October 16, 2008
-Five basic ritual obligations, “pillars of islam”
-Shahada, Testifying in the unity of God, Salat, Five daily prayers, zakat, legal
almsgiving; swam, fasting during holy month of Ramadan; and Hau, pilgrimage to
-No pillar is fully elaborated in Qur’an.
Each ritual has its own history and emerged
during the first centuries of the muslim umma.
-first important to discuss ritual purity in Islam—Tahara.
Muhammed reportedly said
“the key to paradise is prayer and the key to prayer is purification.”
-Two levels of purification, spiritual and physical.
Spiritual purification: Living with
gratitude to Allah and high level of personal morality.
-Physical purity, achievd by avoiding certain activities, and by performing specific ritual
-unless believer is in state of purity, he may not handle Koran, perform salat, or engage in
other important Islamic rituals.
-two kinds of ritual pollution: external, caused by having some impure substance- for
example, alcoholic beverages, blood or pus, feces—come in contact with skin or clothing.
Must be removed before the person is considered ritually pure.
Usually done by washing
skin or cloth.
-sweat, milk, saliva, and tears considered clean.
type of ritual pollution caused by engaging in certain activities.
intoxication, fainting, elimination, sexual contact, and menstruation.
-Removed by ritual washings accompanied by prayers.
The Qur’an, gives specific
directions for these ablutions: “o believers, when you stand up to pray wash your face,
and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet up to the ankles”
-major pollutions removed by full bath.
Recommended that muslims bathe before Friday
-muslims also pay close attention to clean mouth and teeth, following m’s example.