The Five Pillars of Islam

The prophet ﷺ said, “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: Testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, performing the prayers, paying zakaat, making the pilgrimage to the House, and fasting in Ramadaan.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 8; Saheeh Muslim: 16)

These five pillars constitute the very foundation of Islam. We will examine them and discuss their rulings in the following chapters.

The first of these is faith and the affirmation of Allah’s unity, or tawheed. This is discussed in the next chapter titled ‘Your Faith’.

After this comes the prayer (salaat), which is the greatest and the most exalted of all acts of worship. The prophet ﷺ once described it as “the pillar of religion.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 2749). This means it is the pillar upon which Islam is firmly established. A pillar is a post that is used to support a building, without which the building will collapse.

However, for the prayer to be valid, a Muslim must offer it after purifying himself. Hence, the chapter ‘Your Faith’ is logically followed by ‘Your Purification’ and then ‘Your Prayer’.

The Five Pillars of Islam


Testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah


Performing the prayers


Paying zakaat


Fasting during the month of Ramadaan


Making the pilgrimage to the Ka’bah and Holy Mosque in Makkah