Islam is among the largest religions in the world that is built on strong religious beliefs for all Islamic faithful. Every Islam in the world is expected to follow the five pillars of Islam, which is the foundation of religion for the Muslim life. Although Islam is made up of the Shia and the Sunni, they all recognize the five pillars of Islam as an essential part of their religion.
The five pillars of Islam outlines the life that all Muslims should pass through according to the hadith of Gabriel. The life of a Muslim is controlled by the five pillars through how they live, pray, relate with other people and during the pilgrimage. All Muslim faithful are required to fulfill the five pillars of Islam during their life-times which are: Shahadah, Salat, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj.
This is the first pillar that helps Muslims to develop a strong faith for Islam through accepting that there exists only one God (Allah) who has Muhammad as his messenger. The Kalima is a recitation for all Muslims based on the first pillar which demonstrates a Muslims total faith to the only existing God.
The pillar establishes the ground to worship God and take instructions from Muhammad as his messenger. The recitation which acknowledges the oneness of God should be recited on a daily basis during prayers and other important religious occasions. However, new converts into the Islam religion are required to learn the citation as a show of total commitment to this religion.
As the second pillar, it is the foundation for the Islamic prayer, which is grounded on the fact that everyone has a direct link with God through prayer. Salat is categorized into five groups of prayers that are performed on a daily basis based on the time which the prayer is recited.
Muslims who live around Mecca are supposed to visit the place five times during the day to say the prayer, but those far away are required to pray while facing the direction of this city. The Morning Prayer is called Fajr, followed by Dhuhr at noon and Asr in the afternoon. Maghrib is performed in the evening, but the last prayer at night is called Isha. Every prayer should be performed after washing as an indication of purification described as wudu in Islam.
New converts are taught the recitation and the required positions during the prayers because there are various postures required while standing or sitting. Additionally, citations for Salat can be performed singly or in groups at any place of convenience, but Friday service is confined to the mosque. Salat is used to enhance the individual communication with God.
This is the fourth pillar of Islam that requires all Muslims to participate in alms-giving according to capability and accumulated wealth. Participating in charity activities to help the less fortunate in the society is considered a service to God which all Muslims should do in their lifetime.
Zakat helps reduce the economic gap in the society through donating 2.5 % of your accumulated wealth to help the poor. However, those with higher ability can donate more than 2.5% according to Sadaqah to obtain more reward from God. It is required that all people giving Zakat should tell God about it, give it on the required date and say a normal prayer without dwelling on it. Also, everyone should give Zakat in kind and distribute it within. Zakat is used to help improve the lives of the poor people in the society.
Fasting in the Islamic religion is based on the fourth pillar which requires fasting to be done during the holy month of Ramadan. It is recognized by the holy book of Islam for all Muslims to undergo fasting as a show of deep personal worship. The Holy Qur’an gives the directions on how the fasting should be done as it prepares every Muslim to experience the pain poor people undergo.
The holy month of fasting is occasioned after sighting of the new moon where all Muslims are not supposed to eat or drink from morning to evening. After the fasting period is over, a special meal will be organized to mark the break of fasting. The celebrations will be done for three days where everyone will unite with the other and give children presents. Sawm is used to praise God and enhance closeness through prayers.
This is the fifth pillar of Islam that requires all able Muslims to visit Mecca once in their lifetime during which they demonstrate complete obligation to the requirements of Islamic religion. It is a very essential pillar in the Islamic religion because Mecca is regarded as the holy city in the Islamic religion.
This is done in resemblance to the pilgrimage made by Prophet Muhammad. It is required that both men and women should seven times around Kaaba and touch the black stone during the hajj. Hajj is used to demonstrate the Islamic faith and unity among Muslims in the world.