a What Are the Five Pillars of Islam? - .

What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?

What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?

What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?

The Five Pillars of Islam are the framework of the Muslim life.  They are the Profession of faith, Daily Prayers, Alms-Giving—Zakat, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Makkah once in a lifetime for those who are able.

1) The Profession of Faith:

The profession of faith is saying with contentment , “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah.”  This saying means “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah),1 and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.”  The first part, “There is no true god but God,” means that none has the right to be worshiped but God alone, and that God has neither partner nor son.  This profession of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which should be said with contentment in order to convert to Islam (as explained previously on this page).  The profession of faith is the most significant pillar of Islam.

2) Daily Prayers:

Muslims need to perform five prayers a day.  Each prayer does not take more than a few minutes to perform.  Prayer in Islam is a direct connection between the worshipper and God.  There are no intermediaries between God and the worshipper.

In prayer, a person feels inner happiness, peace, and comfort, and that God is satisfied with him or her.  The Prophet Muhammad  said: {Bilal, call (the people) to prayer, let us be comforted by it.}2  Bilal was one of Muhammad’s  comrades who was charged to call the people to prayers.

Prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night.  A Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories, or universities.


3) Alms-Giving—Zakat

All things belong to God, and fortune is therefore held by human beings in trust.  The original meaning of the word zakat is both ‘purification’ and ‘growth.’  Giving zakat means ‘granting a specified proportion on specific properties to specific classes of needy people.’  The proportion which is due on gold, silver, and cash funds that have reached the amount of about 85 grams of gold and held in possession for one lunar year is two and a half percent.  Our possessions are purified by setting aside a small portion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and motivates new growth.

A person may also grant as much as he or she pleases as voluntary alms or charity.

4) Fasting the Month of Ramadan:

 Every year in the month of Ramadan,4 all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown, refraining from food, drink, and sexual relations.

Although the fast is beneficial to health, it is considered principally as a method of spiritual self-purification.  By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person earns true sympathy with those who go starving , as well as growth in his or her spiritual life.

5) The Pilgrimage to Makkah:

The annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah is an obligation once in a lifetime for those who are physically and financially able to perform it.  About two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe.  Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj is performed in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.  Male pilgrims wear special simple clothes which strip away distinctions of class and culture so that all stand equal before God.

Pilgrims praying at the Haram mosque in Makkah

Pilgrims praying at the Haram mosque in Makkah.  In this mosque is the Kaaba (the black building in the picture) which Muslims turn toward when praying.  The Kaaba is the place of adoration which God ordered the Prophets Abraham and his son, Ishmael, to build.

The rites of the Hajj contain circling the Kaaba seven times and going seven times between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa, as Hagar did during her search for water.  Then the pilgrims stand together in Arafa5 and ask God for what they wish and for His forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Day of Judgment.
 Pilgrimage focuses on visiting the Kaaba and walking around it seven times. Pilgrimage occurs in the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar.

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