At the heart of Islam are the Five Pillars. You need to know these and be able to explain how they influence the life of a Muslim.
“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger” (Sunni Muslims)
“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. I bear witness that Ali is the beloved of Allah and the rightful trustee of the Prophet, and his immediate successor” (Shia Muslims add these last two points to reflect the split caused by disagreements over the leadership of the young community)
How does the Shahadah influence the life of a Muslim?
- Emphasises the core belief of Tawhid, the oneness of Allah. Nothing can be put on the same level as Allah. Muhammad is only a man, an important messenger. Monotheism is central to Islamic thought.
- The teachings of Muhammad are also important. The statement emphasises how a Muslim should follow his Sunnah (actions) and Hadith (sayings)
- The Shahadah is whispered into the ear of a newborn baby and should be the last words heard at death. This helps a Muslim to understand that Allah is with them throughout their entire life.