Share
Explore BrainMass

The Five Pillars of Islam and their Meaning

Muslims hold certain key principles in common. One of them is known as the Five Pillars of Islam, each of which plays some vital role in uniting Muslims. This is a discussion of shahada, salat, zakat, sawm and haj and how they center and impact upon the life of a Muslim.

Solution Preview

The Five Pillars of Islam are the fundamental ritual duties demanded of all Muslims. These duties evolved out of reflection upon the Qur'an and the practice of the early community. Adherence to these fundamental and obligatory practices encompasses one's acceptance of and submission to Allah, and thus defines one as a Muslim. The collective performance of these duties establishes the correct relationship with the One True God (Allah). Acceptance of Islam not only enables a Muslim to create the right vertically divine relationship with Allah, but also the correct horizontal relationship with all other members of the umma. Strict adherence to all of these duties remains the minimum ideal of Muslim practice.

The first of these pillars or duties is the profession of faith (shahada), which is testimony to the belief that 'there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Prophet of God. The content of the shahada is twofold: it declares the strict adherence to monotheism, and also declares the belief in Muhammad as the final Prophet and, by corollary, the revelatory authenticity of the Qur'an. The sincere public declaration of the shahada thus defines one as a member of the umma, and Islam as the only true path to salvation. Such a testimony redefines one's life in terms of the distinct spiritual relationship Muslims believe they experience with Allah, and establishes the beliefs and actions that then become required for fulfilling the obligations of this covenant. This testimony also ...

Solution Summary

Muslims hold certain key principles in common. One of them is known as the Five Pillars of Islam, each of which plays some vital role in uniting Muslims. This is a quite detailed discussion of shahada, salat, zakat, sawm and haj and how they center and impact upon the life of a Muslim. (1000 words)

$2.19