e2 Time Line
The Koran e4
Historical Context of the Koran
Main Articles of Faith of Islam. Muslims believe in:
1. Allah, who is the only God
2. the Angels (Gabriel and others)
3. the Prophets (Mohammed, Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Jesus)
4. the sacred books (Old and New Testaments, Psalms of David, and the Koran)
5. the Qadar (God's plan for the collective benefit of all humankind)
6. Resurrection on the Day of Judgment.
The minimum requirement for the religious duties of Muslims is called the Five Pillars of Faith:
1. "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." This is the Shahadah, which Muslims believe implies all six articles given above. A fundamental part of the religion, this creed needs only to be uttered for any person to be accepted as a Muslim.
2. The obligation of the five daily prayers (dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall).
3. Giving to the poor (once voluntary, this is now an assessment).
4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. This marks the month in which Allah gave the Koran to Gabriel for revelation to Mohammed.
5. Pilgrimage to Mecca. Though many cannot do this, millions have done so for the experience of mingling as an equal with all other believers and for the sense of the unity of all Islam.
Note: In the early stages of Islam, a sixth duty was required for all able bodied men: to fight in the Jihad (holy war). Each caliph ("successor" to Mohammed) felt obligated to reduce the infidel "territory of war" by armed conquest in the name of Allah.