The Five Pillars of Islam

1. The Declaration of Faith: to bear witness (hat there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger to all humanity until the Day of Judgment. The prophet hood of Muhammad obliges Muslims to follow his exemplary life as a model.

2. Prayers: Daily prayers are offered five times a day as a duty
toward Allah. They strengthen and enliven ones belief in Allah and inspire individuals to develop a higher morality They purify the heart and help one to resist giving into temptation.
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3. Fasting the Month of Ramadan: During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and all sexual activity from dawn to sunset. In addition, they must strive to abstain from evil intentions and desires. This communal fast seeks to instill within the individual feelings of love, sincerity, devotion, patience, unselfishness, and will-power as well as to develop a sound social conscience.

4. Zakat: An annual payment of 2.5% of ones net savings that has been in ones possession for one year. This is a religious duty and purifies ones money It must be given to those who are poor and in need.

5. Pilgrimage to Makkah: This must be performed once during one's
lifetime, provided that one can afford it financially and withstand it physically.
Besides these pillars, every action done with the awareness that it fulfills the will of Allah is also considered an act of worship. Islam enjoins faith in the oneness and sovereignty of Allah, for this makes an individual aware of the meaningfulness of the universe and of his or her place in it. This belief frees one from all fears and superstitions by making him conscious of the presence of Allah and of mans obligations toward Him. This faith must be expressed and tested in action, faith alone is not enough. Belief in one God requires that we look upon all human beings as one family under the universal omnipotence of Aliah, who has created and nourishes all parts of His creation. Islam rejects the idea of a chosen people by stating clearly that one must have faith in God and do good works in good action in order to gain entrance to heaven. Thus, a direct relationship between God and each individual is established, a fact that also makes an intercessor unnecessary.

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