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THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM

THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM

“Islam has been built upon five things – on testifying that there is no god save Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; on performing salah; on giving the zakah; on Hajj to the House; and on fasting during Ramadhan.”

[saying of Prophet Muhammad, SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, recorded in the books of Bukhari and Muslim]

1) SHAHADAH (TESTIMONY OF FAITH):

This is the first ‘pillar’ of Islam. To be Muslim you must declare the testimony below. Saying the Shahadah also involves believing in the articles of faith.

“Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illallaah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh.”

(I testify there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I testify Muhammad is His slave and messenger.)

2) SALAT (PRAYER):

All Muslims must pray 5 times a day, at certain times. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Verily, As-Salât (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.”
(4:103)

“I am God; there is no god but Me. So worship Me and keep up the prayer so that you remember Me.”
(20:14)

Men are encouraged to pray in congregation in the mosque. It was narrated by companion of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) Abu Hurairah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:

“If the people knew the Reward for the Zuhr prayer in its early time, they would race for it. If they knew the reward for the ‘Isha’ and the Fajr prayers in congregation, they would join them even if they had to crawl. If they knew the reward for the first row, they would draw lots for it.”
[Bukhari]

TIMES OF THE PRAYERS:

* FAJR (between first light and sunrise)

* ZUHR (after the sun has passed the middle of the sky, until mid afternoon)

* ASR (between mid afternoon and sunset)

* MAGHRIB (between sunset and last light of day)

* ISHA (evening or night until the first light) (for prayer times in your area see www.islamicfinder.org)

THE ADHAN (CALL TO PRAYER):

The words of the adhan that are called from the mosque, instructing people to come and pray, are as follows:

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.)

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.)

“Ash-hadu an-laa ilaaha ill-Allah.” (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.)

“Ash-hadu an-laa ilaaha ill-Allah.” (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.)

“Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.” (I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)

“Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.” (I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)

“Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah, hayya ‘ala-s-Salah.” (Hasten to the Prayer, hasten to the Prayer.)

“Hayya ‘ala-l-falah, hayya ‘ala-l-falah.” (Hasten to real success, hasten to real success)

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.” (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.)

“Laa-Ilaaha Ill’Allah.” (There is none worthy of worship except Allah)

3) ZAKAT (ALMSGIVING):

Muslims with savings or assets over a certain amount must give zakat money once a year. Allah, Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, says in the Qur’an:

“Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend of that over which He has made you trustees.”
(Qur’an 57:7)

“Alms are meant only for the poor, the needy, those who administer them, those whose hearts need winning over, to free slaves and to help those in debt, for God’s cause, and for travellers in need. This is ordained by Allah; Allah is all knowing and wise.”
(Qur’an 9:60)

4) SAWM (FASTING):

Muslims must fast from sunrise to sunset every day during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month in Islam, it was the month that the Qur’an was first revealed in. Allah says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may gain piety. (Fast) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (i.e. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a poor person (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.”
( Qur’an 2:183-84)

5) HAJJ (PILGRIMAGE):

Muslims must go to Mecca in Saudi Arabia once in their lifetime if they are able to.

“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).”
(Qur’an 22:27)

“Hajj shall be observed in the specified months. Whoever sets out to observe Hajj shall refrain from sexual intercourse, misconduct, and arguments throughout Hajj. Whatever good you do, Allah is fully aware thereof. As you prepare your provisions for the journey, the best provision is righteousness. So fear Me, O men of understanding!”
(2:197)