Week Six: The 5 Pillars of Islam
Narrated Ibn Umar, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger (ﷺ).
To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity).
To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)
- Source: Sahih Bukhari
In this hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that there are 5 principles that Islam is based on. In order to be a Muslim, you need to follow and complete these five pillars. I want to take this time to break apart each pillar to help better understand each one:
The first pillar is called Shahadatain. Shahadatain means two shahada and it is a declaration of faith. The first shahada is to declare there is only one God, Allah. The second shahada is believing that Muhammad (ﷺ) is his messenger. In order to become a Muslim, you need to understand that there is ONLY ONE GOD, Allah and that Muhammad (ﷺ) is his last and final messenger.
The second pillar is called Salah. This pillar is indicating that we need to offer our 5 daily prayers every single day of our lives (unless you are a female, you can't pray during your monthly cycle). The names and order of the prayers are; Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, & Isha.
The third pillar is called Zakat. Zakat is an obligatory charity done once a year. You need to donate 2.5% of your annual savings. It's beneficial in so many ways, but most importantly, you're helping the needy. You're helping others.
The fourth pillar is called Sawm (fasting). This pillar is completed during the month of Ramadan, every year. Healthy adult Muslims need to fast from dawn until sunset. They abstain from food and water as soon as the Fajr athan is called, and they break their fast when the Maghrib athan is called.
The fifth and final pillar is called Hajj. Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The reason Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam is that every Muslim has to complete this pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime during the Islamic lunar calendar month of Dhul Hijjah.