The Five Pillars of Islam - Islam 101
The five pillars of Islam constitute the most basic tenets of the religion. They are:
- 1. Faith (iman) in the oneness of Allah and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (indicated by the declaration [the Shahadah] that, "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah").
- 2. Keeping of the five scheduled daily prayers (salah).
- 3. Almsgiving (zakat).
- 4. Fasting (sawm).
- 5. Pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca for those who are able.
The five pillars in and of themselves do not tell us a lot about the faith or what a Muslim is supposed to believe or how he should act. The second through fifth pillars -- prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage -- are aspects shared by many religions. The finality of the prophethood of Muhammad, however, is unique to Islam. To understand Islam and what it means to be a Muslim, we must come to understand Muhammad as well as the revelations given through him by Allah, which make up the Quran.