The word’ “Islam” isn’t simply the name of a religion, it is an Arabic word that means submission; for Muslims it means to surrender oneself to Allah(God). The majority of Qataris are devout Muslims, and their religion follows the Five Pillars of Islam. These five duties, which every Muslim should carry out, are of great importance to most Qataris.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar; every day during this month, Muslims engage in a complete fast during daylight hours. It is a time of spiritual revaluation, when peace is made, bad habits are done away with and great generosity is shown. Fasting is also one of the five pillars of Islam. When in Qatar during Ramadan, it is expected that visitors will show respect for this religious observance and refrain from drinking water, eating and smoking in public during daylight hours.
CALL TO PRAYER
Azaan, or the Muslim call to prayer, is a sound which has reverberated, five times a day, around the globe.
FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
Shahadah is the third pilar of Islam.It is a saying professing monotheism and accepting Muhammad as Allah’s messenger. The shahadah is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: (ašhadu an) lā ilāha illá l-Lāhi wa (ashhadu ‘anna) Muhammadan rasūlu l-Lāhi “(I profess that) there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Also, it is said that a dying person should recite this declaration of faith. It is recited during Azaan (call to prayer). When a person wishes to convert religions, they should recite this affirmation and believe in it.Salat
Salat is the Islamic prayer. Salat consists of five daily prayers: Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha’a. Fajr is performed at dawn, Dhuhr is a noon prayer, Asr is performed in the afternoon, Maghrib is the sunset prayer, and Isha’a is the evening prayer. Each prayer consists of a certain amount of rakaāt. A prayer either consists of two, three, or four rakaāt. All of these prayers are recited while facing the Ka’bah in Mecca. Muslims must wash themselves before prayer. The prayer is accompanied by a series of set positions, including bowing with hands on knees, standing, prostrating and sitting in a special position (not on the heels, nor on the buttocks, with the toes pointing towards Makkah), usually with one foot tucked under the body.Sawm
Fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins. Fasting is necessary for every Muslim over the age of 11. The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, to express their gratitude to and dependence on him, to atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, profane language and gossip, and to try to get along with fellow Muslims better.
In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory, but is forbidden for several groups for whom it would be very dangerous and excessively problematic. These include pre-pubescent children, those with a medical condition such as diabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Observing fasts is not permitted for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is considered acceptable not to fast are those who are ill or travelling. Missing fasts usually must be made up for soon afterward, although the exact requirements vary according to circumstance.Zakāt
Zakāt is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality. Zakat consists of spending 2.5 per cent of one’s wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, including slaves, debtors and travellers. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward.Hajj
The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca, and derives from an ancient Arab practice. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime if he or she can afford it. When the pilgrim is around 10 km (6.2 mi) from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Ka’bah, touching the Black Stone, travelling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.
The pilgrim, or the haji, is honoured in their community. Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to Allah, not a means to gain social standing. The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage. This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement. A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah, and while not mandatory is strongly recommended.