The Five Pillars of Islam

Shahadah

  • The simple reciting of "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger"
  • Reciting it three times in front of witnesses is all one must do to become a Muslim
  • One who cannot wholeheartedly say it is not a Muslim

Salat

  • The Salat are prayers performed five times a day
  • They are done facing Mecca
  • They are performed at dawn, midday, late afternoon, after sunset, and before midnight
  • A praying Muslim must go through set movements and recite a specific prayer
  • Muslims must "ritual wash" to clean themselves before praying

Zakat

  • Zakat is the giving of money and items to the poor
  • Muslims believe it helps a person acknowledge that everything comes from God and we own nothing
  • Muslims believe whether we are rich or poor is God's choice

Doing so teaches them things like:

  • Self discipline
  • Freeing oneself from possessions and greed
  • Behaving Honestly

Sawm

During the month of Ramadan (9th month on the Islamic Calendar) Muslims are expected to fast.

  • The fasting involves abstaining from food and drinks, sexual activity, and smoking
  • It makes Muslims closer to the poor and causes them to be more sympathetic for the poor
  • They are also encouraged to avoid evil thoughts and deeds
  • Ramadan ends with the Eid ul-Fitr, where Muslims dress up and visit the mosque for prayer

Hajj

The Hajj is a once a year pilgrimage to Mecca that is encouraged to be done once in the lifetime of any Muslim who is able to

  • It promotes equality of Muslims and demonstrates that all are equal in the eyes of Allah
  • It makes Muslims feel as if there life is important and gives them the feeling of purpose
  • In order to carry out the rituals one must be in a state of Ritual Purity, this is achieved by wearing special white clothes, and following set regulations:

Muslims Cannot
  • Engage in marital relations
  • Shave or cut their nails
  • Use cologne or scented oils
  • Kill or hunt anything
  • Fight or argue.
    • Women must not cover their faces, even if they would do so in their home country.
    • Men may not wear clothes with stitching.
    • Bathing is allowed but scented soaps are frowned upon.