O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
Surah 49. AL-HUJURAT, Ayah 13

The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam are the foundation of Muslim life:

  • Sha'hada: The name for the testimony that “There is none worthy of worship except Allah (God) and Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of Allah”. 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 of Qur’an and Sunnah (practices of the Last Prophet, Muhammad, PBUH).
  • Salaah: The name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and Allah. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and there are no priests. Prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Qur'an and is generally chosen by the congregation. Prayers are said at dawn, mid-day, late-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day.
  • Saum: The name for the obligatory fasting observed every year in the month of Ramadan; all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown--abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations with their spouses. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy and able.
  • Zakaah: The name for the financial obligation, charity. An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word Zakaah means both "purification" and "growth." Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
  • Hajj: The name for the pilgrimage to Makkah is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to do so. Nevertheless, over three million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another.

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