The Five Pillars of Islam


Islam is not a religion of violence. It, like all religions, can be twisted to serve violent interests, but it is not inherently so. In fact, the five pillars of the Islamic faith are relatively neutral and tend to have some commonalities with other religions.



These five are part of the core practices of Islam. They are common throughout all the denominations of the faith.



Faith and the declaration thereof is the first pillar. It states that there is only one God, with Muhammad as his messenger. It is the core of the faith and has parallels in the other two Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Christianity.



Prayer is also a crucial pillar. The prayers must be recited while facing the direction of the Kaaba.



In particular, Islam recommends five daily prayers. One at dawn, another at noon, one in the afternoon, one in the evening, and the last at night. There are specific times during these periods. It is recommended that these prayers be done in a mosque, but they can be done anywhere.



Alms-giving or charity is also a practice and is based on accumulated wealth.



The basic idea here is for each Muslim to give according to his means, easing the economic hardship that has befallen others – regardless of their faith. It could be the poor, the needy, or travellers, or even debtors. Most devout Muslims give as a voluntary act, rather than as a requirement of faith.



If you don’t have much money, giving in kind is also possible. Good deeds and good behaviour are just as viable ways of giving alms as donating to charitable organisations.



Fasting is also a pillar of the faith, as exemplified by the month of Ramadan. They may also fast as repentance or compensation.



The pillar of the Islamic faith that seems to have the least number of parallels in the other Abrahamic religions is the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.



A non-disabled Muslim is obliged by their beliefs to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once. They need to dress in the proper clothing and observe some rituals. At the same time, they must use the journey as an opportunity for self-improvement and self-examination.


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