The Requirements of Islam

The five “pillars” of Islam make up the framework of a Muslim’s life, they are:

1. The ‘Shahadah’ or Declaration of Faith
2. The ‘Salah’, or Formal Obligatory Prayer
3. ‘Zakah’ or Obligatory Annual Charity
4. ‘Siyam’ or Fasting
5. ‘Hajj’ or Pilgrimage

1. The ‘Shahadah’ or Declaration of Faith

To be a Muslim, one must believe in and pronounce words that mean, “There is no deity worthy of being worshiped except Allah and Muhammad is His slave and messenger.”3 This declaration testifies that Allah exists, that He is unlike and superior to His creation and that none is worthy of worship but Him. It also testifies that He is the Creator and Proprietor of all that exists and Disposer of all affairs.
Allah says in the Qur’an:

No doubt! Verily, to Allah belongs whosoever is in the heavens and whosoever is in the earth. And those that worship and invoke others besides Allah, in fact follow not these associated-gods; they follow only a conjecture and they invent only lies. [10:66]

The ‘Shahadah’ testifies that Muhammad is among the prophets who conveyed Allah’s revelation to humankind. Allah says:

And We have not sent you (O Muhammad ()) except to all of humankind, as a giver of glad tidings and a Warner, but most people know not. [34:28]

In fact, it is stated in the Qur’an that Muhammad () is the last of Allah’s messengers. Allah says:

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. [33:40]

The Qur’an also confirms that Muhammad’s teachings are infallible and conveyed from Allah. Allah says:

Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired. [53:3-4]

Thus, the Qur’an, and Sunnah of the final prophet, are the basis of the religion, and they define every aspect of the Islamic way of life.

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