Islam and the Five Pillars

Christianity speaks of a foundation for our beliefs – Jesus Christ!  
Islam has pillars.  
Pillars, of course, hold up the roof of a building.  The pillars of Islam are then viewed as holding up the Islamic faith.  Following these pillars are essential to all Muslims.  Salvation comes through observing these pillars, yet, there is no guarantee to any Muslim that he or she has followed these well enough, as well as having other good works in their lives, enough to warrant salvation from Allah!
The Five Pillars of Islam
  1. Creed – The creed of Islam is “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”  When this single sentence is spoken in faith it makes a person a Muslim.
  2. Prayer – Muslims must pray five times a day facing Mecca.
  3. Charity to the Poor – Muslims must give a percentage of their income to the poor.  Generally, this is 2.5%.
  4. Fasting during Ramadan – Muslims must fast from food and water every day of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar.  This fast is known as Ramadan.   When the sun goes down, they can eat and drink.
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca – This pilgrimage is called Hajj.  Muslims must travel to Mecca once in their lifetime if they have the financial means to do so.  Once in Mecca, there is is a series of numerous acts that must be performed, but the central task involves worship in the Kabbah.

So… how can a Christian present the Christian faith to a Muslim using these five pillars? 

First, ask questions, even if you already know the answers.  Show that you want to learn from them.  Ask,  “What are the five pillars to you?”

For the Creed, which for them is “There is no God but Allah, and Muhhammad is his messenger,” you can share that Christianity also has creeds.  The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.  You could also share that you too believe in only one God.  They’ll likely argue that… and say that you believe in three gods.  But you can then share the Christian faith to them more.

For the daily prayers, you can ask questions about what are the prayers you say?  Why do you have to say them in Arabic?  You can can share that Christians pray too, and that God hears our prayers at all times, not just at certain moments, because he is all powerful and knows all things and wants to listen to what his children have to say.

Charity – you can share that it’s good that they give to the poor.  You can share that Christians give too.

Fasting – you can share that Christians fast too, but that it’s optional for us, and that we can do it anytime we want, and that the purpose for the fasting for us is lead us to pray and to remind us to pray.

Hajj – you can share that to Christians this entire life is a pilgrimage!  This is not our home.  Our home is in heaven with God and we are just strangers passing through this world to our eternal home with God.

They may even ask you more questions about these similarities.  If you have a Bible you can share verses from the Bible with them.  Many Muslims have not read the Bible, yet they believe that the prophets of the Bible, and even Jesus, were prophets for Allah, so their words should be authoritative (although they believe the Bible has been corrupted).

Published by

Andy Wrasman

I live in Lilburn, GA, with my wife and two young kids. I am a pastor at Oak Road Lutheran Church. I've written a book called, Contradict - They Can't All Be True. Be sure to visit my other website:

3 thoughts on “Islam and the Five Pillars

  1. Wow. I’m humbled that you wrote that comment “The Five Pillars of Islam.” I’m glad that I accurately presented what Muslims believe concerning the Five Pillars. What did you think about the second half of this blog post in which I share aspects of the Christian faith by showing similarities that Christianity has with Islam through the Five Pillars of Islam?

    Also, I want you to know that many Christians are praying for the Muslim world now during Ramadan. You can see and learn more about our prayers at

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