Physical and verbal acts of worship are called the Pillars of
Islam. The most essential of them are known as the five Pillars
of Islam. They are as follows:
The Testimony of Faith (Shahaadatayn):
This is the testimony that “none has the right to be worshipped
except Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger”.
This testimony is the key with which one becomes a Muslim.
The meaning of the first part of the testimony, “none has
the right to be worshipped except Allah”, also connotes that:
Allah is the Creator of all that exists.
Allah is the Sovereign of all that exists and the Disposer of
Allah is the One Who deserves to be worshipped alone.
The meaning of the second part of the testimony, “Muhammad is His servant
and Messenger,” contains the following meanings:
To obey the Messenger in what he ordered.
To believe in everything he said.
To refrain from what he prohibited and warned against.
And that you do not worship Allah except by what the
The Prayer (Salaah):
The prayer is a means through which a slave of Allah
maintains a relationship
between themselves and their Lord. In it, the person privately converses with
their Lord, seeking His forgiveness and asking Him for help and guidance. There
are five prayers which must be performed daily. Men observe them in the Masjid
(mosque) in congregation, except for those who have a valid excuse.
Through this, Muslims come to know one another, and the bonds of love and
unity which hold them together are built, maintained and strengthened. They
come to know of the condition of their fellow Muslims on a daily basis. If someone
is not present and thought
to be sick, they visit him, and if
it seems that he is falling short
in some of his obligations, they
All social differences, such as
class, race, and lineage are disregarded.
Muslims line up side
by side in straight rows, all facing
one direction (Makkah), all
at the same time. All are rendered equal in regards to their subservience to Allah
when standing before Him.
The Obligatory Charity (Zakaah):
This charity is a small percentage of wealth which a rich Muslim gives to
his less fortunate brothers and sisters. There are certain conditions under
which it is to be given. A Muslim gives it willingly and fulfills the command
of Allah when giving it out.
The goal behind the obligation of this charity is to revive mutual and social support
among Muslims, as well as to eradicate poverty and put an end to the dangers
which result from it. Through it, the hearts of the rich are cleansed from greed, and
the hearts of the poor are cleansed from the hatred and jealousy which they may
feel towards the rich. They see the rich giving from their wealth that which Allah
decreed, continuously giving them money and caring for their needs.
The Fast of Ramadan (Siyaam):
It is obligatory upon every Muslim to fast once
a year, for the entire month of Ramadan. From
the break of dawn until the sun sets, Muslims
must abstain from anything that breaks the
fast, specifically: food, drink, or sexual intercourse.
Fasting is an act of worship in Islam
and was an obligation legislated in the previous
religions as well.
O you who have believed, fasting has been
decreed for you as it was decreed upon
those before you that you may become
The Pilgrimage (Hajj):
Hajj is the pilgrimage one makes to the Sacred House of Allah (the Ka’bah) in order
to perform certain rites at specific places and times. This pillar of Islam is obligatory
upon every Muslim, male or female, who is sane and has reached the age of puberty
once in a lifetime, if they have the physical and financial capability to perform it.
Pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed to Allah by all people who are able to
undertake it. And as for those who deny the truth – verily, Allah does not stand
in need of anything in all the worlds.
Hajj is the largest Islamic gathering, and one of the largest gatherings in the
world. Muslims from all over the world come together in one place, at one time.
They all call upon the same Lord, wear the same clothes, and perform the same
rituals. No difference is made between rich and poor, noble and ignoble, white
and black, Arab and non-Arab; all are equal in front of Allah. There is no difference
between them except in piety (taqwa). The Hajj is an event which emphasizes
the brotherhood of all Muslims and the unity of their hopes and feelings.