Five Pillars of Islam

These cards have been designed to help you revise the five pillars of Islam.

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What does the word Shahadah actually mean?

Shahadah is a statement professing monotheism and accepting Muhammad as God's messenger.

first pillar

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What does the word Salat actually mean?

The second pillar of Islam is Salat, the requirement to pray five times a day at fixed times during the day. The times of day to pray are at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and before you go to bed. Each salah is performed facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Salah is intended to focus the mind on Allah; it is seen as a personal communication with Allah, expressing gratitude and worship. According to the Qur'an, the benefit of prayer “restrains from shameful and evil deeds”

second pillar

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What does the word Zakat actually mean?

Zakāt or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality. Zakat consists of spending 2.5% of one's wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, including slaves, debtors and travellers. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity, in order to achieve additional divine reward.

third pillar

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Sawm (or Siyam)

What does the word Sawm actually mean?

Three types of fasting are recognized by the Qur'an: Ritual fasting, fasting as compensation for repentance, and ascetic fasting. Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins.

fourth pillar

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What does the word Hajj actually mean?

The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca, and derives from an ancient Arab practice. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if he or she can afford it. When the pilgrim is around 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets.

fifth pillar

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