From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
The Five Pillars of Islam (أركان الإسلام) is the term given to the five duties which are compulsory (Fard) for every Muslim. This concept is not found in the Qur'an, but within the sira and hadith, without which four out of five of these pillars would not exist. These pillars are as follows:
- Shahada (profession of faith)
- Salah (prayers)
- Sawm (fasting) during the month of Ramadan
- Zakat (giving of alms to other Muslims)
- Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)
Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, as it is also a compulsory duty, and Prophet Muhammad referred to it as "better than standing in prayer for sixty years" and second in importance only to the belief in Allah and himself. According to some Shi'ite sects it is the seventh not sixth pillar.