Between 610 and 632, Arabia became the birthplace of Islam from the efforts of an inhabitant of Mecca named Mohammed (570 , 632). It is said that during a session of meditation in the desert, Mohammed experienced revelations that spoke of him leading Arabs to believe in one true God, who was named Allah. In this article, you will learn more about an important aspect of the Islamic belief system.
The tale of Mohammed and the start of Islam begins with the angel Gabriel coming down to him and bringing the Qur’an, which represented the ever-lasting Word of Allah that had yet to be created. The sacred book of Islam was composed of 114 chapters (called suras). Together with the sunna, which contained the sayings and traditions of Mohammed, represented the sources of the Islamic belief system.
Mohammed viewed himself as the last prophet in a group that included a variety of figures from the Old and New Testament, including Adam, Noah, Isaac, and Jesus. The term ‘Seal of the Prophets’ meant that he considered himself the last and most important out of them all. After Mohammed fled from Mecca to Medina, many people embraced his mission and prophecies. It was this journey that he took that became known as the hegira. It is during this time in 622 that the start of the Muslim era is noted. This event is referred to as Anno Hegirae (also known as AH).
When Mohammed entered Mecca in 630, he took the role of a conqueror. Two years later, he died in Medina, which is where his tomb became a destination for religious pilgrimages. The basic duties of those who wish to follow the Islamic faith unfold in the Five Pillars. The first represents a statement of faith, while the remaining pillars involve the demonstration of their belief.
The First Pillar
At least once in an adherent’s lifetime, witnessing that Allah is one and Mohammed is his prophet must be achieved in public. With passion in their actions, one must recite a specific set of words, which means they are in full acceptance and understand all the main articles of Islamic belief. In translation, adherents will repeat, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger.”
The Second Pillar
Every Muslim who is past puberty is required to pray five times daily , an act that is called salat. Women, who are menstruating or in childbirth, are free from the daily prayer. As a Muslim faces in the direction of Mecca, they repeat prayers comprised of verses from the Qur’an. The recitations are in Arabic. Before praying, ablution of face, hands (to the elbow), and feet must be completed. Shoes are removed and heads are covered as a Muslim bows in prayer on a carpet.
At the minaret of a mosque, a crier (known as a muezzin) directs Muslims to their five daily prayers. They take place at specific times of the day: early morning, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening