Thursday, June 10, 2021

Five Pillars of Islam: A quick overview

  Tim       Thursday, June 10, 2021

These "Five Pillars of Islam" are among the essential tenets of the Islamic faith, deemed essential by all believers to have full faith in, and form the cornerstone of Muslim life. The best-known Hadith of Gabriel summarizes it. There are a few specifics about these pillars that the Sunni and Shia agree on." , although Shia names them differently. The five pillars of Islam include: profession of Faith (Shahada), Salah (Prayer), Zakat (Chairty, almsgiving) , Sawm (Fasting), and Hajj(yearly pilgrimage to Mecca) obligatory for Muslims having wealth and health to undertake it. 

1- Shahada (Profession of Faith) 

The first pillar of Islamic belief is the Shahada, the affirmation and profession of faith. 


لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ

Transliteration: lā ʾilāha ʾillā -llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu -llāhi

English Translation: There is no deity but Allah. Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him) is the messenger of God.


أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ

Transliteration: ašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾilla -llāhu, wa-ʾašhadu ʾanna muḥammadan rasūlu -llāhi

English Translation: I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.

It is mandatory for Non-Muslims ready to embrace Islam to pronounce these two Shahadas and complete their conversion to Islam. 

The monotheistic part of Islam promotes unity and faith in the oneness of God. A second shahada illustrates God's inherent mercy. This prayer proclaims Muhammad as the last prophet, and Muhammad as a model of guidance for all Muslims and mankind. The revelations of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) were perverted by the prior Jewish and Christian societies and people; so, it is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who bears the responsibility of teaching the Quran to the Islamic society for the rest of history. 

The Shahada is recited five times each day during prayer. 

It is the first thing said to a newborn in ears, and the last thing spoken to a person when they die, demonstrating how vital the Muslim prayer and pillars are throughout one's lifetime.

2- Salah (Namaz) 

Salah also known as Namaz is a form of prayer done by Muslims at least five times a day. Muslims first stand facing the direction of Kaaba and then kneel or sit on the ground, reciting from the Quran and glorifying and praising God as they bend and prostrate themselves. Namaz consists of cycles of bows and prostrations which are called rakats. The amount of rak'ahs (prayer units) vary from prayer to prayer. Ritual cleanliness and Wudu(form of ablution and cleanliness exercise) are necessary for praying. Namaz becomes fard (mandatory) for all Muslims once child reaches the age of 7.  

Muslims are required to perform the five daily prayers every day at specific times. The times of Fajr (observed at Dawn), Zuhr (noon), Asr (late in afternoon), Maghrib (dusk), and Isha (observed after sunset). Namaz can be performed or together. 

However, for male Muslims, it is mandatory to offer Fard prayers (mandatory units of each prayer) at Masjid and females are supposed to pray at home. In collective namaz at mosque, believers form lines in parallel rows behind an imam known as the imam(the one leading the prayers). Special prayers are presented in congregation, such as the Friday prayer and the Eid prayers, and are combined with two sermons given by Imam(leader of the prayers in mosque).


3- Zakat (Charity) 

The Third Pillar of Islam is almsgiving, or charity. Zakat signifies the cleansing of one's all wealth. An eligible person has to pay 2.5 percent out of their savings and investments. The savings can either be in cash, gold or real estate. This money is used to support the poor and underprivileged people within the community.  The exact percentage is not mentioned in Quran but in Hadith. According to Hanafi sect, 2.5 is the acceptable percentage.  

Zakāt can be characterised as cleansing and growth, as it encourages equilibrium and supports fresh growth at both individual and collective level. Knowing that all things belong to God is necessary for purification and growth. Zakat is obligatory for those who qualify it. Muslims are individually responsible for easing the economic distress of others and working towards eradicating inequality. 

Zakāt includes giving money to people who are in need, including debtors or travellers. Muslims can also donate more through charity, even if it's just voluntary (sadaqah). Zakāt exemplifies how Islam effects a believer's financial status, drawing in all parts of life. 

Five aspects should be kept in mind while giving your charity: 

1- Make your intention clear to Allah that you are donating this to ac

2- Ensure that you pay you zakat within due date.

3- Payment must be done in all kindness and fairness. 

4- Make sure the recipients(individuals, or causes) are deserving. 

5- Distribute zakat in the community where wealth was obtained. 

4- Sawm (Fasting) 

Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. There are two types of fasting: mandatory and optional. Mandatory fasting begins in Ramadan, 9th month in Islamic calendar. Each day of the fast during Ramadan, Muslims are obliged to refrain from eating, drinking, having sex, or smoking. Ramadan is a month that reminds Muslims that everyone is in need of Allah's assistance, and there are other people who are in need of help. 

5- Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) 

Pilgrimage is the final pillar of Islam. One must perform the pilgrimage to Mecca in the 12th month of the lunar calendar as a Muslim. For this excursion, Hajjis (pilgrims) wear simply two white sheets, as no distinctions of class are to be made. 

At the Hajj, all Muslim men wear the same clothes, as they strive to demonstrate their unity. Ladies wear a simpler form of their everyday attire. When pilgrims enter the sacred territory of Mecca, they become “ihram,” or a condition of purity for hajji, who has completed a journey to Mecca (one who made the pilgrimage to Mecca).  

The Hajj's primary rites include circling the Kaaba (Tawaf), touching the Black Stone (Istilam), going between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah (Sa'yee), and pelting the Devil (Mina) with stones. 

When at Mecca, pilgrims circle the Ka'aba in the mosque. They perform an official prayer and then do the “standing ceremony” to memorialise the Farewell Sermon of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on the Arafat

Pilgrims will halt in Mina, where they throw seven pebbles at pillars which depict Satan to demonstrate their hatred for Shaitan (Satan). After completing the circumambulation of the Kaaba, they return to Mecca for the closing rites. 

Ability, physical strength, and economic necessities are some of the factors that determine whether or not an individual can finish this journey, as the Quran specifies. The reason for this voyage is to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). 


 Read  👉 10+ most powerful duas from Quran & Hadith


References 

Brockopp, Jonathan; Tamara Sonn; Jacob Neusner (2000). Judaism and Islam in Practice: A Sourcebook. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-21673-7.

Farah, Caesar (1994). Islam: Beliefs and Observances (5th ed.). Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 978-0-8120-1853-0.

Muhammad Hedayetullah (2006). Dynamics of Islam: An Exposition. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 978-1-55369-842-5.

Khan, Arshad (2006). Islam 101: Principles and Practice. Khan Consulting and Publishing, LLC. ISBN 0-9772838-3-6.

P.J. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers.


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