Here we describes briefly the fundamental or Main five pillars of Islam. Islam is based on five pillars which the Last Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) has explained for us, when he said:
Islam is Built Upon Five (pillars):
- The testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah;
- Establishing regular prayer (Salaah);
- Paying the Zakaah ;
- Hajj (pilgrimage) and
- Fasting of Ramadaan.
(Agreed upon; narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 8)
Islam is both belief and laws, in which Allah and His Messenger Muhammad PBUH have told us what is halaal (lawful) and what is haraam (unlawful), morals and good manners, acts of worship and how to interact with people, rights and duties, and scenes of the resurrection. When Allah completed this religion, He chose it to be the way of life for all of mankind until the Hour begins:
These are the pillars of Islam and the principles upon which it is based:
- The First Pillar: al-Shahaadatayn (the twin testimony of faith)
This means that a person believes that Allah alone is the Lord, Sovereign and Controller, the Creator and Provider. He affirms all His most beautiful names and the sublime attributes that Allah has affirmed for Himself or that His Prophet affirmed for Him. He believes that Allah alone, and no one else, is the Only One Who is deserving of worship, as Allah says :
He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything.
Such is Allah, your Lord! Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone), and He is the Wakeel (Trustee, Disposer of affairs or Guardian) over all things [al-An’aam 6:101-102]
And he believes that Allaah sent His Messenger Muhammad (PBUH), and revealed to him the Qur’aan, and commanded him to convey this religion to all of mankind. He believes that loving Allah and His Messenger and obeying them are duties which are obligatory upon all of mankind, and that love of Allaah can only be realized by following His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:31 – interpretation of the meaning]
- The Second Pillar: Salaah (prayer)
The Muslim believes that Allaah has enjoined upon every sane adult Muslim five prayers each day and night, which he does in a state of purity, standing before his Lord, every day in a state of purity and humility, thanking his Lord for His blessings, asking Him of His bounty, seeking His forgiveness for his sins, asking Him for Paradise and seeking refuge in Him from Hell.
The five obligatory prayers which are required day and night are Fajr (early morning, before dawn), Zuhr (mid-day, just after noon), ‘Asr (mid afternoon), Maghrib (just after sunset) and ‘Ishaa’ (at night, after dark has fallen).
Prayer, whether it is fard or naafil, represents a sincere turning towards Allaah alone in all one’s affairs. Allaah has commanded all the believers to guard strictly the observance of the prayers, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Guard strictly (five obligatory) As‑Salawaat (the prayers) especially the middle Salaah (i.e. the best prayer ‑ ‘Asr). And stand before Allaah with obedience [and do not speak to others during the Salaah (prayers)]”[al-Baqarah 2:238]
The five daily prayers are obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman, night and day: Prayer helps the believer at times of hardship and calamity. The five daily prayers wipe out sins.Prayer in the mosque is a means of entering Paradise. Prayer brings the slave and his Creator together. Prayer done with proper humility and fear of Allah brings the Muslim closer to his Lord, and keeps him from doing evil.
- The Third pillar: zakaah (poor due, charity tax)
Just as Allaah has created people with different colours, attitudes and levels of knowledge, so too their deeds and provision vary. He has made some of them rich and some poor, to test the rich as to whether they show gratitude, and to test the poor as to whether they are patient. Because the believers are a brotherhood, and brotherhood is based on compassion, kindness, love and mercy, Allah has enjoined upon the Muslims Zakaah which is taken from the rich and given to the poor. Allah says :
Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allaah for them. Verily, your invocations are a source of security for them
Zakaah purifies and cleanses wealth, and purifies the soul from stinginess and miserliness. It strengthens the love between the rich and poor, takes away hatred, makes security prevail and brings happiness to the ummah.
Allah has made the payment of zakaah obligatory upon everyone who owns the nisaab (minimum amount) for one year.
The Rate of Zakaah:
The rate of zakaah on gold, silver, other metals and trade goods is one quarter of ten percent. On agricultural produce and fruits the amount is one-tenth if it is irrigated (by artificial means), and one-half of one-tenth if it is not irrigated (by artificial means, i.e., it is watered by rainfall or other natural means). Concerning an’aam animals (i.e., sheep, goats, cattle and camels) the details are explained in the books of fiqh… Whoever pays Zakaah, Allah expiates his sins thereby, and blesses his wealth, and stores up for him a great reward. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, and whatever of good (deeds that Allaah loves) you send forth for yourselves before you, you shall find it with Allaah. Certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what you do”
Withholding zakaah brings disasters and evils upon the ummah. Allah has threatened those who withhold it with a painful torment on the Day of Resurrection. Concealing one’s zakaah is better than paying it openly in front of people.
When a Muslim pays his zakaah, it is not permissible for him to give it to anyone except those whom Allah mentions in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaah) are only for the Fuqaraa’ (poor), and Al‑Masaakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allaah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidoon — those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allaah. And Allaah is All-Knower, All-Wise”
- The Fourth Pillar: Sawm (fasting) in Ramadaan
Fasting means abstaining from things which break the fast, such as food, drink and intercourse, from the break of true dawn until sunset, with the intention of fasting.
The relationship of patience to faith is like that of the head to the body. Allah has enjoined upon this ummah fasting for one month of the year, in order to draw closer to Allah, to avoid that which Allah has forbidden, to get used to being patient, to bring the nafs (self) under control, to compete in generosity and to demonstrate co-operation and mutual compassion. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
The month of Ramadaan is a great month, in which Allaah revealed the Qur’aan. The reward for good deeds, acts of charity and acts of worship are multiplied in this month. In it is Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months. The gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are shut, and the shayaateen (devils) are tied up.
Allah has made fasting the month of Ramadaan obligatory upon every sane, adult Muslim, male and female alike.
There is a great reward with Allaah for fasting. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Every action of the son of Adam is multiplied, each good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward.
‘Except for fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for he gives up his desire and food for My sake.’
- The fifth pillar: Hajj (pilgrimage)
Allah has given the Muslims a Qiblah (direction of prayer) which they face when they pray (salaah) and offer supplications (du’aa’), wherever they may be. This qiblah is the Ancient House (the Ka’bah) in Makkah al-Mukarramah:
“so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction”
[al-Baqarah 2:144 – interpretation of the meaning]
Because the Muslims scattered all over the world, and Islam calls people to be united and get to know one another, just as it calls them to co-operate in righteousness and piety, to recommend one another to the truth, to call people to Allaah and to venerate the rituals of Allaah – hence Allah has made it obligatory for every sane, adult Muslim who has the means, to visit His Ancient House, to circumambulate it and to perform all the rituals of Hajj as explained by Allah and His Messenger. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, 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 Allaah], then Allaah stands not in need of any of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”
[Aal Imraan 3:97]
Hajj is an occasion on which the unity of the Muslims, their strength and pride, are made manifest. For the Lord is One, the Book is one, the Messenger is one, the ummah is one, their worship is one and their clothing is one.
Hajj has its own etiquette and conditions which the Muslims must observe, such as restraining their tongues, hearing and sight from all that Allah has forbidden, being sincere in their intentions, using money from good sources (for Hajj), fostering the best attitude, and avoiding everything that could invalidate the Hajj, such as sexual relations, sin or arguing unjustly, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihraam), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allaah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!”
If the Muslim does Hajj correctly, in the manner prescribed and sincerely for the sake of Allah, it will be an expiation for his sins.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allaah, and does not have sexual relations or commit sins, will come back like the day his mother bore him.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 15210)
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