of the Islamic Religion
Pillars of Faith in Islam are five basic duties for all Muslims, men and women.
Profession of Faith or "Shahada":
it is the certification of the
belief in Allah, the Only God, and that prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is His
Messenger. It has to be pronounced every time somebody intends to embrace the
Islamic faith. For those who profess the religion due to family tradition it is
implicit in their religious practices. Also it is repeated as integrant part of
the five daily prayers that all Muslims must perform and must be formulated in
the following way: "I testify that does not exist another deity except
Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger", preferentially in Arabic.
Prayers: they are in five and
must be preceded of a ritual of hygiene called ablution. They are obligatory for
all Muslims that reach puberty.
Payment of "Zakat"::
"Zakat" is a tax charged over all Muslim who possess goods from a
taxable value on. It is an obligation of the individual towards the
society and its application is essentially social, not being valid a Muslim to
pay it to his/her relatives or to those whose sustenance is of his/her
responsibility, and has to be distributed preferentially in the locality where
it was collected. Its distribution follows a previously defined scale of
priorities, and the responsibility of collecting it belongs to the Islamic
government or a representative entity of the Islamic community. In case of
Muslims living in countries that do not possess an organized community, it can
be directly paid to those that are included in the list of beneficiaries.
Fasting of Ramadan: the Islamic
calendar is lunar and because of that its festivities are not restricted to one
defined season of the year. This fasting consists of the abstinence, for the
period of one lunar month, of food, drink and sexual relations from dawn till
sunset as long as its observance does not cause damages to the health of the
The "Hajj" or Peregrination:
is a duty to visit Makkah, a city in Saudi Arabia where the Kaabah is located,
regarded by Muslims as the place where Abraham (as) reconstructed the first
temple to worship the Only God, initially constructed for the first man, Adam.
It is essential that the one who intends to make the visitation is physically
and financially able to do so. Those who can’t fulfill these two requirements
are excused of this obligation, being forbidden to a Muslim to sacrifice the
well being of his/her family to carry out the visitation.
& Marcia Vianna Gaspar.