- Sticky labels
- Pens or pencils
- Scrap paper
- Wooden building blocks or toy building bricks
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.
Planning this activity
- You could invite someone who’s Muslim to your session to share their own insights into the five pillars and how they put their faith into practise.
- You could get in touch with the Muslim Scout Fellowship (MSF), one of our National Scout Active Support Units, and see if there are any nearby predominantly Muslim Scout groups that you could link up with to run this activity together. You can also find your nearest group on the MSF website.
Setting up the activity
- Gather some rectangular building blocks or columns of building bricks to represent each of the five pillars. Use a different colour for each pillar if you can.
- Use sticky labels to add the name of the pillar.
- You’ll need enough for each group to be able to collect a set.
- Each group will also need a longer block or brick, to balance on top of their five pillars.
- We’ve shared some example quiz questions. You can adjust these according to the experiences of your group. Choose whether or not you use the multiple choice options.
Introduction: Talk about Islam
- Gather everyone together in a circle. Explain that Islam is the second largest religion in the world, with over 1.8 billion followers, who are called Muslims. It’s also the second largest religion in the UK.
- Explain Muslims believe there is one true God, called Allah (the Arabic word for God). Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last prophet sent by Allah, and that the Qur'an (the holy book of Islam) was revealed to him.
- Tell everyone that the Muslim place of worship is called a mosque or a masjid.
- Ask if anyone heard of the five pillars of Islam? If not, can the guess what they might be? Think about what a pillar is on a building or monument.
- Explain that the five pillars are core beliefs and practices in Islam, and that you’re going to do an activity to explore them. For Muslims, their faith is a way of life, and the five pillars provide a framework for their whole life.
- The five pillars of Islam are:
- Shahadah: the declaration of faith
- Salah: praying five times each day
- Zakat: giving money to charity or those in need
- Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan
- Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca
Run the quiz
- Divide everyone into groups.
- Give each group a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, so they can write down their answers.
- Explain that you’ll be doing a quiz. The aim of the quiz is to answer questions correctly to win a block, representing each of the five pillars. To win, teams will need to collect five blocks.
- Groups can win a block by answering a quiz question correctly.
- Each question links to one of the five pillars and if you answer the question correctly, you’ll win the corresponding block. You’ll have multiple opportunities to win each pillar.
- Read out the questions, plus the multiple-choice answers if you’re using those. Try to alternate between the different groups of questions, asking a question about a different pillar each time.
- After each question, give groups time to discuss their answer and write it down. You may want to pause and reread the question during this time.
- When everyone’s ready, invite groups to share their answer and give a corresponding block to each team with the correct answer.
- Keep playing until at least one group have collected the full set. You can pick and choose from the questions, to give a good level of challenge/competition. You’ll find that some groups may end up with more than one of the same pillar.
- If two teams collect the same number of pillars at the same time, you could use the tiebreaker questions (with or without multiple choice answers) to determine a winner.
- Remember to congratulate teams who worked well together, who included everyone’s thoughts and the best communicators.
- When you’ve finished, take time to reflect on what you’ve discovered through this activity. We’re shared some ideas of reflection questions in the pink Reflection section on this page.
Declaration of faith (shahada)
- True or false: Muslims believe in more than one God.
Muslims believe in one God, Allah.
- Who is not a prophet of Islam?
- Guru Nanak
- The holy book/scripture is called the:
- How many times a day do Muslims pray?
- Five times
- Seven times
- What direction do Muslims face to pray?
- Towards the holy city of Mecca
- Towards the moon
- True or false: A mosque is used for prayer only.
Mosques are also used as spaces for learning and activities to support the community. From coming together to celebrate festivals, to hosting food banks, to running youth clubs.
- Zakat is the third pillar of Islam. What is it about?
- Not eating certain foods
- Donating to charity
- Praying every day
- Muslims donate at least what % of their wealth to those in need?
Muslims who have the ability to must pay 2.5% of their yearly savings to charity. This is called zakat.
- As well as Zakat, Muslims are encouraged to give their money and time to charity throughout the year. This is known as:
- Ramadan starts on the sighting of the...
- Full moon
- Crescent moon
- What’s the name for the daily breaking of the fast during Ramadan?
- How long does Ramadan last?
- A week
- 3 weeks
- A month
- The fifth pillar of Islam is called Hajj, and it's a pilgrimage to:
- The river Ganges
- The holy city of Mecca
- The holy city of Jeruselum
- What country is Mecca in?
- Saudi Aradia
- True or false: All Muslims are expected to complete Hajj at least once in their lives, if they’re able to.
- Nadiya Hussain is a well known British:
- Sport climber
Nadiya is Muslim woman and was the winner of The Great British Bake Off in 2015. She's now a television chef, television presenter, newspaper columnist and author.
- The first mosque in the UK was built in:
The UK’s first purpose-built mosque was built in 1889 in Woking in Surrey.
- One of the most successful British Olympians, Mo Farah, is a:
- Long distance runner
Mo is a Muslim and in 2012, Mo observed his Ramadan fast later in the year so he didn’t fast during the Olympics.
This activity was an opportunity to explore the Islamic faith and belief system. Why is it important for people to learn about other's faiths and beliefs, even if they themselves don't follow a particular faith? It can help us understand, respect and relate to others, and it also gives us opportunity to reflect on our own personal beliefs and values.
Although the main message of Islam is believing in the one god and following the teachings of his last messenger, Prophet Muhammad, Muslims also believe in others' rights to their own beliefs. The Qur'an says that "there is no compulsion in religion" (Qur'an 2:256) and "to you your religion and to me mine" (Qur'an 109:6).
Islam also teaches its followers to respect others and treat them with loving kindness, regardless of their personal beliefs.
What do you think our Scout values and the Muslim faith have in common? They have a lot in common, such as caring and respecting others.
People can think about their own personal beliefs and values. What's important to you? Can you think of five things that guide how you live your life? For example, you may believe in kindness or value honesty and compassion. If you’re Muslim, think about how you follow the five pillars of Islam in your daily life.
In this activity, did any groups end up with more than one of the blocks? What did they do with it? Did any groups choose to donate it to another group, or do a swap? This could be an opportunity to reflect on how showing care and helping others is a key part of Islam, as well as how problem solving, good communication, sharing and teamwork can help us to tackle a shared task.
You can make the questions easier or more difficult by deciding whether to use multiple choice answers. If you add any questions in to the quiz, make sure they are accurate and from a reliable, reputable source, such as BBC Bitesize.
For anyone who may not be able to hear the questions, consider printing them a version that they can read at the same time, but make sure not to include the answers.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.