The 5 Pillars of Islam
There are 5 pillars in Islam. They are the shahadah, salat, zakat, saum, and hajj. We will learn about each one of these words below.
Just like regular pillars hold up a roof, the 5 pillars of Islam help us to uphold our religion. These are things that all Muslims must do if they are able to.
As Muslims, we profess our faith. To do this, we believe and say out loud that Allah is our god and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
Allah is our god – This means that we only worship Allah. We don’t worship anything or anyone else. We only pray to Allah and when we pray, we only ask Allah for help.
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah – The Prophet Muhammad was given messages from Allah that are meant for everyone. His message includes the Quran and lessons about how to live, which we call the Sunnah.
Salat - Prayer
As Muslims, we pray to Allah to worship him. When we pray, we can ask Allah for the things that we need or want and thank Him for what He has given us.
We have to pray 5 times a day, but we can pray more than that if we want to.
Praying helps us remember Allah.
All Muslims pray facing the Kaa’ba in Mecca.
We clean ourselves before we pray. This is called making wudu.
We can pray in the mosque, at home, at school, or at work… anywhere that is clean!
We learned how to pray from the Prophet Muhammad. We pray like he did.
Muslims are all one big family or community, called the Muslim ummah. We should always want other Muslims to have nice things that we have, like food, water, clothes and a home. Anyone that has enough money to take care of their family must also pay charity, or zakat, to help other Muslims who have no food or home.
¢ Zakat is paid every year.
¢ Only people with extra money pay zakat.
¢ Zakat can be used for food and water, but it can also be used for building schools, hospitals, mosques and so on.
Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca
Hajj is going on a trip to Mecca and and joining other Muslims in a ceremony at the same time. Every Muslim should do Hajj at least once in their life if they are able to. There are certain things that Muslims do when they go to Hajj and each action has a meaning:
Walk around the Kaa'ba, which is the big black building shown here. Fun fact, Muslims pray facing the Kaa'ba no matter where they are in the world!
Run back and forth between two hills
Drink from a well
Stand on a plain, which is a flat area of land. They also spend the night on a plain, sleeping in a tent.
Throw stones at three big pillars
Saum - Fasting
Muslims fast for the month of Ramadan if they are able to. Fasting means that you do not eat or drink from the time of the first prayer in the morning until the sun sets. Once the sun sets, you can eat and drink. There are many good things that Muslims get from fasting.
- Learning to be thankful for the food that you have
- Learning to be patient when waiting for things that you want
- Learning to share what you have with others that don't have enough
- Learning to fill your time with good things like reading Quran and praying
Watch videos about the pillars of Islam, learn how to pray or hear about Gabriel's first fast!