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☼Principles of Islam☼

1. The word 'zakat' means both 'purification' and 'growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.

2. About 2 million people go to Mecca each year from every corner of the globe, providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Mecca is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, so Hajj and Ramadan move forward every year).

3. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, i.e. fields, offices, factories, universities, etc.

4. Prayer in Islam is direct link between the worshippers and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and no priests. The prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation.

5. Prayers in Islam are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall

6. Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers, performed five times a day. They contain verses from the Quran and are said in Arabic (the language the Quran was revealed in)

7. The fast, which is one of the pillars of Islam, is considered most beneficial to the health and regarded principally as a method of self- purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as grows in one's spiritual life.

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