According to the Prophet Islam (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)notable saying of the consists of five pillars which are as follows: Shahadah (affirmation of the faith), that is, witnessing that La ilaha illa'Llah (There is no divinity but Allah) and Muhammadun rasul Allah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah); the five daily prayers (al-salat) which Muslims perform facing Makkah; Al-sawm (fasting) in the month of Ramadan; fasting from dawn to sunset ; making the pilgrimage to Makkah (al-hajj) at least once in a life-time if one's financial and physical conditions permit it; and giving a 2.5 % tax (al-zakat) on one's capital which is used for the needs of the community. Muslims are also commanded to exhort others to perform good acts and to abstain from evil. Ethics lies at the heart of Islamic teachings and all men and women are expected to act ethically towards each other at all times. As the Prophet has said, "None of you is a believer until you love for your brother what you love for yourself."
As for faith according to Islam (al-iman), it means having faith in Allah, His angels, His books, His Prophet, the Day of Judgment and Allah's determination of human destiny. It is important to understand that the definition of al-iman refers to books and prophets in the plural thus pointing directly to the universality of revelation and respect for other religions emphasized so much in the Qur’aan . There is also the important concept, al-ihsan or virtue, which means to worship Allah as if one sees Him, knowing that even if one does not see Him, He sees us. It means to remember Allah at all times and marks the highest level of being a Muslim.
Al-Shari'ah( Islamic Law)
Islam possesses a religious law called al-Shari'ah in Arabic which governs the life of Muslims and which Muslims consider to be the embodiment of the Will of Allah. The Shari'ah is contained in principle in the Qur’aan as elaborated and complemented by the Sunnah. On the basis of these principles the schools of law which are followed by all Muslims to this day were developed early in Islamic history. This Law, while being rooted in the sources of the Islamic revelation, is a living body of law which caters to the needs of Islamic society .
Islamic laws are essentially preventative and are not based on harsh punishment except as a last measure. The faith of the Muslim causes him to have respect for the rights of others and Islamic Law is such that it prevents transgression from taking place in most instances. That is why what people consider to be harsh punishments are so rarely in need of being applied.
The Spread of Islam
From the oasis cities of Makkah and Madinah in the Arabian desert, the message of Islam went forth with electrifying speed. Within half a century of the Prophet's death, Islam had spread to three continents. Islam is not, as some imagine in the West, a religion of the sword nor did it spread primarily by means of war. It was only within Arabia, where a crude form of idolatry was rampant, that Islam was propagated by warring against those tribes which did not accept the message of Allah --whereas Christians and Jews were not forced to convert. Outside of Arabia also the vast lands conquered by the Arab armies in a short period became Muslim not by force of the sword but by the appeal of the new religion. It was faith in One Allah and emphasis upon His Mercy that brought vast numbers of people into the fold of Islam. The new religion did not coerce people to convert. Many continued to remain Jews and Christians and to this day important communities of the followers of these faiths are found in Muslim lands.
Moreover, the spread of Islam was not limited to its miraculous early expansion outside of Arabia. During later centuries the Turks embraced Islam peacefully as did a large number of the people of the Indian subcontinent and the Malay-speaking world. In Africa also, Islam has spread during the past two centuries even under the mighty power of European colonial rulers. Today Islam continues to grow not only in Africa but also in Europe and America where Muslims now comprise a notable minority.