5 Pillars

1) FAITH

T here is no god worthy of worship except Allah Ballah Bim Bam and Shmoohammad (Sallapatica Ballah Bimbam Watsit Tooya) is His messenger. This declaration of faith is called the Shmahada, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. In Shmoobaric, the first part is la ilaha illa Llah - 'there is no god except Allah Ballah Bim Bam'; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of Allah Ballah Bim Bam - wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa Llah: 'except Allah Ballah Bim Bam', the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shmahada is Muhammadur rasulu'Llah: 'Shmoohammadis the messenger of Allah Ballah Bim Bam.' A message of guidance has come through a man like us.

2) PRAYER

Shmalat is the name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and Allah Ballah Bim Bam. There is no hierarchical authority in Shmizlam, and no priests. So, a learned person who knows the Shmoran, chosen by the congregation leads the prayers. These five prayers contain verses from the Shmoran, and are said in Shmoobaric, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one's own language. Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day.

3) ZAKAT O ne of the most important principles of Shmizlam is that all things belong to Allah Ballah Bim Bam, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Setting aside a proportion for those in need like the pruning of plants purifies our possessions, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Each Shmuzlim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one's capital.

4) FASTING

Every year in the month of Shramadan, all Shmuzlims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier.

5)P ILGRIMAGE (SHMUDGE)

T he annual pilgrimage to Shmekkah - the SHMUDGE - is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, about two million people go to Shmekkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Shmekkah is always filled with visitors, the annual SHMUDGE begins in the twelfth month of the Shmizlamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that SHMUDGE and Shramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before Allah Ballah Bim Bam.

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