Hadith · Kitab Al-Emaan · Knowing the Prophet · Saheeh Al-Bukhari

Hadeeth # 8: The Five Principles of Islam

Hadeeth 8

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu:

Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

1.To testify that La ilaha ill-Allah wa anna Muhammad-ar-Rasool Allah (none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger)

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly

3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity)

4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah)

5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

[Volume 1, Book 2, Number 8]

These five principles are the foundation of Islam. As a building cannot stand erect without its foundations, similarly one’s emaan cannot be valid if even, any one of the above principles is missing from his life.


Shahada is the declaration of one’s faith by the tongue. One cannot have the belief in his heart alone, he must testify it through his tongue. The other pillars, however, are actions of the limbs.

[There is No Salvation Except through Emaan]

This hadeeth teaches us that faith and actions go together. We cannot claim to have emaan [faith] in our heart without performing the prayers, giving Zakat and offering other obligations. Likewise, it also means that if one performs the five prayers, gives Zakat, goes for Hajj, etc. but does not belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala or the Prophethood of Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then his faith is incomplete. No matter how many righteous deeds he performs they will not be accepted due to the corruption of belief [aqeedah].

Although, the belief in the Books, belief in the Angels, belief in the Judgment Day is not mentioned here, it should be remembered that it is part of our aqeedah [belief]. Denying any one aspect of the belief will result in rejection of good deeds and entry into Hellfire. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us from incomplete belief and corruption of belief, aameen.

Iqamat as-Salat [the offering of prayers perfectly]

Each and every Muslim, male or female is obliged to offer his prayer regularly five times a day at the specified times; the male in a mosque in congregation and the female at home. As the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said, “Order your children for prayers at the age of seven and beat them (about it) at the age of ten.” The chief (of a family, town, tribe, etc.) and the Muslim ruler of a country are held responsible before Allah in case of non-fulfillment of this obligation by the Muslims under his authority.

One must offer the prayers as the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to offer them with all their rules and regulations i.e. standing, bowing, prostrating, sitting, etc. As he has said, Offer your prayers the way you see me offering them.”

[Learn How the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Prayed]


A certain fixed proportion of the wealth and of the each and every kind of the property liable to Zakat of a Muslim to be paid yearly for the benefit of the poor in the Muslim community. The payment of Zakat is obligatory as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is the major economic means for establishing social justice and leading the Muslim society to prosperity and security.

[Learn What is Zakat and How to Calculate It]

[Adapted from the talks of Sister Taimiyyah Zubair]

2 thoughts on “Hadeeth # 8: The Five Principles of Islam

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