February 20, 2015
Five Pillars of Islam
Every religion is built around a central core of beliefs and in the case of Islamic faith they are called The Five Pillars of Islam. The Qur’an, collection of Islamic Holly Texts, is the source of that foundation on which the faith was built. Muslims believe that the Qur’an contains lessons on how to act with respect, peace and purity and that every human being should work on making the world a better place. The Five Pillars can be considered a guide to leading such fulfilling life and in consists of: Faith (Shahadah), Daily Prayer (Salaat), charity (Zakat), fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
Faith is the first pillar of Islam. Believing in the message of Muhammad that “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God,” lies at the very base of Islamic religion. Shahadah also means to live out the word of Qur’an and to spread it so that all people can make their own decision that will be based on truth. One distinguishing element though, is that Qur’an forbids forceful spread of knowledge.
The second pillar of Islam is daily prayer. “In Islamic spirituality, one should be constantly remembering God inwardly, and one’s whole life should become a means of worship” (Fisher, 2014). For that reason prayer should be conducted at least five times a day. The most valuable form of prayer that can be offered is the one in the middle of the night as that is when human mind and heart are most open and operate most efficiently.
The third pillar is charity. It is closely linked with the second pillar as the prayer can only be accepted when shared with others. This is also seen in secular lives of every Muslim. In the end of the year they are required to donate two and a half percent to those in need. The main goal of zakat is to even out wealth distribution and eliminate personal greed.
The fourth pillar is fasting. There is one mandatory fast during the Ramadan – a celebration of the first to reveal of Qur’an to Muhammad. Fasting is required from all who are beyond puberty, but not infirm, sick, menstruating, or nursing children, a dawn to-sunset abstention from food, drink, sexual intercourse, and smoking” (Fisher, 2014).
The first and final pillar of Islamic faith is hajj. It is a required