What are the Five Pillars of Islam

What are the Five Pillars of Islam?


Islam obligates five basic principles on Muslims. These five basics have been named five pillars of Islam in a hadith of Bukhari & Sahih Muslim books. Every Muslim must endorse and accept these five pillars of Islam by heart. We will be discussing briefs of these pillars here:


1- Shahadah

Shahadah means testimony. Every Muslim must testify the acceptance of only one God, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger. The words of Shahadah say: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah.”

Muslims cannot enter Islam without reciting these words. This is the first of the fundamental pillar of Islam. It is a critical pillar, and that is why it is repeated in five times prayer every day.

Worship is only for Allah

It is vital to accept Allah’s existence as only one. Allah is the creator of the heavens and earth. He is the only authority that controls the entire universe. All of the creatures are the servants of Allah, and no one can be called God other than Him.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the final messenger

The second part is the firm belief in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Allah has sent many Prophets to many nations, but Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is Allah’s last Prophet, and there can be no Prophet after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).


2- Salah

Allah has obligated five times prayer to every Muslim. This was the gift of Allah Almighty to Prophet (PBUH) during the famous incident of mairaaj. The Prophet went to the heavens, met other Prophets, and spoke to Allah himself.


It has been recorded that Allah obligated fifty prayers in a day at first. However, Prophet requested Almighty to reduce the number of prayers until it was reduced to five times prayer.


3 Zakat

Islam obligates annual charity on Muslims. It applies to every Muslim who has savings or possessions to the level mentioned in Islam. The minimum standard has been set in Islam and is known as nisaab. This standard is placed on the prices of silver and gold. The amount of gold is 85 grams, while silver is 595 grams. Whoever has this much silver or gold must pay 2.5% of total wealth in zakat.

Islam believes in equal distribution of money through zakat.


4- Fasting (Sowm)

Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. Muslims must observe fast during the entire month of Ramadan of the Islamic calendar. A fast means to refrain yourself from drinking or eating the whole day. A fast starts from the prayer of Fajar and ends with the blessing of Magrib.

Fasting isn’t practiced only in Islam. It has been the practice of Christians as well. Christians also observe fasting at specific times of the year like Muslims. The primary purpose of fasting is to teach tolerance. It is also a great way to acknowledge the blessings of Almighty on Muslims.

Ramadan is a month celebrated for good deeds and additional prayers. Allah chains Satan in this month, and Almighty rewards Muslims multiple times on good deeds in Ramadan. Muslims also perform many extra prayers this month.


5- Hajj (Pilgrimage)

The visit to Kaabah and the Hajj in the house of Allah Almighty is the final pillar of Islam. It is a compulsion only on the ones who can afford to visit Kaabah in their life. Muslims desire their entire life to be blessed with this opportunity. Among billions of Muslims on earth, very few millions have the chance to perform Hajj every year.


The preliminary ruling on pilgrimage is the physical and financial capability to travel to Kaabah. This is not a compulsion on everyone. Usually, Muslims save their entire life to afford the visit of Kaabah and perform this sacred duty.


Except for Shahadat & Salah, the rest pillars of Islam might have exceptions. Zakat is applicable when wealth is accumulated at certain levels. Pilgrimage is relevant to financial & physical capability, while fasting can be missed during traveling or sickness. Islam is the religion that accommodates everyone. This is why even the five fundamental pillars have pre-requisites and are not forced on anyone who can’t afford to practice them.