The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam are five duties that every Muslim must follow in order to live a good and responsible life according to Islam. For Sunni Muslims, these five duties are seen as pillars holding up the religion.

Visualisation of the Five Pillars of Islam.
  1. Shahadah is the Muslim declaration of faith. The words of the Shahadah are repeated multiple times during the day.
  2. Salah is prayer. It is compulsory for Muslims to pray five times a day if they are eligible to do so, eg they have reached the age of puberty and are mentally and physically able.
  3. Zakah, or charitable giving, encourages generosity and compassion.
  4. Sawm is the obligation to fast during Ramadan. It teaches Muslims self-discipline, bringing them closer to Allah.
  5. Hajj is the pilgrimage to Makkah. The trip is compulsory at least once in a lifetime for Muslims as long as they are fit and healthy and can afford to make the trip.

The Ten Obligatory Acts

The Ten Obligatory Acts are followed by Twelver Shi’a Muslims. These combine some of the Five Pillars of Islam and jihad, which applies to all Muslims, so it is the final five acts that distinguish Shi’a practice from Sunni tradition.

  1. Salah.
  2. Zakah.
  3. Sawm.
  4. Hajj.
  5. Jihad is the struggle to keep belief in Allah and follow his rules, to continue to follow the Five Pillars of Islam successfully and to defend Islam. The greater jihad is each Muslim’s personal struggle to live a good life, while the lesser jihad is the struggle to defend Islam against its enemies.
  6. Khums is a 20 per cent annual tax. This tax is paid on any profit earned by Shi’a Muslims. The money is split between charities that support Islamic education and anyone who is descended from Muhammad who is in need.
  7. Amr-bil Maruf (also spelt Amr-bil-Maroof) refers to encouraging people to do what is good. Maruf is anything that has been approved in Shari’ah law.
  8. Nahi Anil Munkar means forbidding evil by discouraging people from doing what is wrong.
  9. Tawallah (also spelt Tawalla) refers to showing love. This includes love both for God and for those who follow him.
  10. Tabarra means disassociation. Shi’a Muslims are taught not to associate with God’s enemies.
Enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.Qur’an 9:71

How much is the annual tax that Shi’a Muslims pay as Khums?

20 per cent.