The Five Pillars of Islam are also know as Arkan-al-Islam. They are generally practised by all Muslims, with just a few differences among Shia and Sunni. They are considered obligatory by all practising Muslims.
The First Pillar is the Shahada: the creed;The testimony of faith. When a person wants to enter Islam ( Oh yes, you really can enter Islam, even if you weren't born in to it! ) he or she has to say these words:
La-ilaha ilallah Muhammadar-Rasoolallah. This is the shortest version of the Islam Creed.
It means that there is no God But Allah, and Muhammad is his servant and Messenger. When a person says these words, he or she is testifying in Tawheed, Pure and unaltered Monotheism. The means believing in Allah's Oneness.(Muslims believe in the One True God, and the Arabic word for God is Allah.)There is no other deity than Him, and none has the right to be worshipped, except Him. The second part of the Creed, Muhammadur Rasoolallah. This means Muhammad is the last messenger of God, and his coming was foretold by Jesus(sa) or, Isa, in Arabic.
The next Pillar will be in the next post, InshAllah.
This is the Shahada in Arabic text.