The Five Pillars of Islam

 

The Five Pillars of Islam (also known as the arkan ad-din or pillars of the religion) are five basic obligatory acts to be performed by all Muslims. These form the foundations upon which Muslim life is built and which without one cannot declare themselves a Muslim.

 

 

1. Shahadah (The Declaration of Faith)

 

2. Salaat (The Five Daily Prayers)

 

3. Sawm (Fasting During the Month of Ramadan)

 

4. Zakat (Giving of Alms/Charitable Donation)

 

5. Hajj (The Annual Pilgrimmage to Makkah)

 

 

 

 

It is worth noting that the Five Pillars are not expressly mentioned in the Qur'an, however, they are clearly summed up in the hadith below:

 

A narration attributed to 'Umar' (ra) reports:

 

“ While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of travel were visible on him, and none of us knew him. He sat down close by the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, rested his knees against his knees and placed his palms on his thighs, and said, O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam."

 

Muhammad said, "Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah (alms), fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it)."

 

Said he (the man), "You have spoken truly." We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, "Inform me about Iman (faith)." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, "It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects."

 

He said, "You have spoken truly." Then he (the man) said, "Inform me about Ihsan." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, " It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you." He said, "Inform me about the Hour." He (the Messenger of Allah) said, "About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner." So he said, "Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming)." Said he, "They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings." Thereupon the man went off.

 

I waited a while, and then he (the Messenger of Allah) said, "O 'Umar, do you know who that questioner was?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, "That was Jibril. He came to teach you your religion."

 

Source: Hadith: Muslim