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Making time to pray five times daily
March 21st, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Why do Muslims pray five times daily?

Editor's Note: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chronicles the fight over a mosque’s construction in the heart of the Bible Belt. “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” airs at 8 p.m. ET March 27 on CNN.

Text by Soraya Salam, for CNN, photos by Angie Lovelace, CNN

ATLANTA, Georgia - It’s 6:00 a.m. The sun isn’t up yet, but Wahaaj Mohammed is.

He’s performing a ritual washing in preparation for his first prayer of the day. He’ll go on to pray four more times before the day is through, a practice called “salat” that many of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide perform daily.

It’s a practice that Mohammed, a 21-year old recent graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology, can’t imagine life without.

“It reminds you about God throughout your day,” he says. “At fixed intervals, no matter how busy you are, all of a sudden you have to take out a few minutes and you’re remembering, OK, why am I really here?”

“And while I was doing whatever I was doing, was I doing it in a manner pleasing to God?”

Praying five times a day is considered the second most important of Islam’s five pillars, after professing that there is no god worthy of worship but God and that the Prophet Mohammed is God’s messenger.

Each prayer includes a series of movements, supplications, and recitations from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in its original Arabic.

Muslims consider prayer to be a spiritual and physical act, with various standing, bending, and prostrating postures symbolizing devotion to God.

“When you’re at your lowest point, your head is on the ground, you’re saying ‘Oh, praise to my God, the most high,’” says Mohammed, who was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “It’s very humbling.”

Imam Zaid Shakir, co-founder of Zaytuna College - which is aiming to be the first accredited Muslim college in the United States - says salat symbolizes what Islam considers the purpose of creation: to worship God.

“As a human being, I have a physical body, I have an intellect, and I have a spirit, and the ritual prayer involves all three of those aspects,” says Shakir, who is also a professor of Islamic theology at Zaytuna.

“My entire being is involved in my prayer, and that symbolizes the dedication of my entire being to the service of my creator,” he says.

The first prayer, called “Fajr” is performed before sunrise; the second prayer, “Thuhr” comes just after noon; the third prayer, “Asr,” arrives during mid-afternoon; the fourth prayer, “Maghrib,” is just after sunset; and the last prayer, “Isha,” is performed at night.

These prayers are considered an obligation for every Muslim by the time he or she reaches puberty. Mohammed says he has rarely missed a prayer.

Preparation

Before each prayer, Mohammed performs a ritual ablution, called “wudu.” The process involves washing the hands, face, arms and feet. Wudu symbolizes a state of physical and spiritual purity required to stand before God.

“There’s a saying (in Islam) that our external form impacts our internal state, just as our internal state has an impact on our external form,” says Shakir.

When Mohammed is away from home for a prayer, he washes up in a public restroom.

“You do feel kind of awkward,” he says. “And it usually happens, for whatever reason, that someone always walks in and your feet are in the sink and they’re thinking, ‘What’s this person doing?’”

Afterward, Mohammed finds a quiet, clean place to perform his prayer, during which he will face northeast towards the holiest site in Islam, the Kaaba. The cube-shaped building is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and, according to Islamic tradition, was built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael.

“(Muslims) all pray in the same uniform way, wherever they are, whether they’re in India or Indonesia or Saudi Arabia or America or Japan,” Mohammed says. “They all pray in the same manner, facing the same direction.”

Mohammed raises his hands to shoulder level while reciting, “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is the greatest,” signaling the start of the prayer.

Making time

Mohammed often gets questioned about how he finds the time to pray so many times a day.

“I think it’s just where you put your priorities,” he says. “If you put (prayer) at a high level, then it’s not hard.”

As a college student, Mohammed would schedule his classes and social events around the prayers. He says they mostly take five to ten minutes to complete and that technology has made it easy for him to remember when to pray.

“When the prayer time starts, (my phone) sends me a text message,” he says. “I know a lot of people that have the iPhone app that gives a little alarm or a text or something. And some people even have the iPhone app that shows them the direction of the prayer.”

Zaytuna’s Shakir says the intervals between prayer demarcate transitions within the day that necessitate the remembrance of God.

“In the morning we’re getting up from our sleep, so we’re beginning that day by praying to our Lord and our creator,” he says. “And then at noon… just as we take our lunch break to replenish our physical body, we take time to reaffirm our commitment to our creator and thereby replenish our spirit.”

“At night, before we turn in and go to sleep to regroup, we don’t know if we’re going to see the new day,” he says. “Once again, (we) take time to acknowledge our creator and the rights he has over us.”

When Mohammed is at his mosque in Atlanta, Georgia, he has the “adhan” to alert him that a particular prayer time has begun. The adhan is the Islamic call to prayer that consists of a series of phrases recited melodiously, including, “God is the greatest,” “Come to prayer,” and “Come to success.”

In Muslim-majority countries, the adhan is called from an outdoor loudspeaker. For Muslims in America, it is recited in the mosque or in the privacy of one’s home. Mohammed compares it to the ringing of a church bell to signify the start of a service.

Mohammed says that in addition to adding structure to his day, salat helps keep him accountable for his daily actions and lets him have a personal relationship with God.

Striving for spiritual success

In the glow of a recent coming dawn, Mohammed and his family complete their first prayer of the day with a phrase in Arabic that means, “May the peace and mercy of God be upon you.”

He notes that the call to prayer before sunrise has an extra phrase added in: “Prayer is greater than sleep.”

“So, no matter what you’re doing in your life, it’s always, ‘God is greater than that’ - whether it’s sleep, whether it’s work, whatever it is, God is the greatest,” Mohammed says, pausing to rub his eyes.

“Behind any type of success,” he says, “there’s always a sacrifice.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Prayer • Uncategorized

soundoff (834 Responses)
  1. brian

    Religion a relic of the stone age, which unfortunately is where most christians, jews, muslims, etc still seem to intellectually reside. I can't believe in this day and age that anybody still believes in a god, much less obsessively worships him. It really is a disappointing state of affairs for the human species.

    Of course, Islam definitely takes today's prize for the religion with the most delusional, medieval followers.

    March 21, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • RZ

      Ahh the hypocritical athiest. The people that can't explain the origin of everything other than "we will one day!" How is this any different from believers who say to athiests: "you'll know the reality one day!" Please prove that God doesn't exist. According to one of your high priests, Stephen Hawking, you cannot prove that God doesn't exist.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Tallulah13

      As always, RZ, the burden of proof lies with the one making the outlandish claim. As there is absolutely NO proof of any higher power, it is more reasonable to believe that there is no god than to believe that there is. If you have real, verifiable proof of a higher power, please bring it forward.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Can'tImagine

      Thanks to all who enjoyed the above post.
      ------------------------------------–

      Godless

      LOL, this is the height of irony: a Christian claiming ANOTHER religion is wacky!

      Christian: Satan stays in the upper part of the nose at night??? HAHAHA, what a joke! Here, have some of Jesus's blood and flesh...

      Godless, I am sorry for your sarcasm. I will pray for you.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Godless

      Can't Imagine: Kinda smug of you, isn't it? Does saying you'll pray for me make you feel better? Does it make you feel superior? Let's see if your prayers magically change me into a believer.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • derp

      "Ahh the hypocritical athiest. The people that can't explain the origin of everything other than "we will one day!" How is this any different from believers who say to athiests: "you'll know the reality one day!" Please prove that God doesn't exist. According to one of your high priests, Stephen Hawking, you cannot prove that God doesn't exist."

      Cool, so you obviously believe in sasquatch, unicorns, the tooth fairy and Howarts school of witchcraft. After all there is not a shred of evidence to prove they do not exist. And there is actually greater evidence to suggest that they do exist.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • RZ

      derp please do enlighten us how it is greater? An imaginary concept developed in the heads of a selected few individuals in the past few centuries as compared to the well accepted understanding of the majority of mankind since the dawn of mankind are not the same. Please bring a better argument.

      March 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Magic

      RZ,

      Be careful now... don't fall off the edge of the Earth as you travel to toss that virgin into the volcano.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • derp

      "well accepted understanding of the majority of mankind since the dawn of mankind are not the same."

      Which majority are you talking about, and which gods did they accept the understaning of? The Sumerians did not believe in a "god" at all. The Egyptians believed in a very different set of gods than did the Jews, christians, Greeks or Romans. Lets not leave out the buddhists.

      There have been over 500 different versions of "god" throughout human history. Most of human history is marked by polytheism, not your beloved monotheism. So the "majority of mankind since the dawn of mankind" has disagreed with your ideology, and there has never been a common concensus. there has been hundreds of "gods" and nearly as many belief systems perpetuated by the scientifically ignorant to explain the unknown. Just more unimformed self righteous BS from the small minded faithfull.

      Please bring a better argument.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • derp

      When I was a kid, if I left a tooth under my pillow, I got some cash. However, when my mother developed cancer, my prayers went unanswered. She died.

      I have greater evidence of the existence of a tooth fairy than I do of a god. It least the tooth fairy came through with some cash.

      March 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  2. Rubbish

    Rubbish vs Rubbish.

    March 21, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  3. d.j.

    I didn't know as stated in the article,that Mohammed was from Chattenuga Tennessee..............

    March 21, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  4. Lynn Ferguson

    They pray 5 times a day. In between hating everything and anyone. Then, after they get all holy, they go blow themselves up..or their children or you or me.. Open your eyes world..the religon of peace has been anything but peaceful for 14000 years... The religion of submission is what it is...submit or we will bring you to your knees... how nice of them..

    March 21, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • derp

      "Open your eyes world..the religon of peace has been anything but peaceful for 14000 years"

      Wow, that is a long time. I did not realize islam predated Sumeria.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  5. WIll III

    Sum= muslims v. christians, muslims v. atheist, christians v. atheist, all think the other is wrong, when each group has no tue idea or proof themselves, and wont until they die, therefore the truth will never be known. Guess we're all living on faith, in some manner or capacity.

    March 21, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  6. SAINTLOOKMAN

    You all make me weep. Both the supposed christians and the supposed muslims. God establised religion through his prophets to bring out closer to Him (God) and to make us love ourselves more. But what have we all been doing? We have been creating hatred and acrimony be dividing ourselves along religion lines. How will you as a father/mother feel if your children are fighting and killing themselves just because they see you from different perspective? The same way you will feel is how God feels about us. I am really really sad about what we are all doing. I am a devoted muslim, I went to catholic schools from elementary to tertiary and my wife is a devoted christian and God has made us very very happy together but I am sad when I see people discriminate on the basis of religion. We christians and muslims that claim to worship God are giving atheist the confidence to say rubish about our believes. I am really really sad. Please religion should bring out together and not seperate us. Let us unite the world

    March 21, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  7. Can'tImagine

    Mohammed was the prophet of war; Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).

    Mohammed's disciples killed for the faith; Christ's disciples were killed for their faith (Acts 12:2; 2 Timothy 4:7).

    Mohammed promoted persecution against the "infidels"; Christ forgave delivered and converted the chief persecutor (1 Timothy 1:13-15).

    Mohammed was the taker of life; Christ was the giver of life (John 10:27-28).

    Mohammed and his fellow warriors murdered thousands; Christ murdered none but saved many (compare John 12:48).

    Mohammed's method was COMPULSION; Christ's aim was voluntary CONVERSION (Acts 3:19).

    Mohammed practiced FORCE; Christ preached FAITH (John 6:29, 35).

    Mohammed was a WARRIOR; Christ is The DELIVERER (Rom 11:26, Col. 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:10).

    Mohammed conquered his enemies with the sword; Christ conquered his enemies with another kind of sword, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Acts 2:37).

    Mohammed said to the masses, "Convert or die!"; Christ said, "Believe and live!" (John 6:47; 11:25-26).

    Mohammed was swift to shed blood (Romans 3:15-17); Christ shed His own blood for the salvation of many (Ephesians 1:7).

    Mohammed preached "Death to the infidels!"; Christ prayed "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

    Mohammed declared a holy war (Jihad) against infidels; Christ achieved a holy victory on Calvary's cross (Colossians 2:14-15) and His followers share in that victory (John 16:33).

    Mohammed constrained people by conquest; Christ constrained people by love (2 Corinthians 5:14).

    Modern terrorists derive their inspiration from Mohammed and carry out their de-sp-icable atrocities in the name of his god; Christians derive their inspiration from the One who said, "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Matthew 5:9).

    Modern day disciples of Mohammed respond to the te-rr-orist attacks by cheering in the streets; Modern day disciples of Christ are deeply grieved at past atrocities carried out by those who were "Christians" in name only (the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, etc.).

    Many Muslims are peaceful and peace-loving because they do not strictly follow the teachings of their founder; Many Christians are peaceful and peace-loving because they do strictly follow the teachings of their Founder (Romans 12:17-21).

    Mohammed said the Koran is authoritative only in Arabic, and only in his dialect; The Bible is authoritative in many languages around the world, for God knows all things and can inspire (and preserve) His Word in more than one language.

    Mohammed hated music; Jesus and His disciples sang hymns, and the Apostle commanded the Lord's Church to sing. (Matthew 26:30, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16).

    Mohammed allowed that a Mullah, Imam, or Mufti of Islam can be a ter-ro-rist and an amoral animal like Osama bin Laden; The Bible requires that a leader in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must be above reproach, and when this is not true, Christians demand such a fallen leader be removed from leadership. (1 Timothy 3:1-7, 5:19-20).

    Islam calls on its followers to observe Five Pillars, while all other aspects of life can be vulgar and not affect the Muslim's prospects in Paradise. The Bible calls on the Christian to submit to the total change of his life by the Spirit of God - NO area of life and/or thought is left to the choice of the follower. (Romans 12:1-2).

    The Muslim looks forward to eternity in Paradise where there will be virgins who are used for eternal perpetual copulation.

    The Bible believing Christian looks forward to being with Jesus Christ in total sinless, holiness, and is delighted with that. (2 Corinthians 5:8).

    Mohammed said the witness of a woman was half the value of the witness of a man; and Muhammed said a woman goes to Paradise because she satisfies her husband se–xually; The Bible teaches that a husband is to love his wife and be willing to die for her. (Ephesians 5:25).

    Mohammed called upon his servants to fight; Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world; if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight . . . but now is My kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36).

    Mohammed ordered death to the Jews (see A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, Oxford University Press [1975], p. 369); Christ ordered that the gospel be preached "to the Jew first" (Romans 1:16).

    The Koran says, "Fight in the cause of Allah" (Qu'ran 2.244); The Bible says, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood" and "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal" (Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4).

    The Koran says, "Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them" (Qu'ran 9.5); Christ said, "Preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

    The Koran says, "I will inspire terror into the hearts of unbelievers" (Qu'ran 8.12); God inspires His terror into the hearts of believers (Isaiah 8:13).

    The Koran (Qu'ran) is a terrorist manual which condones fighting, conflict, terror, slaughter, and genocide against those who do not accept Islam; The Bible is a missionary manual to spread the gospel of peace to all the world (Romans 10:15).

    Mohammed's Mission was to conquer the world for Allah; Christ's mission was to conquer sin's power and penalty by subst-i-tutionary atonement (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18).

    Mohammed considered Christ a good prophet; Christ pronounced Mohammed to be a false prophet (John 10:10; Matthew 24:11).

    Mohammed claimed that there was but one God, Allah; Christ claimed that He was God (John 10:30-31; John 8:58-59; John 5:18; John 14:9).

    Islam is geocentric, that is, the whole universe is centered on the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque in Mecca in Arabia, and all Muslims pray facing that direction; Jesus Christ is the center of all Christian worship and fellowship, for He is "in the midst" where his saints meet anywhere on earth. (Matthew 18:20, John 4:22-23).

    Mohammed's Tomb: OCCUPIED! Christ's tomb: EMPTY!

    Islam must be received, or you can be killed for rejecting it:

    The Faith offered by Jesus Christ is for "whosoever will" to receive, and all men are permitted to reject it. (Revelation 22:17, John 3:16).

    Those who leave Islam are killed in most Islamic nations; Those who leave the true Church of Jesus Christ are allowed to do so with no revenge.

    Muhammed taught that you are allowed to live in any manner of wickedness you choose – as long as you die in a holy ji-had for allah. The LORD Jesus Christ teaches that unless you follow after peace (with ALL men), and holiness YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE LORD (for salvations' sake) (Heb 12:14, 2Pet 3:11).

    Now, is a Muslim submitted to Allah and Islam because he loves Allah? NO! He dare not leave Islam, and he is loyal purely out of fear.

    The true Bible believer is loyal to Jesus Christ purely out of love. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (John 4:19) We love him, because he first loved us.

    March 21, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • maxrajryan

      Good one..CantImagine..Good one

      March 21, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • CW

      Good post....like.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Narnia

      Thank you Can'tImagine, I hope that everyones who reads this would be converted to christianity! God bless you all

      March 21, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Reality

      A historical perspective:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Ped-ophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adulterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.
      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder

      March 21, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • CW

      @ Reality,

      Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.....propaganda...propaganda....let me ask...did you grow up during one of the past wars....specializing in propaganda?

      All the "probably's"....and stuff so many in your rants....just someone who's done some research "guess work"..but don't really know.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Reality

      Statistically, your prayer request might come true but it is simply the result of the variabiliy/randomness of Nature.

      So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows and bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

      March 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  8. Can'tImagine

    The Hadith.

    This is another sacred book of Islam which Muslims claim is inspired. It's supposed to tell you what to do to get paradise and sundry other stuff. You must EARN Allah's forgiveness by following a bunch of rules and rituals. This stuff is indefensible:

    One of the major sins is not to protect oneself from ur-ine. If you pee on yourself you go to hell, yet Muhammad ordered people to drink camel's milk and ur-ine!
    You must not face Mecca when you are de-fe-cating. You must not use your right hand to hold or wipe yourself. You must wash your private parts after going to the bathroom.
    Satan stays in the upper part of the nose all night (vol. 4, no. 516)
    Muhammad would spit so followers could smear it on their faces.
    Bad breath, having gas, and yawning are sins when done in Muhammad's presence–I don't think Allah was offended, I think it was Muhammad.
    Muhammad was supers-t-i-tious and was afraid that evil spirits might enter his body while ur-in-ating or de-fe-cating. He was also afraid of a strong wind, and kissed and adored black stone in the Kabah. Muhammad thought that placing a green palm leaf on grave of the dead would lesson their pain as they died, and said clean your private parts with an odd number of stones. Believed that Jews were transformed into rats (vol. 4, nos. 524, 569 and chap. 32) and magic.
    Muhammad supposedly had the s-e-xual strength of 30 men.
    There are no recorded miracles of Muhammad in the Quran but when followers saw Muhammad's inferiority to Jesus they started making some up in the Hadith: Muhammad cut the moon in half with a sword, a palm tree cried like a baby because Muhammad wouldn't preach under it, Muhammad made water flow out of his fingernails so that people could drink–the Hadith contradi-cts itself on how many supposedly people drank it. These "miracles" go on and on.
    Islam is to be primarily spread through the sword (but then again, how else can you get people to believe these fairy tales?). The best deed is to believe in Allah and his Apostle. The next best thing is to participate in J-ih-ad which is religious FIGHTING (vol. 1, no. 25). Murderous Muslims could take the property of people they killed during a Jihad.
    Anyone who leaves Islam must be killed (vol. 4, no. 260).
    Christians and Jews that don't embrace Islam go to hell.
    Women are deficient in intelligence and religion.
    Majority of people in hell are women (vol. 1, nos. 28, 301; vol. 2, no. 161)
    Child looks like the parent that had "di-s-charge first" during int-ercou-rse.
    Stars created by Allah to throw at devils as missiles.
    Spirits eat du-ng and bones.

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Islamic%20Muslim/islam_beliefs.htm#comparison

    Any Muslims care to comment on this stuff?

    March 21, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Godless

      LOL, this is the height of irony: a Christian claiming ANOTHER religion is wacky!

      Christian: Satan stays in the upper part of the nose at night??? HAHAHA, what a joke! Here, have some of Jesus's blood and flesh...

      March 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  9. Maxx

    In Islam you must fart in the correct manner at the correct time. And wash your testicles with stones. Sticking your ass in the air is just a bonus.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  10. Reality

    Saving Muslims, Christians and Jews a lot of time in useless praying:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslim souls:
    There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam

    Saving 2 billion lost Christian souls:
    There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity

    Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    Added details upon request.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  11. Rashida

    Prayer is central to spritual well being and happiness. It keeps you connected to the higher being. It helps to remind me that I am not just here to eat, sleep, make money..I am here for a higher purpose. I feel totally at peace and relaxed when I make my five daily prayers. It seems odd to me that people have a problem with prayer but think meditation is a good thing. Even studies show that people who pray or meditate are generally happier. I cant imagine going through this rollercoaster called Life and not being grounded and connected to my spiritual self and God..Good luck in your journey. Worshipping and praising God is always a great thing.

    March 21, 2011 at 7:18 am |
    • maxrajryan

      Then may I ask why there has been a constant hatred and fights dating long back between Muslims and the rest of the world in different countries which includes Christians,Hindus, Jews, Buddhists etc. Either something wrong with the rest of the worlds way of looking at things or something not right with the Islamic way of praying and looking at things.

      March 21, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Sean Webb

      There is no higher being. It represents an intellectual disconnect. I'm happy and well without silly prayers.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  12. Martin

    With the constant prayers enshrined in their culture (and laws), they can feel like they are accomplishing something worthwhile and join in a group-identlty activity, even though the prayers themselves mean nothing. A social-bonding activity that strengthens their group identlty. But any fraudster can rise through the ranks of religious authority because there is no way to prove that an actual faith exists. They can lie and still be considered trustworthy. This is true of most other religions as well.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:46 am |
  13. Maxrajryan

    Why was the person not asked what happens to the "non believers"...praying 5 times a day is good but then behind the facade there could be some hypocrisy????

    March 21, 2011 at 6:25 am |
  14. doctore0

    It's because they are slaves.
    Anyone who prays is a slave to something

    March 21, 2011 at 5:09 am |
    • Well Read

      I fail to see how willfull sumbission to authority is slavery. If you willfully submit to the laws of your country, are you a slave? The US requires you to pay taxes on your income and to follow various laws. Are Americans slaves to their government? The answer is no. Americans can choose not to follow the laws and can choose to leave the country whose laws they disagree with. Likewise, in free societies, Muslims are free to pray or not as they see fit. They are also free to leave that religion if they choose.

      In societies with Sharia law and anti-blasphemy laws, then I could agree with you that adherents of Islam can be slaves. Since in those countries, they have little if any option to not obey the religious requirements.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  15. Peace2All

    In my opinion, regardless of what religion one claims themselves to be a part of or believe in, albeit: Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Taoist, and yes... even Islam.......to me, it 'can' be utilized as a practice of going within and attempting to make peace with one's self and the world around you. Not so much about praying to 'the God', as most in their particular religions fervently 'believe' that 'their God' is the 'true' God.

    If the ancient practice of prayer and going within creates inner states of well-being, thereby being a better person in the world, seems to me, 'in general' (yes... I'm fully aware of some of the possibility of delusions and counter-examples), but if it helps create a peaceful, loving and harmonious state of being... I'm all for it.

    Taking God or God/s out of the picture, if it at least gets the ones that do pray in touch with a deeper side of LIFE and the nature of their own being...more power to them.

    Peace...

    March 21, 2011 at 4:39 am |
  16. SB

    Why? Because religion makes people do some very silly things.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:21 am |
    • Jcork

      It also makes people do some very dangerous things.

      March 21, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      lack of religion makes people do even more silly things. see Hitler, Stalin and Mao for a good example of what I mean!

      March 21, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Jcork25

      Lack of religion frees the mind from the constraints of a judgmental god testing you during this waiting room you call life to see if you are good enough to get into paradise or burn eternally forever in hell. Nice try.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • derp

      "lack of religion makes people do even more silly things. see Hitler,"

      Hitler was a devout christian who acted in the name of god and christ. You think he killed jews and athiests because he WASN'T christian?

      Dummy!

      March 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  17. Jcork

    Come on guys, this isn't hard. Muslims pray 5 times a day because they are deluded and brainwashed, just like anyone else who prays to a god.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Frederica

      No, it means they are pious, structured, disciplined people. They just need to know who Jesus really is and what He did for them and to love infidels as themselves.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:10 am |
    • Bert Smith

      Structured? Disciplined? Are you kidding? Have you ever been to the Middle East?

      March 21, 2011 at 3:23 am |
    • Rashida

      Hello,

      I dont consider myself deluded or brainwashed. I am an african-american muslim woman with a college degree, married wiht a child, and a career. God gave me a soul, free will, and intellect to use my reason and make wise decisions. This is what he says in the Quran. Prayer keeps me connected to him and to my spiritual soul. We are physical, spiritual, and emotional. beings. We exercise and eat right to take care of our physical self, We love our family and friends to take care of our emotional self. What about our spiritual self. What do you do to maintain and take care of this part of your self. Have you never thought about it? This is what I do when I pray. I feel total peace and relaxation when I engage in Prayer. I dont see whats so wrong about this. It helps me to remember also that I am accountable for every thing that I do on this earth good or bad. It reminds me that I need to be a good person to myself and others. When was the last time you felt really at peace in your inner core..I feel this way at least five times a day and I belive this is a good thing. Have a good day!

      March 21, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • CW

      @ Rashida,

      Sounds to me like your a good person who is very set in your beliefs. Only one problem....the God of the Quran...is a false God. You say in one of the other posts that in the Quran that Abraham, Moses and Jesus are talked about. The reason for this is that the God of the Bible is the True God. In the Bible its talks of the God of the Quran, buddhism, etc......only refers to them and all other Gods as False Gods. I would encourage you to look at John 3:16....this is the only way for true salvation.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Rashida CW.. has no proof of his as-sertions, we have asked but he has never been able to offer evidence that his god exists. You can expect that your god is as likely to exist as his. All religions claim they are the true one as its adherents can say anything as they are evidence challenged. If you have some proof of your god feel free to tell us.

      March 21, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • CW

      @ EvolvedDNA,

      Okay...I will provide the proof....The Bible....second...for you to believe or have your proof you have to have FAITH!!!

      Let me ask....we know gravity exists...how do you know its gravity?...we call it gravity...maybe its something else?...my point is we call it gravity and so...we accept based on our own perception that it exists.

      By the way....the other proof...those places in the bible wrote about....you can go and travel to those places....just some more so called proof.

      March 21, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Proud Muslim

      @CW

      Actually I would say Jesus is a false god. There is no proof that he is god. Do you actually believe that the Creator of the existence itself is an eating, drinking and pooping god?! Comon! How could he be god? If he "died" then who was running the universe? Shouldn't everything have been destroyed? But if he was still in control then he didn't really die did he? Don't tell me that the universe was running on auto-pilot. It's no wonder event the early christians were debating the very nature of Jesus during the Council of Nicea. There is not doubt that the early Christians never believed in his divinity. This why you find even today Biblical Unitarian Christians (who by the way Thomas Jefferson belonged to) denying the trinity and the divinity of Jesus. They have excellent refutations on their site and they're christians! (biblicalunitarian.com)

      March 21, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • BAS

      CW...You tell @Rashida she is set in her way...what about yourself ?

      There is no true God. There is only one God ...hopefully all paths lead to the same God...whether it is Rashida's with Koran or your's with the Bible.

      Even for people that do not believe in God...if they are good people and their deeds are humane...they are unknowingly getting closer to God.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Tallulah13

      CW: So in other words, you have no proof. Why don't you just come out and say all you have is faith? Isn't that good enough for you?

      March 21, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Godless

      @ CW and Proud Muslim:

      Here's a thought – you're both wrong. Here's why athiests and agnostics don't worry about the "but what if you're wrong and I'm right about god?" argument – you both probably feel that you are right and the other person (and me) is wrong. Guess what? You can't both be right, and I'd say it's more likely neither of you is right. So when the Christian says "But what if I'm right?" and the Muslim responds "But what if I'm right?" then I can rest assured knowing that neither of you really know anything.

      March 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jcork25

      @Godless

      I'm glad there are people like you to help bring some intellectual brainpower into such atrocious conversations. Natural selection will take it's course one day and rid of that way of thinking once and for all. People like us just want to speed that process up! Thank you.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Magic

      CW,

      The Bible is not proof of anything supernatural.

      "the other proof...those places in the bible wrote about....you can go and travel to those places....just some more so called proof."

      One can visit many places written about in the Harry Potter stories too - so what?

      March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • RZ

      Jcork25, sorry to burst your bubble but majority of mankind is either Muslim or Christian and athiests are one of the lowest in numbers. So if there is going to be any natural selection, it's going to be against people like you 🙂

      March 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • DAISHI

      @Jcork I think you should take a second look at natural selection, or at least be even handed in its application. The religious out breed atheists, in terms of sheer number. The higher the atheist population the lower the offspring. I believe it is Czech Republic, which claims to have the highest number of atheists in Europe, that also has the lowest number of offspring and a declining population. Religious sentiment, in terms of generational instruction and breeding, is favored over atheistic instruction and its being passed down.

      March 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  18. Theodore Chipmunk

    Frederica prays all day. That's all there is for her to do in her padded cell.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Frederica

      I end up praying for atheists mostly. Sending you God's love.

      March 21, 2011 at 3:13 am |
  19. Frederica

    Jesus said to His followers, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father(God) except through Me. If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him. Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it." (Gospel of John, chapter 14)

    March 21, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Rashida

      Hello..We do know Jesus. We believe that he was a great prophet just like Abraham, Moses, Muhammad etc and in fact is mentioned in the Quran more than Muhammad is. There is a whole chapter in the Quran named after his pious, virgin mother Mary..We just dont believe that God has a son. or has any human characteristics.The verse that you quoted from the bible is a secondhand account of what Jesus said by John right. How can you be completely sure that it is exactly the words of Jesus if it is spoken in the third person. The Quran is the literal word of God and is written as such..in the first person, with God's voice. Please let me know if you have any questions about Islam. Have a nice day!

      March 21, 2011 at 7:14 am |
    • BAS

      @Rashida – You question a quote from the Bible because it is a secondhand account of Jesus said. You say "How can you be completely sure that it is exactly the words of Jesus if it is spoken in the third person."

      Are you saying just because Koran is written in first person account makes it God's words ? How can you be completely sure and where is logic or reason in this ?

      BTW..I am not a Christian or a Moslem!

      March 21, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Imran Khan

      Its funny how everyone gets on these articles and starts ranting ignorantly. Islam is a religion as old as time, with followers who are good and bad. So is Christianity, atheism, and every other group of human biengs. What your seeing today, this hatred of Islam, is because of some idiot fools in the muslim world who have an anger toward the west, and some idiot fools in the west who don't like the success of Islam. I have been a muslim and lived with muslims all my life in different parts of the world, the only thing that I have learned and heard from fellow muslims is to be upright, to not steal, to treat people fairly, to speak truth, and to worship God. I never have had any inclination to harm another human bienng, and its not because I am not educated and dont know my religion. Its because I know my religion.

      People who in the name of their religion, to try to show their religions superiority over anothers, resort to lying about other religions and dont even try to understand what that faith is about only show their own lack of faith in their religion. For if they were to have real faith in their own religion, they would no there is no need to bash and tarnish anothers religion, just live up to your own faith, and if it is beautiful and good, others will follow. I believe in a Just and Merciful Lord to ALL His Creation, believer and non-believer. I believe He has surrounded us with His signs and left it up to us to use our intellect and soul to do what is right. He has sent us guidance to be wary of Him even tho we dont experience Him, He has made the joy of the heart in being close with Him...Don't be biased, dont listen to hate-mongerers. Learn Islam from someone living the faith, learn christianity, judaism, hinduism, taoism, atheism, etc, from people who are living it and then decide for yourself. There are enough people spreading hate out there. Be better than that. Please. If not for Gods sake, for the sake of our planet and our kids.

      March 21, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Godless

      Here's a thought – you're both wrong....

      March 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Alberto

      Godless, wrap your brain around this – you are right, as are both of them.

      March 22, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • Thomas

      The only difference between Jesus and the thousands of people currently in mental health facilities claiming to be Jesus is...the mental health facilities.

      March 22, 2011 at 5:09 am |
  20. Frederica

    Many Korean Christians pray 4:30AM for next 2 hours. Most Christians pray all day long.

    March 21, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • rite

      Sounds like a personal problem.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Thomas

      Most "Christians" pray roughly twice per year. Don't delude yourself.

      March 22, 2011 at 5:06 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.