Acting correctly and sincerely on the five pillars transforms a Muslim's life into one that is in harmony with nature and thus in conformity with the will of the Creator. It inspires one to work towards the establishment of justice, equality and righteousness in society, and the eradication of injustice, falsehood and evil.
1. SHAHADAH, the first of the five basic foundations, is the declaration, knowingly and voluntarily, of: La ilaha illal lahu Muhammadur rasulul lah. “There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. This declaration is the basis of all actions in Islam, and the other basic duties follow this affirmation.
2. SALAH (compulsory prayer) is offered five times a day. It is a practical demonstration of faith, and keeps a believer in touch with their Creator. The Salah develops in a believer the qualities of self-discipline, steadfastness and obedience to the Truth, leading one to be patient, honest and truthful in the affairs of their life.
3. ZAKAH (welfare contribution) is a compulsory payment from a Muslim's annual savings. It can only be spent on helping the poor, the needy, and the oppressed, and for the general upliftment of society. Zakah is one of the fundamental principles of Islamic economy, which ensures an equitable society where everyone has a right to contribute and share.
4. SAWM is the annual obligatory fasting during each day of the month of Ramadan - the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. One must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex, from dawn to sunset. Sawm develops a believer's moral and spiritual standard and keeps them away from selfishness, greed, extravagance and other vices. Sawm is an annual training program that increases a Muslim's determination to fulfill their obligation to the Almighty Lord.
5. HAJJ (pilgrimage) is an annual event, obligatory on those Muslims who can afford to undertake it, at least once in their lifetime. It is a pilgrimage (journey) to the “House of Allah” (Al-Ka'bah) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. Hajj symbolizes the unity of humankind; Muslims from every race and nationality assemble together in equality and fraternity to worship their Lord.