Islam means to Surrender or submit in Arabic. The religion began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by Prophet Muhammad, and the followers of Islam were known as Muslims, they believe that there is only one God and that is Allah. They think that God had sent prophets to teach people how to live as per his laws. Muslims base their laws on the Qur’an, and the Sunnah. Sunnah is the practical example of Prophet Muhammad, and there are five pillars of the religion which all Muslims must follow.
The following are some of the practices and rituals of Islam:
Five Pillars of Islam:
The five pillars of Islam include Shahada (Testify), Salah (Prayer), Seyam (Fasting), Zakat (Charity) and Hajj (Pilgrimage).
Shahada is more of commitment or a pledge that there is only one God and he is Allah. Prophet Muhammad is just messenger sent by Allah to teach people about Islam.
Salah is an essential duty of every Muslim to pray five times a day. Before praying, all Muslims must perform a ritual called Wudu.
In the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast and experience how poor people suffer from hunger. During the fasting, you are not allowed to eat, drink, chew gum, smoke, etc. If someone is ill, then that person cannot fast. Women, who are pregnant, menstruating, nursing or traveling, are exempted from the fast.
Muslims are required to give 2.5% of his/her wealth to the poor and needy; this ensures redistribution of wealth among Muslims.
All believers of Allah are supposed to visit the pilgrimage to Mecca if he/she is financially able and physically well. It is a spiritual journey where everyone forgets the worldly things and devotes their lives to Allah.
Followers of Islam believe that God has given the authority to kill animals and eat them. When they sacrifice an animal, they are required to mention the name of God when they kill an animal; this is done mainly to remember that God created animals and he permitted them to get benefit from them. Muslims perform animal sacrifices during special occasions in the Islamic calendar. Whenever an animal is sacrificed, a part of the meat is given to the poor.
Rites and rituals:
Muslims have simple ceremonies of welcoming a baby. They first say a prayer and they believe that the first words a newborn baby must listen are to the words of the prayer. They believe that the baby must taste something sweet for the first time, so they rub a piece of date in the baby’s mouth. Muslims shave the hair of the baby on the seventh day and weigh it and give the equivalent weight in silver to charity. Babies are usually circumcised on the seventh day, but it can be done anytime before puberty.