Islam is a popular religion

Islam is a popular religion considering that it is the second largest of the world’s religions and has 13 billion followers, which is over 20 percent of the world’s population (Lecture 13). Some counties that have the largest Islamic populations include: Pakistan, 150 million followers, India, 123 million followers, and Indonesia, 116 million followers (Lecture 13).  Bangladesh, 111 million followers and Turkey, 65 million followers also contain a substantial Islamic presence (Lecture 13). This means that Islam reaches many peoples’ hearts and souls to generate the need for them to want to follow this religion and its practices. One practice in Islam that is extremely important is prayer. Prayer is one of the four esoteric commonalities that also includes Truth, Virtue and Beauty, and will be the focus of this essay.Islam is a popular religion considering that it is the second largest of the world’s religions and has 13 billion followers, which is over 20 percent of the world’s population (Lecture 13). Some counties that have the largest Islamic populations include: Pakistan, 150 million followers, India, 123 million followers, and Indonesia, 116 million followers (Lecture 13).  Bangladesh, 111 million followers and Turkey, 65 million followers also contain a substantial Islamic presence (Lecture 13). This means that Islam reaches many peoples’ hearts and souls to generate the need for them to want to follow this religion and its practices. One practice in Islam that is extremely important is prayer. Prayer is one of the four esoteric commonalities that also includes Truth, Virtue and Beauty, and will be the focus of this essay.In Islam, there are Five Pillars, comparable to the 10 Commandments in Christianity, that Muslims are required to, except the last pillar, perform in order to gain acceptance to Heaven (Lecture 14). The first pillar is Shahâdah, this pillar tells that there is no God, but God and that Muhammad is the prophet (Lecture 14).  The second pillar is Salat, which is the Recitation of Prayers (Lecture 14). This pillar is a primary focus in the Islamic tradition and consists of very specific actions that must be performed and performed correctly while praying (Lecture 14).  Pillar three is Zakat and is the Practice of Charity (Lecture 14).  Pillar four is Siyâm and is the fasting pillar (Lecture 14).  This means that while the Muslims are fasting, they cannot eat, drink or perform any sexual acts (Lecture 14).  The last pillar is also extremely meaningful and sort of ties into pillar two, it is Hajj and is the pilgrimage to Mecca and the Ka’ba (Lecture 14). This pillar is the single non-mandatory pillar considering that it requires traveling and not everyone can afford to do that. Considering the focus of this paper is on prayer, the second pillar of Islam will be discussed more in depth. In Islam prayer must be done a certain way, in a certain manner and at certain times of the day. Some of the specifications for the prayer, called the Adhan, are that prayer must be done five times a day in the direction of Mecca, and they need to perform ritual purity, called Ablutions (Lecture 14). Praying five times a day helps the Muslim people to remember God, which is many more times than any other religion does. The Ablutions are a list of hygiene requirements that involve washing various parts of the body three times. The Ablutions include, according to Lecture 14:1. Wash your hands three times.2. Rinse your mouth with water taken from your right hand three times.3. Rinse your nose and inhale a little water three times.4. Wash your face from the hairline and ears as far as your chin three times.5. Wash your forearms as far as and including the elbows, starting with your right arm three times.6. Run your lightly moistened hands through your hair from the brow to the nape of the neck, once.7. Rub the inner fold and orifice of both your ears with your index fingers, passing your thumbs behind your ears from bottom to top, once.8. Wash your feet three times with your left hand, starting with the right foot, rubbing water on the heels and passing your fingers between your toes. Most people don’t follow the 10 commandments like they should and for the Islamic tradition to have to perform these rituals five times a day every single day shows dedication and love. Looking at what they perform everyday can cause one to consider am I following my religion like I should or even what is so special about Islam that has people performing the Ablutions and the prayers like they do?