Islam [Arabic: surrender] is the religion of Muslims, based on the text of the Koran (or Qur’an).
Islam contains 5 pillars of fundamental belief and practice:
- Ash-Shahada – the belief in only one God.
- Salat – daily prayer, with body facing Mecca, taking place at sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nighttime.
- Sawm – fasting that is obligatory at puberty and also during the 9th month of the Islamic year (Ramadan), believed to be the period when the Koran was written. Eating and drinking is prohibited from dawn to sunset during Ramadan.
- Zakat - giving alms to the less fortunate, the amount being 2.5% of one’s total income.
- Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Moslems are obliged to take at least once in a lifetime. Hajj ideally is taken on the eighth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic year.
The Sunni branch of Islam is comprised of about 85% of contemporary Muslims and is often regarded as orthodox form of this religion.
The Shi’ite branch, mostly in Iran, Persia and partly in Iraq, represent about 10% of today’s Muslims.
Historically speaking, the Shi’ites and Sunnis split over a disagreement about the legitimacy of Mohammad’s successors (Caliphs)—not entirely unlike the Protestant refusal to recognize the authority of the Catholic Papacy.
The mystically based, unorthodox branch of Sufism arose partly as a reaction to the beliefs and standardized practices of orthodox Islam. In response, aspects of orthodox Islam have been critical of Sufism, especially in regard to the Sufi belief that a person can be “one” with God.
- The Muslim Next Door (thechristianpundit.org)
- Stephen Schwartz: Islamic Sufism and Jewish Kabbalah: Shining a Light on Their Hidden History (huffingtonpost.com)
- ANALYSIS: Seeking a Spiritual Guide (thinkaloudtoday.wordpress.com)
- Why are Pakistan’s ‘moderate’ clerics defending Salman Taseer’s murderer? | Hamad Ali (guardian.co.uk)
- What are these pillars suposed to do in islam (wiki.answers.com)
- Ibn al-Rwanadi’s concluding thoughts on the history of Islam. (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Reblog: Saudi Arabia: Anticipation of Hajj (americanbedu.com)
- SUFISM: Tariqahs (thinkaloudtoday.wordpress.com)
- What is an interesting Islam fact (wiki.answers.com)