Pillars of Islam
The Five Pillars consist of Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith. Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day. Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy. Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan
Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam. The confession of the faith of a Muslim is in the pronouncement of Shahadah.
“I BEAR WITNESS THAT THERE IS NO GOD EXCEPT ALLAH, WHO IS ONE, WHO HAS NO PARTNERS AND I BEAR WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS HIS SERVANT AND APOSTLE.”
This declaration is the foundation and essence of Islam. It is the expression of belief, which differentiates a believer from a non-believer.
The primary emphasis of Quran is upon the doctrine of Tauhid. Surah Ikhlas says:
“HE IS ALLAH, THE ONE AND ONLY. ALLAH THE ETERNAL, THE ABSOLUTE. HE BEGETS NOT NOR HE IS BEGOTTEN; AND THERE IS NONE LIKE UNTO HIM.”
True unity of Allah means that He is unique in person. This signifies that Allah is only One and there is no plurality in the name of god. The Quran says:
“TAKE NOT (FOR WORSHIP) TO GODS: FOR HE IS JUST ONE GOD.”
He is unique in His attributes; this signifies that no other being can parallel Allah’s attributes and powers. No power can do the tasks which Allah has already done or may do. Holy Quran says:
“SERVE ALLAH, AND JOIN NOT ANY PARTNERS WITH HIM.”
This declaration is not only confined to the Oneness of Allah but it also highlights the authority and sovereignty of Allah. There is no other Creator and Sustainer of this universe except Him. There can likewise be no other rule, lawgiver, and supreme authority.
The second part of the declaration is:
“MUHAMMAD IS HIS SERVANT AND APOSTLE.”
This shows us the inseparable relation between the belief in Oneness of Allah and Prophet (PBUH) as His last messenger. Allah appointed Holy Prophet (PBUH) as His messenger and revealed Quran through him upon the humankind. He is the role model for every Muslim without whom we would have no idea of how to confirm the truth laid down by the first part of the declaration. Prophet (PBUH) is the link between the Creator and the creatures. Therefore, to deny the second part of the declaration would be to cut off all the connections of the Islamic faith with the first one. Holy Quran says:
“HE WHO OBEYS THE PROPHET, OBEYS ALLAH.”
This declaration prepares human beings to reflect upon Prophet’s (PBUH) teachings and encourages them to follow his path. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) summed up all the previous revelations, therefore to follow him is to follow the teachings of all prophets. As Quran says:
“WE SENT NOT A MESSENGER BUT TO BE OBEYED IN ACCORDANCE TO THE WILL OF ALLAH.”
He is the symbol of the message of Allah known as Islam which was one or the other way was preached by all previous prophets.
After fulfilling the conditions for the prayer, the worshipper stands straight with his face towards Ka’ba and hands hanging down the sides of the body, he makes the Niyat for prayer, to be offered. He then raises his hands to his ears and recites Taqbeer-e-Tahrima. The hands are brought down and folded on the navel. In this position Sana is recited followed by Taawwuz:
“I BETAKE MYSELF TO ALLAH FOR REFUGE FROM ACCURSED SATAN.”
After this, Tasmiyah is recited. Surah Fatiha is recited followed by Tasmiyah. It means:
“IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL.”
After the recitation of Surah Fatiha, any short or lengthy surah is recited. The worshipper then bows down in forwarding direction, while standing and placing both his hands on his knees. In this position, he recites Tasbih Ruku at least three times:
“GLORY TO MY LORD, THE GREAT.”
After saying this, he stands straight and recites:
“ALLAH LISTENS TO HIM WHO GIVES PRAISE.”
Then Tahmid is recited:
“O OUR LORD! ALL PRAISE IS DUE TO YOU ALONE.”
After Tahimd, the worshipper stands erect for a while and then goes to ground for prostration while reciting Taqbeer. In the position of Sajda, the toes of both feet, both knees, both hands and the forehead touch the ground. In this posture, worshipper recites:
“GLORY TO MY LORD, THE MOST HIGH”
is recited thrice. After the Tasbih Sajda, the worshipper says Takbir and sites for a short while reciting Takbir. This is known as Jalsa after which second Sajda is performed in the same way as first. He then recites Takbir while rising. The worshipper then stands to perform the second Rakat in the same way as the first except that Sana in the position of Qiyam is not to be recited. After the performance of the second Rakat, the worshipper assumes sitting position known a Qaadah.
Following Qaadah he recites Tahiyya:
“ALL PRAYERS AND WORSHIPS RENDERED THROUGH WORDS, ACTIONS AND WEALTH ARE DUE TO ALLAH ALONE. PEACE BE ON YOU, O PROPHET AND THE MERCY OF ALLAH AND HIS BLESSINGS. PEACE BE ON US AND THE RIGHTEOUS SERVANTS OF ALLAH.”
Then worshipper recites the Tashuud:
“I BEAR WITNESS THAT NONE DESERVES TO BE WORSHIPPED EXCEPT ALLAH AND I BEAR WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS HIS SERVANT AND APOSTLE.”
Followed by this, Durud is recited which mentions the blessing on Holy Prophet (PBUH). After the recitation of Durud, he recites:
“O MY LORD! MAKE ME ONE WHO ESTABLISHES REGULAR PRAYERS AND ALSO AMONG MY OFFSPRING. O OUR LORD! ACCEPT MY PRAYERS. O ONE LORD! COVER ME WITH YOUR FORGIVENESS- ME, MY PARENTS AND BELIEVERS TO THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.”
Consequently, the worshipper ends the prayer with Taslim in which he turns his face to right, looking over the right shoulder says:
“PEACE BE UPON YOU AND MERCY OF ALLAH”
Then turning his face to left and looking over the next shoulder, the repeats the same words.
Conditions to be fulfilled before Salah
As prayer (Salah) is the second pillar of Islam. It begins with the purification of the body and ends with the purification of the soul. The prayers (Salah) performed five times a day and the night which are Fajr (at dawn), Zuhr (afternoon), Asr (midafternoon), Maghrib (sunset) and Isha (nightfall). Prayer may be considered as an energizing charge man needs to stand in the remembrance of his Rabb. In order to renew the contact with his Rabb, the first think the men starts off his day with his prayer. As the Holy Quran says:
“WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED AS-SALAT (THE PRAYER – CONGREGATIONAL), REMEMBER ALLAH STANDING, SITTING DOWN, AND LYING DOWN ON YOUR SIDES, BUT WHEN YOU ARE FREE FROM DANGER, PERFORM AS-SALAT. VERILY, THE PRAYER IS ENJOINED ON THE BELIEVERS AT FIXED HOURS.”
Allah also says in the Holy Quran:
“AND SEEK HELP THROUGH PATIENCE AND PRAYERS”
To perform prayer there are certain conditions that a person needs to fulfill before offering the prayers. These conditions are that person should wear clean clothes and body must be clean from all impurities. They have to cover the Satar as well as the women: All Muslims that is male is required to cover what is between the navel and the knee at Salah. But women should cover the whole body except their faces and hands. Tight (not transparent) clothes are accepted but loose ones are preferable. A person must perform ablution with the intentions of Salah for which he or she are performing the Wuzu. The place where he or she is going to pray must be clean as Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“O YOU WHO BELIEVE! WHEN YOU INTEND TO OFFER AS-SALAT (THE PRAYER), WASH YOUR FACES AND YOUR HANDS (FOREARMS) UP TO THE ELBOWS, RUB (BY PASSING WET HANDS OVER) YOUR HEADS, AND (WASH) YOUR FEET UP TO ANKLES. IF YOU ARE IN A STATE OF JANABA (I.E. HAD A SEXUAL DISCHARGE), PURIFY YOURSELF (BATH YOUR WHOLE BODY)..”
After performing Wuzu and standing at clean place for prayer, a Muslim should orientate himself or herself towards the point of adoration that is the Holy Kaabah in the city of Makkah:
“SO TURN YOUR FACE IN THE DIRECTION OF AL-MASJID- AL-HARAM (AT MAKKAH). AND WHERESOEVER’S YOU PEOPLE ARE, TURN YOUR FACES (IN PRAYER) IN THAT DIRECTION.”
After this, the worshipper makes intention for prayer and starts his Salah. As the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“INTENTION IS COMPULSORY FOR ALL DEEDS”
The Friday prayer carries special importance for Muslim and Quran relates it as:
“O YE WHO BELIEVE! WHEN THE CALL IS PROCLAIMED ON FRIDAY (THE DAY OF ASSEMBLY) HASTEN EARNESTLY TO THE REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH AND LEAVE OFF BUSINESS, THAT IS THE BEST FOR YOU IF YE BUT KNEW.”
Friday prayer according to Holy Prophet PBUH is obligatory for every adult male. The preparations for Jumma prayer are similar to that of daily prayers but Muslims are advised to take bath, put on fresh clothes and apply some fragrance, which is also a Sunnah of Prophet PBUH. Muslims are required to leave their business and go to the mosque as soon as they hear the Azaan for the Friday prayer. Mainly, males offer congregational prayer but in some communities, women are also encouraged to attend and pray in congregation.
After the first Azaan is called, one has to offer for pre-farz Sunnats. Then the second Azaan is called before the Khutbah. After the call to prayers, the Imam delivers the sermon, which is an essential part of Friday prayer. The Khutbah is obligatory (Farz) part of Friday prayer and listening to it is a Wajib act. While the Khutbah is being delivered, no conversation is allowed. Reading Holy Quran, reciting Durood or even praying is forbidden. Prophet(PBUH) said:
”WHEN YOU TELL YOUR COMPANION ON FRIDAY TO BE SILENT WHILE THE IMAM IS PREACHING, YOU ARE GUILTY OF IDLE TALK.”
Everyone must listen to the sermon quietly till the end. The use of mobile phones must be prevented. The sermon consists of advice based on the Quran and Hadith about living a lifestyle according to Islam. The Imam upon delivering the first sermon sits down for a short while and starts to deliver the second sermon. In this, the Imam recites portions of Holy Quran.
After the second sermon, people arrange themselves in rows while the Iqamat is being called. Two Farz raakats are offered under the leadership of Imam. As soon as the Farz are offered, the Friday prayer is completed and the Imam makes dua. Following this, the Muslims offer 4 raakats of Sunnats, followed by 2 more Sunnats and 2 Nawafil individually. Furthermore, the Friday prayer cannot be prayed as Kaza, instead, the believer has to offer the Zuhr prayer. Moreover, there are some people exempted from the Friday congregational prayers. They include Travelers, Sick, women, minors, slaves, and children.
Zakaat is the third pillar of the Islamic faith. It can be defined as the portion of man’s wealth, which is designated for the poor. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
”ZAKAAT SHOULD BE COLLECTED FROM WELL-TO-DO AND DISTRIBUTED AMONG THE POOR.”
Zakaat was made obligatory on Muslims in 2A.H. Quran says:
” AND SPEND YOUR SUBSTANCES ON THE CAUSE OF ALLAH”
The Zakaat is obligatory on every free adult Muslim who owns and possesses a property to the prescribed state called Nisam (the minimum amount of possession on which Zakaat is liable).
Zakaat is payable on cash, silver, gold, jewelry, animals, mines, agricultural goods. There are set percentages for the payment of Zakaat. On cash, it amounts to 25%. The person who possesses 52 silver or 7 tolas of gold, he is liable to pay zakaat at a rate of 2.5%. The owner of the mines must pay the amount that is of th of their total production. The state of Zakaat, which is implied as an agricultural production is called Ushr. It amounts for the the part of land irrigated artificially and the of the land fed by rain. In livestock, on every 30 sheep, 1 goat must be given. On every 30 to 40 cattle, 1 calf on the age of one year is to be given. Furthermore, on every 5 camels, one goat or sheep must be given. Holy Prophet (PBUH) laid down great emphasis upon the payment of Zakaat and admonished those who do not pay Zakaat. Holy Quran says:
“AND THOSE WHO HOARD UP GOLD AND SILVER AND SPEND IT NOT IN THE WAY OF ALLAH, ANNOUNCE UNTO THEM A PAINFUL TORMENT..”
Most of the Muslims give alms of the year in the month of Ramadan but they must also remember to pay Sadqa-tul-Fitr which is given to the needy ones at the mosque. Quran and Sunnah mention those to whom Zakat must be given and to whom may not. It is to be given to poor who do not posses any property, equal to that of Nisab. Secondly, to those who are in need and are forced to beg. Thirdly, to those who have newly accepted Islam and are in need of necessities. The slaves who have to earn their freedom and are in debt. Zakat can also be given to travelers and to those who have been appointed to collect it. Quran sums up all of this by saying:
“ALMS FOR POOR AND NEEDY AND THOSE WHO EMPLOYED TO ADMINISTER THE FOND AND THOSE WHOSE HEARTS HAVE BEEN RECENTLY RECONCILED TO TRUTH. THOSE IN BONDAGE, IN DEBT, IN CAUSE OF ALLAH AND FOR THE WAYFARER.”
Zakat must not be given to descendants of the prophets, one’s parents or children and to non-Muslims. Also, it cannot be given as a part of the salary to any employee or worker.
Fasting means to abstain from food, marital relations, sins etc and devote oneself to praise of Allah during the holy month of Ramazan. Fasting is obligatory for all Muslims adults both males and females. Before fasting, Sehri is taken till dawn which involves consumption of food and drink as one has to remain hungry for the rest of the day. An intention before fasting and taking Sehri has to be made which is:
“I INTEND TO KEEP TOMORROW’S FAST OF RAMADAN.”
The Sehri must be finished before the emergence of light on the horizon. Holy Quran refers to it as:
“ALLAH HAS ORDAINED FOR YOU AND EATS AND DRINK UNTIL THE WHITENESS OF THE DAY BECOMES DISTINCT FROM THE BLACKNESS OF NIGHT AT DAWN.”
From this very moment, the person is subject to all restrictions and prohibitions associated with fast until the setting of the sun. They include eating, drinking, smoking, consuming medicine by mouth and marital relations. Any type of sin whether minor or major has to be avoided during the state of fasting. The sin could be as small as lying. The only things for which a Qaza fast is necessary include: swallowing something other than food or drink, injecting the liquid medicine in body, vomiting, entering of water in the throat while gargling. Qaza is a type of fast, which has to be kept after Ramazan for any fast that was broken earlier during the holy month of Ramazan. If the fast is broken intentionally or by any means that are prohibited, then in addition to the Qaza fast, the person shall have to pay Kaffara. It is for the every fast broken, the believer has to fast for 60 days continuously. Even if a single fast is missed, he shall have to start all over again to complete the 60 days fasting penalty. If the believer cannot for 60 consecutive days, he may for each broken fast, feed 60 poor people twice a day or give cash or grain equal to the Sadqah-e-Fitr to 60 needy people. One must try to commit as many deeds as he can and seek for Allah’s forgiveness. The primary purpose of fasting is to please Allah as much as we can and to abstain from all types of sins. Other than praying punctually, one must recite Holy Quran as much as he can.
While fasting, the use of toothbrush, hair oil and perfume is allowed. The paste or tooth powder if used must be taken care that they do not enter the throat. There are some special cases which are exempted from fasting and they do not have to keep the Qaza fast. These include: menstruating, pregnant or nursing ladies. A patient in severe condition, infants and old people who are feeble are all exempted from fasting.
All of the restrictions are lifted as soon as the time for Maghrib prayer comes. Muslim has to break the fast after the sunset by reciting the following verses:
“O ALLAH! I FASTED FOR YOU, BELIEVE IN YOU AND PUT MY TRUST IN YOU WITH YOUR SUSTENANCE, I NOW BREAK THE FAST.”
Regarding breaking the fast with dates, Prophet (PBUH) said:
“WHEN ONE OF YOU BREAKS HIS FAST, HE SHOULD DO SO WITH DATES, FOR THEY PROVIDE BLESSING.”
The fast is usually broken with consumption of date and water which is a Sunnah itself. Later on, all the prohibitions are lifted and the Muslim may carry out the tasks normally until the time of Sehri.
The performance of Hajj is very difficult and strenuous form of worship though Muslims should attempt to go once in their lifetime. Holy Quran says:
“PILGRIMAGE THERETO IS A DUTY MEN OWE TO ALLAH – THOSE CAN AFFORD THE JOURNEY.”
Pilgrims arrive in Makka by the 7th day of Dhu al-Hajj. They purify themselves and the men put on Ihram. It is the preparation, entering into the purified state at prescribed stations, Mawaqit, by shedding ordinary clothes and putting on two seamless clothes. They are worn in such a way that one is around the waist and other is over the shoulder. Females do not use these clothes instead; they put on simple and modest clothes to cover their bodies with the exception of face and hands. At the great Mosque of Ka’aba, Masjid ul Haram, they perform the Tawwaf. It is anti-clockwise circumambulation of Kaaba seven times, at the inception and conclusion of Hajj. Afterward, the pilgrims carry out Sa’i between the hills of Safa and Marwa by running between the hills seven times. Quran says:
“BEHOLD! SAFA AND MARWA ARE AMONG THE SYMBOLS OF ALLAH. SO IF THOSE WHO VISIT THE HOUSE IN THE SEASON OR OTHER TIMES SHOULD COMPASS THEM ROUND, IT IS NO SIN TO THEM.”
On the eight day of Dhu al-Hajj, the pilgrims proceed to the plain of Mina, where they spend the night in praying and worship of Allah. On a ninth day, they leave Mina for Arafat, where they recite Holy Quran and pray Asr and Zurh together at the Jaba al-Rahma. This process is known as Wuquf in which they spend time by reciting appropriate passages from Quran. This is the climax of Hajj and Muslims believe that the misdeeds of their lives, until this time are forgiven. At the time of sunset, the pilgrims leave Arafat for Muzdalifa, where they spend their night in worship while performing Isha and Maghrib together. Later on, they gather 49 pebbles for the next day.
At the time of dawn, they proceed to Mina, where they perform Rami. It is done by throwing pebbles at the Jamarat. The stone pillars in three in total and they symbolize Satan who tried to mislead Hazrat Abraham (R.A) at three places, where Jamarat are situated. The stoning is done from about five or six feet from the pillar. After this, the animal sacrifice, Udhiya is performed on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hajj. The Eid ul Azha is performed at Mina. Men usually have their heads shaved at this time. Regarding sacrificing animal, Quran says:
“THE SACRIFICIAL CAMELS, WE HAVE MADE FOR YOU AS AMONG THE SYMBOLS FROM ALLAH IN THEM IS MUCH GOOD FOR YOU… WHEN THEY ARE DOWN ON THEIR SIDES AFTER SLAUGHTER, EAT FROM THEM AND FEED OTHERS.”
Rami has then performed once again on 11th and 12th day as well. On the 12th day, the pilgrims return to the Ka’aba for the final Tawaf and with this observance, the Hajj is completed.