The Five Pillars of Islam

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  • Shahada means "confession of faith" and is the main theological statement of Islam, emphasizing the monotheism of the religion and Muhammed's role as prophet. If one says "There is no god but God, and Muhammed is the messenger of God" with sincerity and understanding, one becomes a Muslim. 
  • Zakat means "giving to the needy" or almsgiving and spells out the requirement for obligatory payment of a portion of one's income for all adult  Muslims who make a certain income, or Nisaab. One must pay 2.5% of their Nisaab  (income) every lunar year, usually during Ramadan.  The poor and needy are recipients of this money and do not have to donate themselves.  
  • Shahada
  • Salah means "prayer" and spells out the requirement for daily prayer five times a day for all Muslims. These prayers include ritual cleansing and prostration towards Mecca, usually performed on a special prayer rug. On Fridays, prayers are led at a mosque by an imam. 
  • Hajj
  • Shahada
  • (confession of faith)
  • Salah
  • Zakat
  • Salah
  • There are five pillars of Islam - five central tenets that spell out for Muslims how to live righteously. They form an outline for how to live an ethical life. Each of the five pillars is an action that one must complete or uphold in order to be a faithful Muslim. 
  • (prayer)
  • Zakat
  • Sawm
  • (almsgiving)
  • Hajj
  • (fasting during Ramadan)
  • (pilgrimage to Mecca)
  • Sawm means "fasting" and explains the requirement of abstinence from all food, drink, smoking, and sex during the month of Ramadan every day from dawn until nightfall. Breastfeeding women, people who are sick, and those making difficult journeys are exempted.   This act of fasting is supposed to teach spiritual perseverance and offer insight into the lives of the poor and needy. Because Islam operates on a lunar year, Ramadan moves through every season. 
  • Hajj means "pilgrimage" and spells out the requirement for a  pilgrimage to Mecca for all Muslims who have financial means and no physical impediments. It is said that Allah forgives the sins of those who make the pilgrimage in reverence, and those who die on the way are considered martyrs and directly enter into paradise. 
  • Sawm
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