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Five Pillars
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Five Pillars

Belief | Worship | Fasting | Almsgiving | Pilgrimage

Belief (Iman)
The first Pillar of Islam is for the believer to testify, in Arabic, that "There is no god but God and that Muhammad is His messenger." This phrase, known as the shahada, (sha-HEH-da) or Profession of Faith, is central to Islam, for it affirms both God's oneness and the central role of the Prophet. The shahada appears in daily life in many different ways, from being proclaimed in the call to prayer to being inscribed on flags and coins. In contrast to the Judeo-Christian tradition, which exhorts believers not to take the Lord's name in vain, Muslims constantly call on God by name in all sorts of situations. For example, when beginning any activity, one might say bismillah ("in the name of God") or when admiring something, one might say al-hamdu lillah ("praise be to God").