Earlier, I made a post which explains the basic beliefs of Islam. In that Post I used a saying of Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon him):
“Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah(charity), fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it).”
In that post I explained, the parts of the speech. In this post I will try to simplify what I said.
One of the greatest Scholars in Islam, is a man named Nawawi, or as the Muslims call him, Imam Nawawi. He has authored many books, most famously the 40 Hadith of Nawawi. His 40 Hadith of Nawawi, are the 40 most important Hadith in Islam. He died in the year 1277 CE.
Imam Nawawi wrote:
The sheikh and Imam Ibn Salah said: “Being a Muslim is outwardly established by one’s saying the two Testifications(Sheykh Nuh Ha Meem Keller, a moder American-Islamic scholar noted that these testifications do not need to be done in Arabic). The Prophet only added the prayer, zakat, the pilgrimage, and the fast because they are the most patent and greatest of Islamic observances. One’s submission(istislam) is perfected through performing them, and neglecting them suggests that one has dissolved or vitiated the terms of one’s compliance. Moreover the term faith(iman) ecompasses all of the things by which Islam is explained in this hadith, and indeed, all acts of obedience, for they are fruits of the inner conviction that is underlying basis of faith, and are what strenghen, and complete and preserve it.”