Islam is a major world religion. Islam literally means to surrender. Islam is basically broken into two major separate sects, the Shiites and the Sunnis. Islam is practiced by over 20% of the world population. About 1.5 billion people are Muslims. The only religion with more followers is Christianity, with over 2 billion believers.What are the five pillars of Islam? The pillars of Islam are in the Muslim sacred text, The Koran. Just like the Christian Bible, Muslims believe that the Koran is the literal Word of God. Muslims believe that the exact words of the Koran were dictated to Muhammad directly from God. This bears similarity to the Ten Commandments being handed down to Moses.The five basic pillars of Islam are obligatory duties that must be carried out by all Muslims. These are profess your faith, which is called Shahada. This is also called giving witness. Muslims profess their faith by proclaiming that Allah is the only God and Muhammad is his true prophet. Muslims profess their faith several times a day.The next pillar of Islam is prayer, called Salat. Muslims are required to pray five times a day. No matter where they are located, they must face Mecca when they pray. Prayer times are usually sunrise, noon, midday, sunset, and night.Then there is almsgiving, which is Zakat. Muslims must fast, called Sawm. The last pillar of Islam is the mandatory pilgrimage to the holy city called Mecca.The Koran mentions key figures in the Bible including Jesus and Moses. They recognize them as holy prophets. The Muslims see Jesus as a mortal. Muslims also do not believe that God would allow a beloved prophet to suffer a painful death such as crucifixion. The Koran teaches that Jesus was replaced at the last minute on the cross by someone who looked identical. The Koran honors both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as holy texts.
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