5 PILLARS of ISLAM
The 'Five Pillars of Islam' are the five obligations of a Muslim.
The Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam. It is the declaration of faith:
”I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, the one alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is his messenger.”
This pillar emphasizes that Muslims should believe that there is just one creator of all mankind.
The second part of the declaration is Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the final and last messenger of God.
Salah, also written as Salat, is the second Pillar of Islam and the act of obligatory daily prayer that is carried out five times a day at set times. The five prayer times fall between sunrise and midnight, although the times change depending on where you are in the world and the time of year, in line with the lunar calendar.
Zakat is the third pillar of Islam; it literally means ‘to cleanse’ but is recognised by many as ‘charity’.
Every year, Muslims pay a 2.5% share of their held wealth (cash, property, gold, and silver) over a certain threshold to charity to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Charity every year is a part of a Muslim’s duty depending on how much they earn. They need to help those who are less fortunate.
Sawm (Fasting) is the fourth pillar of Islam. The term Sawm means to fast, which is where the month of Ramadan comes in. Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is more than simply avoiding food. It is the practice of discipline and the abstaining of temptations and bad habits. From sunrise to sunset, able Muslims should avoid food and drink (including water), sexual activity, smoking and intoxication and any impure thoughts.
Fasting teaches us the value of food, each and every crumb, the value of each drop of water and staying away from sin.
It is a purification process where it cleanses the heart and soul. Fasting increases God consciousness.
The fifth and final pillar of Islam is Hajj. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a time that Muslims from around the world congregate in Makkah/Mecca to worship Allah (the most glorified, the most high) and perform several rituals to strengthen their faith and devotion. Pilgrims must wear plain white clothing and enter a spiritual state of holiness, known as Ihram. Ihram helps promote unity amongst the Ummah in attendance, for no man or women, rich or poor, resident or traveller, stands above another. Regardless of our age, ethnicity, status and race, in the eyes of Allah (the most glorified, the most high), we are all equal.