Five Pillars of Islam

Definition: 5 Pillars of Islam
(Arabic أركان الإسلام arkān al-Islām, "pillars of Islam" or أركان الدين arkān ad-dīn, "pillars of religion"). Five rituals required of all adult Muslims.

The Five Pillars of Islam are the five religious duties expected of every Muslim. These pillars are:

  1. Shahada (profession of faith). Sincere verbal declaration that "there is no God but God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God."
  2. Salat (ritual prayers). Ritual prayer and worship five times each day, most importantly on Friday.
  3. Zakat (alms tax). Pay 2.5% of assets and income to the Muslim community.
  4. Sawm (fasting during Ramadan). Abstain from food and drink during daylight hours for the month of Ramadan.
  5. Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). Pilgrimage to the Ka'ba shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at least once if physically and financially able.

Follow links for more details on each pillar.

Sectarian Differences

The pillars are acknowledged and observed by all sects of Muslims, including the largest sect of Sunni Islam, although Shias add further obligatory duties, including: jihad, payment of the imam's tax, the encouragement of good deeds and the prevention of evil.

Sources & Further Reading

  1. Esposito, John L. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, "Pillars of Islam". 2004.
  2. Malise Ruthven. Islam in the World, 2nd ed., pp. 60-63. 2000.