What One Should Know - The 5 Pillars of Islam

What are The Five Pillars of Islam? The 5 Pillars of Islam are essential to every true Muslim - regardless of age or country of origin. The 5 Pillars of Islam make up what is considered the core beliefs and practices of Islam. They are the testimony of faith, daily prayer, charity, fasting during Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Five Pillars of Islam (arkan al-Islam; also arkan ad-din, "pillars of the religion") are five bare acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all followers of the Islamic faith. It is a necessary term and a concept in the Muslim religion. In Arabic, one may refer to the five pillars as the 'the roots of Islam.' These five bare acts are central to the faith and are mandatory for every Muslim who wants to practice Islam as a way of life. 

5 pillars of islam

The five pillars are fundamental because they define the Muslims by describing what they believe and how they live their lives: their beliefs, practices, worship, behavior, and attitude towards others.

In this article, I want to talk about the Five Pillars of Islam briefly. The Five Pillars of Islam is one of the essential doctrines of the Islamic religion that every Muslim must follow or face the consequences if they do not follow them. If one does not know what these five pillars are and would like to know, read on. One might learn something new!

What are the five pillars of Islam?

The Five Pillars of Islam are core tenets of the Islamic faith that all Muslims must live by, regardless of sector or ethnicity. 

  1. The first pillar is to testify that there is only one God and that Muhammad ﷺ is God's messenger (Shahada). 
  2. The second pillar is prayer. The purpose of prayer is to connect oneself with the creator five times daily spiritually.
  3. The third pillar is giving zakat, a charitable contribution based on income and wealth. It consists of money is giving to the poor and those in need. Zakat consists of donating 2.5% of the income or wealth to people who are in need.
  4. The fourth pillar is fasting during Ramadan — no eating, drinking, smoking, or sexual activity between sunrise and sunset. 
  5. Moreover, the fifth pillar is Hajj, which requires every Muslim who can afford it to visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

Muhammad ﷺ founded Islam around the year 610, and Muslims recognize his revelations in the Quran as God's final truth. The Five Pillars of Islam builds a complete picture of the Islamic faith and contrasts it to other monotheistic religions.

What is the Importance of the Five Pillars of Islam? 

The religion of Islam, which can be understood as submission to God or submitting one's will to the will of God, encourages its followers to practice five acts referred to as the Five Pillars of Islam. 

  1. Each pillar is like a building block for the individual and therefore serves an equally important purpose in working towards a pious life.
  2. These are the framework of Muslim life.
  3. To become a follower of Islam, specifically within the Sunnis or Sunnism, one must follow all five pillars of Islam.
  4. There is much more meaning behind this guide for living as a Muslim than meets the eye. However, if someone looks at the purpose of everything we do in Islam, we will realize that every action is related to one of the five pillars that we take in our daily lives.

The Five Pillars of Islam:

Here we are going to describe in-depth each of them.

Shahada: is to believe in the oneness of God and that Muhammad ﷺ is God's messenger. 

It is a belief that "I bear witness that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is His Messenger, peace is upon him." Muhammad ﷺ, peace be upon him sent by God to tell people what He taught them about Himself. His activities make up the description of a messenger: He helped people by giving them revelation. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) received revelations from God sent through angels, preaching to the people. He preached Islam when everyone in the society was polytheist, treated women as property, and when corruption was widespread. Islam gave equal rights to everyone, including the Arabs and non-Arabs, and women, which caused many conflicts because the Arabs back then did not like this notion of being on the same level as someone who was dark-skinned or with women. Muhammed (PBUH) was the backbone of his nation, always preaching for kindness, equality, and the oneness of God.

Prayer (Salat)

Prayer (salat) is the second pillar of Islam. Pray five times a day, and spiritually connect with the creator. Muslims pray, facing Mecca five times a day: at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and after dark. While it is obligatory to perform Salah in every prayer environment, some consider it sufficient to focus on one specific action during each Salah.

One can believe that this is the first step towards realizing God's greatness and extending life with Him is through sincere and sincere prayers and good deeds. One way to pray is salaam or prostrating ourselves before God with genuine heart and mind hoping and praying that He will help us in our times of need. 

Alms (Zakat)

The third pillar of Islam is Zakat, or almsgiving, which gives alms to the poor or the worthy once a year. In one way or another, all of us have contributed to this activity. Whether it has been pennies or dollars, good or bad, we have the guide by our religion to help those in need. 

For every sane, adult Muslim who owns over a certain amount of wealth known as the nisab, he or she must pay 2.5% of that wealth as zakat. Many wealthy may build mosques, hospitals, or schools. As we accomplish a task or fulfill a religious obligation, we should remember this and share it with others. 

Fasting (Sawm)

Sawm is the fourth pillar of Islam, which means asceticism or self-restraint in all areas of life. Before other good actions or acts such as prayers and charity work, it forms an essential part. Allah as a means of keeping ourselves pure and clean from Satan's influence. 

Moreover, it is an essential means for helping others adhere to Islam and carries great significance as it brings closer all the good and bad deeds we have done over the past few days.

Pilgrimage (Hajj)

Hajj, or the pilgrimage, is the fifth pillar of Islam. Every Muslim whose health and finances permit it must visit the holy city of Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia at least once. Here the Ka'ab, a cubical structure covered in black embroidered hangings, is in the center of the Haram Mosque in Mecca. Here they give alms and presents to the people there and seek the forgiveness of their Lord by performing special prayers and giving gifts. The standards for reaching this pillar differ from one place to another, but all Muslims must perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime.

5 pillars of islam

Conclusion:

Islam is a religion that encourages moderate conduct towards others, including non-violence, charity, compassion, honest relationships, and self-restraint. The 5 pillars of Islam represent the attributes of human nature. No one can ignore them, especially when acting simply as worshiping God alone without bringing other people into one's own worshiping experience. 

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Author: Saba Khalil

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