August 11, 2008

Teaching your child the 5 Pillars of Islam

Ask your child what the word community means (a group of people who live together, work together, or have the same interests and hobbies, and do things together). Explain that he/she belong to a community - their school.
Similarly, explain that some communities do certain things together to keep the community together, and to give everyone a sense of being in that community. Ask the children what things they do together, to create a sense of community in the school (assemblies, uniform, lunch together, same timetable etc).
Now, explain that people of different religions do certain things to create a strong sense of community, even though they may have never met, and live in different places around the world.
Muslims have five duties which are called the Five Pillars of Islam. Every Muslim tries to carry out these five things, and it helps them to feel that they are members of the worldwide Muslim community.
Tell the child about the Five Pillars (described below).
SHAHADAH This Pillar is believing and saying the words: "There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah".
SALAH This Pillar is praying five times a day. There are set prayers which Muslims should say, and all Muslims should face Mecca in Arabia when praying, and should pray on a prayer mat. People should wash before they pray. There are fixed movements, which include kneeling with the forehead placed on the ground in front. This expresses the servant status of the human being in relation to Allah.
ZAKAH Each year Muslims are supposed to give a fixed proportion of their savings for endeavours such as helping the poor. In this way their wealth is made pure.
SAWM Refraining from food and drink during the month of Ramadan during daylight hours.
HAJJ This is making a pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in your life, if it can be afforded.

(Author unknown)

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