The Five Pillars of Islam

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The Five Pillars are universal and undisputed. The Five Pillars are mentioned in the Qur'an, but not explained. The Sunnah is neccessary to understand them.

Declaration of Faith: Shahadah

"There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet." The shahadah is the pinicle of belief. Muslims speak this often; it is a convert's first words spoken as a Muslim.

Prayer: Salat

The five daily prayers are obligatory for all Muslims. Salat begins with ablution, purification washing. Prayer is divided into repititions of rak'as, standing, bowing, sitting, prostrating, quoting the Qur'an, and reciting prayers. Each prayer is begun by the adhan, the call to prayer. In Muslim countries, the adhan is recited through the minarets of mosques, the reason they were built.

The prayers are salat-ul-fair, the morning prayer, salat-ul-zuhr, the noon prayer, salat-ul-asr, the afternoon prayer, salat-ul-maghrib, the evening prayer, and salat-ul-isha, the night prayer. The prayers are not identical, some are longer than others. Muslims may choose to extend their prayers as they wish. The times are in accordance with the position of the sun, so the times do not stay the same.

The Qibla, direction of salat points to the Kaaba in Mecca, thus every Muslim faces the same point. And because the prayers are at different times on the earth, the prayers never stop. Originally the Qibla faced Jerusalem, but was later changed.

Almsgiving: Zakat

Fasting during Ramadan: Sawm

Pilgrimage: Hajj


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