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Five pillars of Islam

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One of many Hadith (narrations of Muhammad's sunnah) says that:


Narrated from Ibn 'Umar who said that
Saudikoran
(Muhammad) the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

Islam is based upon five (pillars):

  1. To proclaim the Shahadah (profession of faith): There is no god (anything worthy of worship) but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. (Note: Islam mandates the belief that Allah has sent to people including the Jews and the Christians, prophets before Muhammad like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc. and books before the Quran like the Torah and the Gospels).
  2. To establish Salah (practice of formal physical prayers): To perform five times a day, if possible in congregation, the Salah which includes bowing and prostating and recitation from the Quran and prayers from the Sunnah
  3. To give Zakah (alms): To give a specific percentage of your income (unless he/she does not have a certain portion of wealth outside the needs) to the poor and needy.
  4. Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca): Pilgrimage to Al-Ka'ba in Mecca at least once in a life time (unless he can't afford it with money or health) at anytime in the four haram (sacred) months (although commonly performed all over the world on the first haram month of Dhu al-Hijjah)
  5. Sawm (fasting) on Ramadan: To abstain from eating or drinking and sexual intercourse from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan.

(Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 1 Book of Faith)

It should be noted that just like pillars form the basic structure of a house, these five pillars form the basic structures of Islam. Therefore simply performing all the [1] is not all that a Muslim requires to do to please Allah and go to Paradise but there are, as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah, commandments required to be carried out and forbidance required to be avoided and prevented. For example, Muslims are ordered not to drink wine and to maintain good relations with their families in general and parents in particular.

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