Five Basic Tenets of Islam
1. There is only one God, Allah.
2. Muhammad was the last and the greatest of the prophets.
3. The Qur’an is the sacred book—the last after the Torah and the Gospels.
4. Life on earth is a preparation for eternal life.
5. The faithful are expected to adore Allah, praise Muhammad, follow the Qur’an and perform good dees.
The Five Pillars of Islam
1. Shahadah—Profession of Faith: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.”
2. Salat—Prayer: The prescribed prayers must be said five times a day facing Mecca. The chief prayer is the Shahadah. Special prayers are said on Fridays at noon in the mosque. This is called “The Assembly.” The Call to Prayer (Adhan), heard from the minarets or on TV and radio, is always in Arabic.
3. Zakat—Almsgiving: middle and upper class persons are expected to give 2 ½%, not of what they earn, but of the value of all they possess.
4. Sawm—Fasting: During the month of Ramadan (the 9th month of the lunar year) no food or drink may be consumed until sunset.
5. Hajj—Pilgrimage: If possible, each of the faithful should try to visit Mecca at least once in his or her life.
The Five Social Teachings of Islam
1. Brotherhood – this refers to the brotherhood of all Muslims, but does not include people of other religions. The Qur’an teaches: “Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people” [Sura 3:11], “Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to unbelievers but merciful to one another” [Sura 48:29].
2. The Muslims are the “favored of Allah,” unbelievers have incurred the wrath of Allah.
3. “An eye for an eye . . . a tooth for a tooth.” This is exemplified by the Shari’ah (Islamic Law.) There is no allowance for repentance and forgiveness.
4. Women must be veiled, preferably clothed in the chador, which covers them entirely. Their place is in the home. A man may have up to four wives at a time if he can provide for them equally. The majority of Muslims have only one wife. Male doctors may not treat women. Women may enter mosques to pray. Muhammad forbade female infanticide. Extra-marital sex is forbidden. Marriage is an honorable estate.
5. Jihad – “Holy War.” Those who die in holy wars are martyrs. The Qur’an states: “Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed . . . fight against them (idolaters) until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme.” [ Sura 3:169] Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists are all classified as idolaters. Muhammad set the example for religious war when he conquered Mecca.
The above are excerpted from the companion guide to the video series Christianity and Islam which is hosted by Dr. Timothy George, dean at Beeson Divinity School.