The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

"The five pillars of Islam" is a name used to signify the five duties, or five central practices of Islam. These are:

  • The profession of faith (shahada), which in English may be translated as: "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the Prophet of Allah";

  • Prayer (salah): Five times a day the call to prayer rings from the minaret on each Mosque (at sunrise, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall). Prayer time can last up to a half an hour; during prayer time, shops and restaurants close;

  • Almsgiving (zakat);

  • Fasting (syam), which is done from dawn to dusk, during the holy month of Ramadan.

  • Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj), which must be done at least once in a lifetime by by those who are fit enough, and financially able to do so.

For a non-Muslim, the singing of the call to prayer from the minarets in moving, especially when you here it echo throughout the desert.

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