Islam has five pillars, or cornerstones, on which we should build our lives. A good strong building has 4 strong cornerstones, and good Muslims have 5 because we want to be strong in the way we live! Remember, our goal in life is to join Allah in Jannah (Heaven) one day!
The Qur’an tells us that Allah created man to worship Him. We need to follow His rules to do this the right way.
The pillars are our five basic duties. Allah is the one who gave us these requirements. We don’t follow them only if we feel like it, we are REQUIRED to follow them. Think about this: We all ask Allah that He let us get this or do that, like get a good grade on our test or get to go to a great place for dinner. But how can we expect Him to grant our wishes if we don’t even do the things He’s asking US to do?????
1. Shahadah – our basic belief
Do you know the Shahadah? This is our belief as Muslims! It’s what MAKES us Muslims!
Allah (SWT) is One!
After the name of Allah, we write SWT – this means “Subhana-Hu wa Ta’ala,” or “Allah is glorified.”
Muhammad (S) is His Messenger!
After the name of Prophet Muhammad, we write S – this means “Salla
Allahu ‘alaihi wa-Sallam,” or “May the blessings of Allah be upon him.”
So all Muslims believe that Allah is One, He is the ONLY God, and Muhammad is His Messenger! In Arabic we say,
La Illaha Illala, Muhammad ur Rasulullah
2. Salah – Daily Prayer
We must pray to be good Muslims. Before we pray we do Wudu, or clean up in a special way. We wear clean clothes, and pray facing the Kabah. We pray FIVE TIMES A DAY: Fajr – Dhohur – Asr – Maghrib – Isha ! Praying to Allah this often helps us to remember Him every minute of the day. And if we keep Allah in our minds all the time, it helps us to be better people and keeps us from doing wrong things Insha’allah.
We should start praying when we are 7 years old, and once we reach 10 years old we should not miss any prayers. This is a VERY important requirement of Muslims, and like I said before, how can we expect Allah to answer our prayers if we are not performing all of our prayers?
Muslims fast every day during the month of Ramadan. We don’t eat or drink anything during the day. We also pray, read the Qu’ran, and do good deeds all day instead of bad ones. We watch our tongues and don’t fight with each other. Once you reach 10 years old, you are required to fast. Of course this is quite hard, but it is one more thing that helps us to be better people. We remember Allah, as well as those who don’t have as much as we do in life. We learn not to be greedy and selfish. People in some parts of the world go without much food every single day, not just during Ramadan. Before you’re 10 years old, you should try to fast for a few days during Ramadan so you can begin to get used to it.
When we’re fasting, we try to continue our lives like we usually do, and not take it extra easy. We go to school and work like we always do, and not sit around watching movies or taking naps on the weekends. If you’re bored or hungry, why don’t you read the Qur’an or ask your mom or dad to read it to you?
4. Zakah – Sharing
Allah has given some of us a lot of money and other things, and others not very much. WHATEVER WE DO HAVE, IT IS ONLY BECAUSE OF ALLAH. Allah want us to share our money and things with those who don’t have it (the poor).
Ask your parents to let you know about the Zakah they give for your family. When do they give it during the year, and to whom? When you get a little older, maybe Insha’allah they’ll include you in the Zakah planning.
If we can afford it and are healthy enough to make the trip, we are required to go once in our lives to Makkah and visit the Kabah during Hajj. We are called pilgrims. We perform many rituals while we’re there, and we pray to Allah to forgive us and guide us.
Makkah and Medina are very important and wonderful cities! Insha’allah when you go for your Hajj, you will feel the powerful feelings that most people talk about when they go. When you see the Kabah for the first time, you will realize that you are the closest to Allah that you will EVER be while you are alive. Many people change a lot once they complete their Hajj, like a new person, and they make sure they are better Muslims once they go home. They decide to practice the religion of Islam as well as they can, because they feel fresh and strong. SUBHANALLAH! ALLAHU AKBAR!