Fundamentals of Islam



Islam is based upon its five pillars which a Muslim has to fulfill through out his life, these are the five obligations upon every muslim. These five pillars consist beliefs, actions and practices. The pillars are shahadah(testimony), Salah(prayer), Sawm(fasting), Zakah(compulsory charity) and Hajj(PILGRIMAGE). There is a long Hadith called “Hadith JIBRĪL” in which these pillars are mentioned the hadith also mentions about which we call the pillars of eeman.

Shahadatayn: It is to testify that there is no god but Allah and prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) is his servent and messenger. It is the declaration and affirmation of one’s faith that the only worthy of worship is Allah(s.w.t) and that he has no partner in any means, that he has no associate in his Lordship (ruboobiyah), in his worship(uloohiyah) and in his names and attributes (asma-was-sifaat) and it’s the confirmation of tawheed. Allah says;

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of existence.-[3:2]
So whoever disbelieves in Taghut(false gods) and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.-[2:256]

Shahadatayn consists two pillars 1. •Laa illā ha illallah• 2. •Muhammadan abduhu wa rasooluhu•
one cannot accept its one pillar and leave the other one.
Shahadah is the entrance in the religion of Islam on the condition that the person has understood the meaning of “ash-hadu al-Laa illā ha illallah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadar rasoolullah(I bare witness that there no god except Allah and Muhammad (s.a.w) is his messenger)”  and has accepted the belief in his heart that there is no god except Allah and none deserves to be worshipped except Allah alone and that prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) is his slave and final prophet and messenger, and that it is the submission of one’s will towards the will of Allah and all obedience is to Allah and his messenger(s.a.w).

O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn from him while you hear [his order].-[8:20]

It’s the first and most important pillar of Islam, only its utterance is not sufficient but the firm belief of heart is required, it becomes compulsory upon every muslim who has reached the age of puberty to understand the meaning of shahadatayn.

Salah:Salah is the second most important pillar of Islam after shahadah. It is obligatory to offer five time prayer daily upon every muslim. If we see the linguistic meaning of salah it is “dua”, in Arabic language we usually to something by what is included in it.
Allah says;

And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].-[2:43]

Salah is an essential part of our religion, without Salah our faith is unprotected. It works as a shield and protects us from major sins. The one who abandons salah is likely to lose his faith. Every heart and soul needs nourishment which can be only achieved by the remembrance of Allah(s.w.t). Salah refreshes and strengthens the eeman. The one who offers Salah finds in it peace and tranquility of heart and soul. Salah is a practice of worship which includes actions(takbeer, tasleem sujood, rukoo etc.) and recitations. It has innumerous benefits such as spiritual, physical and mental benefits etc. It requires one’s pure and sincere intention and attention, without intentions it remains an empty practice which is of no benefit. Every time We should try to make it more perfect by being focused and paying attention to what we do in it with the intention that i am standing before Allah(s.w.t).
The one who completes the five times prayer a day does not only get the reward of five times prayer but he is rewarded equal to 50 times a day. Salah is a gift from Allah(s.w.t) upon the believers.
It is an obligation to offer it daily in every situation and leaving it is a major sin and it differentiates a muslim from a disbeliever, It was narrated that Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘The covenant that distinguishes between us and them is the prayer, and whoever neglects it has disbelieved (become a kaafir).’” (It was narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah).

Zakah: It is the compulsory charity which is given to poor and needy people. A muslim is obliged to give 2.5% of the surplus of his annual savings every year if it meets its necessary criteria, Allah says
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].”-(2:43)

It is a purification for a muslim whoever gives from his wealth for Allah it purifies him as Allah says

“[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself “-(92:18).   

Withholding zakah is a great sin and disobedience to Allah (s.w.t) and abandoning a obligation is major sin.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger(s.a.w) said, “Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a baldheaded poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’ ” Then the Prophet (s.a.w) recited the holy verses:– ‘Let not those who withhold . . .’ (to the end of the verse). (3.180).-[ Volume 2, Book 24, Number 486]

Allah says in this verse;
And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.-(3:180)

It has many benefits religious,spiritual, social and economical benefits etc. It makes us realize that we are just the custodians of the wealth we have and we should share this to others also so that they can also live better and it delevops a spirit of generosity in us and benefits the society. The spirit should not come only once a year but one should keep it throughout the whole year so that one does not stop charity.
The reward of any deed depends upon its intentions, so one should not give zakah to show off  their generosity but it should be given only with core intention of pleasing and obeying Allah(s.w.t).

Sawm: fasting in the whole month of ramadan is compulsory for every muslim. It is one of the most virtuous and one of the most rewardable acts of worship. This is very beloved deed to Allah(s.w.t). Allah says;

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous-[2:183]

Narrated Sahl:
The Prophet (s.a.w) said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.”- [Sahih al-Bukhari 1896]

It has also many benefits spiritual as well as physical. It is prescribed so that one may gain more consciousness of god(taqwa) and piety and it prevents one from doing sins and increases ones patience and self control. One should restrain himself from all kind of  bad and foolish arguments, sayings and wasteful and indecent acts.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w) said, “Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.”-[ Sahih al-Bukhari 1894]

Pure Intention is needed in every act of Islam, the one who fasts must do it with the intention of pleasing Allah (s.w.t) otherwise it’s not more than just being hungry.

Hajj: Hajj is the pilgrimage to makkah which a Muslim is obliged to do once in his lifetime.

And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass -[22:27]

It includes many rites and rituals such as tawaaf (circumambulation), entering the ihram, standing in arafah and stoning the jamaraat etc. It is the greatest act of worship and its reward is even greater. The one who performs hajj his all sins are forgiven, It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.” -[Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1449; Muslim, 1350. ]
One should do it with the intention of attaining the pleasure of Allah(s.w.t) as early mentioned it should not be done with the intention to show off or any other worldy reason, a deed is rewarded according to what we intends. Allah says;

And complete the hajj and umrah for Allah(for his pleasure)…..-[2:196].

The reward for a hajj e mabrur is paradise,  Narrated Abu Huraira Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w) said, “(The performance of) `Umra is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.”-[ Sahih al-Bukhari 1773]
Whenever a person goes for a journey either he goes for material and financial reason or he goes for enjoying the scenery and view of the world but when a person goes to hajj he only goes for the sake of Allah(s.w.t) he only goes to please his Lord.
With sawm(fasting) a person is tested phisycally(leaving the food etc) and with zakah a person is tested financially but with hajj a muslim is tested by both physically and financially.
Everything thing which is legislated in Islam is for the welfare of humans and benefits them in every aspect in this world and the hereafter.
This journey gives us realization that all humans are equal they are the slaves of Allah (s.w.t) and worship him and no one is superior than other, all gather to worship Allah(s.w.t) whether poor or rich, black or white, all are same the slaves of Allah(s.w.t).

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