The five pillars of Islam are the duties required of every Muslim to please Allah.
Confessing that Allah alone has the right to be worshiped and that Muhammad is his messenger. To convert to Islam, you must cite the confession. Muslims continue to hear the Shahadah five times a day during the call to prayer.
Perform prayers five times a day. As Mark Gabriel (ex-Muslim) put it: “If you don’t pray five times a day, but you still believe that you should, then you have sinned, but haven’t left Islam. If you don’t believe in saying the five prayers, then you have left Islam.” (Islam and the Jews, 2003, p.40).
Giving alms. Usually calculated at 2.5% of personal savings held for a year, Muslims are bound to give to charity. This can include any needy person he/she knows, including their own family, or they can give to the local mosque or other Islamic charity. Some of these charities give to the widows, orphans and the homeless, but other charities’ goal are to promote Islam. Since 2002, numerous news articles have appeared linking Islamic charities and terrorism in the tens of millions of dollars annually.
Fast during the month of Ramadan. Not eating from 4am until the sun sets. Originally, Muslims could eat until they could distinguish between a black thread and white thread, but later it was revealed, “until dawn.” (Bukhari, Book 31, Hadith No. 141) Today, the accepted practice is fasting from 4am until after the sun sets; in some countries this could be a very long time, or very short, depending on the latitude. It is a sin not to observe the Ramadan fast but it can be forgiven. Exceptions are made for the elderly, sick, children, and pregnant women. If you do not believe you need to fast, then you are not a Muslim.
Pilgrimage to Mecca if one can afford it at least once in your life time. Sura 3:97 – “…And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allâh],…” Millions of Muslims go on hajj every year to Mecca, the one place that non-Muslims are not allowed[ref]http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/hajj/stories/logistics/index.html[/ref] [ref]Sura 9:28 – “O you who believe (in Allâh’s Oneness and in His Messenger (Muhammad SAW)! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and in the Message of Muhammad SAW) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year, and if you fear poverty, Allâh will enrich you if He will, out of His Bounty. Surely, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.“[/ref].
Some include jihad as a sixth pillar, but is not technically included. Never the less, jihad is obligatory on all Muslims.