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5 Pillars

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What are the Five Pillars of Islam and why are they the basis for the Muslim religion?

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."( 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 creator,

that He alone is the Provider and Sustainer, that He is the true Reality, the source of

all things - of all benefit and harm."( Muslims

acknowledge that Allah has all authority and that Muhammad is the last prophet in a long

line of prophets sent by Allah. A declaration of faith is the first pillar of Islam.

Another pillar is the establishment of frequent prayer. Prayer in Islam is otherwise

referred to as Salah. Salah is performed five times everyday. "No other form of worship

can be compared to prayer(Salah), for it is the basis of religion, without which there is

no religion." ( Salah is a direct link between Allah

and His worshipper. Rather that a priest, a learned person in the Qur'an leads group

prayers. Salah, or obligatory prayers, is a pillar of Islam.

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."( Besides the Zakat, a Muslim may give additional

alms if they choose to do so. Charity is an important principle in Islamic religion.

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