- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Five Pillars of Islam

By:   •  Research Paper  •  1,290 Words  •  March 25, 2010  •  1,793 Views

Page 1 of 6

Five Pillars of Islam

John Johnston

LTAR 250

February 28, 2005

The Five Pillars of Islam

After watching The Five Pillars of Islam it has made me rather interested in the history and origin of the Islamic religion. So often today we see the Islam as a religion of terrorism, and war. We see it as a religion of people that have nothing in their heart but bad. The truth is that Islam was started on principles very different from what we see in the news or hear on the radio. Islam rather has a long rich history that is full of some of the same principles and morals of Christianity that are seen in the western world as the foundation of good. Islam has what it calls The Five Pillars that are in purpose much like the Christian Ten Commandments. They are a set of rules that are the foundation of the Islam as a whole. The Five Pillars are: Shahadah, Salah, Zakah, Sawm, and Hajj.

Shahadah is the first pillar that is the act of believing and saying the words “There is no god worthy of worship except god and Muhammad is his messenger”. This is at the very heart of Islam. Before Muhammad and his message the Islamic people worshiped many gods. They had a different god for everything, and gave sacrifices to these gods to keep them happy. After Muhammad brought his message people were to only believe in one god and that no other god was worthy of ones worship. This is identical to the first commandment of the Christian church that says “You shall have no other God before me”, and the second commandment that says "You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I The Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My Commandments." Both of these commandments are identical to that of the First pillar in that they both set up the fact that there is only one god and that his followers shall only worship him.

Salah is the second pillar that is requires all Islamic people to pray five times a day. These prayers are not just any old prayer they are rather set prayers that are expected of a good Islamic person to pray. They are very ritualistic and must be done in a very ordered fashion as to please Allah. The prayers are done at very specific times of the day and they must always be prayed facing Mecca in Arabia, the birth place of Islam. They must be prayed on a mat and people must wash before prayer all in an attempt to show the servant status of the human being in relation to Allah. This is again very similar to the beliefs of the Christian church. Although the people in the Christian church can pray what they want when they want they very often times pray prayers that are set for them at designated times. Even Jesus told his people that when they come together to pray what there Father had taught them, this set prayer has become known as the Lord’s Prayer. Both in the Islamic faith and in the Christian church these prayers are prayed in an attempt to please god. It is a way that mortal humans can show there respect for their god. It is interesting to me how two religions viewed as such total opposites can have such similar beliefs and rituals.

Zakah is the third pillar that is the belief that Muslims are to set aside a portion of their income to help the poor. It is believed by the Muslim people that by helping the poor their own wealth will be made pure. It is a way for them to show Allah that they are thankful for what they have been given. In much the same way the Christian church teaches the same thing. The Christian’s offering is their tithe. Both religions give in much the same manner, they give because they feel that it is a way for them to show both their respect and reverence

Continue for 5 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Five Pillars of Islam
Download as (for upgraded members)