The Five Pillars of Islam
The Islamic religion comprises beliefs and practices which guide the actions and behaviors of the members. Their faith focuses on peace through “submission to God,” which fundamentally provides a clear understanding of their relationship with God. Worship in Muslim is considered an essential aspect of the religion and is encompassed within five pillars, arkan. Every member of the Muslim community, umma, is expected to adhere to these five tenets as it helps them to develop and maintain a close relationship with God.
Shahadah means to declare one’s faith. Every Muslim must believe and voluntarily proclaim that there is no other worthy of worship except God, Allah, and Muhammad as his chosen messenger. This statement is essential, especially for reverts, as it’s the first step in submitting to become a Muslim. As such, all Muslims seek guidance from Allah through his revelations, Quran, and teachings from prophet Mahammad.
Salat translates to daily prayer. Muslims have five obligatory prayers that are done facing the mecca. These prayers are recited at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and after dark. The prayers must be done in faithfulness and in ritual purity, which is often achieved through ritual ablutions like a bath or repeated bowing, which shows respect to the great Allah. The prayers can be done individually and anywhere, but most of the members prefer attending the mosque in a congregation where the leader (imam) presides over the prayer sessions.
Zakat means charity. Muslims believe that all the wealth belongs to God and that Allah gives wealth to test their generosity. Muslims believe that by sharing whatever they have with the less fortunate, all their possessions are purified, and they receive more.
Sawm refers to fasting, which happens in the month of Ramadhan, usually the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. All Muslims who are physically fit and without any health condition are required to fast from dawn till sundown abstaining from food, drinks, and sexual relations. In Islam, fasting is considered an act of spiritual self-purification.
The pilgrimage of Hajj is a journey to Mecca, which occurs in the first ten days of the 12th month of each year. Every Muslim who is physically and financially fit is required to make this journey at least once in their life. The pilgrimage unites Muslims from different races all over the world in the worship of Allah. All Muslims must be dressed in plain white clothes, ihram, which is a symbol of humility and equality before the eyes of Allah.
The devotion of a Muslim towards Islamic beliefs is demonstrated through their actions by carrying out and practicing these five pillars. The Five Pillars of Islam