ISLAM

Worship & The Five Pillars

Worship & The Five Pillars

The Mosque

religious studiesA typical Mosque consists of a large, unadorned room for communal prayer. There is a separate section for women to pray. The interior of the Mosque has no paintings or statues as these are considered blasphemous. However, the interior and exterior may have intricate geometric patterns and elaborate architectural decoration. The main room also has a Minbar, a pulpit where the Imam (priest) stands to deliver sermons.

At the entrance to the Mosque is space to leave shoes, which must not be worn inside, and a space with a water supply to perform the ritual Muslim ablutions (washing).

Inside the main part of the mosque, worshippers sit on the floor, sometimes on carpets. The Mihrab is a niche set in the wall and it shows the worshippers the direction of Mecca, known as the Qiblah, which they must face as they pray.

Mosques often have a high tower called a Minaret. A man, called a Muezzin, stands at the top of the tower five times each day to call the Muslims to prayer. The call is known as the Adhan and the first line is Allahu Akbar, God is great.

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The Five Pillars

The Five Pillars are the five main Islamic practices that Muslims must adhere to fulfil their religious obligations.

religious studies

Shahadah

The Shahadah is the Muslim profession of faith, ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.’

Salah

The Salah is the daily prayer ritual. Muslims pray five times a day, at set times and always facing east toward Mecca.

Zakah

Zakah is the giving of alms to the poor. Muslims are enjoined to give a set amount of their income – usually 2.5 per cent – to the poor.

Sawm

Sawm is the daytime fasting that Muslims observe during the month of Ramadan. During daylight hours Muslims must not eat, drink, smoke or have sex.

Hajj

This is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims should make the pilgrimage at least once if they are able.

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