Identify and describe the basic tenets of Islam. How did these beliefs and daily practices affect the relationship between Muslims? What bout between Muslims and non-Muslims?

The basic tenets of Islam include what are called the five pillars of Islam: (1) the shahada or profession of faith, (2) salat or prayer, (3) zakat or almsgiving, (4) sawm or fasting, and (5) hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca. The Qur’an is the central text of the religion. These beliefs and daily practices affect relationships among Muslims by creating a tight sense of community. Citing the Qur’an, most Muslims seek merciful and just relationships with non-Muslims.

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The first pillar of Islam is the shahada. In this profession of faith, the Muslim declares that "There is no god but God (and) Muhammad is the messenger of God." As such, Islam is a monotheistic faith with a central prophet, Muhammad. The second pillar is salat , or...

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The first pillar of Islam is the shahada. In this profession of faith, the Muslim declares that "There is no god but God (and) Muhammad is the messenger of God." As such, Islam is a monotheistic faith with a central prophet, Muhammad. The second pillar is salat, or prayer five times per day while facing the city of Mecca. The third pillar is zakat or charity, which is often collected as a percentage of one’s income. The fourth pillar is sawm or fasting during the month-long holiday of Ramadan. The fifth pillar, hajj, asks Muslims to travel to Mecca at least once in their lives during the twelfth lunar month. In addition, Muslims believe that the Qur’an contains the word of God.

The tenets of Islam have a great impact on the relationship between Muslims because it creates a very strong sense of community. Prayer is often a communal act. Charity helps to support the community. Ramadan also creates a sense of community togetherness for Muslims who fast together during the day and join one another for a great meal after sundown. Finally, the pilgrimage brings together Muslims from all over the world, providing a sense of universal connection with one another. While these characteristics have led some Muslims to focus solely on their own community at the expense of non-Muslims, many others maintain healthy relationships with non-Muslims. The Qur’an provides many passages about mercy, justice, and kindness.

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