What are the Five Pillars of Islam and what is the origin of this expression? Which comes first, and why? Are they all what Islam is about? In other words, do I need anything beside them to be Muslim?
The Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith and the first of the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam. The word shahada in Arabic means ‘testimony.’ It must be recited by every Muslim at least once in a lifetime with a full understanding of its meaning and with an assent of the heart.
Having specific times each day to be close to Allah helps Muslims remain aware of the importance of their faith, and the role it plays in every part of their lives. Muslims start their day by cleaning themselves and then standing before their Lord in prayer. The prayers consist of recitations from the Qur’an in Arabic and a sequence of movements: standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting.