Islam

The 5 Pillars of Islam

1. Shahadah

Shahadah is the decleration of faith.

'I believe there is no God but God and Muhammad is his messenger'

This is the Shahadah which is a declaration of faith and is the backbone to living life as a Muslim.

The Shahadah is the first words whispered into a newborn baby's ear, and the last words said when dying. It is also the first thing said upon waking and the last thing said before sleeping. Every Muslim child is taught this.

The Shahadah is used within the Adan ,call to prayer.

It brings Tawhid, oneness with God.

It brings Risalah, a channel of communication between God and man.

2. Salah

Salah is prayer.

Muslims must prepare for prayer well, mentally and physically. They must:

  • Have clean body and clothes
  • Have an attentive mind
  • Be clothed appropriately
  • Not be wearing make-up or perfume
  • Have been through the process of Wudu, the cleaning ritual.
Muslims pray because it brings them closer to Allah, it prevents bad acts, brings ummah, brings spiritual focus and discipline.

When praying they must be facing Makkah. Within the mosque men and women are separated. This is to prevent the men being distracted.

Muslims must pray 5 times a day.

  1. Between first light and sunrise
  2. Just after midday
  3. Between mid-afternoon and sunset
  4. Between sunset and last light of day
  5. Between darkness and dawn
Salat ul Jumuah

This is Friday prayer, which is special. All shops, businesses etc close within Islamic countries. Everyone goes to the mosque, if not they must pray at home. The imam gives a special sermon and says special prayers.

3. Zakah

Zakah is giving money to charity.

Muslims do this to purify themselves from greed and selfishness. All Muslims give 2.5% of their wealth meaning that it is in proportion to someones wealth. The purpose is to help the poor, bring a sense of ummah.

Muslims give this privately at the mosque because it is not meant to be bragged about or made a spectacle of.


4. Sawm

Sawm is fasting.

Muslims must fast during the 9th month of the Muslim year, this is known as Ramadan. It happens then because it is the time at which Muhammad received his first message from God.

When on Ramadan nothing may pass the lips from dawn to sunset.

Muslims do this to remind themselves of the suffering that others are going through. It bring ummah because it means that they understand the pain of the poor. It also shows that they have self control.

After sunset they all feast on a meal called Iftar.

Id-ul-Fitr

This is the huge feast at the end of Ramadan, it happens at midday. Muslims decorate the house, have special prayers and huge gatherings. It is often welcomed with dates.