The central belief in Islam is the conviction in the sovereignty of one God who is omnipotent. God’s fundamental functions are creation, guidance, judgment, and sustenance. Islam believes that the main purpose of men is to serve and worship Allah and to lead a moral life. Due to people’s failure of morals, Allah sent his prophet to urge men to correct their moral and spiritual behaviors. Muslims believe that the Koran is the only true revelation of God and that Muhammad is Allah’s final prophet. Further, Muslims believe that that there is a final judgment for all men according to their deeds. Islamic teachings are presented in five different doctrines which explain Islamic belief. The first doctrine teaches on the absolute unity of God. It teaches about the faith in one God who is not comparable to anything and who has no partner. The second concerns the belief in the angels.
To this end, Muslims believe that angels are created by God for the purpose of acting as messengers of God but that angels are less superior to men. Islam also teaches on the belief of prophets whereby it is held that the last on the long line of prophets is Muhammad (Fisher, 1997). Muslims belief that the prophets are subdivided into two, that is, rasul (messenger) – who communicates Gods message – and nabis (prophets) – whom God speaks to. Islam also advocates for the belief in the scriptures. Muslims recite the Quran which is regarded as the literal word of God, thus showing their belief in all the messages sent by Allah. The last doctrine is about the final judgment which emphasizes the reward offered for one’s faithfulness and punishment of unfaithfulness. The faith thus advocates for ultimate responsibility and accountability for each believer.
The Islamic beliefs are depicted in the Five Pillars of Islam which include the declaration of monotheism. This pillar is evident in the Muslim’s idea of one sovereign God. This principle is is affirmed by all Muslims when they state that, “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.”
The second pillar concerns prayers. Muslims usually pray together in the mosque, an act which depicts equality of all men before Allah. This viewpoint demonstrates Muslims’ belief in the scriptures which teach that all Muslims are equal. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast. This is another pillar in Islam that depicts Muslims’ commitment to Allah. The observance also reflects the sovereignty of Allah as the only God to be served.
The fourth pillar is the Zakat (charity) which depicts the absolute unity of God when Muslims give alms to the poor, an act which symbolizes getting rid of greed and selfishness. The last pillar is the observance of Hajj – a kind of religious pilgrimage that one has to perform once in their life. Through Hajj, pilgrims commemorate their devotion to Allah. The observance also depicts the belief in Allah as the only proper God as well as the belief in the scriptures that call for equality of all Muslims.
The easiest pillar to fulfill is the declaration of monotheism since one needs only to acknowledge the sovereignty of God without devoting himself or herself much. The most challenging pillar to fulfill is the Hajj since one has to incur great expenses to attend one ceremony. Further, the Hajj is not compulsory and hence many will term themselves as not being financially stable even if they are for it is designed for those who are able to foot the expenses.
Fisher, M. P. (1997). Living religions: An encyclopedia of the world’s faiths. London, UK: I.B. Tauris.