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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. MP

    This is a very simple form of brainwashing

    March 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  2. Repentigny

    The rag tops pray five times a day because they mentally defficient.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  3. uzma

    i found all the arguement pro islamic or anti islamic both very interesting and would like to suggest to the anti islam ppl to read koran online to get more info on it so to come up with some more arguments!

    March 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  4. Erik

    Thank you all @ CNN for this editorial.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  5. Muneef

    Just remember this;

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    [17:63] He said, "Then go; you and those who follow you will end up in Hell as your requital; an equitable requital.

    [17:64] "You may entice them with your voice, and mobilize all your forces and all your men against them, and share in their money and children, and promise them. Anything the devil promises is no more than an illusion.

    [17:65] "As for My servants, you have no power over them." Your Lord suffices as an advocate.

    Al-Isra sura 17:
    [17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.

    [17:71] The day will come when we summon every people, together with their record. As for those who are given a record of righteousness, they will read their record and will not suffer the least injustice.

    [17:72] As for those who are blind in this life, they will be blind in the Hereafter; even a lot worse.

    [17:73] They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend.

    [17:74] If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit.

    [17:75] Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us.

    [17:76] They almost banished you from the land to get rid of you, so they could revert as soon as you left.

    [17:77] This has been consistently the case with all the messengers that we sent before you, and you will find that our system never changes.

    March 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  6. Divine Light

    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the proptiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
    By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:7-21 God Is Love

    March 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  7. Name*aziz

    2 of 5 prayers fall in your typical 8-5 day, easily accommodated by your lunch, and a short afternoon break; afternoon one after work during longer spring /summer days.

    March 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  8. Name*aziz

    Of the 5 prayers, 2 fall in a typical 8-5 workday; accommodated during lunch, and a quick afternoon break. When days are shorter only one prayer time falls during a typical workday.

    March 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  9. Azeem

    1) Women are not forced to wear the coverings; whether it may be the hijab or the full covering. It is a choice. Simply put, Muslim women choose to wear one form or the other because it shows modesty and humility amongst other ideals. You see scantly dressed women walk around and have no respect for their body (physical and spiritual aspect). Muslims believe that the beauty of women should be preserved for their loved ones–which of course means their spouses! And that is not to say some women are not forced to wear the coverings but almost all the time this is due to local tribal and government regulation that do not follow Islam but the strictest interpretation of it. Let it be known that women are converting 3:1 to Islam than men!

    March 26, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Julie in Austin

      Amein v'amein.

      I used to have Shi'a neighbors. The wife dressed modestly outside the house, but inside the house was as fashionably dressed as any other woman. I dress as modestly as my daily affairs permit and don't draw the stares and gawking that women who dress less modestly receive. I'm also taken far more seriously as a professional, in a profession that is dominated by men.

      Something to think about.

      March 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  10. Akhtar Saleem Baloch

    Its well and good but the question is that how much support or are the non muslims will agree with the muslim faith and the way of worship?if not,why?

    March 26, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  11. Muneef

    Pearls of Wisdom from Ali bin Abi Talib

    Success is the result of foresight and resolution, foresight depends upon deep thinking and planning and the most important factor of planning is to keep your secrets to yourself.

    49. Be afraid of a gentleman when he is hungry, and of a mean person when his stomach is full.

    50. Hearts of people are like wild beasts. They attach themselves to those who love and train them.

    51. So long as fortune is favouring you, your defects will remain covered.

    52. Only he who has the power to punish can pardon.

    53. Generosity is to help a deserving person without his request, and if you help him after his request, then it is either out of self-respect or to avoid rebuke.

    54. There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; no greater heritage than culture and no greater support than consultation.

    55. Patience is of two kinds: patience over what pains you, and patience against what you covet.

    56. Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land.

    57. Contentment is the capital which will never diminish.

    58. Wealth is the fountain head of passions.

    59. Whoever warns you against sins and vices is like the one who gives you good tidings.

    60. Tongue is a beast, if it is let loose, it devours.

    62. If you are greeted then return the greetings more warmly. If you are favoured, then repay the obligation manifold; but he who takes the initiative will always excel in merit.

    63. The source of success of a claimant is the mediator.

    64. People in this world are like travelers whose journey is going on though they are asleep. ( Life's journey is going on though men may not feel it ).

    65. Lack of friends means, stranger in one's own country.

    66. Not to have a thing is less humiliating than to beg it.

    67. Do not feel ashamed if the amount of charity is small because to refuse the needy is an act of greater shame.

    68. To refrain from unlawful and impious source of pleasures is an ornament to the poor and to be thankful for the riches granted is the adornment of wealth.

    69. If you cannot get things as much as you desire than be contented with what you have.

    70. An ignorant person will always overdo a thing or neglect it totally.

    71. The wiser a man is, the less talkative will he be.

    72. Time wears out bodies, renews hopes, brings death nearer and takes away aspirations. Whoever gets anything from the world lives in anxiety for holding it and whoever loses anything passes his days grieving over the loss.

    73. Whoever wants to be a leader should educate himself before educating others. Before preaching to others he should first practice himself. Whoever educates himself and improves his own morals is superior to the man who tries to teach and train others.

    74. Every breath you take is a step towards death.

    75. Anything which can be counted is finite and will come to an end.

    76. If matters get mixed up then scrutinize the cause and you will know what the effects will be.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  12. Ruth in Ohio

    I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MUSLIMS CELEBRATE ST.PATRICKS DAY,CHRISTMAS,EASTER,VETERANS DAY,MEMORIAL DAY.....IT SEEMS NO ONE IN THEIR COUNTRIES HAVE A JOB,THEY ARE ALWAYS IN THE STREETS PROTESTING SOMETHING OR PRAYING....I SAY FIX YOUR COUNTRY AND STAY IN IT ....WHY DO YOU COME HERE AND TRY TO CHANGE US TO YOUR WAYS?

    March 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Ruth in Ohio.

      You are right about that and I am sure if you decide to help them fix their countries and educate/train those at yours on how to run it successfully,then depute them to their countries supported with all that is needed to improve their living..am sure they will slowly pull out back to their countries which they hold dear in their hearts but can not live in it at it's present status...

      March 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • @Ruth in Ohio

      Ruth in Ohio

      I have seen comments similar to yours many times on this thread. The classic, "go back to your country," and to be frank, I'm very tired of it. The comment reeks of ignorance. I am an American citizen. I am a Muslim. I have lived here all my life and love this country with a passion. It gave me home, protection, education, and happiness. This IS my country. You have no right to tell any citizen to go back to their country. This land only truly belonged to the native Americans. EVERYONE else is an immigrant at some level. Convenient, how often people forget that. Be you White, African American, Chinese American, Arab American, Asian American, Mexican American, you are an immigrant. The only difference between you and me: your ancestors may have emigrated to America a few centuries ago and mine a few decades ago. This does not make me any less a citizen than you.

      March 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Abid

      Fix which country and stay there? This IS my country. Ther is nothing more un-American than suggesting your fellow Americans are not Americans. I AM a citizen of the Greatest country on Earth, USA and I AM proud to be a Muslim.

      March 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sean

      I'm Muslim and I celebrate Christmas with my Christian friends. But we can't celebrate St Patricks day though because we abstain from alcohol.

      If you get out of your country during Christmas and travel, you will see that many Muslims celebrate it with their fellow Christians. The media you so desperately depend on for knowledge doesn't show you this, so to you it means it doesn't exist.

      March 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      Brothers, you may live where ever you want it is God's land and where ever our families and friends is our homes, but that does not mean we shouldn't try to help our own homeland race to regain health and wealth...Or are you stating that having found new homes we therefore should forget our ancestors homelands and should not seek to helping them out of their hardship,poverty,ignorance that they still live with??

      March 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Imran

      But see your comment goes both ways. I'm sure no one will try to change anything here if the U.S. can stay out of everyone's way. Every household has issues. That doesn't mean that if my neighbors are fighting then I should go and beat them up. I say that if there are issues in a country 6,000 miles away, let them sort their own issues. We are not responsible for fixing everyone's issues. We should focus on our own country here. Our government should make sure that people here have food on the table. That is the duty of our government, not take our money and keep using it to throw missiles on other countries.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  13. ned

    It is not about praying 5 or 20 times a day. If the fruit is not good then the tree is not good. If in your heart you support terrorism and killing of innocent then what good it is for you to pray. Please do not portray islam superficially by telling some stories and not going in the depth.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Muneef

      Islam wars were based on that not to kill the innocents nor children nor elderly nor domesticated animals nor greens or trees. Those were the orders by the prophet of Islam....but what is happening today is some thing else that is not of Islam but more like modern politics after all it must have been learnt from those who were earlier in terrorist acts than those called the islamist terrorists....!?

      March 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Sean

      I'm Muslim, I pray 5 times a day, and I do NOT support terrorism, nor do I hate anyone. What else do you want me to do to prove it to you? I'm living my life as you do, respecting the law and the freedoms of others.

      March 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Imran

      In reading all of the comments, a normal person can come to a few conclusions:
      1) Prayers are meant for God, not for a human. If our prayers are not bringing us closer to our creator then we might as well just stop praying. Remember, we need God, He doesn't need us.
      2) 5 daily prayers are performed because these have been made obligatory upon us by the Creator.
      3) If our priorities are straight in life, prayers become much easier to perform.
      4) A person that prays 5 times a day is always a very peaceful person. Prayer helps keep the mind fresh. Think of it this way... Someone who performs Wudu (washing) and sincerely prays 5 times a day can not possibly be filthy, spiritually or physically.
      5) Comment on terrorism: If someone thinks that Islam teaches terrorism, then I would suggest that you start studying Islam. A good source http://www.alhudamke.org. Islam strictly forbids killing of the innocent. It teaches us humility. Anyone who performs an act of terrorism is automatically taken out of the folds of Islam. Simple as that. So if someone goes out and kills the innocent, he or she is no longer part of the religion.

      All of us need to clear our minds about religions. God made the humanity so they could leave in peace. Then came the politicians who, in order to stay in power, made people fight. The simple fact is that if you need to stay in power, make everyone else around you fight because then nobody will really focus on the ruler and he will be able to rule for as long as he wants.

      Cops always use a simple test when they are investigating a case. They always check to see who had most to gain from the incident. If we look at an of the recent incidents in the world in the last 10 years, we'll see that Muslims did not have anything to gain from the incidents. Their names were used for larger gains. We can thank our politicians for that.

      May God have Mercy on the Humanity.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  14. yokolee

    I seek the truth everywhere , and respect it
    whenever i find it, and i submit to it
    whenever it is shown to me~Federick the great

    March 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      yokolee.

      Well said quote;

      http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/index.php
      http://www.whyislam.org/index.php/faq-2/#Q14

      March 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  15. yokolee

    I'm speechless...i do have a lot of admiration for this people, i pray at night before i got to sleep....but i've give Jesus very little
    time of my day.....and most of the time i've always pray for faith.................

    March 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Leona Thor

      Even if you prayed once a year, if your heart is true, then God will know. Even if you prayed 24/7, if your heart is not true, then God will now that also. Love and faith is all God wants from us, and if we are endowed with the ability to love, and believe in God, then God is with us no matter what. Good and bad things happen to everyone. No one is immune to the ups and downs of life. It is how we deal with these up times and down times, that will let God know if you believe, and trust in Him.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  16. Steveo

    Maybe once muslim taith is no longer associated with terrorism and instead of something enlightened that they'e actually brought good to this earth in modern times I will think better of them. Until then its all that really comes to mind.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Sean

      Then give them a chance to do good and don't keep hating them and putting obstacles in their paths. Muslims contributed a lot while Europe was in the dark ages. Help them get back to the right road.

      March 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Leona Thor

      Terrorism has nothing to do with any faith. Terrorism has to do with an evil, sociopathic mind, and the will to inflict harm on others. Terrorism has no faith, creen or color. It is a demonic mind, trying to twist the minds of the weak to think the same way. As God has given us all a measure of faith, it is up to us what we do with it. Some never notice they they even have a little faith in them, and would not believe you if you told them because they don't want to believe. Terrorism in any form is pure evil, and is delvoped in a sick mind. Have you ever heard the expression, " he is a born leader?" Well, when we are born, we will either be a leader or a follower. You have to be a follower to learn whether you want, or can be a leader. With God at the head of your life, you will be a good leader, and teach others how to live productive lives without hurting others. Without the knowledge of God, and knowing what God wants for our lives, we will teach anyone who will follow to do what we want them to do. When we are young, it is up to our parents to obsever us, teach us, and monitor our behavior. Children should be taught at a very young age the way God want him or her to treat others. Show them the way they should grow up. Mis-treat, or abuse a child can teach a child how to hate, and want to get back at anyone who ever tries to keep him in check. Some abuse can lead to timidity, making one a follower, or it can lead to rebellion. Hit, back, take back, get back, do what ever it takes to satisfy a sick mind. Terrorism has no faith, creed or color. Terrorism is unchecked behavior developed into evilnes and wickedness, and the desire to hurt others. This is my opinion.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  17. Greg Gilbert

    Religion evolves into techniques that exist to keep the belief in the head of the effected worshiper. Praying 5 times a day keeps religious thought involved into the motivations for most of the day for those who practice this. There should be encouragement for people to pray less. In psychiatric health techniques are used to encourage the subject to use religion less in thought processes.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Greg Gilbert

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      March 25, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Candelish

      Almost every religion has had its sanctioned and unsanctioned terrorists throughout history. I am not Muslim and I may find it difficult to understand why any woman should be subordinate to a man (even the Christian religion has that one), let alone be forced to cover themselves from head to toe, but I do think that everyone needs something to believe in. Some are able to believe in themselves without a fixation on a higher being or the natural energy that inhabits all living things without a "God" overseeing the process of life, and some believe in pure science. Regardless of WHAT the belief is and whether they recognize it as a belief, everyone still believes something. For Muslims it is Islam and Mohammed. If their belief systems offer them solace and peace, then it should be celebrated for what it gives those people who believe in it, by outsiders. Outsiders may not understand the belief system, nor approve of some of the practices, but for many people that belief fills a hole inside them that without it would cause unrest for that person AND people around them. No matter what religion or belief, as long as it assists the majority of people to lead a good life, I think it should be celebrated. There is room for everyone and if we spent more time trying to understand each other and trying to reach mutually beneficial compromises instead of letting fear, anger and pride step in, this would be a much better world. The caveat to this is the individuals bent on causing harm. Look at the crusades – from both sides- could not they be termed "terrorists" in this day and age and yet they were just following their religious leaders mandates. Does this not sound familiar? How about when the Catholic Church turned against the knights’ templar and strove to eradicate them after excommunication, would they not have been considered terrorists after a fashion? I just think we should keep this in mind as we condemn the entire Muslim religion for what only some clerics are pushing their followers to do.

      March 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • @Candelish

      I agree with you in that we are obligated by our humanity to understand all beliefs and non-beliefs and celebrate them. And in that spirit, I would like to clarify something that you brought up which I have noticed as a recurring theme on this thread, Islam's view on women. Many people seem to think that Islam's view on women is that they are inferior to men, when in actuality this is completely untrue. Islam, at its very core, not only promotes but also enforces equality among men and women. The Quran encourages women to seek knowledge and education, even if takes them to far away lands. She is urged to find happiness, to make a good life for herself. She is encouraged to explore the world with open curiosity, to understand it, to grasp its complexities, and to even surpass men in seeking knowledge if that is her desire. Any countries in the middle-east that are currently preventing women from that opportunity are not representing Islam but instead reflecting the political agenda of their political figures. In fact, Islam views it a sin to treat a woman inferior to a man. Islam preached equality for men and women decades ago when Hindu women were cremated alive with their widowed husbands in Sati. Islam continued to preach equality between men and women when even America did not allow its women the right to vote. I think the reason it has become false mainstream belief that women are treated as being inferior to men is because many Muslim women choose to wear either the burka, niqab, or hijab. But this is untrue. The key word being they CHOOSE to wear these garments. Muslims believe that God forbade his humans from doing only those things that would prvent them from leading a healthy life style. Well, really, isn't that what any religions wants? To prevent you from doing the things that can harm you? The reason Muslim women choose to wear either the burka, niqab, or hijab is to cover their breasts, hips, legs, and long lustrous hair, things that give the female form beauty, things that Muslims believe a woman has the right to exclusively share with the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. The concept of cover was created by God as a form of protection of women, most definitely not oppression.

      March 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Leona Thor

      Religion is taught mostly from childhood. Those who pray on a continually may be doing so because this is the way they have been taught, some may pray continuously, because they feel the need. Who is to say, but most of all why say anything about how many times a person or group wants to pray. No matter who you are, or what your religion is, or what you may have been taught, if your prays are not coming from the heart, they are only heard by the people standing near, and the person who is doing the praying. God want your love, and your faith, and however you give these to Him is up to you, for God only receives what is true.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  18. Yadu

    Thanks for 8 different reasons why Muslim people do pray five times daily? I don't think it is logical reasons because where you work, you have to pray and respect that work rathan than leaving the duties and praying five times daily. It hampers the person's duties. So, you should be more scientist rathan than spritualists.
    yadu

    March 25, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Muneef

      The five times daily prayers could take a man less than 5 to 10 minutes each time but for the extra prayers that are of not the official 5 times,the prayers&reciting the Quran can be extended to hours specially those between midnight and before sunrise being the most favorable times for peaceful spiritual worship and prayers.....!

      March 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Sean

      People go on 30 min bathroom breaks at work. And go on several 10 min smoking breaks. I don't see you complaining about them. Why he double standard? What is your REAL issue with Muslims?

      March 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Abdulmajeed

      Yadu,
      Math and other sciences were started by Muslims. So it is not a good point of argument 🙂

      March 27, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  19. Paul

    We are pathetic as a species. In 2011 we continue to argue with and slaughter each other over which ancient desert tribal voodoo cult one follows. Fear the power of Thor! Intelligent species? I think not.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Leona Thor

      My dear Paul, I think ignorance is a better word than pathetic. We have become a society of greed, vanity, selfishness, impatience, low-self esteem, but most of all, too much in a hurry to step on one person to get to the top of whatever, eventhough most of us don't know what the top is, or how to deal with it when we think we are there. We are lost souls, without any meaningful foundation of truth or beginning. We forget the little people, and the little things that truly matter to the strength of our charachter and integrity. We need God in our lives more than ever to survive with meaning and purpose. We have forgotten the the eleventh Commandment of God. Love ye one another.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  20. JB

    No matter how much the haters try,..the light of islam will envelop the whole world before the end of time.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:01 am |
    • Steveo

      That thinking is part of the problem. People dont want to be muslim and you must accept that. Terror and war is only making the weak submit, the strong will stay true to their own faith be it chistian judiasm or aethist.

      March 25, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • James

      Not if 99% of the USA Population can help it !!!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      JB.

      Islam since it became to life upto few decades ago was living in peace and respect with various beliefs until recent politics that had made this crack scattering those in different directions....adding to that the thugs that been implemented among us to keep them nations/faiths/paths scattered for a reason of keeping it weak as broken voices rather one strong voice....

      March 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Leona Thor

      There is only one God. He has many names, as there are many religions. The True light that anyone will see will come from the one God we all pray in our own faiths. God sent people all over the world, and if He want everyone to speak the same, pray the same, be the same; He would have kept us all in the same place. All of us need to learn how to follow the Ten simple rules that God gave us to follow, and if we did this, realizing that there is no one on this earth any better than another, if we learned and adhere to these simple rules, we would all be better off. God is awesome, and He loves each and everone of us the same, no matter who you are, or where you come from. Know this: the more you pray to God, the more He knows you love Him back. For all the poor sould who do not know how to pray, just say: "Help me Lord." Then begin treating others the way you want to be treated. Most of all, open your heart. God can't help you if your heart is closed as well as your mind. Remember, God loves us all! Pray people, Pray now more than you ever have collectively in your whole life. Our God, (this means everyone) is an awesome God, and He knows us better than we know ourselves.

      March 27, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • thorrsman

      By the ravens of Odin, JB, are you ever reading the wrong books!

      Islam will try of advance through guile if it can, by the sword if it must.

      Guile fools very few. And if you turn to the sword, well, bring it on. The Gods favor the brave.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • thorrsman

      A life properly lived is a prayer to the Gods.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • EJL

      Islamic religion may envelop the world but science will envelop Islamic religion as it will all the worlds religions. You cannot envelop science not matter how hard you try. End religion and make the world a truly free place for all to live.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Wilbur

      Jb,

      Haters? Ironic considering the most common daily prayer in Islam curses the Jews and Christians! It says: "The path of those on whom You have bestowed your favor, not of those who have earned Your anger, nor of those who go astray.". Well at least with your words and the actions of your coreligionists cursing non Muslims five times a day we now know with out doubt your religion in the most intolerant of all. Rest assured we will never submit to your mad prophet and his imaginary friend Allah but will fight ton the death to stop it's spread!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Zargoth

      Some of us value our freedom from religion.

      Would you then kill me if I do not want to be Muslim? (Or anything else for that matter!)

      March 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • ams

      I am an Atheist I don't believe in God, are you going to declare me heretic and attack me. God is a just such as stupid concept always employed by the elites of any society to get people to focus on an after life while their current life is oppressed and they are denied basic liberties to achieve their full potential as a human being. Religion is probably the worst invention of Human history, I see a day in the future when Humans will celebrate the end of religion day.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Jack Chambers

      This is part of the problem in the USA, JB a muslim I am assuming makes a statement to indicate that the light of Islam will envelope the world meaning that it will not be brought down by the haters, and everyone on the board takes it to mean that everyone will convert to Islam!!!! THAT'S NOT WHAT IT MEANS!!!!!!!!! IN ISLAM YOU CANNOT FORCE SOMEONE TO CONVERT TO THE RELIGION!!!!! AS THE QURAN STATES!!! THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tunder Wotan VanHican

      for 'ams', right on, except you simply do not know if God, whatever that is other than the simple happenstance of evolution, may have, at least, genetically engineered us to be very different than other animals here. The existance of a God that did something to make us very different than other animals is not harmful to us, but you are correct, these religions certainly are. Tthen again, while some people, even a lawyer I know, claim God caused more wars than anything else, I didn't realize God was involved in the American Revolutionary or Civil War, or the wars against the Natives of America, or the Napoleonic and Nazi wars (the more recent Civil Wars of Europe). And I certainly did not hear of a God involved in the Viet Nam war. So while their is much to blame these religions for, there is plenty of fault in humanity without religion too.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      God was not behind the killing of man by man....when he could have killed all with out the need for man to do it on his behalf... It was man greed and other interests that has made him to take that task in to his hand in the name of God and Religions.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
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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.