The Five Pillars of Islam

Shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj.

There are very few arabic words that I know, but these I do.

From the time I first reverted to Islam, I learned the meaning of these words and what they stand for.  The five pillars are something every muslim knows well, starting with shahada:

1.  Shahada:  the first step towards Islam.  It is when you truly believe that you make the profession of the faith:  There is no god but God, and I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God.

2.  Salat:  the five daily prayers.   I am not praying right now, and some may say that means I am not a true muslim.  But I believe in my heart the shahada, and Allah knows what is in each of our hearts.  My heart struggles whenever I’m not praying.  When I pray, my heart feels warm and light.  When I’m not – cold and heavy.

3.  Zakat:  this is the alms-giving required of every muslim, to give 2.5% of his or her total income to charity.

4.  Sawm: fasting.

5.  Hajj:  the travel to Mecca

Click here to listen to a beautiful song created by Yusef Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) explaining the pillars of faith to kids.


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