The Five Pillars of Islam: A Guide to Understanding the Fundamental Practices

the five pillars of islam a guide to understanding the fundamental practices
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Publié le 20 janvier 2023, par Samir | 9 h 52 min
Temps de lecture : 3 minutes

Islam is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century. It is based on the belief in one God (Allah) and the belief that Muhammad is the last prophet sent by God to guide humanity. The fundamental guidelines of Islamic behavior are the five pillars: the profession of faith (shahada), prayer (salah), almsgiving (zakat), fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage (hajj). Regardless of ecclesiastical, regional, or sectarian distinctions, they are acknowledged by Muslims everywhere.

All sincere followers of the Prophet Muhammad are expected to uphold the pillars, although this does not imply that all people who identify as Muslims do so regularly. Like all religions, believers have different situations and levels of commitment. Age, stage of life, employment, obligations to one’s family, health, and wealth are all relevant factors.

The Five Pillars of Islam are the foundation of the Muslim faith and practice.

The Five Pillars of Islam: A Guide to Understanding the Fundamental Practices

Shahada

According to the Shahada, there is only one God (Allah), and Muhammad is His Messenger, the core Muslim belief. It sets Muslims apart from adherents of other religions. The Arabic phrase on the flags of ISIS, al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram is probably why the Shahada is more well-known in the West. To become a Muslim, one must recite the Shahada three times in front of witnesses; therefore, it is far from the sole domain of militant organizations. This declaration is considered the most fundamental aspect of the Muslim faith and must be recited with sincerity and conviction to be considered a Muslim.

Salah

Five times a day of prayer is required for Muslims. It does not imply that individuals must go to a mosque to pray; instead, they should repeat the salat, or daily prayer, five times daily. Muslims are allowed to pray anywhere, although they are supposed to face Mecca. As a sign of their adoration and surrender to Allah, the pious bow multiple times while standing before kneeling and touching the floor or prayer mat with their foreheads. Many Muslims visit a mosque on Fridays at noon to pray and hear a sermon (khutba). These prayers are essential to connect with Allah (SWT) and remind Muslims to follow His commandments.

Zakat

The required donation of a part of a Muslim’s excess wealth is known as zakat. In recent years, aid has been delivered in Gaza, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. Islamic charities encourage contributors to use their services to ease suffering and to aid refugees, people affected by natural disasters, the urban poor, and those in conflict zones. Muslims believe they should donate wealth to the less-fortune community members and help them survive with dignity.

Sawm

Sawm – The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, is when Muslims are obliged to fast. They refrain from eating, drinking, engaging in sexual activity, and smoking throughout the day (which varies according to when the time of year Ramadan falls), breaking the fast with a meal after dusk. Children are not forced to participate, nor are those who are elderly, unwell, pregnant, or nursing excluded. The fast is seen as a way to purify the soul and show devotion to Allah (SWT).

Hajj

Every Muslim must complete the Hajj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once. Before leaving on their journey, pilgrims should all be in good bodily and spiritual health. They follow Muhammad’s example by performing several individual and group rituals daily in Mecca. It is a journey that millions of Muslims make each year to the holiest city in Islam, where they perform a series of rituals and ceremonies.

Understanding the five pillars and their relevance for Muslims is crucial for fostering positive working relationships and clearing misconceptions about Muslim beliefs. For instance, Muslim coworkers may ask for lunch breaks, a place to worship, assistance while fasting during Ramadan, or annual leave during the Hajj. These concerns affect all Muslims and are not signs of fundamentalism. Overcoming stereotypes about Muslims can be made more accessible by better understanding this.

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