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BELIEFS AND PRACTICES

The following are the basic Muslim beliefs

Tauhid. Unity of Godhead. Islam insists on strict monotheism.
Rasalah. Carriers of Allah’s message. Islam holds that through the ages Allah has sent his messengers (prophets, rusul) to humanity to guide people in Allah’s path. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last of the long series, in whom rasalah culminated.
Aakhirah. Life Hereafter. Muslims believe that there will be life Hereafter following the end of life on earth, and people would be asked to account for their deeds before Allah on the Day of Judgment. That belied folds people back from committing evil deeds.

… and the basic practices
Kalima. A Muslim must declare his faith in Islam by reciting La ilaha ilAllah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah (There is no God, but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his messenger).
Salat. Islam demand that Muslims observe five-times daily prayers. These are mandatory, incumbent on every Muslim man and woman, who is an adult. There are optional prayers as well, for people who intend to achieve greater merit.
Zakat. Giving 25 per cent of one’s annual savings to the poor and needy (including destitute, wayfarers, orphans, widows, poor students etc.) is mandatory. There are other mandatory payments also for the needy like fitra (on Eid celebration to help the poor buy clothes and food for the celebration) and Ushra (a part of agricultural produce). There are optional payments also like sadqa, hadiya, and atiya to earn.
Saum. Islam enjoin on believers 29 to 30 days of fasting from dawn to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. The sick, the minor, the wayfarer and the woman in her menstrual period are exempt.
Hajj. A Muslim must make the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah (and to some nearby places) at least once in life. Those who cannot undertake the journey because of indigence, sickness or some other reason are exempt.

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