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The five pillars of islam

The Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam form the identity of Muslims all around the globe. These pillars are mandatory upon every Muslim and characterise their belief, faith and practices.

These five pillars are

The Shahada (Testimony of Faith)

Salah (Prayer)

Zakat (Charity)

Siyam (Fasting)

Hajj (Pilgrimage)

The Shahada (Testimony of Faith)
The first pillar of Islam is to bear witness that, “There is no deity worthy of worship in truth except Allah and that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is His Messenger.” This is the most important as the whole religion revolves around this simple but powerful statement. By saying these words, Muslims confirm their belief in the oneness of Allah and their complete acceptance of Islam.

Salah (Prayer)
Salah, is the second pillar. The Islamic faith is based on the belief that individuals have a direct relationship with God. The world’s Muslims turn individually and collectively to Makkah, Islam’s holiest city, to offer five daily prayers at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. In addition, Friday congregational service is also required. Although salahcan he performed alone, it is meritorious to perform it with another person or with a group. It is permissible to pray at home, at work, or even outdoors; however, it is recommended that Muslims perform salah in a mosque.

Zakat (Charity)
Social responsibility is considered part of one’s service to God; the obligatory act of zakat embodies this duty. Zakat prescribes the payment of fixed proportions of a Muslim’s possessions for the welfare of the entire community and in particular for its neediest members. It is equal to 2.5% of an individual’s total net worth, excluding obligations and family expenses.

Siyam (Fasting)
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam. Ordained in the Holy Qur’an, the fast is an act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a richer perception of God. Fasting is also an exercise in self-control whereby one’s sensitivity is heightened to the sufferings of the poor.Ramadan, the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), begins with the sighting of the new moon, after which abstention from eating, drinking and other sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset.
Ramadan is also a joyful month. Muslims break their fast at sunset with a special meal,IIftar, perform additional nocturnal worship,Tarawih, after evening prayer. The end of Ramadan is observed by a day of celebration called Eid Al-Fitr, the feast of the breaking of the fast. Customarily, it is a time for family reunion and the favoured holiday for children who receive new clothing and gifts.

Hajj (Pilgrimage)
The pilgrimage to Makkah is the fifth pillar and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity in the world. For those Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah, the Hajj is a once in a lifetime duty that is the peak of their religious life. The Hajj is a remarkable spiritual gathering of over two million Muslims from all over the world to the holy city. In performing the Hajj, a pilgrim follows the order of ritual that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) performed during his last pilgrimage.