Pillars of Islam
Pillars of Islam
Pillars of Islam
Islam has five pillars (obligations) which all Muslims have to fulfill during their lifetime. The pillars (arkan) are as follows:
  1. Shahadatin (two testimonies):
  1. Muslims bear witness that "There is no God but Allah (God); and
  2. that Muhammad is His Messenger." These two testimonies represent the Muslims’ acceptance and commitment to Islam.
  1. Salah (prayer): salah is the second pillar of Islam. Muslims perform salah five times a day. Muslims all over the world turn their faces towards Makkah (Mecca) when performing the five daily prayers at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. To add, Friday (Jumua) salah is a collective salah performed at the mosque. Muslims can perform salah individually but it is preferable to perform it collectively. Salah can be performed at home or work place. It is preferable to perform salah in a mosque.
  2. Zakat is payment made annually under Islamic Sharia (law) on certain kinds of property and used for charitable and religious purposes. It is meant to support the community in general and neediest in particular. Zakat amount is equal to 2.5 percent of an individual's total net worth, excluding obligations and family expenses.
  3. Sawm (fasting Ramadan):  Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Sawm is an act of deep personal worship. Sawm teaches Muslims self-control and raises their awareness of the suffering of the poor and needy.  Ramadan is the month during which the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims give up eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activities from dawn to sunset. In addition to abstention from physical things during Ramadan, Muslims are expected to do their best to avoid evil thoughts and deeds.
Muslims who are physically or mentally unwell may be excused. The very old, pregnant, breast-feeding, menstruating, or travelling people are excused.
If adults do not fast for the above reasons, they should try to make up the fast at a later date. They can make a donation to the poor instead.
At the end ofRamadan, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr for three days. The celebration is a time for family, friends and relatives reunion.
  1. Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) is the fifth pillar of Islam. It manifests unity among the Muslims from around the world. Hajj is obligatory on the Muslims who are physically and financially able. It is a duty performed one time in a lifetime. When performing the Hajj, pilgrims follow the order of ritual that Prophet Muhammad performed during his last hajj.
The five pillars of Islam represent the identity of Muslims around the world in terms of their faith, beliefs and practices.