Pillars of Faith
In addition to the fundamental articles of faith previously mentioned, Muslims must worship God through observance of the five foundations or “pillars of Islam”: bearing testimony (of the One God and Muhammad as His prophet), prayer, fasting, paying alms, and pilgrimage (to the Holy Shrine at Mecca). There is also the concept of Jihad, or Holy War, that is sometimes listed as a sixth pillar. A famous story from the life of the prophet Muhammad ties all these articles of faith and pillars together.
One day the prophet was sitting with some of his followers. One of them was his companion Omar who later recorded that “there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet… He said, ‘Oh Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat (alms), to fast in Ramadan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.” He said, ‘You have spoken rightly.’…He said, ‘Then tell me about faith.’ He (Muhammad) answered, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken rightly.’… Then he took himself off and I stayed for a time. Then he (Muhammad) said, ‘Oh Omar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His messenger know best.” He said, ‘It was Gabriel, who came to you to teach you your religion.’”
Observance of each of the pillars is considered an act of submission before God. Like Mormons, Muslims believe that faith without works is a dead end. “The only way to enliven faith and make it serve its purpose is practice. Practice provides faith with nourishment, survival and effectiveness. In return, faith inspires man to be constant in his devotion and persistent in his practice.” Only by exercising faith through obedience can we increase in the faith necessary to gain salvation. As Joseph Smith wrote in the Lectures on Faith, “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. Again, there are many similarities between our religions in what God has given us in order to practice and exercise our faith in Him. Only a few pertinent points can be brought out here, but further study from the works of scholars on both sides show how much truth and consistency we share in regards to these applications of faith.
The Pillar of Testimony (shahada)
To be considered a Muslim, it is necessary above all else to have a sincere testimony that there is only One God and that Muhammad was a Prophet of God. The Arabic words for this profession of belief, la illaha illa Allah wa Muhammad rasool Allah, is referred to as the kalima, or creed (lit. “words”) of Islam. By reciting the kalima, a person declares that they will submit their life to God and live according to His laws. It also acts as a shield against “every form and shade of disbelief, atheism and polytheism (idolatry).”
The meaning of the kalima in reference to the knowledge of only One God is “that in the whole of the universe, there is absolutely no being worthy to be worshipped other than Allah, that it is only to Him that heads should bow in submission and adoration, that He is the only Being possessing all powers, that all are in need of His favour, and that all are obliged to solicit His help.” The effects of having this testimony are that man’s vision is enlarged and his outlook becomes boundless; he has a higher degree of self-respect and self-esteem; he becomes more modest and humble, virtuous and upright; he can never be truly despondent but rather is increased in his determination, patient perseverance and trust in God; he is able to develop an attitude of peace and contentment with whatever his circumstances are in life; and finally, he will gain a desire to obey and observe God’s Law.
By making this declaration of belief, it is in effect making a proclamation that “the one who believes and utters it cancels from his heart loyalty, devotion, obedience, submission to and worship of anything other than God, the Praised and Exalted -not merely of man-made idols of wood or stone, but also of any conceptions, ideologies, ways of life, desires, loves, preoccupations and authority-figures which claim his supreme devotion, loyalty, obedience and worship.” At the same time, the declaration further encompasses belief in the guidance that the Prophet Muhammad brought to mankind and with it, a statement of intention to faithfully follow that guidance.
For Muslims, the kalima is not a one-time statement of belief, but also a daily renewal of their commitment to keep their intents and actions in accord with the teachings of Islam. They often repeat the kalima as an act of remembrance and focus during all that they are doing in their busy lives. The kalima is called from the mosque’s minarets five times daily as part of the call to prayer. It is one of the first things a parent will whisper into the ears of their newborn infant and one of the last things they will hear on their death-beds. It is a continual reminder that their lives are to be always in submission to God and that they are to be obedient to the prophets’ words on a daily and even hourly basis.
LDS scriptures also declare the separate Unity of God the Eternal Father as that of one distinct being only and that we should be in constant worship of Him. Our heart, might, mind and strength should be focused on Him at all times and we should spend our lives in continual submission to His will by obeying His commandments. We know “…that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.” (D&C 20:17-19) “Wherefore I give unto them a commandment, saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him.” (D&C 59:5)
Bearing active testimony of these things is very much a part of LDS lifestyle as well. In our monthly church testimony meetings, we are able to express our convictions of the reality of God, that He lives and that obedience to Him is the focus of our lives. We also testify that Jesus Christ lives and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We proclaim our knowledge that the Book of Mormon is the revealed Word of God and that we have living prophets to guide and direct our church today. Bearing testimony is also not a one-time declaration of belief for us, but rather an opportunity to increase our faith and improve our desires to live righteously by expressing these feelings to others.
By sharing our testimonies with one another, be it as a Mormon or Muslim, we can strengthen our own commitments to follow and worship God and to abide by His words as written in the scriptures and as spoken by His prophets. We can declare our intentions to let our hearts be centered upon the things of eternal consequence and that we will continue in our efforts to submit our lives in worship and obedience to Him.
The Pillar of Prayer (salat)
Prayer is considered the foundation of Islam. It allows Muslims to remember God formally five times daily through recitation of passages from the Quran and is a continual means of worshipping Him. The benefits of prayer are to strengthen belief in God’s existence, to act as a motivational force in the practice of submission to Him, to foster virtuous growth and higher morals through purifying the heart, to help suppress any unrighteous desires while helping to increase the awareness of conscience, and to provide comfort to the soul. Prayer is not “merely a sequence of physical movements or an empty recital of the Holy Book. It is a matchless and unprecedented method of intellectual meditation and spiritual devotion, of moral elevation and physical exercise, all combined. ..where every muscle of the body joins the soul and the mind in the worship and glory of God.”
Muslims hear the call to prayer from the mosque at sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening prayer times. They prepare by performing a ritual washing, or ablution, called wadu, that cleans the parts of the body that are normally exposed to dust or dirt, such as face, hands and feet with water. After the ablution, they will use a prayer rug or find a clean spot to pray and face the direction of wherever Mecca is from their location. While reciting phrases and passages of the Quran, they will then perform a series of bows and prostrations (forehead touching the ground while kneeling). The order of movements that constitute one cycle of prayer is exactly repeated from two to four times depending on the time of day. Generally, it takes from fifteen minutes to a half an hour to do the complete process.
Prayers may be performed anywhere, not just in the mosque. Consequently, you will see Muslims praying in a variety of locations out in public as it is considered much more obedient to pray when the prayer time comes rather than to delay until you can get to a mosque. While driving on the highway, it is common to see cars pulled along the roadside while people perform their prayers. Frequently, my students pray at the back of the classroom during a short break. In town, smaller businesses and offices briefly close when the call to prayer is heard so that their staff can pray. Additionally, on Fridays, there is a congregational prayer at noontime where the family can come to the mosque to pray, although the men and women are separated into different areas. Generally, however, women will stay at home with the small children and perform their Friday noon prayers there.
Besides the formal prayers, Muslims also have a type of prayer that is for personal supplication called dua. This is similar to how Mormons say our prayers in that a person can use their own words and talk to God directly either vocally or silently rather than use a passage from the Quran. There are no bows or prostrations involved and dua can be performed anywhere at any time. I have seen passengers near me on an airplane or colleagues at work seated behind their desks engaged in dua without any embarrassment or thought whatsoever about who might be looking at them.
They are able to openly express their desires to pray and to concentrate on their worship and obedience to God regardless of other people’s opinions or the nearby distractions of the busy world around them. It is not a matter of “Rameumptom” pride that they are so forthright in public. Rather, it is evidence of a true intent and deep commitment to practice their faith no matter where or with who they may be. This is indeed one area in which we could learn from them to increase our ability to be more open in front of others about our beliefs and how we practice them no matter what the circumstance.
Muslims truly live according to the words of the Book of Mormon prophet Amulek when he preaches: “Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you; Yea, cry unto him for mercy for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over your flocks. Cry unto him when ye are in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening… But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.” (BM Alma 34: 17-21,26,27)
As Mormons, we can join with them in our testimony of the integral part that prayer plays in living the gospel in our lives. We all believe in what the prophet Alma declared to his son Helaman: “Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be into the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest, let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (BM Alma 37: 36,37)
The Pillar of Fasting (sawm)
The law of the fast is a vital component of belief in practice for all Muslims. It is a requirement for all who are active in their faith and is looked upon as a time to focus on the purification of the soul and developing spiritual discipline. Fasting promotes the love of God, strengthens character, cultivates a vigilant and sound conscience, generates patience and endurance, increases faith and encourages sympathetic appreciation of the needs of the poor. Fasting frees man of his slavery to his hungers and desires while allowing him to join in a spiritual act that increases his sense of community and brotherhood. This will result in an increase of love for his fellow man as well since “it teaches man the principal (sic) of sincere love; because when he observes fasting, he does it out of deep love. And the man who loves God truly is a man who really knows what love is.”
The obligatory fast for all Muslims is the lunar calendar month of Ramadthan. Fasting is done during the daylight hours between dawn and sunset every day of the month. This involves total abstinence from all food and drink, tobacco and sexual intercourse while also refraining from lying, speaking ill of others, arguing or wrong behavior of any sort. It is a time for rectifying past wrongs, reconciling troubled relationships, and seeking forgiveness from God for sins committed during the year. There is a Hadith from the prophet Muhammad that states: “whoever fasts in the month of Ramadthan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
All Muslims who are past the age of puberty participate in the fast excepting those who have special physical conditions that would affect their health adversely, such as pregnant mothers, those on necessary medications or who are ill, and the aged and feeble. There are also circumstantial exceptions such as traveling long distances or women who are menstruating. Any days missed due to these temporary situations should be made up after the month is over.
Additionally, Ramadthan provides a chance for increased worship and devotional activities. After the evening prayer, there is an additional special prayer called taraweeh in which the entire Quran is recited during the course of the month. The last ten days of Ramadthan, many Muslims will stay in the mosque all night reading the Quran and praying. Daily activities such as work and school will still go on as normal, however most Islamic countries have shortened daylight working hours during the month for those who are fasting.
The breaking of the fast at sunset is a time for joining together with family and friends. Many special foods are served only during Ramadthan making it a month to look forward to by all who observe the fast. For devout Muslims, it is a holy month, similar to our month preceeding Christmas, where the focus of life turns inward and a conscious effort is made to be more spiritual and treat others with a higher degree of kindness. Both individually and communally, it is a time to be closer to God and to increase in attention to spiritual matters.
While living in the Middle East for a decade, I have had an opportunity to experience many Ramadthans in many different countries. It is somewhat similar to attending an LDS church sacrament meeting in any place in the world in that no matter where you go, Ramadthan is observed in the same way. Without exception, the people who I have lived among truly enjoy the fast and the opportunity to be more spiritual in their lives. For my part, I have welcomed the chance to fast along with my friends and to in turn use it as a month to focus on things of the spirit in my own life.
All Mormons share a similar attitude toward fasting as our Muslim brothers and sisters. Fasting is a year-long commitment and we fast the first Sunday of every month for the space of 24 hours or generally two meals, during which time no food or drink is taken. The reasons for fasting are similar to those given above for Muslims. “The fast day is a special day for us to humble ourselves before the Lord in fasting and prayer. It is a day to pray for forgiveness from our sins and for the power to overcome our faults and to forgive others….Fasting helps us gain strength of character. When we fast properly, we will learn to control our appetites and passions. We are a little stronger by having proved to ourselves that we have self-control. If we teach our children to fast, they will develop the spiritual strength to overcome greater temptations later in their lives.”
We can also fast on any other day we choose during the year for specific reasons, such as in behalf of those who are sick that they might be healed, or those who are experiencing difficulties and serious trials in their lives. When we fast and pray for others, it expresses our love for them as well as a desire to have God’s blessings in all our lives.
Whether we fast for thirty days between sunrise and sunset, or every first Sunday of the month for 24 hours, fasting is a divine principle that extends the same benefits for all who participate in it. As we obey this law with pure intent of heart, we will be filled with joy and be able to increase in our thanksgiving to God for His hand in our lives.
The Pillar of Alms (zakat)
Another of the foundations of worship in Islam is that of paying zakat, or the equivalent to LDS tithing and offerings. Zakat is paid at the rate of 2.5% yearly on any cash or capital that is not used for one’s immediate needs. For example, clothing, a car, furniture or the house in which you live is not included in zakat, whereas a savings account, additional real estate, investments, livestock or crops, or any source of additional profit or increase would be subject to the tax every year. The proceeds of all collected monies are given to those in need, such as orphans, widows, the aged or unemployed. It basically constitutes what could be considered a Muslim social security fund similar to the LDS Church welfare system that would provide for the needs of anyone in the community who would be in destitute circumstances otherwise.
Along with Mormons, Muslims believe that their possessions are given as a stewardship from God and that “the true Owner of everything is not man, but God, Who bestows wealth on people out of His beneficence as He sees fit. Hence those to whom He has given more have an obligation to spend from His bounty for their brothers and sisters who need help.” In addition, zakat monies can be used for construction of mosques, religious schools and hospitals and for the salaries of those engaged in full-time religious service.
The word zakat literally means purity in English. This refers to the benefits of obeying this law which are a purification of the heart from greed, selfishness, possessiveness, and in an increase of charity, or pure love, toward those in need. Zakat is “not just a form of charity or almsgiving or tax or tithe. Nor is it simply an expression of kindness…The meaning of the Qur’anic word zakat not only includes charity, alms, tithe, kindness, official tax, voluntary contributions, etc., it also combines with all these God-mindedness and spiritual as well as moral motives.”
The Quran enjoins, “Believers, give in alms of the wealth you have lawfully earned and of that which We have brought out of the earth for you; not worthless things which you yourselves would only reluctantly accept…To be charitable in public is good, but to give alms to the poor in private is better and will atone for some of your sins…Whatever alms you give shall rebound to your own advantage, provided that you give them for the love of Allah. And whatever alms you give shall be paid back to you in full: you shall not be wronged.” (Surah 2: 267-273)
Similarly, Mormons pay a 10% tithe on their increase. They give the equivalent cost of the two meals they fast every month as well. These monies are used to benefit the poor, build meetinghouses, print church materials, and help in humanitarian efforts, missionary work and fund church educational programs.
Not only does tithing benefit those in our society, it also proves our obedience to God’s commandments and a willingness to sacrifice for others. “The blessings we have been promised are both material and spiritual. If we give willingly, Heavenly Father will help us provide for our daily needs of food, clothes, and shelter.”
Additionally, the blessings promised in Malachi are for all who observe the commandment of giving offerings. God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that there will not be room for us to receive it. In addition, the devourer will be rebuked for our sakes, our lands will be protected and we will be called “delightsome” by all nations if we will observe this law. Whether we pay 2.5% of our excess or 10% of our income, both Muslims and Mormons have a strong testimony of the necessity of obeying this commandment of God.
The Pillar of Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Every Muslim is required to perform the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in their life if they are physically capable of doing so. “Make the pilgrimage and visit the Sacred House for His sake.” (Surah 2:196) “Exhort all men to make the pilgrimage. They will come to you on foot and on the backs of swift camels from every distant quarter; they will come to avail themselves of many a benefit…Then let the pilgrims spruce themselves, make their vows, and circle the ancient house. Such is Allah’s commandment.” (Surah 22: 27-30) Those that are either too ill or infirm for the journey or too poor to undertake it are exempt from the responsibility, however, another person may go as a proxy to perform the ritual in that person’s stead. This includes performing hajj in behalf of the dead who were not able to do so in this life.
The site for the pilgrimage is the sacred house, or the ka’aba. This is a small rectangular stone structure that is inside the large mosque in the center of Mecca. The ka’aba is believed to have been built by Abraham and his son Ishmael as the first sanctuary on earth dedicated to the worship of the One God. The Quran states, “We made the House a resort and a sanctuary for mankind, saying: ‘Make the place where Abraham stood a house of worship.’ We enjoined Abraham and Ishmael to cleanse Our House for those who walk round it, who meditate in it, and who kneel and prostrate themselves.” (Surah 2: 125)
When Muslims perform the pilgrimage, they go during the first ten days of the Islamic month Dhul-Hijjah. Their intent is to partake in rites that center on complete submission and devotion to God. They enter into a state of consecration by divesting themselves of anything physically obvious that would differentiate them from their fellow brothers or sisters. They all dress in the humble basic white robes of the pilgrim with the robe draped over the left shoulder. They then perform various prayers and walk in a circle around the Ka’aba seven times while “pouring out their hearts in supplication to Him…Here, under the blazing sun of Mecca, making his circuits around God’s Holy House as he repeats the solemn, moving supplications of the pilgrim, he comes face to face with his own nothingness, his creatureliness, his utter dependence on his Creator in the face of God’s ineffable glory and sanctity, grasping, in that brief yet intense encounter with the sublimity of God, that all the movements and efforts which men make on this earth are as nothing. They and he will pass away, and then he will come alone before the One who gave him his life to receive His judgment and the recompense for all he did.”
Other rites (including animal sacrifice) are performed during the next few days in remembrance of Hagar and Ishmaels’ journeyings in the desert. The pilgrims travel to various sites near Mecca to partake in the sacred rituals that have been practiced for hundreds of years in the same manner. They are “completely absorbed in supplication to God Most High, glorifying Him, affirming their utter helplessness and dependence on Him, and yearning for His forgiveness and His pleasure, enduring all the fatigues and difficulties of travel and the pilgrimage itself, with its severe climate and hard conditions, for the sake of that intense, profound experience of pouring our their souls before their Lord.”
By performing hajj, a pilgrim can receive forgiveness from his or her sins. There is a Hadith that says whosoever performs hajj for God’s pleasure and does not commit any acts of sin while doing it shall “return after Hajj free from all sins as if he were born anew.”
Likewise, it is incumbent upon all members of the LDS Church to seek to be worthy to enter the House of God, called a temple, at least once in our lifetimes to perform the necessary ordinances there. We only attend the temple to perform these sacred ordinances and similar to the restrictions surrounding non-Muslims going to Mecca, only worthy LDS church members may enter the temple upon recommendation from their ecclesiastical leader (similar to a Muslim receiving the endorsement from their local Imam to perform hajj.)
In the temple, Mormons dress in a similar non-distinguishing fashion in robes of white and perform various rites that allow us to enter into a state of consecration before God. We also are able to perform the ordinances by proxy for any who have died without being able to go for themselves. In our temples, families are joined together by the authority of God for eternity. We are able to perform baptisms in proxy of those who have died so that they might be able to be forgiven of their sins and make higher covenants with God. We receive in return endowments and blessings from God as we make promises to devote our lives more fully to Him.
Going to the temple is the same exultant and intensely profound experience for Mormons as performing hajj is for our Muslim brothers and sisters. We re-dedicate ourselves to God’s service and increase in our level of submission to Him through the performance of these rites. We all come back to our lives with a new sense of commitment to be more righteous than ever and more diligent in being obedient to His laws.
Struggle Against Evil (jihad)
The concept of holy war, or jihad, is one of the oft-misrepresented beliefs in Islam. While the Quran speaks of fighting in the cause of God and being willing to die in His defense, jihad does not imply that an aggressive posture should be taken to establish Islam by force on the unbelievers. “Islam has recognized war as a lawful and justifiable course for self-defense and restoration of justice, freedom and peace…Muslims are commanded by God not to begin hostilities, or initiate any act of aggression, or violate the rights of others…There is no such thing as religious war to force Islam on non-Muslims, because if Islam does not emerge from deep convictions, from within, it is not acceptable to God, nor can help its professor.”
The literal meaning of the word jihad is to strive. The primary reference is to the striving within the soul to overcome all the natural tendencies of this world. “The first and most essential jihad which the Muslim must carry on is within himself in a never-ceasing effort at self-improvement and self-purification. This is known as jihad bil nafs (striving within the self), which the Prophet, peace be upon him, called the ‘greatest jihad.’ This unremitting struggle is to begin within the Muslim’s soul from the time he or she attains a consciousness of right and wrong, and it does not end until the end of life itself.”
Additionally, there is a duty incumbent upon all Muslims to strive within their societies and communities to promote virtuous principles and help governing authorities to create laws that are in keeping with God’s commandments. They are to fight against all forms of social ills such as tyranny, injustice and oppression, not only for themselves, but in behalf of all who live there. This is not done by just standing passively by while watching these acts being committed on others. Muslims have a responsibility to stop the oppressor by whatever means possible- by speaking out, writing against it, and if all else fails, using the hand to fight as a last resort.
A Hadith from the Prophet Muhammad states that you must “help your brother, whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed.” When asked how to help the oppressor, he answered, “‘Restrain him from it.’ Thus the Muslim is not only required to give assistance to one who is the victim of tyranny, injustice and wrong-doing, whether (he) is a Muslim or non-Muslim, a single individual or a whole people, but also to try to stop the one who is committing it and to strive with all his energies to bring about the rule of righteousness, freedom and justice for all people.”
Likewise, LDS modern day prophets have instructed members of the Church to take an active part in our communities to uphold moral laws and conduct. We are to fight our own jihad to insure that our countries and governments operate under righteous principles. We are encouraged to be vocal in our stance against any morally perverse attitudes that attack our family values and beliefs in today’s world. Although we may not have councils such as they do in Saudi Arabia for the “Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice”, we still take part in community watch groups that actively confront and monitor such controversial topics as legalization of drugs, abortion laws, freedom of speech issues and gay/ lesbian rights. We have covenanted to act as witnesses “at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be” in the defense of God’s truths throughout our lives.
We also actively strive to overcome the world within ourselves, to put off “the natural man (that) is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit…and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. By submitting to God and fighting against the forces of Satan, we too are participating in jihad.
The pillars of Islam are a firm foundation of righteous principles of action by which Muslims live their daily lives. Each of them is also found in the LDS scriptures and upheld by our prophets’ teachings. Whether we bear testimony of Joseph Smith or Muhammad, pay 2.5 or 10% in offerings, pray morning and night or five times a day, fast a consecutive month or the first Sunday of the month, attend hajj or a temple, the principles remain true and constant as given by God to us all.
 Hadith, known as “Hadith of Gabriel”, reported by Muslim in Sahih Muslim, translated by Dr. Mahmoud Matraji, Dar El Fiker, Beirut Lebanon, 1993, Vol. 1A, p.5
 Ati, p 55
 Maududi, Sayyid Abul A’la. Towards Understanding Islam, International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996, p.66
 Ibid, p. 67
 Ibid, pp. 74-78
 Haneef, p.42
 Ibid, p.43
 Ati, pp.57, 58
 Ibid, p.58
 As recounted in the Book of Mormon, the Rameumption was a prayer platform that the wicked Zoramite people built in their synagogues so that they would be able to pray to God in public for all to hear. See BM Alma 31 for details.
 Al-Sheikh, Yaseen Ibrahim, A Handbook of Sawm: Islamic Fast, Al-Maktab Al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, 1998, pp.12,13,24,25)
 Ati, p.87
 Haneef, p.135
 Hadith in The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari, Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Islamic University, Al-Medina Al-Munawwara, Saudi Arabia, no date, vol. 3, p.70
 LDS Church official manual Gospel Principles, 2011, chapter 25, pp. 144-148. See https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-25-fasting?lang=eng
 D&C 59:12-21
 Haneef, pp.49,50
 Ibid, p.48
 Ati, p.93
 Gospel Principles, chapter 32, pp.184-88
 Ibid, pp. 187-88
 KJV Malachi 3:10,11
 See Hadith in Khan Bukhari, vol 2, p. 344
 Haneef, p.53
 Ibid, pp.54, 55
 Ibid, pp, 56, 57
 Hadith in Khan Bukhari, Vol 2, pp. 347, 348)
 A temple is not the same as a church. Mormons do not hold weekly worship services there. There are currently only 144 temples in operation world-wide and many people must leave their country to travel to another to attend one. See https://www.lds.org/church/temples?lang=eng
 Ati, pp.140,141
 Haneef, p.119
 Ibid, p.119
 BM Mosiah 18:9
 BM Mosiah 3:19