Observance of the five basic obligatory duties of worship.
SHAHADAH, SALAT, ZAKAT, SIYAM, and HAJJ:
1. The SHAHADAH
(The Confession of Faith) There is no God but God and
Mohammed is the Prophet of God.
This confession of faith is recited many times a day on many different
(Worship rather than prayer)Prayer (dua) is not necessarily
formal and can be recited almost anywhere, anytime. SALAT has a definite
and precise form. It must be recited five times a day at given intervals. If the
time assigned to it is missed, it can be made up but with the understanding
that one is making up what was missed,
SALAT is preceded by ablutionthe body, or parts of the body, are
washed. This ablution is both actual and symbolic. The Muslims may not
approach the Divine Presence, as one does in SALAT, with a dirty body.
Just as the place where one prays must be clean (hence the prayer rug) so
ones clothing and body must be clean. (No ground is holythe Mosque is a
place dedicated to worship, but it is not consecrated.) Soiled clothes have
to be changed and the body or parts of the body have to be washed in clean,
preferably running water. The whole operation must be preceded with a
silent declaration that one is entering into it for the sake of God.
SALAT can be performed alone, anywhere-except for SALAT on
Friday (Jumah) which must be performed with other members of the con-
gregation. The congregational SALAT is led by an Imam (leader) whose
function is to synchronize the movements of genuflection and prostration.
Any Muslim, whose recitation of the Quran is correct, may lead the
SALAT. The Imam also delivers a sermon on a living issue in Muslim life.
The passages of the Quran should be relevant to the problems or situation
(Wealth sharing)ZAKAT, which literally means sweetening,
justifies or renders legitimate, innocent, and good that which it is supposed
to affect. Muslims may give of their wealth as they please, but are required to
give 2-1/20% of their total wealth each year at the end of Ramadan to the
Islamic state for distribution to the less fortunate.
(Fasting)This fast requires total abstention from food, drink, and
sex from dawn to sunset during every day of the month of Ramadan, the
ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar year.
Children and persons suffering from sickness or undergoing a heavy burden
of desert travel are exempt. Muslims look upon fasting as the best exercise in
the art of self-mastery.