It is difficult to limit all of Islam to a few core values. Nevertheless, the most important foundations of faith were identified by the Prophet Muhammad himself. Therefore, there is general agreement among all Muslims. It provides an interesting comparison because modern Jews and Christians cannot show a similar uniformity in their belief systems. For example, among Christians there are numerous denominations  and the Jews have no agreement at all about belief. Modern Jews mostly agree on the 613 orders Maimonides, a Jewish rabbi from Muslim Spain, reported and classified in the 12th century.
In addition, Muslim scholars in the past and in the present have also identified the core teachings of the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessings and peace, and the ‚essentials‘ of Islamic law (Sharia) and have agreed on them in certain cases.
Core Teachings of Islam: Six Articles of Faith
Over a billion people share a common, fundamental belief, which is divided into „Articles of Faith.“ These articles of faith form the foundation of the Islamic belief system.
1. Belief in One God: The most important teaching of Islam is that only God may be served and worshiped. The greatest sin in Islam is to worship other beings with God. In fact, Muslims believe that this is the only sin that God does not forgive if a person dies before repenting for it.
2. Belief in the Angels: God has created invisible beings who work tirelessly to administer His Kingdom in full obedience. The angels surround us at all times, everyone has a duty, some report our words and actions.
3. Belief in God’s Prophets: Muslims believe that God has communicated His guidance to every nation through human prophets. These prophets begin with Adam and contain Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them. The main message of all prophets has always been that there is only one God and He alone deserves to be implored and worshiped.
4. Belief in God’s Revealed Books: Muslims believe that God has revealed His wisdom and instructions through ‚books‘ to some of His prophets, such as the Psalter, the Torah, and the Gospel. Over time, however, the original teachings of these books have been distorted or lost. Muslims believe the Quran is God’s last revelation to Prophet Muhammad and it has been fully preserved.
5. Belief in the Day of Judgment: Life in this world and everything in it will end on a set day. At that time, each person is raised from the dead. God will judge each person individually according to their beliefs and good and bad deeds. God will use grace and righteousness in His judgment. According to Islamic teachings, those who believe in God and do good deeds are eternally rewarded in heaven. Those who refuse to believe in God are punished forever in the fire of hell.
6. Belief in Destiny and Divine Decree: Muslims believe that since God is the sustainer of all life, nothing happens except through His will and with His complete knowledge. This belief does not contradict the idea of free will. God does not force us, our choice is known to God from the outset, because His knowledge is complete. This knowledge helps the believer through difficulties and hardship.
Core Religious Practices in Islam: The Five „Pillars“ of Islam
In Islam, worship is part of everyday life, and it is not limited to mere rituals. The formal acts of worship are known as the five „pillars“ of Islam. The five pillars of Islam are the creed, prayer, fasting, alms and pilgrims.
1. The Creed: The „Creed“ is the statement: „La ilaha illa Allah wa Muhammad Rasul-ullah“, meaning: „There is no god worthy of worship except God (Allah) and Muhammad is the Messenger (prophet) of God. “ The creed is more than a statement; it must be reflected in the deeds. To convert to Islam you have to make this confession.
2. Daily Prayer: Prayer is a method by which a Muslim connects to God and finds spiritual strength and inner peace. Muslims do five prayers a day.
3. Zakah: a kind of alms. Muslims acknowledge that wealth is a blessing from God and requires certain responsibilities in return. In Islam, it is the duty of the wealthy to help the poor and needy.
4. Fasting in Ramadhan: Once a year, Muslims are ordered to fast for a whole month from dawn to sunset. The period of intense spiritual devotion is known as the fasting of Ramadhan, in which eating, drinking and sexual intercourse are not permitted during fasting. After sunset you can enjoy these things. During this month, Muslims practice self-control and focus on prayer and devotion. When fasting, Muslims learn to feel sorry for those in the world who always have little to eat.
5. The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca: Every Muslim strives to visit the holy places in Mecca, today’s Saudi Arabia, once in a lifetime. It is a very intense spiritual experience for a Muslim. Usually 2-3 million make Haǧǧ each year.
The core of the Quran: Sura (chapter) al-Fatiha
Scholars consider Sura al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Quran, as the core of the Quran. It is recited in Arabic in every formal prayer. The translation is as follows:
„In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Merciful! All praise is due to God, Lord of the Worlds Most Merciful, Most Merciful, Ruler on the Day of Judgment! We serve you (alone) and we ask You (alone) for help. Lead us the straight path (of Islam), the path of those whom you have shown mercy, not (the path) of those who have provoked (your) anger, and not (the path) of the misguided. “
To hear the recitation of Sura al-Fatiha click here
Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad Classic scholars of Islam have summarized the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad into a few statements. These comprehensive statements touch every aspect of our lives. Some are:
1) The deeds are judged according to the intention behind them.
2) God is pure and accepts nothing unless it is pure and God has commanded the believer what He also commanded the prophet to do.
3) Part of a person’s good adherence to Islam is to leave aside what doesn’t affect them.
4) A person cannot be a complete believer until he loves for his brother, what he loves for himself.
5) You should not harm yourself or others.
6) Don’t make it your goal in life to accumulate worldly gain and God will love you. Do not worry about what people have and they will love you.
Core of Islamic law or Sharia
The core of Islamic law is the preservation of:
6) Some contemporary scholars suggest that both justice and freedom fall into the sixth category.
From the point of view of Islam, they are known as the „essentials“ because they are considered essential for human well-being.
We summarize, if someone were asked to summarize the core of Islam in the least possible words, the answer would be: „It is in the word ´Islam“ itself: to serve, to worship and to give oneself lovingly to God. “