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The Five Pillars of Islam

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The Five Pillars of Islam

Prophet Muhammad is also called as the "seal of the prophets", the Only Being to Whom Allah, the name given to God of the Muslims, revealed his revelations in the form of Quran, the Holy book of the Muslims. Though the basic teachings of Muhammad constitute of three points: the uniqueness of Allah, the need to care for the poor, orphaned and widowed, and the inevitability of the final judgement. Yet the entire teachings of the Muslim religion focus on the five basic elements, as also termed as the five pillars of Islam.

The first pillar is that of 'Creed (Shahada)', which clearly states that the basic requirement for calling oneself Muslim is to be able to say the creed with conviction of its truth: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger."

Second pillar is the Prayer (Salat), one of the basic requirements of the Muslim religion, where in each Muslim has to observe a set of prayers five times during the duration of the day. The timings of these prayers are at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, dusk, and the last prayer at evening. In addition, the noon prayers of Friday have a particular importance and are observed with solemnity in the Muslim world. The contents of the entire Prayer constitute of various chapters taken from the Holy Book, the Quran.

The third pillar of Islam is the Alms-giving (Zakat), where every individual with the ability to offer a specified amount calculated on the total net worth of the same individual is ordered to give to the deserving and the needy. In addition, Muslims in general are also encouraged to donate and give whatever amounts each can afford not only to the mosque, the place of worship, but also for the support of the poor of their community.

The fourth pillar is fasting (Sawm), which is a 30-day period observed every year by the Muslims across the world. The salient aspect of this month of fasting is that Muslims cannot drink, nor have any kind of edible food, nor smoke during the entire period. It is thus a form of a abstinence from the worldly bounties, from which the Muslims refrain during this month.

The fifth pillar is that of pilgrimage (Haj), which is applicable to every Muslim individual who can afford to make the Holy trip to the cities of Macca and Medina. Hence, the only obligation is on those Muslim adults who are not only physically fit, as well as financial capable to perform this Muslim rite. The rite of Haj or the pilgrimage is performed during the official three days during which Muslims from all over the world coverage in the twin cities of Mecca and Median located in Saudi Arabia, and openly acknowledge the oneness of Allah and offer gratitude thereof of His bounties of life upon mankind.

From the above, one may thus observe that the five basic pillars of Islam not only serve as the primary tenets of Islam, but also confirm the Oneness of Allah, the Praiseworthiness of Allah, the

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