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Geography InSight

Islam’s Five Pillars of PracticeÊ UÊ ˆ}ÕÀiÊx°{


Islam, like many other religions, is often described as a way of life. The Five Pillars of Practice express and embody this lived dimension of the religion. Of course, being a Muslim involves more than achieving these five pillars, but they serve as major tenets of the faith.

1 The shahadah, or profession

of faith, in Arabic over the gateway to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. 2 Muslims pray near the ticketing area of the

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Muslims customarily face Mecca when they pray and kneel on a prayer rug. Qibla, in Arabic, means the direction of Mecca. When traveling, Muslims can use a qibla compass to determine which way to face. Alternatively, some mobile devices now come with built-in qibla compasses.

1 Making the shahadah, a profession of faith expected of all Muslims. The shahadah states: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.

2 Praying five times a day. All Muslims are expected to pray before dawn, after noon, in the late afternoon, at sunset, and at night. 3 Fasting during Ramadan, one of the months in the Islamic lunar calendar. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during this month in order to cleanse the body and demonstrate piety. 4 Giving charity to the poor. 5 Performing the hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. All Muslims who are physically and financially capable are expected to make the hajj at least once in their life.

4 Assembling food items donated for charity. Muslims

5 The hajj is an annual pilgrimage to

Mecca that Muslims participate in simultaneously. Since Islam uses a lunar calendar, the dates for the hajj, as for Ramadan, vary. Recently, the hajj has drawn more than 2 million Muslims.


with sufficient financial means are obligated to pay zakat—that is, to give 2.5% of their yearly savings for charitable purposes.

3 A Muslim vendor sells food

outside a mosque in Shanghai, China, during Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan.

Greiner visualizing human geography chapters 2-5  
Greiner visualizing human geography chapters 2-5  

Chapters for Manual High School