What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?
- The Testimony of FaithThe testimony of faith is saying with conviction, “La ilâha illa Allah, Muhammadun rasoolu Allah.” This saying means, “There is no true god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” The first part, “There is no true god but God,” means that none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, and that God has neither partner nor son. This testimony of faith is called the ‘Shahada’, a simple formula which should be said with conviction in order to convert to Islam. The testimony of faith is the most important pillar of Islam.
- PrayerMuslims perform five prayers a day. Each prayer does not take more than a few minutes to perform. Prayer in Islam is a direct link between the worshipper and God. There are no intermediaries between God and the worshipper. In prayer, a person feels inner happiness, peace, and comfort, and that God is pleased with him or her.
Prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night. A Muslim may pray almost anywhere is assumed to be clean such as in fields, offices, factories, or universities.
- Alms Giving; Zakât, (obligatory support of the Needy)All things belong to God, and wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The original meaning of the word zakat is both ‘purification’ and ‘growth.’ Giving zakat means ‘giving a specified percentage on certain properties to certain classes of needy people.
Our possessions are purified by setting aside a small portion for those in need, and it is alike the pruning of plants for this cutting let back balances and encourages new growth.
A person may also give as much as he or she pleases as voluntary alms or charity.
- Fasting the Month of RamadanEvery year in the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Although the fast is beneficial to health, it is regarded principally as a method of spiritual self-purification. By cutting oneself off the worldly comforts even if it is performed for a short time.
- The Pilgrimage to MakkahThe annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah is an obligation once during a lifetime for those who are physically and financially able to perform it.
Yasser Gabr & Houda Karkour, Islamic Propagation Office in Rabwah, Riyadh