The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam provide the fundamental principles and structure to Muslim life.

The first pillar is the testimony of faith, which establishes Allah as the only all-powerful deity. This proclamation of faith, in which Muslims state that “there is no true God except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,ā€ is called the Shahada.

The second pillar is prayer. Islamic prayer occurs five times a day (performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night), and addresses Allah directly. This second pillar is called Salat.

Zakat, or charity and compassion for the needy, is the third pillar of Islam.

The fourth pillar is fasting during the month of Ramadan. Fasting includes abstinence from food, drink, and sexual activities, during the daylight hours.

The fifth and final pillar of Islam is the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Every Muslim who is able is encouraged to make this journey at least once in their lifetime.


“The Five Pillars of Islam.” Khan Academy. Accessed March 8, 2015.


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