it is not mandatory for them to participate. After the prayers, imam leads the congregation in reading a particular passage in the Qur’an, followed by the discussion on a given religious topic. Unlike Muslims, Sufis perform additional players (Zikrs), for example, Astaghfirullah’ after each of the five daily prayers (McGregor, 2013). The Sufis also perform prayers that are outside the common five daily prayers provided in Prayer pillar.