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The Five

Pillars of

A declaration of faith and a
witness to the oneness of Allah
and the role of the Prophet
Muhammad as its messenger.

It is: "I bear witness that there is

no God but Allah and that
Muhammad is the messenger of

The witness in the Shahada is
essentially all that it takes to be
considered a Muslim.
Muslims seek to pray the
Shahada each morning and night.
It is part of the call to prayer.

The Shahada witnesses to the
monotheism of Islam.
Its central statement affirms the
oneness of Allah and expressed
in the negative "there is no God
but Allah".

The requirement here is that every
Muslim will offer five daily prayers. In
addition, prayers are offered on
Fridays at noon at the mosque.

The daily prayers are said at dawn,

midday, mid-afternoon, sunset and at

In carrying out the requirement of
salat, individual ritual prayers are said
in private.
The prayers are recited in Arabic and
are accompanied by prescribed ritual
actions or bodily postures.

It is expected that a Muslim would be
in a state of ritual purity before
offering the prayers. Therefore, ritual
washing is carried out which include
the feet, forearms, hands, face and
head, mouth and nose.

Prayer is offered on clean ground with
the Muslim usually removing his or
her shoes.
A small piece of carpet or prayer mat
is often placed on the ground to
ensure its cleanliness.

The worshipper faces towards Mecca

in order to pray.

The ritual prayers play an important
role in Islam. They:
Are an act of obedience to Allah
Proclaim the oneness and greatness
of Allah
Bring people closer to Allah
Provide strength to carry out the
requirements of Islam and
Can be used to seek forgiveness.

Zakat is the requirement of
It operates as a kind of charitable tax
where money is collected from
Muslims and given to the poor.
It is usually calculated as 2.5% of a
person's surplus wealth.

The money contributed can only
be used for certain clearly defined
Helping the poor
Freeing people from debt
Assisting travelers in need and
Setting people free from bonded
labour or slavery.

Zakat is a reminder that all
possessions belong to Allah,
humans are custodians of this

Zakat shows that all are equal

before Allah.
Voluntary contributions are also

Sawm refers to fasting that occurs
during Ramadan the 9th month.
All adult Muslims who are in good
health will fast for all the hours of
Ramadan is significant as tradition
teaches that it is the month of the
revelation of the Quran.

The fast is to include abstinence from
food, drink, smoking and sex.
All Muslims who have reached the
age of puberty are expected to fast.
Exemptions exist for those who are ill,
travelling, aged or pregnant. They are
expected to replace the days lost as
soon as they are able.

The word "hajj" means to embark on
a journey with a purpose. The
purpose is essentially to visit the
Ka'ba in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and
worship on Mount Arafat.

The pilgrimage takes place during the

12th month of the Muslim calendar.

All Muslims are required to go on
pilgrimage at least once in their life,
provided they are physically and
financially able.

Despite the heat, the logistical

difficulties and enormous crowd, all
pilgrims enter a state of ihram
during hajj where all pilgrims must be
patient, understanding and kind.

The rituals of hajj recall the events in
the life of Abraham and Muhammad.
This includes:
Circling the Kaba seven times
Walking quickly between the hills of
Safa and Marwah (based on Hajar's
search for water)

Standing on Mt Arafat seeking
forgiveness from Allah
Throwing stones at pillars to reject
the influence of the devil
Sacrificing an animal and
distributing meat to the needy.