5 Pillars of Islam: What Are They and Why Are They So Important to Muslims?

There are the 5 practices every Muslim is obligated to do throughout their life and they can all be categorised into separate sections. These ‘sections’ are better known as ‘pillars’ and are essential to the essence of being Muslim.

So this is a simple guide to understanding what each pillar means and how it affects the lives of Muslims all around the world. Let’s go through them.

Shahada (Faith)

First, we have the Shahada.

To be a Muslim, you need to take the declaration of faith in one God (Allah) and His Messenger Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This must be said with intent and belief in order for it to be valid.

“لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله,” (lā ʾilāha ʾillallāh, Muḥammad rasūlu-llāh), which translates from Arabic to “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”

Salah (Prayer)

Salah is a daily ritual prayer required of every Muslim and is completed five times a day, every single day.

  1. Fajr occurs at dawn before the sun has fully risen.
  2. Zhuhr takes place at midday, once the sun has passed the highest point.
  3. Asr is in the late afternoon before the sun begins to set.
  4. Maghrib occurs on/after sunset, once the sun dips just below the horizon.
  5. Isha, the final prayer of the day, taking place after maghrib, and before midnight.

Each prayer usually takes between 5-15 minutes and must be completed every single day. If you think 5 is a lot, well let me let you in on a little secret: There used to be 50 and after pleading from both Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Moses (IS), the number was lowered to 5 by Allah.

Credit: Unsplash

Zakat (Almsgiving)

Zakat literally means ‘to cleanse’ and it’s a reminder to give to charity.

Every year, Muslims pay a 2.5% share of their held wealth (cash, property, gold, and silver) over a certain threshold to charity to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Charity is an essential part of being Muslim.

Sawm (Fasting)

The fourth is all about fasting.

Muslims who are able are required to fast during the holy month of Ramadan which is more than simply avoiding food. It is a practice of discipline and avoiding temptations and bad habits to help improve the rest of the year. Not only that, but it has great benefits for your health overall.

Read more details about Ramadan here.

Hajj (Pilgrimage)

The final pillar of Islam is the pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj.

It is a time that Muslims from around the world congregate in Mecca to worship Allah SWT and perform several rituals to strengthen their faith and devotion.

Credit: Unsplash

Those are the 5 pillars of Islam. If you want to learn more about the religion, click here for inspirational content.