The Five Pillars of Islam

The ritual obligations of Muslims are called the Five Pillars. They are viewed as compulsory for individuals who are sane and have passed the age of puberty.

  1. Shahadalā ʾilāha ʾillā-llā muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh – meaning There is no god but God and Muhammad is His messenger
  2.  Salat, or ritual prayer. These prayers are done five times a day, at set strict times, with the individual facing Makka. The prayers are performed at: Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (noon), ʿAṣr (afternoon), Maghrib (evening), and ʿIshāʾ (night).
  3.  Zakat, which is compulsory charity. Any Muslim who is holding more than a certain amount of wealth during the year [ ~£1000 ] MUST give 2.5% of their wealth in tax, excluding the property that they reside in.
  4. Sawm, or fasting. Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan.
  5. Hajj, or pilgrimage. During one’s lifetime, a Muslim is required to make the pilgrimage to Makka, when they can afford it, during the 12th month of the lunar calendar. The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba termed Tawaf, walking seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah termed Sa’yee, spending the afternoon on Mount Arafat in prayer, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina termed Ramee.

Hadith (Sahih Muslim): A man came to the Prophet (peace be with him) and said: Direct me to a deed which draws me near to Paradise and takes me away from the Fire (of Hell). Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) said: You worship Allah and never associate anything with Him, establish prayer, and pay Zakat, and do good to your kin. When he turned his back, the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) remarked : If he adheres to what he has been told to do, he would enter Paradise.

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