The first pillar of Islam is the Shihada, or the statement of faith. The Arabic word Shihada is loosely translated as the witness. The Shihada is simply a statement of faith, or belief. It states, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” This is the doorway to faith for the Muslim. It is stated repeatedly during Muslim prayers as well.Salat is the second pillar of Islam. Prayers are made daily to Allah by Muslims the world over. Each believer faces in the direction of Mecca and is required to perform prayers five times a day at specified times. Before praying, the Muslim must perform a ritual cleansing with water as well. Men and women usually pray apart from one another, but can pray in the same place if necessary. Watch video in link below
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The third pillar of Islam, Zakat, is the Arabic word meaning obligatory giving. This usually takes place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Giving takes various forms throughout the Muslim world, but the emphasis is on giving to the poor.The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. This is quite serious business. From sunrise to sunset no food or drink is permitted. Abstinence from smoking, is required too. Allowances are made for pregnant women or the infirmed.Lastly, the Haaj, (pilgrimage) to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia is ‘required’ if one has the means to make the trip. This is usually a highlight of any Muslim’s life and holds deep significance.These five main pillars sum up the main tenants of Islam. The simplicity of each aspect is alluring and aided the spread of the new religion long after Muhammad’s death.