Five Pillars of Islam
The Prophet Muhammad has said, “Islam has been built on five pillars: testifying that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; saying prayers; paying the prescribed charity (zakat); making the pilgrimage to the House of God in Makkah and fasting in the month of Ramadan.” Faith (iman) means belief in divine truths. Prayer, in essence, means bowing before the glories of God so that any sense of superiority a man may have will be dispelled. Fasting (sawm), emphasising abstinence, builds up patience and fortitude. Charity (zakat) entails the recognition of others’ needs so that what has been given to humankind by God may be equitably shared. Pilgrimage (Hajj) is a great rallying of God’s servants around Him. These are not mere empty rituals but the exercise of positive virtues, the quintessence, in fact, of those qualities which our Lord wishes to be inculcated in us. If we can cultivate them, we shall be deemed to possess the divine characteristics so cherished by Islam. Thus, it is true to say that faith, humility, fortitude, recognition of rights, and unity are the pillars on which rests the entire edifice of Islam.

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