5 Pillars of Islam Project Ideas

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The Five Pillars of Islam are very important tenets of the religion. These projects can help your students learn more about Islam and what it means to people in their daily lives.

The Five Pillars of Islam

There are many sects and divisions within Islam as a broad world religion, but there are some tenets that are agreed upon almost universally by most Muslim communities. Among those are the Five Pillars of Islam, ritualistic and behavioral requirements that must be observed in order to lead the ideal Muslim life. These Five Pillars include the Profession of Faith (Shahadah), Prayer (Salat), Charity (Zakat), Fasting (Sawm), and Pilgrimage (Hajj). The following project ideas are designed to help your students learn more about Islam, and are made to be adaptable for students of different ages and levels of knowledge.

Five Pillars of Islam Project Ideas

Write a Story

Students will research the Five Pillars of Islam and try to examine what this actually means in terms of daily 21st-century life. They will then write a short story with a Muslim protagonist who practices all Five Pillars throughout the course of the story. Once they are done, you can ask students to design a cover for their book and share their work in writing groups. Here are few ways you could ask students to complete this writing project (please note that these ideas are not necessarily mutually exclusive of each other, and can be mixed).

  • Diary: Students will write their story in the first person, as a series of diary entries. They will examine not only the observance of the Five Pillars but explore what these mean to the protagonist on a personal level.
  • Straightforward Story: The main point of the story will be the practice of the Five Pillars, as well as the personal growth and reflection of the protagonist.
  • Complex Story: Assign students a genre (mystery, travel/adventure, fantasy, science fiction, etc.). Students will write a full plot with conflict and resolution, and this story will feature a Muslim protagonist who must resolve the conflict while still observing the tenets of Islam and the Five Pillars.
  • Historical Fiction: Students will write a series of vignettes, each featuring people in a different time period. The challenges and daily lives of people must be different in each time, but the thing that unites them all is the practice of the Five Pillars of Islam.
    • Materials: Research and writing supplies

PSA

Divide the class into groups. Each group will be responsible for designing a piece of a public service campaign intended to educate the public about the Five Pillars of Islam. You can either ask students to design this for the general public (including how to be aware of what your Muslim neighbors, friends, and coworkers are experiencing at different times of the year), or to design it for a Muslim audience (focused on ideas on how to fulfill these obligations while leading a busy, modern life).

In either case, each group will research the Five Pillars of Islam and Muslim life and select one or two of the following projects (depending on time and resources) to complete as their contribution: a poster, a radio broadcast, a television commercial, an informational pamphlet, or a social media outreach program. Once students have their pieces ready, they will present them to the class.

  • Materials: Research supplies, art and craft supplies as desired

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