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.