BY MOHAMMUD ABDILLA
Islam is a monotheistic religious tradition that developed in the middle East in the 7th century. Islam, which literally means “surrender” or “submission”, was founded on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as an expression of surrender to the will of from Allah the creator and sustainer of the world. Islam expounded beyond its birthplace in the Arabia, to Africa, Asia, Europe and America.
The Quran, the sacred text of Islam, contains the teachings of the Prophet that were revealed to him from Allah.Essential to Islam is the belief that Allah is one and true God with no partner or equal. Islam has two divisions within the tradition which are the sunni and shia of which they follow the Quran teachings. Islam is guided by five pillars which are fundamental practices. These five practices include Shahad which is the declaration of faith and trust that prophases that there is only one God and that Mohammed is Gods messenger. The second pillar is salat which is the Islamic prayer that consists of five daily prayers according to sunna and are named according to prayer times that is Fajir, the dawn prayer, Dhuhr the noon prayer, Asr the afternoon prayer, Maghirb which is the evening prayer and Isha the night prayer. All prayers are recited while facing the direction of the quibla or kaaba in mecca and form an important aspect of Muslim Ummah or union. They must wash before prayer which is called Wudu or purification. These prayers are accompanied by a series of set positions. The third pillar is Zakat, which is the practice of charitable giving based on accumulated wealth. Sawum, the forth pillar is concerned with fasting. Fasting during Ramadhan is obligatory but forbidden for pre-pubicent children, the sick, elderly people, menstruating, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Finally we have Hajj which is the fifth pillar and its all about pilgrimage that occur during Islamic month of dhur-hijjah to the holy city of mecca.
Muslim also celebrate two official holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Muslims are also required to dress modestly during their religious practises. Women are required to cover their breasts and heads by wearing hijabs and men they commonly wear kanzus. Muslims, like any other religion faces various challenges in their day to day life.