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What beliefs and practices make one a Muslim?

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There are many varieties of Islam, each with somewhat different beliefs and practices.  However, there are the “Five Pillars of Islam” that are held in common by all Muslims.

The first of these is the profession of faith.  Muslims must publicly affirm that they believe that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is God’s prophet.  Any person who publicly says this has completed much of the process of becoming a Muslim.  The others are:

Praying five times each day.

Giving to charity.  Everyone who is able to is required to give a portion of their income to charity.

Fasting during Ramadan.

Pilgrimage to Mecca.  Everyone who is able should do this at least once in their life.

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