FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Islam, the religion of truth is based on five fundamental concepts: Shahada - the Islamic Creed, Salat - the obligatory Prayers, Sawm - Fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan, Zakat - paying charity to help the poor, and Hajj - the Pilgrimage to the Holy Ka’bah in Makkah. These are the basic Islamic beliefs and forms of worship in Islam.
Faith in existence of God and His oneness (Monotheism) is the first pillar of Islam. This also includes Faith in God’s Angels, His Revealed Books, His Messengers, faith in the life after death and the Day of Judgement, and belief in pre-destination. Allah asks mankind:
How can you deny Allah? Did He not give you life, when you were without life? And then He will cause you to die, then restore you to life, and then to Him you shall be made to return. It is He Who created for you all that the earth contains, then He proceeded towards the sky, and He perfected them into seven heavens, and He has complete knowledge of all things. [The Holy Qur'an, Sura 2:28-29]
Muslims believe in all the Prophets and Messengers of God, including Adam, Noha, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus (peace be on them) and the last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be on him). Belief in all the revealed Books of Allah, of which the Holy Quran is the final and the most perfect Book; belief in all the Angels who are the spiritual beings of God; belief in the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Judgement; and belief in the Islamic doctrine that the power of all human actions proceeds from God and every human being is morally responsible of thier own actions. These beliefs form the fundamentals of religion Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord, and so do the believers. They believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say: “We make no distinction between Allah’s Messengers.” And they say: “We hear and obey. Grant us Your forgiveness, Lord; to You shall all return.” [The Holy Qur’an, Sura 2:285]
The Qur’an is the last of Allah’s four Books to His Messengers. Three other books are: Tawrat (The Old Testament), also called The Law, revealed to Musa (Moses); Zabur (Psalms), revealed to Dawud (David); Injeel (The New Testament), revealed to Isa (Jesus). Finally, the Qur’an was revealed to Prohpet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Allah by the Angel Gabriel.
God's message is very clear about it:
“This is a Book, not to be doubted, a guide for the God-fearing, Who believe in the unseen and are steadfast in prayer, who spend in charity of what We have provided them (and also spend in Allah’s cause). And who believe in what has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad) and that what was revealed (to other messengers) before you and have firm faith in the Hereafter. These are on the guidance from their Lord and these shall surely prosper.” [The Holy Qur’an, Surah 2:2-5]
In the Qur’an, Allah teaches us to declare that:
Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us (to Muhammad), in what was revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma’el (Ishmael), and Is’haque (Isaac) and Yaquob (Jacob) and his (twelve) children and in what was given to Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus), and what was given to all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Allah we submit ourselves (in Islam).”
Prayers are the second pillar of Islam. All Muslims are required to perform Obligatory Prayers - five times a day. Fasting; is abstaining from all types of food, drinks and sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Paying Zakat is an obligatory tax on savings above a prescribed quantity, given to help the poor people, and finally the Pilgrimage to the Holy Ka'bah in Makkah - if one has means of travelling and peforming it. All Muslims must attempt performing Hajj at least once during their lifetime.
About Hajj, God says in the Holy Qur’an:
They will come to you on foot and on every kind of camel, making journeys through deep and distant mountain highways, that they may witness the benefits (in this) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah through the days appointed, over the (sacrificial) animals which God has provided them for food. So eat their flesh, also feed the poor and less fortunate. Then let the pilgrims complete the rites prescribed, fulfill their vows and circumambulate (again) The Ancient House.” Such is God’s commandment (about the Pilgrimage), Whoever honours the sacred rites of Allah, it is best in the sight of Allah.
[The Holy Qur’an, 22:26-30]
FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Why People Embrace Islam?
People are converting to Islam for a number of reasons: mostly personal reasons, while others become Muslims also on the basis of cultural, social and spiritual characteristics of Islam. The followings are some key aspects that mainly draw many people, particularly Christians and Jews to Islamic Faith:
- Conversion to Islam is relatively simple, involving only Shahada, the declaration of Faith: There is no God except Allah; Muhammad is Allah's Final Messenger. People find it much easier than a lengthy process of religious education and series of formal rituals
- Islam is monotheistic religion. It calls upon people to believe in one True God only. People are told in the Qur'an: "Say: He is Allah, He is One; The Self-Sufficient, The Eternal God; He begets not, nor was He begotten; There is none equal to Him." [The Holy Qur'an, Surah 112:1-4]
- Islam's basic beliefs are relatively straightforward and easy to understand as well as to perform, compared with other religions fundamental precepts. For example the Five Pillars of Islam: Shahada, Obligatory Prayers, Fasting in the Month of Ramdan, Paying Zakat (Charity) to the poor and travelling to Makkah to Perform the Hajj; even the younger followers can comprehend them without any hardship or confusion.
- Islam's great civilization and rich history certainly has an attractive and intellectual appeal for many people. Converting to Islam means they also become part of the Muslim Ummah (nation).
- Islam's emphasis on the importance of family life and social value is one of the key aspects that attract men and women from various cultural backgrounds, particularly those serious in true and traditional family values and moral teachings.
- Islam is not only a religion but also a complete way of life, where everything is detailed in the Qur'an very clearly, and further explaination is available through the Hadith and Sunnah (sayings, teachings and actions) of Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him).
- Many of the prophets and stories found in the Bible such as the creation of Adam and Eve, the story of Noah and the flood, the events in the life of Abraham and his sons, the Psalms of David and the kingdom of Solomon, the Exodus of Israelites from Egypt led by Moses, Jesus preaching the Injeel (Good News) to the world - are present in the Quran as well. Christians and Jews who convert to Islam often comment they are attracted to the faith partly because of its similarities to Christianity and Judaism in general.
Islam is a perfect religion which provides solution to every problem and answer to every question. As the word 'Islam' means 'peace', it is effectively the religion of every human who likes peace. Peace within a human being, peace of mind, peace at home, peace in the society, and peace in the world. In other words Islam is a way of achieving peace by submitting to the Will of God.
Peace loving people welcomed and accepted Islam throughout the ages since the birth of Adam (peace be upon him). The modern laws of Islam were revealed from God (Allah) to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by Angel Gabriel some 1420 years ago. People who like peace, equality, and honesty in the society always welcome Islam. The only people reject this message of peace from their Creator are the wrong-doers and mischief makers.
Today, more than one billion people around the globe practice Islam, not only as their religion, but also their way of life. One-fifth of the world population from all races, every origin and nationalities regardless of their athnicity, culture or language follow Islamic teachings. In America, an estimated 130,000 people are converting to Islam every year.
Blessed are those who accept Islam and become the folowers of a natural way of life. Allah's has given human beings will-power and ability to think and differeciate between wrong and right, and His message is very clear about it: "This is the path of your Lord, a straight way. Indeed, We have detailed our Revelations for the people who think. For them is abode of peace with their Lord; He will be their protecting friend because of their good deeds." [The Holy Qur'an, Surah 6:126-127]
The Holy Qur’an, is without any doubt the most positive book in the world, it is the most important and influential book known to mankind. The message from Allah, revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by Angel Gabriel, teachings of Allah’s final message remain as relevant today as they ever been.
The Holy Qur’an’s fundamental message is the importance of focusing and shaping one’s life on Allah’s will only. Quran ordains deeds rather than words, and constantly emphasises to see beyond this earthly life.
Allah explains in The Holy Qur’an: This Book is a revelation from the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. Its Verses are well-expounded, a Qur’an in Arabic for people of knowledge. It proclaims good news and warning, but most of them turn away, and pay no heed.
[The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 41:2-4]
The revelation of this Book (Qur’an) is beyond doubt from the Lord of the Universe. Do say they, "He (Muhammad) has invented it himself?" No, it is the truth from your Lord, so that you may warn people to whom no warner has come before you, in order that they may be rightly guided.
[The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 32:2-3]
A Book which we have revealed to you (Muhammad) so that you may lead the people from out of the darknesses into the light by their Lord's leave to the path of the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy.
[The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 14:1]
We have taught him (Muhammad) no poetry, nor is it meet for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an, to exhort the living, and that Word may be justified against the unbelievers.
[The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 36:69-70]
Qur’an means 'that which is recited'. The unique characteristic of Prophet Muhammad's life and mission was preaching by recitation of what was being revealed to him from God through the agency of Angel Gabriel.
And recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. No one can change His Words, and you shall find no refuge beside Him. [The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 18:27]
These revelations became an entire Book. Since the revelation of the Qur'an, reciting its verses amd surah is part of Muslim worship and daily prayers. Millions of people recite the Qur'an regularly which affirms literal meanings of the Book itself.
GOD'S CHALLENGE TO THE MANKIND
If you are in doubt as to what We have sent down (revealed) to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it, and call upon your witnesses (to assist you), apart from Allah, if you are truthful. But if you cannot - as you certainly never can do it - then guard against the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, which is prepared for the disbelievers.
[The Holy Qu'ran, Chapter 2:22-23]
The First Revelation of The Holy Qur’an
AL-ALAQ (The Clot)
In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
The First Revelation of The Holy Qur’an
How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim
The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahada” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.
With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahada”, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.
Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:
“Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?” (Saheeh Muslim)
When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.
The Holy Quran and Hadeeth (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:
“…The only religion in the sight of God is Islam…” (Quran 3:19)
In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).” (Quran 3:85)
In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:
“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word  which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet of God, may God praise him, also reported:
“Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: “I testify that none has the right to worship except Allah (God),’ seeking thereby the Face of God.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Declaration of the Testimony (Shahada)
To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning:
I testify “La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”
The translation of which is:
“I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God.”
When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim. It can be done alone, but it is much better to be done with an adviser through the “Live Help” at top, so we may help you in pronouncing it right and to provide you with important resources for new Muslims.
The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Holy Quran:
“We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me.’” (Quran 21:25)
This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone. Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.
Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one’s family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.
The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.
One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:
“And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.” (Quran 68:4)
God also said:
“And in deed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.” (Quran 33:21)
He was sent in order to practically implement the Quran, in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied:
“His character was that of the Quran.” (As-Suyooti)
To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahada is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says:
“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love God, then follow me.’” (Quran 3:31)
It also means that Muhammad is the Final Prophet and Messenger of God, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him.
“Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything.” (Quran 33:40)
All who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief.
We welcome you to Islam, congratulate you for your decision, and will try to help you in any way we can.
 God created him through His statement, “Be!”
How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim