HOW TO BECOME A MUSLIM
To enter the folds of Islam, the True Religion, there are no ceromonies or rituals, one simply recites the 'Shahadah' (the declaration of faith), with true belief in their heart, as follows:-
'Ashahadu an La ilaha ill Allah wa ashahadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah'
which in English is translated as:-
'I declare that there is no God but Allah, and I declare that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'
The first part, "There is no God but Allah", means that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Allah has neither partner nor a son. As a Muslim, one must also believe that the Quran is the literal word of God, revealed by Him and that the Day of Judgement (the Day of Ressurrection) is true and will come (as God promised in the Quran). He or she must also accept Islam as their religion and not worship anything nor anyone except God.
THE 5 PILLARS OF ISLAM
There are 5 'pillars' of Islam. They are the framework of a Muslim's life. The first is the 'Shahadah' (the declaration of faith), which has just been mentioned above and which makes one a Muslim. This is no doubt the most important pillar of Islam. The other 4 are listed below:-
Salah (Prayer) - the five daily prayers which are obligatory upon every Muslim.
Zakat (Support of the Needy) - Obligatory annual payment of a specified percentage of ones earning which is distributed among the poor. The percentage which is due on gold, silver, and cash funds that have reached the amount of about 85 grams of gold and held in possession for one lunar year is 2.5%.
Sawm (Fasting) - Fasting during the month of Ramadan (the 9th month in the Islamic lunar calendar) from dawn until sunset each day of that month.
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) - The obligatory performance of pilgrimage to Makkah required once in a lifetime for those who are physically and financially able to perform it.
To find out more about Islam, please have a look at the list of Islamic websites on the 'Links' page. Alternatively, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org