Introducing Islam

The Pil­lars of Islam

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Chap­ter 2 : The Pil­lars of Islam

The Pil­lars of Islam are the cor­ner­stones on which Islam is built. There are five pil­lars of Islam. This is men­tioned in a hadith on the author­i­ty of Aboo Abd ir-Rah­maan Abdul­laah, the son of Umar ibn al-Khattab(R), who said : I heard the Mes­sen­ger of Allaah say : Islaam has been built on five [pil­lars]: tes­ti­fy­ing that there is no deity wor­thy of wor­ship except Allaah and that Muham­mad is the Mes­sen­ger of Allaah, estab­lish­ing the salaah (prayer), pay­ing the zakaah (oblig­a­tory char­i­ty), mak­ing the Hajj (pil­grim­age) to the House, and fast­ing in Ramadaan.” [relat­ed by al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

1 — The Sha­hadah (the dec­la­ra­tion of faith) that there is no deity wor­thy of wor­ship except God and that Muhammad(P) is His slave and Mes­sen­ger, requires sol­id belief in the heart, in it. This belief must also be con­firmed by the tongue. It is called Sha­hadah to show that when a believ­er believes in it, his belief is as sol­id as if he is an eye­wit­ness. This Sha­hadah is one cor­ner­stone, although it con­tains many aspects that must be tak­en as belief. This dec­la­ra­tion of faith (com­prised of two tes­ti­monies as is appar­ent), is con­sid­ered one cor­ner­stone, either because it con­tains tes­ti­fy­ing that Muhammad(P) is only a con­vey­er of the Mes­sage from God and His slave and Mes­sen­ger, thus com­plet­ing the tes­ti­mo­ny that God is One. Or because these two tes­ti­monies togeth­er are the rea­son behind the accep­tance of deeds by God. Deeds are nei­ther valid nor accept­ed unless they are done with sin­cer­i­ty for the sake of God alone, and this is called ikhlaas” and through fol­low­ing the way of the Mes­sen­ger of God. Real­iz­ing the essence of this tes­ti­mo­ny, that there is no deity wor­thy of wor­ship except God, is a result of ikhlaas (sin­cer­i­ty) to God. Real­iz­ing the true essence of tes­ti­fy­ing that Muhammad(P) is His slave and Mes­sen­ger, comes as a result of fol­low­ing the Mes­sen­ger of Allah.

This mag­nif­i­cent tes­ti­mo­ny leads to many sweet results. It frees the hearts and souls from being enslaved to the cre­ation and from fol­low­ing oth­er than the Messenger.

2 — Estab­lish­ing the Prayers means to wor­ship God by direct­ing all pray­ing to Him. One must pre­serve the prayers by estab­lish­ing them on time and in the best man­ner, as taught by the Prophet.

Rewards for estab­lish­ing the prayers include tran­quil­i­ty and hap­pi­ness that are felt in the heart. Prayer strength­ens and enlivens belief in God and inspires man to high­er moral­i­ty. Prayer also leads one to aban­don­ing evil deeds and behavior.

3 — Pay­ing Zakat is wor­ship­ping God by pay­ing the amount of char­i­ty oblig­at­ed on the ones who have enough mon­ey or pos­ses­sions that require pay­ing Zakat. Zakaat is a pro­por­tion­ate­ly fixed con­tri­bu­tion col­lect­ed from the sur­plus wealth and earn­ings of the Mus­lim. It is spent on the poor and needy in par­tic­u­lar, and the wel­fare and infra­struc­ture of the soci­ety in gen­er­al. The pay­ment of zakaat puri­fies one’s income and wealth and helps to estab­lish eco­nom­ic bal­ance and social jus­tice in the soci­ety. Pay­ing the required zakat also leads to cleans­ing the heart from the evil of misery.

4 — Fast­ing in the month of Ramad­han is wor­ship­ping God by fast­ing dur­ing the days of this month by abstain­ing from eat­ing or drink­ing from dawn to sun­set, and curb­ing evil inten­tions and desires. It teach­es love, sin­cer­i­ty, and devo­tion. It devel­ops patience, unselfish­ness, social con­science, and willpow­er to bear hard­ship. Fast­ing trains the souls to aban­don what is pre­ferred and desired, seek­ing the plea­sure of God.

5 — Hajj is the pil­grim­age to the Kaa’­ba in Makkah at least once in a life­time, pro­vid­ed one has the means to under­take the jour­ney. Hajj trains the souls to spend time and phys­i­cal effort, seek­ing to obey God. This is why the Hajj is con­sid­ered a type of jihad(strug­gle).

These fruits of per­form­ing the pil­lars of Islam, along with many oth­ers we did not men­tion, make the Mus­lim nation pure and clean. They lead the nation to pre­serv­ing the reli­gion of Truth and deal­ing with the cre­ation in the best man­ners of jus­tice and truth­ful­ness. All oth­er acts of the reli­gion depend on how well these pil­lars are pre­served. The Ummah (Mus­lim nation) can reach suc­cess as long as its mem­bers pre­serve the reli­gion. This Ummah will not reach the desired suc­cess as long as the reli­gion is not ful­ly respect­ed and preserved.

Who­ev­er wants to be cer­tain of the above men­tioned facts, let him read the fol­low­ing Ayat(vers­es):

And if the peo­ple of the towns had believed and had piety, cer­tain­ly, We should have opened for them bless­ings from the heav­en and the earth, but they belied (the Mes­sen­gers). So We took them (with pun­ish­ment) for what they used to earn (of evil deeds). Did the peo­ple of the towns then feel secure against the com­ing of Our pun­ish­ment by night while they were asleep ? Or, did the peo­ple of the towns then feel secure against the com­ing of Our pun­ish­ment in the forenoon while they play ? Did they then feel secure against the plot of All ? None feels secure form the plot of All?except the peo­ple who are lost.” (Qur’an 7:96 – 99)

Let him also read the his­to­ry of pre­vi­ous nations, which gives valu­able lessons for who­ev­er is in pos­ses­sion of a mind that com­pre­hends and is right­ly guid­ed. This his­to­ry is a light for those whose hearts are not blocked from the truth. All our depen­dence is upon God. The Pillars of Islam 27Endmark

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1 Comment

  1. May Allah reward for shar­ing such kind of knowl­edge of Islam that is also enhanc­ing knowl­edge of peo­ple and their prac­tice for seek­ing right path of Islam. Allah may bless you for all right­eous things you wish.

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