What are the Five Pillars of Islam?

The 'Five Pillars of Islam': Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj.

The Five Pillars of Islam are the obligations that Muslims must satisfy to live a good and responsible life and to bring them closer to God. These are:

  • Shahadah - sincerely reciting the declaration of faith.
  • Salat - performing set prayers five times a day at specific times. This is a constant reminder of the importance of Allah in the life of a Muslim.
  • Zakat - giving a portion of one's income, usually one fortieth, to help the poor. This creates a bond between rich and poor and helps Muslims to purify their wealth and keep away from greed. Zakat is usually paid once a year.
  • Sawm - fasting during the month of Ramadan, for Muslims who have reached maturity and are in good health. This helps Muslims connect with Allah, and also with those less fortunate than themselves who live with hunger daily.
  • Hajj - the annual pilgrimage to Mecca made during the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are expected to undertake this pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime, if they are physically able and can afford it.