The Five Pillars of Islam
1.The Declaration of Faith: to bear witness (that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad* (PBUH) is His messenger to all humanity until the Day of Judgment. The prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) obliges Muslims to follow his exemplary life as a model
2.Prayers: Daily prayers are offered five times a day as a duty toward Allah. They strengthen and enliven one’s belief in Allah and inspire individuals to develop a higher morality. They purify the heart and prevent temptation towards wrong-doings and evils.
3.Zakah: the literal and simple meaning of Zakah is purity. The technical meaning of this word is designated to the annual amount in kind or cash which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. But the religious and spiritual significance of Zakah is much deeper and more lively. So it is humanitarian and socio-political value.
4.Fasting the Month of Ramadan: During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and all sexual activities** from dawn to sunset. In addition, they must abstain from evil intentions and desires throughout the whole months of the year in general, and during the months of Ramadan in particular. This communal fast seeks to instill within the individual feelings of love, sincerity, devotion, patience, unselfishness, and will-power as well as to develop a sound social conscience.
5.Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah): is to be performed once in a lifetime, if one can afford it financially and physically. It is the largest annual convention of Faith where Muslims meet to know one another, study their common affairs and promote their general welfare. It is wholesome demonstration of the university of Islam and the brotherhood and equality of Muslims.
* One may ask, “If Islam teaches that all the Prophets and Messengers are equal, then why does the testimony of faith only affirm the Prophethood of Muhammad without mentioning the other Prophets?” It must be understood that anyone who affirms the Prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) is acknowledging all the Prophets and Messengers of God that came before him. If one were to testify for example, that, “There is no deity except God, and Moses is the Messenger of God,” this does not necessitate the person’s acceptance of the Prophets and Messengers that followed Moses (PBUH), such as Jesus or Muhammad (Peace be upon them)
** Islam requires chastity and forbids any premarital sexual relationships.