7# Faith <iman) in the oneness of Allah an the =nality of the rohethoo of !uhamma <inicate by the eclaration >the Shahaah? that1 "There is no @o but Allah an !uhamma is the messen/er of Allah")#3# eein/ of the =ve scheule aily rayers <salah)#9# Alms/ivin/ <;akat)## Fastin/ <sa(m)#5# Pil/rima/e <ha) to !ecca for those (ho are able#
'he five pillars in and of themselves do not tell us a lot about the faith or hat a Muslim is supposed to believe or ho he should act. 'he second through fifth pillars 55 prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage 55 are aspects shared by many religions. 'he finality of the prophethood of Muhammad, hoever, is uni%ue to Islam. 'o understand Islam and hat it means to be a Muslim, e must come to understand Muhammad as ell as the revelations given through him by &llah, hich make up the uran.
b. The Quran -- the Book of Allah
&ccording to Islamic teaching, the uran came don as a series of revelations from &llah throughthe &rchangel Gabriel to the 6rophet Muhammad, ho then dictated it to his folloers. Muhammad7s companions memori8ed fragments of the uran and rote them don on hatever as at hand, hich ere later compiled into book form under the rule of the third (aliph, 9thman, some years after Muhammad7s death.'he uran is about as long as the (hristian :e 'estament. It comprises 11 suras ;not to be confused ith the !ira, hich refers to the life of the 6rophet) of varying lengths, hich may be considered chapters. &ccording to Islamic doctrine, it as around 210 &D in a cave near the city of Mecca ;no in southest !audi &rabia) that Muhammad received the first revelation from &llah by ay of the &rchangel Gabriel. 'he revelation merely commanded Muhammad to <recite< or <read< ;!ura =2)> the ords he as instructed to utter ere not his on but &llah7s. ?ver the ne"t telve or so years in Mecca, other revelations came to Muhammad that constituted a message to the inhabitants of the city to forsake their pagan ays and turn in orship to the one &llah.