Q: What are the basic teachings of Islām?
A: There are five Pillars in Islām:
1. Declaration of the Faith: To testify there is no deity worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God
2. Prayer: Pray towards Makkah five times each day
3. Charity: Donate a portion of your wealth to the poor
4. Fasting: Go without food, drink and having relations with your spouses from dawn until sunset during the month of Ramadan
5. Pilgrimage: Visit Makkah and perform the Hajj once in a lifetime, if you have the means to do so.
These pillars are built on the Articles of Faith – which can simply be broken down into the following:
1) God: There is only one God with no associate or partner. All that happened in the past, is happening now and is going to happen in the future is by the will of God.
2) The Angels: Angels are created from light and execute the commands of God without question.
3) The Books of God: These include the Torah, the Psalms of David, The Gospel revealed to Jesus and the Qur’ān.
4) Prophets of God: There were thousands of prophets who preached God’s message. Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet for all humanity and completed the message of God.
5) Day of Judgment: On this day all mankind will be raised back to life and judged by God. Those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds will be allowed to enter Paradise and those whose bad deeds outweigh their good deeds will be condemned to Hell except whom God has mercy on.
6) Divine Decree: God’s predestination of all things and events and His Decree. Nothing in the universe can occur without the knowledge of God. Whatever He desires, it occurs and whatever He does not desire, it doesn’t occur. There is no power or any movement except by God.
7) Life after Death: The eternal life in Paradise where one will be rewarded for living a righteous life on Earth, or the fire of Hell where one will be punished for the evil that one committed.