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#149 The Five Pillars of Faith

***ALLAH means GOD in arabic.

When I was a little girl, I would lay next to my mom at night in her bed. My father worked till 11pm, so I would lay with my mom till he got home.

Mom and I had a ritual. I would shower and then lay next to her while she taught me certain verses from the Holy Quran. She would teach me the ones that I could use during the five daily prayers.

Many people have the Holy Quran memorized. It is one of the miracles of the Quran. If all the Holy Qurans were to be thrown away at sea or burned…it wouldn’t matter. Because there would be Muslims from all over the world that would put it back together since it is memorized. It is part of the authenticity of the Quran and the memorization is taken very seriously. If a person recites a verse even slightly off…they are corrected. Hence, it is one of the reasons why Muslims say that the Quran has never been altered and it is the exact word of Allah (God). In the Holy Quran, God says that the Torah and the Bible were also words of God but they were altered by man hence it is not the exact word of God anymore. Of course Muslims believe in Judaism and Christianity and if you follow each of these religions the way they are suppose to be followed then you would be a Muslim. A Muslim means a SERVANT OF GOD. In Islam, one must recognize the many prophets (peace me upon them) including Moses, Jesus, and the final messenger of Allah…Prophet Muhammad.

My mom would also have me recite the five pillars of faith every night.

First pillar: Faith (Iman): Every Muslim makes a declaration of faith, or Shahadah, that says “There is none worthy of worship except God (Allah) and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

This is also the line said when a Muslim converts. It is simple and honest.

Second Pillar: Salah (Prayer): Muslims are to pray five times a day. The times are pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night. Wudu is the ritual of washing one’s self. It isn’t exactly a shower either. One must be clean and wear good clothes before they present themselves before God. The prophet (PBUH) that cleanliness is half of faith. the prayers are usually less than 10mins and it is suppose to be a time of day where you worship God and also a reminder of your purpose. It is also a meditation. Think about it…if you stopped for 5min…5 times a day to meditate and worship God…wouldn’t that be nice? Even if it isn’t for your religon…if you just did this for yourself..5mins…five times a day of complete spiritual focus and meditation…how healthy would that be? But, it isn’t as easy because life is hard and sometimes we don’t put God first even though we should.

Third Pillar: Zakat (Charity): Charity is extremely important for Muslims. It is said that Allah prefers those that help others more than others. The Prophet always helped others in need in whatever way possible. So Muslims are suppose to give a certain percentage of their income to help others. You give what you can even if its $.50.

Fourth Pillar: Fasting (Ramadan): Ramadan is such a blessed month. From sunrise to sunset Muslims do not consume food or water for thirty days. We cake before dawn for breakfast and we have dinner when the sunsets.

There have been so many instances in my life where people judge me for observing a fast. They would say “so why are you starving yourself..? How can you not have water and food all day..that’s impossible!..So what will God do to you if you eat…?…If your in a dark room then you can eat.”

I am not going to lie. Ramadan is a challenge but if I don’t fast…I feel guilt and emptiness. I think people don’t understand it unless you are spiritual. It doesn’t bother me when others are eating in front of me or when people make comments because I am not fasting for them. I have so much self restraint during Ramadan that I wish I had the same control on a daily basis with food. I would be a lot fitter.

Ramadan is a spiritual cleanse and it helps one become closer to God. Try not eating and drinking for a whole day….all you will think about is what your next meal will be and you will be so thankful for that meal. Ramadan is about gratitude and worship. We are not just restraining from food but from foul language, sexual activity and so on. One must really try to look at their habits and try to be better.

Of course children, seniors, pregnant women, the sick and some others do not have to fast.

At the end of the fast, there is a huge celebration. It is our Christmas.

Fifth Pillar: Pilgrimage (Hajj): If you are able to financially and physically, each Muslim should observe the pilgrimage at least one in their life time. During pilgrimage, everyone wears simple clothing hence status and wealth is not relevant. In the eyes of God, we are all one.

So there you have it the five pillars of faith. Now each one of these pillars have more to them but here was a little brief synopsis of them.

Thanks for reading and learning a little about my faith even if its different than yours. In Islam, we are to respect other religions and lifestyles. We are not here to judge anyone that is God’s job. So, I write this blog out of respect for all faiths and lifestyles. In the end, we are all simply human. One race.

Allah forgive me if I have spoken wrong about anything. Truly, Allah knows best. Amen.

~Frshta

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