Every Muslim isrequired by Islam to hold certain beliefs and practice certain religious exercises. It is essential for a Muslim to believe that there is only one god, and that Muhammad was chosen by him as the last prophet ; that god has created angels, and has revealed his messages to prophets before Muhammad, and that all of us will have another life after death in which we shall be rewarded or punished according to our deeds on earth. The religious practices which every Muslim has to perform are Prayer (Namaz) five times a day, fasting (Roza) for one month-the month of Ramadan in a year, giving away one fortieth of one's wealth every year as charity, and going, if one has money, on Hajj at least once in his lifetime. The Hajj is a great assembly of Muslims from all parts of the world in Mecca, the birth-place of Muhammad. Here the Muslims visit Ka'aba, a place regarded holy since the time of Abraham, another prophet who lived long before Muhammad.
Islam introduces the fraternal feelings among the followers by brining them closer together in stages. The people who pray five times a day may pray either at home or in a local mosque. On Fridays the Muslims must offer their midday prayer in the central Mosque, called Jami' Masjid. Here one has the opportunity of meeting people from various parts of the city. This is the second stage in the promotion of collectivity. The first stage being coming together in a local mosque. The third and the last stage is coming together of people from various parts of the world in Mecca during the Hajj. The religion Islam tries to bring mankind together as one large family descended from one man and one woman. It does not allow any feeling of superiority on the basis of race or colour. Superiority, according to Islam, comes only through a man's virtues.
The literal meaning of Islam being 'submission to god', the life of Muslim is governed not by his desires and ambitions but according to the desires of god. The 'Quran' and the 'Hadith' together provide elaborate instructions for the Muslims on how to conduct themselves in their day to day life, at home and in their dealings with others.
Religion and the affairs of the world are both regulated in equal measure by the teachings of Islam. That is to say, it does not keep the church and the state separate as most nation sates of the world do today. The success of Islam as a socio-religions system can be measured from its contribution to humanity. With its simple, powerful and appealing doctrine of the unity of god it has been able to wean the people away from irrational and conflicting beliefs and practices. The great collectivization of men of different faiths and different races has been an important achievement.