What is Islam?

Islām is an Arabic word which means ‘surrender’. This means to accept the power of Allāh, and follow His Commands. Happiness in this life and success in the life after death can only be obtained by obeying Allāh. Islām is not just a religion, but a complete way of life. This means that it shows us how to live all aspects of our lives in the best possible way. There are five pillars on which Islām stands, they are:

  1. To firmly believe in the heart and declare “Laa ilaaha illAllāh, Muhammadur-Rasulullah” which means “there is no deity worthy to be worshiped but Allāh and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”. This is what is meant by Iman (Belief)
  2. To pray five times a day (perform Salah).
  3. To pay Zakat (Charity)
  4. To fast during the month of Ramadan.
  5. To go on Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah once in a lifetime if one can afford it.

A person who accepts Islām is called a Muslim. It means ‘one who surrenders.’ A Muslim is required to do all that Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ) have asked of them and to keep away from doing things which Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ) have forbidden mankind not to do. Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ) have told us to do good deeds, like being dutiful to our parents, helping others who are less fortunate and to be kind to animals. (Truly, the religion with Allāh, is Islām – Qur’aan, 3:19).

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