1. The Shahada
The Shahada is the testimony of faith. To be a Muslim one must, with full understanding and commitment, testify:
“Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah was ash hadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah”
“I bear witness that there is no deity except God (Allah) and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”
See more in depth information on the “Shahada (Testimony of Faith) page.
Muslims perform 5 obligatory daily prayers. The first just before the sunrises at dawn, the next after midday, the third in the later afternoon, the next at the sunset, and the final pray is a bit later in the evening. There are other prayers that can be performed as well that will help increase our worship of Allah. Our salah is our opportunity to have a personal conversation with Allah. It is a time to praise Him, to thank Him, to seek His assistance, and ask for His Mercy and Forgiveness.
“Indeed, I am Allah; there is no god except Myself; so worship Me and establish Salah to remember Me.” (20:14)
Giving to those in need, or money spent in the cause of Allah. An annual due, a purification of the heart, which prevents greed and selfishness.
“You will not attain righteousness until you spend out of that which you love. And whatever you spend from (your) possessions, indeed Allah is aware of it.” (3:92)
4. Sawm (Fasting):
A total abstinence not only from food and drink, but from marital relations, from backbiting, from worldly pleasures that are not good for us, and from all sin!
Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic calendar) as an exercise in self-discipline and in worship and obedience to Allah’s (SWT) commands. We fast for the entire month of Ramadan, InshaAllah. We begin our day with our intention to fast and with a small meal which we eat before dawn arrives. We break our fast at sunset, typically with water and a few dates, InshaAllah.
“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order that you may become the pious. Observe fasting for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, they have a choice to either fast or to feed a poor person for every day. But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast is better for you if only you know.
“The month of Ramadan, in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guide to mankind and as a clear evidence for guidance and judgment. So whoever among you sights (the crescent on the first night of the month of Ramadan, he must observe Saum that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number of days must be made up from other days. Allah intends ease for you and He does not intend hardship, and (He desires) that you should complete the prescribed period, and that you may glorify Allah for guiding you and that you may be grateful to Him.” (2:183 -185).
Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to visit the House of Allah, the Ka’bah and to perform other rituals of the hajj. It is obligatory once in a lifetime for Muslims who can afford to go while leaving provisions for their family behind. Hajj is performed annually during the 12th month of the Islamic calendar (Dhul Hijjah). The Ka’bah was originally built by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It is the first house built for the purpose of Worship of Allah (SWT).
“And remember Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundation of the House, saying “Our Lord, accept this from us, for Thou are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. Our Lord, make us those who submit to Thee and of our descendants a people who submit to Thee. And show us our rites, and forgive us. Indeed, Thou are the Forgiving, the Mercy-Giving.’ (2:127-128)
“And (remember) when We made the House a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (or the stone on which Ibrahim (AS) stood while he (in worship) to Him.” (2:116)