Islam is derived from the root word salaam which means Peace. Islam was brought to India in the 8th century by traders, Islam became a dominant religious force in the country during the Moghul Empire. There are estimated to be 1.4 billion adherents, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world. Today, Muslims may be found throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. The majority of Muslims are not Arabs; only 20 percent of Muslims originate from Arab countries. Islam is the second largest religion in the United Kingdom, and many other European countries, including France, which has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.

Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam is the term given to what are understood among many Muslims to be the five core aspects of Sunni Islam. Shi'a Muslims accept the Five Pillars, but also add several other practices to form the Branches of Religion.

1. Shahadah
The basic creed or tenet of Islam is found in the shahādatān ("two testimonies"): 'ashadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa 'ashadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh; "I testify that there is none worthy of worship except God and I testify that Muhammad (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam) is the Messenger of God." As the most important pillar, this testament can be considered a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam. Ideally, it is the first words a new-born will hear, and children are taught to recite and understand the shahadah as soon as they are able to. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims must use the creed to formally convert to Islam.

2. Salat

Muslims must perform five daily prayers, salat, throughout the day as a form of submission to God. The ritual combines specific movements and spiritual aspects, preceded by wudu', or ablution. It is also supposed to serve as a reminder to do good and strive for greater causes as well as a form of restraint from committing harmful or shameful deeds.

It is believed that the prayer ritual was demonstrated to Muhammad (s.a.w) by the angel Jabrīl, or Gabriel in English.

3. Zakat

Zakat, or alms-giving, is a mandated giving of charity to the poor and needy by able Muslims based on the wealth that he or she has accumulated. It is a personal responsibility intended to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality.

4. Sawm (Roza)

Sawm, or 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 that are prohibited. This activity is intended to allow Muslims to seek nearness to God as well as remind them of the needy.

5. Hajj

The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the month of Dhu al-Hijjah in the city of Makkah. The pilgrimage is required for all Muslims who are both physically and financially able to go and is to be done at least once in one's lifetime.

The Pilgrimage (hajj) to Kaaba, Masjid al Haram, Makkah, is an important practice for Muslims to perform.

Common mistakes usually we make in prayers

Listed below are the 7 Common mistakes usually we make in prayers Mistake 1: Reciting Surat al-Fatiha fast without pausing after each verse.

The Prophet (SAW) used to pause after each verse of this surah. (Abu Dawood)

Mistake 2: Sticking the arms to the sides of the body, in rukoo' or sujood, and sticking the belly to the thighs in sujood.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "Let not one of you support himself on his forearms (in sujood) like the dog. Let him rest on his palms and keep his elbows away from his body." (Sahih Muslim) . The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to keep his arms away from his body during rukoo' and sujood that the whiteness of his armpits could be seen (Sahih Muslim).

Mistake 3: Gazing upward during prayer.

This may cause loss of concentration. We are commanded to lower our gaze, and look at the point at which the head rests during sujood. The Prophet (SAW) warned: "Let those who raise their gaze up during prayer stop doing so, or else their sights would not return to them. i.e.
lose their eyesight]." (Muslim)

Mistake 4 : Resting only the tip of the head on the floor during sujood.

The Prophet (SAW) said: "I am commanded to prostrate on seven bones the forehead and the nose, the two hands [palms], the two knees, and the two feet." (Sahih Muslim) Applying the above command necessitates resting the forehead and the nose on the ground during sujood.

Mistake 5 : Hasty performance of prayer which does not allow repose and calmness in rukoo' or sujood.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) saw a man who did not complete his rukoo' [bowing], and made a very short sujood [prostration] ; he (SAW) said: "If this man dies while praying in this manner, he would die upholding a religion other than the religion of Muhammad." Abu Hurairah (RA) said:

"My beloved friend, Muhammad (SAW) forbade me to perform postures of prayer copying the picking of a rooster; (signifying fast performance of prayer), moving eyes around like a fox and the sitting like monkeys ( i.e. to sit on thighs)." (Imam Ahmad & at-Tayalisi) The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: " The worst thief is the one who steals from his own prayer." People asked, 'Messenger of Allah! How could one steal from his own prayer?' He (SAW) said: "By not completing its rukoo' and sujood." (At Tabarani & al-Hakim).

To complete rukoo' is to stay in that posture long enough to recite 'Subhana rabbiyal Adtheem' three times, SLOWLY, and 'Subhana rabbiyal- a'ala' three times, SLOWLY, in sujood. He (SAW) also announced: "He who does not complete his rukoo' and sujood, his prayer is void." (Abu Dawood & others)

Mistake 6 : Counting tasbeeh with the left hand

The Prophet (SAW) used to count tasbeeh on the fingers of his right hand after salah. Ibn Qudamah (RA) said: " The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used his right hand for tasbeeh." (Abu Dawood). The above hadeeth indicates clearly that the Prophet (SAW) used only one hand for counting tasbeeh. No Muslim with sound mind would imagine that the Prophet (SAW) used his left hand for counting tasbeeh. Aa'ishah (RA) said that the Prophet (SAW) used his left hand only for Istinjaa', or cleaning himself after responding to the call of nature. He never used it for tasbeeh. Yasirah (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) commanded women to count tasbeeh on their fingers.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "They (the fingers) will be made to speak, and will be questioned (on the Day of Resurrection. )" (At- Tirmidhi) .. The above Hadeeth indicates that it is preferable to count tasbeeh on the fingers of the right hand than to do so on masbahah (rosary).

Mistake 7 : Crossing in front of a praying person.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) warned: "Were the one who crosses in front of a praying person to know the consequences of doing so, he would have waited for *forty better than to cross in front of him." (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim). *The forty in the tradition may be days months or even years. Allah knows best. Common Errors in Prayer That MUST Be Avoided - Please inform your near and dear ones to take care of the above.