Aqidah (Articles of Faith)
The following are the six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are:
Belief in Allah (God Almighty); that he is the Creator, Sustainer, and the only one that controls and holds dominion over all of creation. Belief in Allah requires recognizing that He is the only one worthy of our devotion, supplications, and worship.
Belief in all the Prophets of Allah; Adam, Noah (Nuh), Abraham (Ibrahim), Isaac (Ishaq), Jacob (Yaqub), Josep (Yusuf), Moses (Musa), Aaron (Harun), John the Baptist (Yahya), Jesus (Isa), and Muhammad (Peace and Blessing Upon Them All), as well as those not mentioned. We believe in all of them, recognize their mission, and follow them in their message of worshipping One God.
Belief in the original scriptures revealed by Allah to his Prophets; the Torah having been given to Moses, the Psalms to David, the Gospel to Jesus, and the Quran given to Muhammad (Peace and Blessing Upon Them All). All of these scriptures are recognized by Muslims as revelation. The Quran, Allah's final revelation is a culmination of message of the previous scriptures; it is a standard by which we live by containing eternal guidance for the salvation of Mankind.
Belief in the Angels; that they are the unseen servants of Allah's, implementing his will and watching over mankind.
Belief in the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter; that all of mankind will be called to account for their deeds, and be righteously judged accordingly on the last day.
Belief in Divine design and decree; that Allah's has knowledge of all things, has written all things, and all things he has willed must come to pass.
Pillars of Islam
There are five pillars of worship in Islam. These practices must be undertaken with the best effort to be considered someone that has genuinely submitted himself or herself to Allah. These pillars of practice relate directly to our fundamentals of faith and affect our character and conduct:
1- Testifying that Allah (God Almighty) is one, without a spouse, son, or partner, and that Muhammad (Peace and Blessing Be Upon Him) is the last Prophet & Messenger of Allah.
This testimony is pronounced to become a Muslim and is repeated several times a day in prayers and devotions as an affirmation of God's oneness and confirmation of faith.
2- Formal prayer five times a day.
By praying five times a day, one actively submits his will to God Almighty and devotes his mind, body, and soul to his worship. Formal prayer is both preventative and prescriptive; it serves as a reminder to avoid evil deeds and helps to expiate the effects of any sin committed throughout the day.
3- Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from dawn to dusk by refraining from food, drinks, and sensual pleasures. These outward actions have an effect on the inward, reminding believers that instead of being dependent on corporeal stimuli, they must rely on God Almighty alone. Abstaining from food & drink serves another purpose, which is to remind the believer of his duty to those less fortunate amongst fellow man, and that with God's bounties comes the responsibility to our brothers and sisters in humanity.
4- Alms to the Poor (Zakat).
With the blessing of wealth comes the responsibility to give back to those less fortunate. Zakat, the Arabic word for obligatory alms, is a purification of wealth and a method of redistributing wealth to those in need.
5- Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.
Pilgrimage to Mecca commemorates the rites of Abraham in devoting his life to God Almighty. It is the culmination of the previous four pillars of Islam, consisting of prayers, devotions, charity & sacrifice.