...Muhammad is the messenger of God." This declaration of faith is called the shahadah, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. The significance of this declaration is the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey God, and this is achieved through the teachings and practices of the Last Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him). Salah or Prayer Salah is the name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. These five ritual prayers contain verses from the Qur'an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation. Personal supplications however, can be offered in one's own language and at any time. Zakah or Almsgiving An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakah means both "purification" and "growth." Setting aside a proportion for those in need purifies our possessions, and like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Sawm or Fasting Every year in the month of Ramadan, all able Muslims fast from dawn until sundown - abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations with their spouses. Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the...
Essay on The Five Pillars of Islam
551 Words3 Pages
The Five Pillars are the frameworks of a Muslim's life. Revealed to the prophet Muhammad by Allah, the Five Pillars are the basis of Islamic religion. "On another occasion, when the prophet (Muhammad) was asked to give a definition of Islam, he named those five pillars."(www.unn.ac.uk...) The Five Pillars are: bearing witness to Allah, establishing prayers, giving alms, fasting during Ramadan, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Five Pillars are the major duties in the life of a Muslim.
Shahadah is the first of the Five Pillars in Islam. More specifically, Shahadah is a declaration of faith. Included in this manifesto, a Muslim proclaims that Allah is the only God and Muhammad is His messenger. "He recognizes that God alone is the…show more content…
The practice of performing charitable acts is another pillar of Islam. Zakat, a tax, is a required expenditure for Muslims each year. The word Zakat means both purification and growth. "Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth."(http://home.mweb.co.za/ka/...) Besides the Zakat, a Muslim may give additional alms if they choose to do so. Charity is an important principle in Islamic religion.
Observation of the fast of the holy month of Ramadan is another pillar of Islam. During
Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and marital intercourse during daylight hours. "This teaches the believers patience and self- control, as well as reminding them of their responsibility for the millions of human beings in the world who lack provisions or are victims of their unjust distribution."
(http://salam.muslimsonline.com...) Manners and righteous deeds are also stressed during the fast of Ramadan.
The last pillar of Islam is the pilgrimage to Mecca. According to Muslim tradition,
"Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it." (http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu./...) Pilgrims who participate in Hajj wear very simple garments so that all people stand equal before God.
Muslims pray for Allah's forgiveness while they fulfill the duty that is their