Basic Muslim Doctrine - 5 Pillars

  1. God. Islam insists that there is but one God, whose name is Allah. Allah, a personal God, is the creator, lawgiver and judge of the universe. In Arabic, Allah is grammatically incapable of the plural construction: Allah is the one and only God. The utter transcendence and oneness of God is repeatedly and militantly affirmed by Islam. Islam thus insists that God has no son or cohort.
  2. Angels and demons. Islam affirms the reality of finite, immaterial beings. These are angels who are under Allah's control. Two angels list all the deeds of humans, both good and bad, and these deeds are produced duced on the Day of Judgment
  3. Prophets. Allah inspires prophets to declare his message of submission mission to humanity. The first prophet was Adam, the first human. There are many others, including Moses, David, John the Baptist and Jesus (Qur'an 3:84), who is also known as the Messiah, sinless and a worker of wonders.
  4. The holy books. Muslims believe that some of the prophets received divinely inspired books. Thus they accept the Torah (Taurat) as from Moses, the Psalms (Zabur) from David, the Gospel (Injil) from Jesus and the Qur'an from Muhammad as divinely revealed holy books.13 The Qur'an, however, is deemed the final and ultimate authority, having been directly revealed to Muhammad and flawlessly preserved since its inception. Where the Bible contradicts the Qur'an-as it often does-the Qur'an is deemed to be correct and the Bible in error.
  5. The judgment of God. Nearly every chapter of the Qur'an speaks vehemently of the last judgment of Allah, and speaks far more often of hell than of paradise. If a person's good deeds outbalance the bad deeds (the score is kept by angels), he or she may hope for paradise as a reward. However, since Allah is regarded as utterly sovereign and free, an individual cannot know whether he might receive mercy or severity in the afterlife (Qur'an 36:54; 53:38). However, it is certain that a man cannot be certain of his eternal condition-unless he dies in a genuine jihad. Then his destiny is certain: endless life in the company of multiple, heavenly virgins.
  6. Divine decrees and predestination. Allah is absolutely sovereign and views humans as his slaves, not his friends or his servants (Qur'an 17:16; 59:23; 74:31; 35:8). While Christianity and Judaism stress the providence of God, Islam does so to the extent that petitionary prayer is excluded. Prayer involves reciting parts of the Qur'an and invoking Allah's power, but does not include personal requests to affect his will.
On these six doctrines are placed the five pillars that make up the practices of Islam.
  1. The first is the confession of Allah as God and Muhammad as his prophet (shahada). On the basis of this belief one is considered a Muslim-that is, one who submits to Allah. This act does not change the being of the person, however. One has simply confessed a belief, which implies a commitment to live accordingly.
  2. Second, Muslims must engage in five daily prayers, facing Mecca (salat). These prayers are highly ritualized and physical, and require ablutions and proper postures. There is little sense of spontaneous prayer and no personal petition.
  3. Third, Muslims are required to give alms (zakat), which amount to 2.5 percent of their profits to an Islamic charity.
  4. Fourth, a yearly monthlong long fast during daylight is required (Ramadan).
  5. Fifth, if at all possible every Muslim is to make one pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Islam (hajj).
Source: Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, Douglas Groothuis, Chapter 24, The Challenge of Islam. Image Source


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