Falkirk Central Mosque Anwar-e-Madina

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious,
the Most Merciful

1 December 2023

5 Pillars of Islam

The foundation of the Islamic faith is built upon five key practices or pillars as they are more commonly known. Muslims across the world must practice the rituals set within each pillar throughout their lifetime. 

The five pillars of Islam are Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj. 

Although the five pillars don’t have a set precedence each pillar has its own appointed time, place, and guidelines that need to be adhered – be it daily (Salat), annually (Zakat, Ramadan), or once in a lifetime (Hajj). The Shahada, however, is the most important pillar as it is the basis upon which the other four are built, making it a prerequisite to accepting Islam and the difference between being a Muslim or a non-muslim.

  • Shahada


    The declaration of faith in one God (Allah) and Muhammad pbuh is His messenger. more

  • Salat


    The obligatory prayer that Muslims must pray five times a day throughout their lifetime. more

  • Zakat


    Almsgiving. Muslims that are well-off are obligated to giving 2.5% of their wealth to those in need.  more

  • Sawm


    The acting of fasting during the month of Ramadan. more

  • Hajj


    Once in a lifetime, Muslims must try, if within their means to make the sacred pilgrimage to Makkah. more

1. The Shahada

The  first pillar of Islam is Shahada, or the declaration of faith. It is the most fundamental pillar of Islam, and it affirms that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration is a testament of one’s faith and is necessary for anyone who wishes to become a Muslim. The sacred Islamic oath has to be read, understood, and accepted wholeheartedly by anyone wanting to accept Islam. 

أشهدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وأشهدُ أنَّ محمّداً رسولُ الله

Ashadu An La Ilaha Illa Illa-Ilah, Wa Ashadu Anna Muhammadan Rasul Ullah.

Translation: There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

2. Salat

The second pillar of Islam is Salat, or prayer. Muslims are required to perform five daily prayers, which serve as a way to communicate with Allah and seek His guidance and blessings. The prayers are performed at specific times throughout the day and involve reciting verses from the Quran and performing physical movements such as standing, bowing, and prostrating.

3. Zakat

The third pillar of Islam is Zakat, or charity. Muslims are obligated to give a portion of their wealth to those in need, including the poor, the needy, and those who are in debt. The act of giving charity is seen as a way to purify one’s wealth and to fulfil one’s obligation to help those who are less fortunate.

4. Sawm

The fourth pillar of Islam is Sawm, or fasting. Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset during the month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Fasting serves as a way to purify the soul, practice self-discipline, and gain a greater understanding of the needs of others and those less fortunate.

5. Hajj

The fifth pillar of Islam is Hajj, or pilgrimage. Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime, if they are physically and financially able to do so. The pilgrimage involves performing a series of rituals, including circling the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and standing on the plain of Arafat to seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.

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