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The Five Pillars of Islam

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1 The Five Pillars of Islam
This lesson: What are the names of the 5 pillars Why are they called ‘pillars’ of Islam Why is it important to understand them when studying Islam

2 Shahadah This word means ‘creed’ in Arabic. A creed is a statement of belief- just as when Christians say “we believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. A creed is therefore a mini-summary of the most important beliefs in that religion. Q.What might the creed to your life be?

3 The Shahadah of Islam is:
“There is no God (Allah) but God (Allah), and Mohammed is his true prophet.”

4 2. Salah Salah means ‘prayer’ in Arabic. Prayer in Islam is not identical to most Christian examples. In Islam, prayer is at set times during a day and is accompanied by a series of rituals and movements, often repeated several times.

5 3. Saum Saum means ‘fasting’ in Arabic. This pillar is carried out every year during the month of ‘Ramadan’. This is the name of a month in the Muslim (lunar) calendar. Because of the lunar basis for the calendar the month moves from year to year. During this month Muslims don’t eat or drink in daylight hours.

6 4. Zakah This is a difficult word to translate. It means ‘charity’- though the old fashioned idea of ‘alms’ would be better. Alms were annual dues which medieval people paid to the Church and was worked out on the basis of a person’s wealth and ability to pay. In Islam ‘zakah’ should be paid once a year, to help poor Muslims around the Islamic world.

7 5. Hajj This pillar means ‘pilgrimage’ in Arabic. It is the once-in-a-lifetime visit which all Muslims should make to the holy city of Makkah (the birthplace of Mohammed and centre of Islam). The idea of a pilgrimage may sound odd to us today, but that it is merely a journey made for a very special reason to visit somewhere or thing important to you, and you can see how you may have made a non-religious pilgrimage in your lives already!

8 Why is it important to follow the 5 pillars?
To be a ‘good’ and conscientious Muslim you should aim to be faithful to the 5 pillars. If you follow them, it should encourage you to think about God regularly and therefore assess whether your life is in line with God’s standards. DOING isn’t a substitute for FAITH, but actions can help define you as a Muslim to others and remind yourself of your identity.

9 Why are these 5 actions/beliefs called pillars?
Q what does a pillar do for a building? SUPPORTS BEAUTIFIES THEREFORE- why are the 5 actions we’ve looked at have the name PILLAR??

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