We often hear of the so called “Five Pillars” on which Islam is based. These are the five duties which every muslim must perform:
1. Belief in Allah and his prophets (Shahada) 2. The five daily prayers (Salat) 3. Fasting in the month of Ramadan (Sawm) 4. The pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) 5. Giving money to poor muslims (Zakat)
Some muslims want us to believe that these five pillars constitute Islam in its entirety. This is very misleading, and is meant to portray Islam as somehow comparable to any other religion. However, the five pillars only deal with the religious-spiritual part of Islam and take no account of certain other aspects of Islam: its legal aspect (Sharia), its military aspect (Jihad), its social aspect... as described on our webpage “Religion or Ideology?”. And it goes without saying that these last-mentioned aspects are the most problematic ones, and mean that Islam is very different from other religions.
Texts about the five pillars can be found on the internet, as for example in this link.