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The Five Pillars of Islam

Islam signifies "to submit to God” and it is based on tenets, known as the “Five Pillars of Islam”. All followers of Islamic, also called Umma, must adhere to these 5 tenets. 

The Five Pillars are the core beliefs and practices of Islam.  

First Pillar: Shahada- Profession of Faith   

The Shahada simply states that, 

“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”  

It is the most fundamental expression of Muslims and Islamic belief.  

It emphasizes Islam's monotheistic nature and is a popular phrase in Arabic, appearing in several manuscripts and on religious buildings. 

This phrase, written in Arabic, is often prominently featured in the holy Qur'an. 

Second Pillar: Salat- Daily Prayer 

Muslims pray five times a day, facing Mecca and the Kaa’aba: at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening. Prayer usually consists of reciting the first chapter; sura of the Qur'an and is performed on a rug or mat known as a Masallah or Janamaz.  

Muslims can pray individually or collectively at a mosque, where the imam (prayer leader) leads the assembly.   

On Friday, men gather in the mosque for noon prayer; women are welcome but not obligated to attend. Following the prayer, a sermon focuses on a Qur'anic passage, followed by prayers by the imam and a discussion of a specific religious topic. 

Third Pillar: Zakat- Alms Giving 

The giving of alms is the third pillar of Islam. 

In accordance with Islamic law, Muslims donate a fixed portion of their income and wealth to community members in need. This is known as Zakat. 

Many monarchs and rich Muslims construct mosques, drinking fountains, hospitals, schools, and other facilities as a religious obligation as well as to ensure the blessings connected with generosity. 

Fourth Pillar: Sawm- Fasting  

During the daylight hours of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, all healthy adult Muslims are required to abstain from food and drink.  

Through this temporary deprivation, they rediscover and express thanks for all that Allah has given them, especially the Qur'an, which was initially revealed during this month. 

They share the hunger and thirst of the needy throughout Ramadan as a reminder of their Islamic duty to assist the less fortunate. 

Fifth Pillar: Hajj- Pilgrimage  

Every Muslim who is in good health and has the resources to do so must pay at least one visit to Mecca, located in modern-day Saudi Arabia.  

On the eighth and twelfth days of the last month of the Islamic calendar, believers from all over the world come together to perform Hajj.  

The Five Pillars of Islam provide a framework for the religious and spiritual practices of Muslims worldwide, serving as a guiding principle towards leading a life of faith, devotion, and righteousness. 


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