What is Allah's goal in Islam
The five pillars of Islam
The creed is "La ilaha illa Allah wa Muhammad rasul Allah". That means something like "There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger". The confession should be said with conviction in order to make the feeling of belonging to Islam clear.
The public pronouncement of the formula forms the first pillar. It is also an integral part of every ritual prayer. The creed is also called "shahada".
A Muslim should pray five times a day. Before sunrise, early morning, noon, before sunset and before midnight. However, in exceptional cases, for example when traveling, it is permitted to combine the midday and afternoon prayers as well as the evening and night prayers so that only three times a day have to be prayed.
Muslims pray towards Mecca, each prayer taking no more than a few minutes. You make certain movements like bowing, standing, sitting or prostrating. During the ritual cleansing ("wudu") for Islamic prayer, one washes one's face, hands and feet, among other things.
A Muslim should fast about 30 days during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan has a special meaning for Muslims: In this month the Koran was revealed as guidance for the people; this period should be understood as a month of inner contemplation and reflection for each individual Muslim. For example, from daybreak to sunset it is forbidden to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual intercourse.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This is based on the moon. It is ten or eleven days shorter per year than the solar calendar, which is why Ramadan takes place at a different time each year. Daily fasting begins, according to the Koran, as soon as one can distinguish a white from a black thread at dawn.
Sick people, breastfeeding women and travelers, for example, are exempt from fasting, but should do so later. Small children usually do not fast either. At the end of Ramadan, the Sugar Festival is celebrated, one of the two most important festivals in Islam.
Compulsory social contribution
One of the five pillars of Islam is the support of the needy, also known as "Zakat". Muslims who are not heavily indebted themselves or who live below the subsistence level should, as a rule, donate 2.5 percent of their "dormant net capital assets".
Dormant assets include cash, jewelry and rental income. A Muslim must have had this property for at least one lunar year. Depending on the property (mineral resources, animals, agricultural products) there is a different amount of "Zakat".
The compulsory social tax is primarily intended to go to poor people, but it can also be used, for example, to promote Islam. The donation promotes social security and a sense of community among people. It is an important part of every Islamic society as it secures the livelihood of every person without the recipient having to feel obliged to anyone. The donation is also seen as a kind of cleaning.
The pilgrimage to Mecca
Once in a lifetime Muslims should go on a pilgrimage to Mecca if they are physically and financially able to do so. Every year in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, up to three million Muslims meet in Mecca and circle the Kaaba, an important Islamic shrine, seven times. The Muslims believe that this is a remnant of the original temple. According to tradition, God ordered Abraham and his son Ishmael to build the Kaaba.
The men wear particularly simple clothing during the pilgrimage so as not to show social differences. All should be equal before God. The pilgrimage is called Hajj. Hajji is the honorary title given to Muslims who have completed the trip. The end of the pilgrimage is celebrated on a grand scale. It is the most important festival in Islam.
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