Religion For Dummies
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The Five Pillars of worship provide the foundations and basic support of Islam. These fundamental acts of worship and rituals are obligations for every practicing Muslim with the hope that each pillar is a passage into deeper spirituality and understanding:

  • The First Pillar: The Shahada — Recite the shahadah correctly and deliberately: There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet.

  • The Second Pillar: Salat — Pray five times a day: Pray at rising, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and before retiring, according to the proscribed ritual.

  • The Third Pillar: Zakat — Give alms: Each Muslim donates 2 1/2 percent of their money to others.

  • The Fourth Pillar: Saum — Observe Ramadan: This month-long fast brings the faithful closer to God and purifies earthly desires.

  • The Fifth Pillar: Hajj — Make a pilgrimage to Mecca: All Muslims should try to make this pilgrimage, or hajj, at least once in a lifetime.

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Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman host cable TV's The God Squad and appear frequently on Good Morning America and Imus in the Morning. They have written several children's books on religion.

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