The 5 Pillars of faith
The 5 Pillars of Faith
Faith: The most important pillar is the testimony
of faith, called the Shahada: “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadun rasoolu
Allah,” meaning “There is no true god but God (Allah), and Mohammed is
the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” This simple statement expresses a
Muslim's full commitment to the teachings of Islam
- Prayer: Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers said five
times a day. The Islamic faith believes that individuals have a direct
relationship with God, and the prayers represent the direct link between the
worshipper and God. Prayers are said at dawn, noon, midafternoon, sunset and
nightfall, with the worshippers facing Mecca.
- Charity (Zakat): Zakat refers to the financial obligations required
of adherents. A key principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God,
and that wealth is only held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means
both "purification" and "growth." Each year a Muslim
calculates his or her own zakat. Most adherents use a benchmark of 2 1/2 %
of an individual's capital, given annually to the needy or for religious
- Fasting: Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from
first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations.
The fast is used as a method of self-purification. By forgoing worldly
comforts, the fasting person seeks to gain a richer perception of God and a
heightened sensitivity to the sufferings of the poor.
- Pilgrimage (Hajj): The annual pilgrimage to Mecca -- the Hajj -- is
considered the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity. It
is an obligation for those who are physically and financially able to
perform it at least once in life.