There are five mandatory duties enjoined on every Muslim. These are known as the Five Pillars of Islam. They are: recitation of the faith (Shahada); ritual prayers (Salat); almsgiving (Zakat); fasting in the month of Ramadan (Sawm); and a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
One of the cornerstones of Muslim religious life is the daily prayer (salat), to which the faithful are called by a muezzin (adhan) from the minaret. Salat, the ritual prayer, is to be performed daily at five appointed times: at daybreak, at noon, in mid-afternoon, just after sunset and in the evening. Certain procedures must be followed to validate the prayer.
These include ablution that is, washing, the face, nostrils, mouth, the hands up to the elbow and feet up to the ankle. Prayer need not be performed in a mosque, but can be carried out anywhere that is clean, usually on a special prayer rug reserved for the purpose. Worshippers face in the direction (qibla) of the sacred mosque in Mecca (originally in the direction of Jerusalem), and they repeat a series of rituals, standing, kneeling and prostrating (secde), which indicate submission to God. This is accompanied by recitations of verses from the Koran. Mid-day prayer on Fridays is performed as a congregation in the mosque, with the object of engendering a feeling of unity with God and with fellow-worshippers.