Islam is an Arabic word which means that means submission in peace, and in practice it is understood to mean submission in peace to the will of God Almighty. The people who acknowledge the faith of Islam are called Muslims. Islam originated in Arabia and many of the Arabic speaking people are Muslims. However most of the Muslims in the world are not Arabs. Now it is found almost everywhere in the world. Islam prevails in countries like Egypt, Syria, Jordan Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sudan, Lebanon, etc. All Muslims admit acceptance of God Almighty as the One and Only God and Mohammad as the last and final messenger of Him. The holy Quran is the book that God sent for the human being via Mohammed(sm). Muslims believe that Quran is Allah’s eternal word, that prophets are messenger of God and that there will be a day of judgment and accountability with resurrection, at which time, those obedient to the will of God will be rewarded and those who failed to observe their obligations will be punished.
Islam consists of five pillars. These five pillars are declaration of faith of Allah, praying, fasting, giving charity for the poor and the haj. Declaration of faith of Allah is the first act of worship when it is done with full sense of sincerity and commitment. The declaration that there is no other God but One Allah and Mohammad is His Messenger and servant is the simple statement that makes a person become a Muslim and is required to be said once in life time with full conviction and understanding. In practice the Muslims may be saying it several times a day. The second pillar is praying five times a day. There are glorious mosques all over the world. Yet a Muslim is not required to pray in the mosque. It can be done anywhere, and actually the whole world is a mosque for a Muslim. However, it is more meritorious to pray in the mosque with fellow Muslims. Before the prayer, the person has to wash their hands, face, forearms and feet, and a person should be as clean and as pure as possible. By praying in the mosque Muslim can see each other’s. Fasting is the third act of worship in Islam. Muslims fast in the month of Ramadan every year from the break of dawn till sun set. In addition to physical fasting, Ramadan is the month of spiritual activity at a sensitive level. After fasting one month Muslim celebrate the most religious festival Eidul fitar. The fourth column of Islam is charity or the poor’s dues. In simple terms, the rich and the well-to-do are obligated to pay in charity to help the needy. This obligatory tax is called zakat, and it is paid out of all assets that the individual possesses, at the end of every year, above and beyond the individual’s personal and family needs. It is calculated at a fixed rate of two and one half percent per year.
The Haj is last and is performed in the month of Zulhijjah. And it comes two months and ten days after Eidul Fitar. When Haj is being performed at Mecca, the Muslims in the rest of the world celebrate the festival of Eid ul Ajha. It is not compulsory for all. It is compulsory only for them who are economically capable to do it. And it is compulsory only for one time in life.
Islam is measured as the whole life solution of human in where we can find out all possible solutions of ethical problems. It taught respect for other individuals and their rights. It gave rights to women, who had almost no rights in the history of mankind before that time. Islam set family laws and made rules for inheritance. It discouraged and eliminated slavery. It made the state responsible for the basic needs of all of its citizens, regardless of their race or religion and the state is responsible to protect the legitimate rights of the citizens. Islam encouraged the acquisition and propagation of knowledge. It one the most peaceful religion and I feel very proud to say that I am a Muslim.