A PILLAR OF ISLAM
Fasting is one of five pillars in Islam. The five pillars of Islam are:
1) Declaration of Faith – To believe that God is one and follow the Prophet Muhammad (the last prophet sent to mankind). Muslims also must believe in the Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus among others.
2) Prayer – Muslims are required to pray to God five times a day, to remember Him, contemplate the true meaning and purpose of life and seek forgiveness and guidance.
3) Charity – Every year Muslims have to give 2.5% of their wealth to the poor and needy.
4) Fasting in Ramadan – Fasting is an annual obligation upon Muslims for 1 month to develop God consciousness, realize the blessings of God, compassion for the poor and needy and to improve one’s personal character.
5) Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) – If financially and physically capable, Muslims are required to make the pilgrimage to Makkah (the first place of worship on Earth, started by Prophet Abraham). Hajj provides Muslims with an opportunity of self-renewal. Muslims from different parts of the world regardless of their status, race, color and culture, are brought together and united which acts as a symbol of equality.
During Hajj the wealthy and poor wear two white pieces of cloth, signifying we all are equal before God and judged according to only our deeds. Hajj also serves as a reminder of the Day of Judgment when Muslims believe people will stand before God.