What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
They are the framework of the Muslim life: Faith, Prayer, Zakah - concern for the needy, The Fast - self-purification, and the pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.
The prophet (PBUH) said: Islam is based on five principles:
1. The declaration of faith: To bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) is His messenger to all human beings till the Day of Judgement. The prophethood of Muhammed obliges Muslims to follow his exemplary life as a model.
2. Prayers: Muslims perform five prayers a day as a duty towards Allah. Each prayer only takes a few minutes to perform and is a direct link between the worshipper and God. There are no intermediaries between the worshipper and God. Prayers strengthen and enliven the belief in Allah and inspire man to a higher morality. They purify the heart and prevent temptation towards wrongdoing and evil.
3. Zakah: The literal and simple meaning of Zakah is purity. Wealth is purified by paying Zakah. As all things belong to God. wealth Is therefore held by human beings in trust. Zakah means giving a specified percentage of ones wealth to certain classes of needy people. In addition the individual may give as much as he/she pleases in voluntary charity.
4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan: Muslims during the month of .Ramadan not only abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset, but also from immoral behaviour. Fasting teaches love, sincerity and devotion. It develops a sound social conscience, patience, unselfishness and will-power.
5. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca): It is to be performed at least once in a lifetime, by those who are physically and financially able to do so. The Ka'bah, which is in the city of Mecca, is the first house of worship appointed for mankind and was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael (Peace Be Upon Them).