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    Everything You Should Know About the Five Pillars of Islam

    Islam has certain parameters which need to be declared, believed and acted upon in order to fulfill the requirements of being called a Muslim. These 5 acts have to be performed by a Muslim, it is a religious duty for which there is no space for excuses, as each pillar has its own wisdom and need that affects personal life as well as the society at large-




    1) Shahadah (Expression of accepting there is only 1 God)-

    The first pillar of Islam is Shahadah. Shahadah is an Arabic word which means bearing witness to the fact that there is only One God, and He alone is the Master of the Universe and all its Creations. Shahadah also declares that from the many Prophets that God assigned, the last Prophet after whom no other Prophet would follow is Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him. This statement is made to commit to Godís Oneness and the last Prophet who sealed Prophet-hood for mankind.
    2) Salah (5 Prayers a day)-

    A muslim from the age of 7, or a revert from the time of taking Shahadah, must perform 5 prayers a day starting from the break of dawn to the evening. This is the second pillar of Islam, called Salah. Islam stresses on the fact that personal relationship must be built with God, and Salah is the means to communicate. Salah can be performed in seclusion and in a congregation. It is advisable for men to gather at the nearest mosque to perform salah collectively and for women to perform in seclusion.
    3) Zakat (Payment of possessions for welfare of community)-

    It has been made a compulsion on all Muslims to part 2.5 percent of total net worth as per http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/co..._of_Islam.aspx, adding in all assets and valuables deducting any payable to friend, family or bank. This 2.5 percent is forwarded to the underprivileged members of the society. They can be anyone from extended family or other acquaintances that one might have or even any charitable organization. Zakat is the third pillar of Islam, designed to remind Muslims that materials possessions are temporary and for the love of God, they must be circulated among the poor and needy people.
    4) Sawm (fasting in the month of Ramadan)-

    The fourth pillar of Islam is Sawm, that is fasting in the month of Ramadan. According to the Islamic calendar Ramadan is the ninth month when the Holy Quran- Book of Allah, was sent upon the Mankind. To celebrate the revelation of Quran on Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him, and to practice self-control by refraining from eating, drinking and fulfilling any sensuous desires, Muslim commit to God and fast. These fasts are made obligatory so that Muslims can feel how the oppressed and poor people survive, this spirit may increase sensitivity towards others and motivate Muslims to help the needy.
    5) Hajj (Pilgrimage to the House of Allah- Kaaba in Makkah)

    Muslims are required to pay pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime. Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam, it needs both physical and financial strength to fulfill the pilgrimage. It is a spiritual gathering where Muslims from across the world, millions in numbers, gather together and perform the rituals of Hajj. These complete 5 pillars are the identity of a Muslim and outline the religious duties that must be performed throughout the life.

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