wikiHow to Act According to the Five Pillars of Islam

Islam is a complete way of life which contains guidance on all aspects of life in great detail. From managing your finances, to family law, to inheritance, and even the smaller topics like keeping clean and washing your vegetable. However, there are five basic "pillars" of Islam which "hold up" your faith. These duties are incumbent on every Muslim. *Shahadah: Declaring there is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is God's Messenger *Salah: Ritual prayer five times a day *Sawm: Fasting and self-control during the blessed month of Ramadan *Zakat: Giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy *Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime]if he/she is able to do. Read on to find out how to live according to them.


  1. Image titled Act According to the Five Pillars of Islam Step 1
    Believe in the Unity and Oneness of Allah Belief in Tawheed, or the Oneness of Allah is the basic tenet of Islam on which all other practices are based
    • Recite the Shahadah, which reads "'ašhadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa 'ašhadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh", or "I testify that there is no god (ilah) but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" & Kalima as 'La 'ilea-ha 'IL-all-laa-hu mu-ham-ma-door Ra-soo-lul-laah --> "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger." It is remarkable how much a simple recitation of the shahadah can help prepare you for the challenges of life. A reminder that Allah is Almighty, All-Powerful can be very encouraging and comforting.
    • Watch out for shirk!. Shirk is the sin of associating partners with Allah and the only unpardonable sin in Islam. There are many categories and sub-categories of shirk including Polytheism . Watch out for them.
      • Shirk in Lordship is of two types. Shirk by association and shirk by negation. Shirk by association comes from believing anyone other than Allah to be God. Keep in mind, that people who say that intercession for forgiveness through Prophets or Sufi's is shirk are mistaken. An innocent child who died during childbirth, Hafiz (people who memorized the Qur'an), and martyrs all will intercede for their close ones. The most powerful person to intercede would be the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Qur'an mentions in various places (19:87, 20:109, 21:28, 39:44, 43:86, 53:26) that God gives power of intercession only to those who's words please Allah, in general. Shirk by negation comes from denying the existence of God either explicitly or implicitly. That is, in some cases God's non-existence is stated (Atheism), while in other cases His existence is claimed, but the way in which He is conceived actually denies His existence (e.g. Pantheism)
      • Shirk in attributes is, again, of two types. Humanization is the act of attributing human or animal attributes to God, while Deitification is the act of giving Allah's attributes to his creation, or claiming them. The former happens when God is portrayed like one of his creations (usually a human being), for example in paintings and idols, or he is said to possess human attributes like reproduction or the need of bodily organs etc. Deitification occurs when a creation is said to have, or claims to have, Allah's attributes, for example during the era of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) there was a man in a region of Arabia called Yamamah, who claimed to be a prophet and took the name Ar-Rahman which, in Islam, belongs only to God.
      • Shirk in worship arises from worship directed towards someone other than God, or from seeking reward from the Creation rather than the created. This includes worshiping someone else besides Allah. Beautifying or prolonging prayer/fast prayers because someone else is watching is also shirk and comes under this category.
  2. Image titled Act According to the Five Pillars of Islam Step 2
    Establish Prayer. Prayer, or Salaat is an obligation on all Muslims. Remember that missing prayer is excused only under certain special circumstances and is otherwise unacceptable.
    • Salat consists of five daily prayers according to the Sunna; the names are according to the prayer times:
      • Fajr (dawn)
      • Dhuhr (noon)
      • Asr (afternoon)
      • Maghrib (evening)
      • Isha' (night).
    • The Fajr prayer is performed before sunrise,Dhuhr is performed in the midday after the sun has surpassed its highest point,Asr is the evening prayer before sunset,Maghrib is the evening prayer after sunset and Isha is the night prayer.
    • All of these prayers are performed while facing in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and forms an important aspect of the Muslim Ummah.
    • Muslims must perform Wudu ("purification") before praying.
  3. Image titled Act According to the Five Pillars of Islam Step 3
    Start fasting in Ramadan. Sawm is the Arabic word for fasting, and becomes obligatory on every Muslim after puberty. Of course, as different people experience puberty at different ages, it becomes obligatory at a different time for everybody.Islam is a Practical religion. You can leave a fast if you are travelling, sick such that you need medication or those with a medical condition such as diabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women or that a lack of food will worsen your condition, or, if you are a woman, while menstruating. You can make it up later by fasting when Ramadan is over.
    • Fasting starts at Fajr. The Fajr adhaan signals the start of the day's fast. It is preferable to eat a small meal before Fajr. Eating a few dates and drinking water provides enough energy for the day and this depends upon the body of the individual.
    • During the day, you are to abstain from eating food, drinking water, using foul language, and engaging in sexual activity. If you eat or drink by mistake i.e. you had forgotten that you are fasting, your fast is not broken. In case that happens, throw out whatever is in your mouth and rinse your mouth with water, and continue fasting as usual. If you break a fast intentionally by drinking, eating, or having sex, you either fast for 60 consecutive days, feed and cloth 60 needy people, 'or' free a wrongfully accused Muslim, and there are many nowadays.
    • You "open/finish/end" your fasting at the time of the Maghreb prayer. This time is signaled by the Maghreb azaan. Most Muslims would eat a few dates and drink some water, following the sunnah of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), and follow it with a meal after the Maghreb prayers.
  4. Image titled Act According to the Five Pillars of Islam Step 4
    Pay Zakaat if you are self sufficient. Muslims with earnings above the nisab are considered to be self-sufficient. 2.5% of your earnings are to be paid annually to poor people, freed prisoners, those heavily indebted, or new converts to Islam, in certain cases. It is also good to use Zakaat to help out needy family members first. However, Zakaat can not be paid to some family members i.e the wife, children, parents, and grandparents, because their financial needs are already your responsibility. Please seek help from a religious expert for details on nisaab and zakaat to be paid on gold and silver (e.g. jewelry) and land e.t.c. Zakaat is paid on the money that you have had for a whole year and also returns earned during the year which is also considered as earnings.An amount can be free of Zakat only if the Zakaaath has been paid for it in previous years and no returns were received from it after the Zakat payment while it exceeds Nisab level .
    • There are 5 principles that should be followed when giving the zakāt:
      • The giver must declare to God his intention to give the zakāt.
      • The zakāt must be paid on the day that it is due.
      • After the offering, the payer must not exaggerate on spending his money more than usual means.
      • Payment must be in kind. This means if one is wealthy then he or she needs to pay 2.5% of their income. If a person does not have much money, then they should compensate for it in different ways, such as good deeds and good behavior toward others.
      • The zakāt must be distributed in the community from which it was taken
  5. Image titled Act According to the Five Pillars of Islam Step 5
    Perform Hajj:Pilgrimage to Mecca: Every able Muslim must perform once in his lifetime. Able is defined in terms of finances as well as physical health, so it is advisable to perform the Hajj when young, if able to.
    • Occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah
    • Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca
    • After a Muslim makes the trip to Mecca, he/she is known as a hajj/hajja
    • The pilgrim, or the haji, is honoured in the Muslim community
    • The Hajj should be an expression of devotion to God, not a means to gain social standing
    • The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage.
    • This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement.
    • A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah(not mandatory) is strongly recommended

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