Is there a list of basic Muslim beliefs?
Yes. The Kalima itself is known as the 'brief expression of
faith'. It summarizes the basic Muslim beliefs, which are five in number. These are belief
1. God, Who possess the most perfect and excellent qualities.
2. Angels, who act upon the heart of each person, inspiring
him to do good.
3. Prophets and Messengers of God, sent to all the nations of the world, who taught
virtue by their own high moral example.
4. Books of God, which were revealed to all the nations through their respective
prophets, containing guidance on how man should live and conduct himself.
5. Life after death, when each person shall become conscious of all the deeds, good
or bad, he/she did in this life, and shall face the consequences.
What is the most important point Islam
teaches about belief?
It is this, that belief does not just mean believing
something in one's heart, but also acting on the belief. Mere faith counts for nothing if
not carried into practice. The purpose of belief is to show us what to do in practice. No
'belief' by itself can bring salvation.
How does this apply to the five beliefs
It applies as follows:
||Means we should:
||Try to perfect ourselves and acquire the best qualities.
||Follow our good thoughts and impulses.
||Try to model our lives on the examples of the righteous ones in all
the nations on earth.
|Books of God.
||Follow all the truths, in whatever scripture or religion they may
|Life after death.
||Remember that all our actions, good and bad, open and secret, will
What are the basic practices a
Muslim has to perform?
In order to submit to God, and to be at peace with fellow beings, a
Muslim has to perform certain duties to God and to fellow-beings. The duties to God are:
- Prayer (salaat)
- Fasting (saum)
- Pilgrimage to Makka (hajj).
The duty to fellow beings is to spend one's resources, time, energy,
money, etc. for the welfare of others; in particular, to give a part of one's wealth to
help those in need (known as giving zakaat, a charity-tax).
What is the main point to remember about
these practical duties?
It is that the purpose of performing these duties is to draw us
closer to God, and to lead us to do good to others and refrain from wrong-doing in our
daily lives. Therefore, we should carry out these duties, not as rituals, but remembering
God from the bottom of our hearts. Performing these acts of worship can only benefit us if
we use them as the basis for improving our character and conduct in daily life. If a
person prays and fasts, but fails to do good and give up bad habits, his prayer and
fasting will be useless.