Pillars of Practice
There are five pillars of practice in Islam. These practices must be undertaken with the best of effort in order to be considered someone that has truly submitted himself to God Almighty. These pillars of practice relate directly to our fundamentals of faith and effect our character and conduct:
1- Testifying that God Almighty is one, without spouse, son, or partner and that Muhammad (Peace and Blessing Be Upon Him) is the last Prophet & Messenger of God Almighty. This testimony pronounced to become a Muslim, and is repeated several times a day in prayers and devotions as an affirmation of God’s oneness and a confirmation of faith.
2- Formal prayer five times a day. By praying five times a day, one actively submits his will to God Almighty and devotes his mind, body, and soul to his worship. Formal prayer is both preventative and prescriptive; it serves as a reminder to avoid evil deeds and helps to expiate the effects of any sin committed throughout the day.
3- Fasting during the month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from dawn to dusk by refraining from food, drinks and sensual pleasures. These outward actions have an effect on the inward, reminding believers that instead of being dependent on corporeal stimuli, they must rely on God Almighty alone. Abstaining from food & drink serves another purpose, that is to remind the believer of his duty to those less fortunate amongst fellow man, and that with God’s bounties comes responsibility to our brothers and sisters in humanity.
4- Alms to the Poor (Zakat). With the blessing of wealth comes responsibility to give back to those less fortunate. Zakat, the Arabic word for obligatory alms, is a purification of wealth and a method of redistributing wealth to those in need.
5- Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able. Pilgrimage to Mecca commemorates the rites of Abraham in devoting his life to God Almighty. It is the culmination of the previous four pillars of Islam, consisting of prayers, devotions, charity & sacrifice