Newsflash

Mankind and the universe were not created by accident or chance, but according to the plan of Allah the Creator. The Qur'an states that it is the duty of all individuals to learn about Allah and to live according to His will. As we cannot accomplish this by ourselves, Allah has sent messengers and prophets to guide humanity. All of these chosen individuals have brought the same message and have served as examples to their people of how Allah desires all human beings to live. Through these selected people, we have been told why mankind was created, what will happen to us after death, and what Allah expects of us. But most importantly, we have been told that Allah is unique-He has no partners, no sons or daughters, and no competitors, as so many other man-made religious systems have postulated. This message always remains the same, whereas the laws laid down for a particular people might show some slight differences.
Muhammad (PBUH), the last of Allah's prophets, was sent to present Allah's revelation in its final form and for the last time. This was necessary because the message delivered by the previous prophets and messengers had been corrupted or distorted by their followers. They had been mixed with philosophical speculations, superstitions, myths, and neglect. Therefore, Islam is not a new religion-it is a restatement of the original religion of Allah in its purest form and is designed to provide humanity with the uncorrupted message of Allah.
Islam that denotes submission and obedience to Allah also means "peace," for it brings peace of mind as well as peace on the individual and at the social levels. In Islam, the term "worship" covers any action that one does in accordance with the will of Allah. It can be mental, physical, spoken, or otherwise. All such actions will be rewarded.
There are five acts of worship that are so fundamental that the Prophet (pbuh) grouped them together as the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is expected to fulfill these obligations. These are:
1. Ash-Shahadah (Testimony, the Declaration Of Monotheism)
The first of the five tenets of Islam is the profession of faith in pronouncing of the words:  “لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله)” (There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet). This Shahadah, or testimony, when recited by a person of sincerity, sound capacity and without any mental reservations, constitutes the first major requirement for being a Muslim. Through this public profession of faith, the individual becomes part of the Islamic community.
Of parallel importance and in accordance with the Shahadah is the solemn belief in a general resurrection, in the final day of judgment, in all the prophets of God and in the Scriptures of God and the total submission to the will of the Creator and acceptance of fate - be it good or bad.
2. Ash-Salah (Prayer)
Prayers (Salah) are of such great significance that some leading scholars of the religion describe them as the backbone of Islam.
Each Muslim is required to pray five times daily, in a prescribed manner. The first prayer is at dawn; the next is at high noon; then in the afternoon; after sunset; and finally at night. The formalized prayer consists of a sequence of obeisances made first from a standing position and then from a kneeling one. When praying, in any place, alone or in the company of others, the Muslim faces in the direction of the Ka’aba in the Holy City of Makkah.
When the people are praying together, it becomes clear that color, economic status, social position, and all other artificial distinctions have no importance to Allah, for all Muslims are commanded to stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and prostrate themselves before Him. There are no exceptions. Prayers also elevate the individual to a higher level of morality, purify his heart, and help him to resist his desire to engage in forbidden activities. Inseparable from prayers in Islam is the Tahara, that is, the complete cleanliness of clothes, body and place. Without the Tahara, a Muslim's prayers will be rendered null. It is, therefore, obligatory for a Muslim to be clean at the time of each prayer before facing his Creator.

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