What is Islam?

Islam is a monotheistic faith, the word meaning submission to Allah, or God. A Muslim, who is a follower of the faith, is one who submits to the will of Allah. The will of Allah is expressed in the Qur’an, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) between 610 – 632 AD through the archangel Gabriel, or Jibreel. The main articles of faith and practices of Muslims are summarized as follows:

Articles of Islamic Faith

Islam is founded on belief in the following articles of faith:

  • Allah, the one and only God, who has no associate or partner
  • Angels, through whom Allah carries out specific functions
    • It is through Jibreel that Allah revealed the Books
  • Divinely revealed Books
    • Zabur (Psalms given to Daud pbuh); Tohrat (Moosa pbuh); Injil (Isa pbuh); and finally,
    • Qur’an, the last divine revelation, which was sent to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
  • Messengers
    • Major Prophets include Adam, Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad, the final Messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on all of them.
  • The Last Day and the Final Judgement

The Pillars of Islam

Islam is founded on the following pillars or practices:

  • Shahadah, the declaration of faith:
    • “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger”
    • This is the distinguishing characteristic of a Muslim; without it everything else is irrelevant and meaningless
  • Salat, or the five daily obligatory prayers (Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha)
  • Sawm, or fasting during the month of Ramadan
  • Zakat, or the required annual charitable donation
  • Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah


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