Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The 5 Pillars of Islam and the 10 Commandments of Catholic

The 5 Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic: أركان الإسلام) is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. These duties are Shahada (Profession of Faith), Salah (prayers), Zakah (Giving of Alms), Saum (Fasting during Ramadan) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). These five practices are essential to Sunni Islam; Shi'a Muslims subscribe to eight ritual practices which substantially overlap with the five Pillars. Twelvers have five fundamental beliefs which relates to Aqidah.

The concept of five pillars is taken from the Hadith collections, notably those of Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. The Qur'an reveals the “five pillars” of Islam, the five ritual expressions that define orthodox Muslim religious belief and practice. Wudu is a washing in Salah and it is the first that is done for Salah.

Shahadah is a statement professing monotheism and accepting Mohammad as
God's messenger and there is no god but God. The shahadah is a set statement normally recited in Arabic, translated as: "[I profess that] There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah."

The second pillar of Islam is Salat, the requirement to pray five times a day at fixed times during the day. The times of day to pray are at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night. Each salat is performed facing towards the
Kaaba in Mecca. Salat is intended to focus the mind on Allah; it is seen as a personal communication with Allah, expressing gratitude and worship. According to the Qur'an, the benefit of prayer “restrains [one] from shameful and evil deeds”.[Qur'an 29:40]

Salat is compulsory but there is some flexibility in body and clothing. Nonetheless, the place of prayer must be cleaned.

All prayers should be conducted within the prescribed time period (waqt) and with the appropriate number of units (raka'ah). While the prayers may be made at any point within the waqt, it is considered best to begin them as soon as possible after the call to prayer (that comes from a muezzin on minarets) is heard. The prayers are essentially expressions of adoration of God, but the worshipper may add his own personal request. The most commonly repeated prayer is the short first Sura, or Section of the Qu'ran, beginning, 'Praise be to Allah, Lord of Creation, the compassionate, the merciful'.

Zakat or
alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality. Zakat consists of spending 2.5% of one's wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, including slaves, debtors and travellers. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), in order to achieve additional divine reward. There are two main types of Zakat. First, there is the kajj, which is a fixed amount based on the cost of food that is paid during the month of Ramadan by the head of a family for himself and his dependents. Second, there is the Zakat on wealth, which covers money made in business, savings, income, and so on. In current usage Zakat is treated as a 2.5% collections on most valuables and savings held for a full lunar year, as long as the total value is more than a basic minimum known as nisab (three ounces or 87.48g of gold). As of 20 September 2008, nisab is approximately $2,640 or an equivalent amount in any other currency. Many Shi'ites are expected to pay an additional amount in the form of a khums tax, which they consider to be a separate ritual practice. There are four principles that should be followed when giving the Zakat:

1. The giver must declare to God his intention to give the Zakat.
2. The Zakat must be paid on the day that it is due. If one fails to pay the Zakat, people think he is refusing to fulfill God's wishes.
3. Payment must be in kind. This means if one has a lot of money then he needs to pay 2.5% of his income. If he does not have much money, he needs to pay in a different way. For example, if he has a lot of cattle, then he pays in cattle instead of money.
4. The Zakat must be distributed in the community from which it was taken.

Sawm during Ramadan
Many Muslims traditionally break their fasts in
Ramadan with dates (like those offered by this date seller in Kuwait City), as was the recorded practice (Sunnah) of Muhammad.
Three types of fasting (Sawm) are recognized by the Qur'an: Ritual fasting,[2:183–187] fasting as compensation or repentance,[2:196] and ascetic fasting.[33:35]

Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins.

The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, to express their gratitude to and dependence on him, to atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, harsh language, gossip and to try to get along with people better than normal. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.

Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory, but is forbidden for several groups for whom it would be very dangerous and excessively problematic. These include pre-pubescent children, those with a medical condition such as diabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Observing fasts is not permitted for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is considered acceptable not to fast are those who are ill or traveling. Missing fasts usually must be made up soon afterward, although the exact requirements vary according to circumstance.

The hajj to the Kaaba, in Mecca, is an important practice in Islam.
The Hajj is a
pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca, and derives from an ancient Arab practice. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they can afford it. When the pilgrim is around 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, as the Hajj is mandatory for both males and females. After a Muslim makes the trip to Mecca, he/she is known as a hajj/hajja (one who made the pilgrimage to Mecca).[21] The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, travelling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.

The pilgrim, or the haji, is honoured in their community. For some, this is an incentive to perform the Hajj. Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to Allah, not a means to gain social standing. The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage. This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement. A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah, and while not mandatory is strongly encouraged.
The 10 Commandments of Catholic

The Ten Commandments, or Decalogue, are a list of religious and moral imperatives that, according to Judeo-Christian tradition, were authored by God and given to Moses on the mountain referred to as "Mount Sinai" (Exodus 19:23) or "Horeb" (Deuteronomy 5:2) in the form of two stone tablets. They are recognized as a moral foundation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

In Biblical Hebrew, the commandments are called עשרת הדברים (translit. Aseret ha-Dvarîm) and in Rabbinical Hebrew עשרת הדברות (translit. Aseret ha-Dibrot), both translatable as "the ten terms." The English name "Decalogue" is derived from the Greek translation δεκάλογος dekalogos "ten terms", found in the Septuagint at Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 10:4.

The phrase "Ten Commandments" is generally used to refer to similar passages in Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21. Some scholars distinguish between this "Ethical Decalogue" and a different series of ten commandments in Exodus 34:11–27 that they call the "Ritual Decalogue". Although Exodus 34 contains ten imperative statements, the passages in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 contain fourteen or fifteen. However, the Bible assigns the count of ten to both lists. Various denominations divide these statements into ten in different ways, and may also translate the Commandments differently.
1. You shall have no other gods before me
This commandment is to believe in the existence of God and His influence on events in the world, and that the goal of the redemption from Egypt was to become His servants (Rashi). It prohibits belief in or worship of any additional deities.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol
This prohibits the construction or fashioning of "idols" in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, people) and worshipping them.
3. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
This commandment is to never take the name of God in a vain, pointless or insincere oath.
4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as God ceased creative activity during Creation. The aspect of zachor is performed by declaring the greatness of the day (kiddush), by having three festive meals, and by engaging in Torah study and pleasurable activities. The aspect of shamor is performed by abstaining from productive activity (39 melachot) on the Shabbat.
5. Honor your father and mother
The obligation to honor one's parents is an obligation that one owes to God and fulfills this obligation through one's actions towards one's parents.
6. You shall not kill
Murdering a human being is a capital sin.
7. You shall not commit adultery
Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a man and a married woman who is not his wife.
8. You shall not steal
According to Rashi, this is not understood as stealing in the conventional sense, since theft of property is forbidden elsewhere and is not a capital offense. In this context it is to be taken as "do not kidnap."
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
One must not bear false witness in a court of law or other proceeding.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which God has given to another. Maimonides makes a distinction in codifying the laws between the instruction given here in Exodus (You shall not covet) and that given in Deuteronomy (You shall not desire), according to which one does not violate the Exodus commandment unless there is a physical action associated with the desire, even if this is legally purchasing an envied object.

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