Pillars are the foundation and support of each and everything. A house also needs foundations to stand on the earth. Similarly, children require a good foundation of education in their childhood to become brilliant students in the future. “The Five Pillars of Islam are the core beliefs and practices of Islam.”
What are the Five Pillars of Islam:
The pillars of Islam are the foundation of the Islamic religion. Islam stands on these five main pillars. These pillars are 5 essential practices that all Muslims are obligated to fulfill throughout life.
Pillars of Islam are considered compulsory for all sincere followers of the Prophet Hazrat MUHAMMAD (SAW), male, female, Shi’a, and Sunni, but that does not mean that all those who identify as Muslims keep them consistently.
The five most critical Islamic practices, called the five pillars of Islam, are as follows.
- SHAHADA (Faith)
- Salah (prayer)
- Alms (Zakat)
- Sawm (Fasting)
- Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Shahada is a profession of faith. The Shahada is all Muslims’ introductory statement of faith and devotion. One becomes a Muslim by reciting SHAHADA.
“The belief is that there is no GOD but Allah, and Muhammad (SAW) is the last Prophet of ALLAH.” This set statement is usually recited in Arabic.
“La ilaha illa- llahu Muhammad-ur- Rasulu-llah”
The recitation of Shahada three times in front of witnesses is a requirement for becoming a true Muslim. The recitation of SHAHADA in prayer each day serves to remind Muslims of this belief.
The first Shahada promotes the unity of the faith and claims that there is no God but ALLAH. Shahada is the first and most important pillar of Islam.
The Shahada is the first thing said to a newborn Muslim and the last thing to a person on their deathbed. This shows how the pillars are instrumental from the day a Muslim is born until he dies.
The second pillar of Islam is Salah (Prayer). Muslim’s body must be clean before prayer and then make ablution (Wadu). A series of positions accompany the prayer, including; bowing with hands on knees, standing, prostrating, and sitting in a unique position, not on the heels nor the buttocks—the ritual prayer required of every Muslim five times a day throughout their lifetime. Salah is an essential pillar of Islam through which all Muslims confirm the will of ALLAH.
Prayer is performed five times a day.
- Fajr at dawn
- Zuhr at noon
- Asar at mid-afternoon
- Maghrib at sunset
- Isha at after dark
The above prayers are performed in the direction of Makkah. Friday is set aside as the day of Jumma. In prayer, Muslims recite verses from Holy QURAN. Muslims offer prayer on a small rug or mat. Muslims can offer prayer individually at any location or together in a Mosque, where Imam guides the congregation.
The third pillar of Islam is Zakat, in which Muslims give a specific percentage of wealth to those in need throughout their lifetime. It means purification, which indicates that payment makes the rest of one’s wealth legally and religiously pure. In Zakat, Muslims have to deduct a certain amount of their wealth, usually about 2.5% of the individual’s wealth. Zakat is necessary for all Muslims who can do so. It is each Muslim’s responsibility to ease others’ economic hardship.
Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. It is a specific month called Ramadan, and the fasting acts will be this month. During daylight in Ramadan, Muslims are expected to fast. During daylight, healthy adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, sexual activity, and smoking. They break the fast with a meal after sunset.
Through this fasting, Muslims realize the hardships of poor people and feel gratitude for everything that ALLAH has provided in their lives. Muslims recite the Holy QURAN in the Holy month of Ramadan.
The fifth pillar of Islam is Hajj and duty for every Muslim at least once in their lifetime if he is able. Different people from different locations come to one destination called Makkah.
The Muslims wear the same dress during Hajj, called “Ihram.” The people are reminded that all are equal before ALLAH. Men wear 2 white fabrics, while ladies wear a less complex type of ordinary dress.
The main rituals of the Hajj include:
- Walking seven times around the Kaaba called Tawaf.
- Touching the black stone called “Istilam.”
- Traveling seven-time on the mount of SAFA and MARWA called SA’YEE.
- Stoning the devil in MINA called Ramee.
After Hajj, on Eid, the pilgrims sacrificed the animals.
Facts about the five pillars of Islam:
- Shahada, praying daily, serves to remind Muslims of this integral belief.
- Salah occurs five times a day and offers five different opportunities; our purpose in this life is to worship him.
- Sawn gives Muslims the opportunity to gather control over human needs.
- Zakat once a year, ensuring that wealth is distributed to needy people.
- Hajj once in a year, realize that all are equal before ALLAH
Also Read: Salatul Tasbeeh