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Five Pillars of Islam Shahada, Salah, Zakat, Saum, Hajj


The Five Pillars of Islam provide Muslims with the guidelines for living a successful spiritual life. The Pillars are enshrined in various forms throughout Islamic teachings and provide clear answers to important questions about living a moral life in the service of Allah. This guide seeks to provide an overview of each Pillar so that Muslims can more easily understand their significance and seek to fulfill them with sincerity.

The first Pillar is the Shahada, which is simply the declaration that there is only one God worthy of worship and it is none other than Allah and Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhe wasallam) is His final prophet. This Pillar requires both verbal affirmation as well as personal conviction and commitment to living in accordance with Allah’s law.

The second Pillar is Salah, or prayer, which signifies submission to Allah five times daily: at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and nightfall. During prayer – which should be performed facing Mecca – Muslims recite verses from the Quran and call for peace upon each other.

The third Pillar is Zakat or charity. All able-bodied Muslim believers are required to donate 2 ½ % of their income per year to those who are less fortunate than them as an act of obedience towards Allah’s will.

The fourth Pillar is Saum or fasting during Ramadan – a period during which all members of the faith are expected to abstain from food/drink from sunrise until sunset every day for 30 days out of respect for Allah’s name.

And finally Hajj – a pilgrimage that all Muslim believers are inspired to undertake at least once in their lifetime in order to express devotion towards Allah through visiting Haram Sharif (in Makkah), performing Umrah at any time while they visit Makkah (preferably during hajj), fully understanding its teachings , doing Tawaf around Kaaba seven times counterclockwise while prasing almighty Allah as well fulfilling all other rituals like saee, once/twice between Safa&Marwaa etc., also visiting Madinatul munawara for Ziarat & naseehat (teaching) by Hazrat Mohamed SallalLahoAlaihiWasallam .

The Five Pillars of Islam – In Depth

The Five Pillars of Islam are the foundational elements that form the foundation of the Islamic faith. These five pillars include Shahada (declaration of faith), Salah (ritual prayer), Zakat (alms-giving), Saum (fasting during Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). These five pillars are essential for the practice of Islam and are required of all Muslims to follow. In this article, we will take a closer look at each of these pillars and explore how they contribute to the Islamic faith.


The Shahada is the fundamental belief of Islam – to be a true Muslim, one must accept this statement of faith. Specifically it states that, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”. This pillar involves both uttering the words and carrying out their meaning in one’s life by acting in accordance to what Muhammad taught.

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ

ašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾilla -llāhu, wa-ʾašhadu ʾanna muḥammadan rasūlu -llāh

The believing also entails not exercising in idol worship or superstitious beliefs as well as believing that Allah alone should be worshiped. The Shahada serves as a reminder for all Muslims about whose commandment is being followed. It also reinforces our unity as believers of one religion regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture. This pillar emphasizes commitment to Islam and encourages all Muslims to strive to understand the teachings of Allah and pursue righteousness throughout their lives.


Salah is the second of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory duties for all Muslims. Salah is an Arabic term that means “communication with God” and it is performed several times a day in order to establish direct contact with Allah. Salah involves standing and bowing in reverence five times a day facing towards Mecca. The routine follows special physical movements and prayers acknowledged together with a congregation in the mosque or individually at home. Along with focusing on prayer, Salah helps Muslims focus on self-control, mindfulness and constant remembrance of Allah. While performing each movement of Salah, a Muslim should be mindful of its purpose, meaning and symbolism.

When a Muslim prays in congregation (Jama’at or attended prayer) at the Mosque he or she must follow imam who is leading the prayer (or mu’aththin for Ramadan). During prayer there are specific actions that must be observed such as rAFwAh which involves raising both hands-open palms upwards when saying “Allahu Akbar” before bowing, placing one hand on top of another over navel upon rising from bowing and turning head to left side than to right side while saying: “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”; “Peace be upon you…”.

It is recommended that new Muslims learn how to perform salah properly by asking experienced friends or attending classes offered by most mosques around the world. They would also be encouraged to read religious books that focus on facts behind salah, such as its historical roots and deeper spiritual meanings – ultimately helping them open their hearts to draw closer to Allah.


Zakat is the 3rd Pillar of Islam and the obligatory donation given by Muslims. They give it out of love and gratitude to Allah almighty. The Arabic word Zakat translates as ‘purification’, denoting an act that makes a person spiritually pure and pleases Allah (SWT). It serves to provide for the needy in society, and encourages balance between those with wealth and those without.

Every practicing Muslim is required to fulfill their obligation of Zakat once a year. This payment can be calculated using criteria such as income, savings, capital investments etc. It is paid in proportion to the wealth a person has accessed during the year so that no one feels discouraged or deprived as a result of their religious duties, but rather that contribution gives back more than it takes away. A portion of each person’s zakat goes towards helping those who cannot help themselves and actively contributing to charities or relief organizations aiding their fellow Muslims around the world.

The intention behind Zakat is not only spiritual purification but also solidarity with those less fortunate; it reaffirms commitment to social justice and caring for those truly in need. This ritual shows trust in Allah’s guidance, reminding individuals this life has a temporal nature regarding material possessions, relationships or acquired wealth—all are be put in perspective when looking at Living continuously under His sacred eyes with sincere awareness allowing closed-arms for giving & receiving for sake of peace & contentment amongst humanity.


The fourth pillar of Islam is ​Saum​, which translates to “fasting” in Arabic. It is a form of worship mandated by Allah as a means for believers to purify themselves during the month of Ramadan. During this period, Muslims are expected to abstain from food and drink, sexual relations and profanity from dawn until sunset. This practice is meant to teach self-discipline and a heightened level of spirituality through striving for personal piety. Fasting in the Islamic tradition is also an act of charity because it can help individuals empathize with those who do not have access to food or basic necessities on a daily basis.


Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and marks the Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah (Mecca), in Saudi Arabia. It is an obligatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage takes place from 8-13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar. During this time, millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to Makkah to take part in a series of rituals, some symbolic and some physical, including circling the Kaaba seven times and standing vigil on mount Arafat on the day before Eid Al-Adha.

The various rites associated with Hajj serve as a reminder to submit fully to Allah (God) while cultivating piety, spiritual awareness, patience, love and solidarity among fellow pilgrims. It is said that performing Hajj with sincerity erases past sins and sets a person’s destiny on a path towards righteousness. In addition, pilgrims are required to give charity during this time as part of their act of worship.


In conclusion, the Five Pillars of Islam guide Muslims in making good choices, living a holy and contemporary life, and upholding spiritual devotion. They are the foundation of Islamic faith, respecting and honoring God (Allah) by committing one’s self to prayer and worship, taking care of the needy through charity (zakat), fasting in Ramadan (saum), making a pilgrimage to Makkah (hajj) at least once in a lifetime if possible, and affirming testimony that there is only one God worthy of worship—Allah—and his prophet is Muhammad (shahada). Together they make up a meaningful way to live according to Islamic laws.