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Emma Mackintosh

2 Unit Studies of Religion – Assessment Task 2 Islam

“In the name of God, the most Merciful the most Beneficent.” An adherent of Islam carries
out observance of Allah in their everyday life, thus, Muslim adherents will surrender and
submit to the will of Allah as demonstrated in the above quote and presented in the beliefs
and practices shown in their everyday life. At the core of the Islamic faith is this submission
to Allah which is unveiled in the ‘Aqida ul-Islam’ or the Six Articles of Faith where Muslim
adherents draw their principle beliefs from. These beliefs are then regularly practised in
daily life through ‘Arkan al Islam’ or the Five Pillars of Faith. Therefore, a Muslim adherent
follows the teachings of Allah because he is the most merciful and beneficent, thus, as they
follow Allah’s teachings on a daily basis their beliefs and practices are then clearly displayed.
An adherent, once they develop an understanding of the Six Articles of Faith, can then
understand the purpose of the Five Pillars of Islam as they are teachings from Allah who is,
to quote, “the most Merciful the most Beneficent”.

The first of the Six Articles of Faith is Tawhid, which is one of the most crucial beliefs in
Islam, meaning the unification or the unity of Allah. It is at the core of Islam and all other
beliefs are built upon it, “And your Allah is One Allah. There is no god but He, Most
Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 163). This quote recognises that Allah is the one
and only true God and Muslim adherents believe that Allah is imminent by knowing all
human thoughts but also at the same time a transcendent being. Tawhid is fulfilled in a
Muslim adherent's everyday life through Shahadah the first pillar of faith. Shahadah is a
phrase recited to confirm the belief in Allah, "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is
his messenger." Shahadah is essential for Muslims to wholeheartedly recite, thus, as they
recite it, the adherent is fully accepting Tawhid and becomes a part of their everyday life.

Salat is prayer in adoration and gratitude to Allah which reflects the quote “in the name of
God, the most Merciful and most Beneficent”, the Muslim individual will pray five times a
day, thus, Salat confirms to be a significant part of their daily lives. The Prophet said, “The
key to Paradise is prayer; the key to prayer is wudu (ablution)” (Musnad Ahmad). This quote
reflects the importance of building a relationship with Allah through Salat or prayer.
Completing these daily rituals and practices ensures that Islam continues to be a dynamic
and living religion by creating a sense of community by unifying all the adherents of Islam in
one observance. This creates a sense of belonging in the individual, therefore, the adherent
demonstrates the practice of Salat multiple times a day.

The fifth tenet of Islamic faith is the belief that there is further life after death named as
Akhira meaning final judgement. This belief is extremely important to a Muslim adherent as
it determines how their lives are lived on the daily as life may be seen as a test because
every action affects how they will be judged, the good will be rewarded and the bad be
punished. However, the Qur’an preaches the idea that everything is Allah’s will, but he
Emma Mackintosh

allows humans choice which evil is a result of. Qada’ refers to the belief in fate or
predestination that Allah has over the realm of existence. "O you who have believed,
decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become
righteous" (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:183). The purpose of Sawm which is the third pillar and is
fasting during the month of Ramadan is to “empty oneself” before Allah. Every year Muslim
adherents must fast during the hours of the sun during Ramadan and after this month they
are encouraged to donate to the poor which is Zakat or charity and as Zakat is compulsory
for Muslims it is an accepted part of their everyday lives. All these practices are completed,
“In the name of God, the most Merciful the most Beneficent”. The final pillar of faith is Hajj
which is a pilgrimage to Mecca required at least once, within a Muslim adherent’s life, for
this much planning must be done as it is a very significant experience within an adherent’s
life and therefore their devotion to Allah would be expressed on the daily. Muslims must
welcome these pillars in their everyday life as they are at the core of Islam and were taught
by Allah through the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

“In the name of God, the most Merciful the most Beneficent.” This quote establishes that
Muslim adherents surrender their whole life to Allah by submitting their will to him.
Therefore, ‘Aqida ul-Islam’ or the Six Articles of Faith which are the principle beliefs of Islam
are expressed in everyday life through the practices ‘Arkan al Islam’ or the Five Pillars of
Faith, which are necessary for determining how Muslim adherents will live their daily life.

Bibliography

Adherents.com 2014, The Largest Muslim Communities, viewed 31 May 2018, <
http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_islam.html >

BBC 2014, Five Pillars of Islam, viewed 29 May 2018, <


http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/practices/fivepillars.shtml >

BBC 2014, Salat: Daily prayers, viewed 28 May 2018, <


http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/practices/salat.shtml >

Matar, N.I 1992, Islam for Beginners, Writers and Readers, Inc, United States of America.

Quran Reading 2018, Importance of Salah (Prayer) According to the Holy Quran, viewed 28
May 2018, < http://www.quranreading.com/blog/importance-of-salah-prayer-according-to-
the-holy-quran/ >

Terhart, F & Schulze, J 2007, World Religion: Origins History Practices Beliefs Worldview,
Parragon Inc, United States of America.