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Introduction to Islam

5 Pillars of Islam

The '5 Pillars of Islam' are the foundation of Muslim life. Muslims are required to observe them with utmost devotion. Just like a building lacks stability without strong pillars, a believer’s relationship with God (Allah) lacks focus without observance of the five pillars. These pillars form the foundation and starting point for all other good deeds and acts of worship to Allah and are as follows:

 1. Faith or belief in the Oneness of God, Allah, and the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him;
 2. Establishment of the 5 daily prayers;
 3. Concern and charity to the needy;
 4. Self-purification through fasting in the month of Ramadan.
 5. The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

The following educational resources providing further information over and above the information provided on this web page are a further set of resources explaining the 5 Pillars of Islam. These resources can be freely downloaded, printed and reproduced without amendment below:

For a visual diagram that summarises the 5 Pillars of Islam please click here.
For a visual diagram that explains what the 5 Pillars of Islam mean for followers of Islam please click here.

Pillar 1: Faith (Shahadah) & Belief in One Allah (Tawheed)
"There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God".


This declaration of faith is called the Shahadah, meaning testimony, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. The significance of this declaration is the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey Allah, and that this is achieved through the teachings and practices of the final Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him. For information about the life (seerah) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) please click here. To view more information about the final revelation of the Prophet Muhmmad (peace be upon him) in the form of the Quran which is the Holy Book of Islam please click here. The following educational resources in relation to Belief which is the first Pillar of Islam have been provided and can be freely downloaded, printed and reproduced without amendment below:

  • For more information about Who is Allah please click here.
  • For more information about the Qualities of Allah as described in the 99 Names please click here.
  • For more information about the other requirements that form the Article of Faith for Muslims please click here.

Pillar 2: Prayer 5 Times A Day (Salaat)
Salaat is the name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and there are no priests. Prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Qur’an and is generally chosen by the congregation.
Prayers are said at dawn, mid-day, late-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. These five prescribed prayers contain verses from the Qur’an, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation. Personal supplications, however, can be offered in one’s own language and at any time.
Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque (Masjid), a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Often there are times visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life. The 5 Daily prayers are

Fajr:       This prayer happens in the morning before Dawn

Dhuhr:    This prayer happens in the afternoon after Noon

Asr:        This prayer happens in mid afternoon about 1.5 hours before Sunset

Maghrib: This prayer happens in the evening just after Sunset 

Isha:      This prayer happens at night about 1.5 hours after Sunset.

For prayer times at our Masjid please click here.

Please note then before reading prayer you need to have performed abloution (wudhu) - for how to perform wudhu click here.

Please view the following U Tube clip which shows a visual step by step guide of how to pray - click here.

Note that the method of prayer for men and women is different, and that each of the five prayers differs in steps and length. To learn more arrange a time with Imam Imraan. E-mail

Pillar 3: Alms (Zakah) - Giving to Charity
An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to Allah, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word Zakah means both “purification” and “growth.” Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakah individually. This involves the annual payment of 2.5% of one’s capital, excluding such items as primary residence, car and professional tools.
An individual may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqah, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as “voluntary charity” it has a wider meaning. To calculate Zakah and make payments a recognised organisation in Queensland is the Muslim Charitable Foundation. You can use their online tool for calculating your Zakah by clicking here.

Pillar 4: Fasting (Sawm)
Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown–abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations with their spouses.
Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy and able. Children begin to fast and to observe prayers from puberty, although many start earlier.
Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of Allah. In the Quran, which is the final revelation from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it is stated:

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint.
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183]

For more information about the Holy Month of Ramadan please view this informative presentation by clicking here.

Pillar 5: Pilgrimage (Hajj)
The Hajj Pilgrimage to Makkah is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to do so. Nevertheless, over two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another.
The annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar year. Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.
The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include going around the Ka’bah seven times, and going seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar (Hajira, Abraham’s wife) during her search for water. The pilgrims later stand together on the wide plains of Arafat, a large expanse of desert outside Mecca, and join in prayer for Allah’s forgiveness, in what is often thought as a preview of the Day of Judgment.
The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This and the Eid al Fitr, a festive day celebrating the end of Ramadan, are the two holidays of the Islamic calendar. For information about Hajj please click here.


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29 Rabi'al Awwal 1439

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