FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
The Five Pillars of Islam are the five core practices that all Muslims should follow. They are:
Shahadah – the reciting and profession of the Islamic faith.
Salah – five daily prayers and performing ritual cleansing or wudu.
Zakat – giving to charity based on one’s wealth to help those less fortunate. Donations during Ramadan often hold much greater reward for the donor.
Sawm – the process of fasting during the month of Ramadan. There are exceptions as to who can take part in fasting, but it is expected if you are of good health and sound mind.
Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every able-bodied Muslim must do at least once in their lifetime.
WHAT IS RAMADAN?
Ramadan is a month of fasting and abstaining from things considered to be unpure for the mind and body. Those partaking in Ramadan abstain from food, drink, and impure thoughts between the hours of sunrise (Fajr) and sunset, allowing them instead to focus on prayer and connecting with Allah (SWT).
The act of fasting allows the individual to understand the pain and suffering of millions around the world who live their lives in poverty and famine, leaving the participant feeling more grounded and grateful for all that Allah (SWT) has given them. At the close of the month, zakat donations during Ramadan are made and then Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated with loved ones. Eid is a great time of feasting and celebration for Muslims, with gifts exchanged between loved ones.
WHY FASTING IS SO IMPORTANT
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It was ordered in the Qur’an and is expected that all able Muslims (those who are mature and in good health) should fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan.
During this time, fasting is more than just abstinence; it is a means of worship and for Muslims to feel a closer and deeper connection with Allah (SWT). Fasting allows everyone to understand what it means to go without and to learn patience with oneself and those around them, as well as compassion for those less fortunate.
ZAKAT & WHY THERE ARE DONATIONS DURING RAMADAN
Zakat is an obligatory act of charity and is the third pillar of the Islamic faith. As such, giving to charity is a huge part of everyday life for Muslims.
In Islam, giving to charity is a great deed at any time of year. However, when combined with the auspicious month of Ramadan, donating Zakat is multiplied manifold, with untold blessings and reward for the donor.
Ramadan charity is highly rewarded, and as such, most Muslims choose to donate currently. Although it is not an obligation to donate during Ramadan, therefore so many Muslims choose to do so during this month.
HOW TO CALCULATE ZAKAT
Zakat is due on all wealth and assets that are held above a certain threshold, also known as the nisab. Zakat is calculated at 2.5% of all total wealth above the nisab value and takes into consideration:
- Gold and silver
- Cash in hand and bank accounts
- Investment property
- Stocks and shares
- Money lent out
- Business stock
- Agriculture produces
All wealth must have been maintained for one lunar year before you pay Zakat.