The “Five Pillars” of Islam:
In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes obedience to Him a duty.
The Muslim concept of worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah’s guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help strengthen a Muslim’s faith and obedience. They are often called the “Five Pillars of Islam.
1. DECLARATION OF FAITH (SHAHAADAH)
Fundamental to a Muslim’s spiritual life is the declaration of faith (shahaadah). Here you can explore the deeper meaning of the declaration: “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.”
2. PRAYER (SALAT)
Muslims pray at least five times a day. Muslims are commanded to perform prayers five times a day, as performing salat is obligatory. Salat consists of the repetition of two or more units of a prescribed sequence of actions and words. Salat is prescribed at five periods of the day, which are measured according to the movement of the sun. These are: near dawn (fajr), just after noon (Zohar), in the afternoon (Asr), just after sunset (Maghrib) and around nightfall (Isha).
3. ALMSGIVING (ZAKAT)
Muslims give a small percentage of their annual savings as alms or charity, called zakat.
4. RAMADHAN (FASTING)
Every year, Muslims spend one entire month in daytime fasting during the month of Ranmadhan.
5. HAJJ (PILGRIMAGE)
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam. Hajj is a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in a lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to the one God, ALLAH.
Daily life as a Muslim:
While often seen as a radical or extreme religion, Muslims consider Islam to be the middle road. Muslims do not live life with complete disregard for God or religious matters, but nor do they neglect the world to devote themselves solely to worship and prayer. Muslims strike a balance by fulfilling the obligations and enjoying this life, while always mindful of their duties to Allah and to others such as morals and manners, business ethics, modesty in dress and behavior, dietary rules, marriage, care of children and elderly, racism and prejudice, relations with non-Muslims.