HOW TO LIVE ACCORDING TO FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM Pillars uphold the main body of any structure.

If any pillar is weak, broken, or missing from its position, the stability of the entire structure is jeopardized. Moreover, whenever a building or object has to be erected, its pillars are prepared first; once the pillars are firmly placed in the foundation, the structure can be erected atop them. In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad [may peace be upon him] detailed the five essential pillars of Islam: testifying that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger; establishment of regular daily prayers (salaah); establishment of the system of “Zakaah” or the obligatory charity that has to be given by every Muslim; performing the once-inlifetime pilgrimage, or “Hajj”, to Makkah in Saudi Arabia; and last but not least, fasting during the month of Ramadan. Any Muslim, who desires that his ‘building’ of “Islam” be safe and sound, must follow these five directives throughout his lifetime, by the book. How? 1.
Testimony that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad [may peace be upon him] is His Messenger. How to live your life with the belief that “there is no god except Allah”? It’s not just about reciting the Islamic shahadah. One has to live, think and act according to this knowledge.

A “god” is a deity who is believed to provide:

1. Day-to-day food, water, shelter/home, security 2. Healthy human relationships/love of people, respect from colleagues, friends, social
acceptance and honor

3. Knowledge, education and a societal role/community presence/reputation 4. Cure from illness, affliction and disease 5. Relief from worry, stress, and anxiety
Anything we want in our life, our aspirations, desires, whims and fancies – we ask our god to give them to us. A Muslim, when abiding by this rule that ‘there is no god except Allah’,

Remember. then in order to live according to this first. and say “no” to all others. and you need to offer these prayers on time. After that. If your faith is weak and you rely on yourself. you need to learn how to perform salaah. everyday. not recovering from an illness). and the way to His Pleasure. not producing children. through which you will get to know Him. he does look around for a job or spouse. When Muslims find several narrations about the method of salaah. we can live our lives according to this belief by emulating him. will his efforts result in success. 2. Once you know Him. He trusts only in Allah for a way out of every problem. Islamic jurisprudence record differences in the method the Prophet [may peace be upon him] prayed his salaah.g if you are not succeeding at studies. Ablution or “wudu” is a prerequisite for the acceptance of salaah. Please do not get into disputed matters: just offer salaah everyday according to any one of the four methods outlined in the four schools of jurisprudence. not achieving a higher standard of living. otherwise not). most essential pillar of Islam. he believes that ONLY when Allah wills. Believing in all sahih ahadeeth (authentic Prophetic narrations) is also part of acknowledging him as Allah’s Messenger. useless arguing. he does apply to a school or college to get education. you need to increase and strengthen your faith/eeman. Establishment of regular prayers. or do you stop praying to Him eventually. The test of whether you are living according to this pillar of Islam or not is how you act and what you think when a problem comes up (e. Allah’s spoken word. And you will be able to love Him more than anything else too. and turn to others sources for ‘help’? Note that a Muslim does follow the means to an end (i.turns only to Allah whenever he wants one of the above things. but inwardly. they get confused about which is right and which is wrong. your abilities or other people or methods to achieve what you want. debating and trying to prove yourself right. You need to plan your day’s activities . Do this by gaining knowledge of the Quran. As for believing Muhammad [peace be upon him] to be the Messenger of Allah. Do you continue to rely only on Allah and supplicate to Him.e he does go to the doctor or take medicine. not being able to advance in your career. and acting upon his sunnah or “way of doing things” in all activities. His attributes. you need to know how to offer them without error. He expects only Allah to provide him “rizq” or provision. Live according to the second pillar of Islam – salaah. Simply. not being able to find a job. or the five obligatory daily prayers. so you need to learn how to perform proper ablution. his actions. are fitnahs that waste deeds and cause Muslim disunity. not getting married. you will be able to take only HIM as your god.

For this. This fasting is obligatory. Again. you first need to gain knowledge about when zakaah becomes due on each asset. so Hajj is not due on us” although they travel internationally every other year for family vacations. After that. Payment of Zakaah. Take a break from whatever you are doing. again. you need to give zakaah – the charity due on every Muslim once a year. This month is also a month dedicated to worship. and in which any good deed performed gets multiplied rewards. Going for Hajj should be on any Muslim parents’ “to-do” list for their children. The annual pilgrimage. Whether you’re an executive working in an office. abstaining from food. drink. and has to be done no matter what. to get sins wiped out before death. 5. is a journey that requires physical and monetary ability. after the latter enter teenage years. old age or debilitation. and undertake this spiritually refurbishing journey to respond to His Master’s call. Hajj. as soon as possible. Fasting in Ramadan. a student attending school. first and foremost. marital relations. except in extreme sickness or travel. 3. you need to learn which people or organizations can be given zakaah. others say “we have a lifelong mortgage (debt) on our house. soul-enriching communion with your Creator that will leave you refreshed and revitalized to return to your daily work. Muslims eat before dawn and after sunset. and sin in between. falling into the grave error of delaying an essential religious obligation. the only thing you really need to DO every year is save aside some money for paying zakaah. or a mom keeping house – you need to find those 15 minutes or so during your activities to perform salaah. 4. in which the Quran was revealed to Muhammad [may peace be upon him] for the first time. Have you made investments? Are you an owner of a business? Do you own gold and/or silver? Have you got money saved? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions. homeless and hungry Muslims. but don’t get disheartened by that. and how much zakaah is to be given. Some assume that Hajj should be performed in old age. to needy. and look forward to this wonderful. During Ramadan. Once a year. It’s as essential as acquiring a family home. All these excuses are unacceptable. Just do your best and try to give your yearly charity. poor. . others believe that one should not spend on Hajj if one has unmarried daughters. getting an education or getting married.in such a manner that you never miss even one salaah. Every Muslim must plan when he or she should perform Hajj. People usually delay Hajj for petty and irrelevant reasons. After the passage of one year. give your charity to needy Muslims. Basically. obligatory upon every Muslim once in a lifetime. nor do you delay it. you will find differences of opinion among the scholars. Muslims have to fast for 29 or 30 days when the month of Ramadan arrives.

She can be contacted at sadaff@hotmail.com. . SISTERS Magazine. he or she will be able to cement the foundation of faith. man or woman. Helium and MuslimMatters. deftly enduring any storms of tests and tribulations that come in life.If each Muslim. observes these five pillars of Islam diligently as outlined above. Sadaf Farooqi is a freelance writer who writes articles regularly for Hiba Magazine.