Friday, 29 April 2011

The Pillars of Islam


The Pillars of Islam
We hope that you can explain the pillars of Islam for us.


Praise be to

Islam is based on five pillars which the Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) has explained for us, when he said: “Islam is built upon
five [pillars]: the testimony that there is no god but Allaah and that
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; establishing regular prayer (salaah);
paying the zakaah; Hajj (pilgrimage) and fasting Ramadaan.” (Agreed
upon; narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 8) 

Islam is both belief and laws, in which Allaah
and His Messenger have told us what is halaal and what is haraam, morals
and good manners, acts of worship and how to interact with people, rights
and duties, and scenes of the resurrection. When Allaah completed this
religion, He chose it to be the way of life for all of mankind until
the Hour begins: 

“This day, I have perfected your
religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for
you Islam as your religion

[al-Maa'idah 5:3 – interpretation of the meaning] 

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 Allaah
alone is the Lord, Sovereign and Controller, the Creator and Provider.
He affirms all His most beautiful names and the sublime attributes that
Allaah has affirmed for Himself or that His Prophet affirmed for Him.
He believes that Allaah alone, and no one else, is the Only One Who
is deserving of worship, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“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 Allaah, 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 (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him), and revealed to him the Qur’aan, and commanded
him to convey this religion to all of mankind. He believes that loving
Allaah 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 (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’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive
you your sins. And Allaah 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). There are also Sunnah
prayers such as Qiyaam al-Layl (prayer at night), Taraweeh prayers,
two rak’ahs of Duha prayer, etc. 

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: 

“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined
on the believers at fixed hours”[al-Nisaa’ 4:103 – interpretation of
the meaning] 

The one who abandons prayer has no share in
Islam. Whoever neglects it deliberately is a kaafir, as Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“(And remain always) turning in
repentance to Him (only), and be afraid and dutiful to Him; and perform
As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah) and be not of Al‑Mushrikoon
(the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah)[al-Room

Islam is based on co-operation, brotherhood and love,
and Allaah has prescribed coming together for these prayers and others,
in order to attain these virtues. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Prayer in congregation
is twenty-seven times better than prayer offered alone.” (Narrated by
Muslim, no. 650) 

Prayer helps the believer at times of hardship
and calamity. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And seek help in patience and As-Salaah (the prayer)
and truly, it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khaashi‘oon
[i.e. the true believers in Allaah — those who obey Allaah with full
submission, fear much from His punishment, and believe in His Promise
(Paradise) and in His Warnings (Hell)].[al-Baqarah 2:45] 

The five daily prayers wipe out sins, as the
Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: “Do you not think that if there was a river
at the door of any one of you, and he were to bathe in it five times
each day, would there by any dirt left on him?” They said, “No dirt
would be left on him at all.” He said, “That is the likeness of the
five daily prayers, by means of which Allaah erases sin.” 

Prayer in the mosque is a means of entering
Paradise. The Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever comes and goes to the
mosque, Allaah will prepare for him a house in Paradise for each time
he comes and goes.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 669) 

Prayer brings the slave and his Creator together.
It was the delight of the Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whenever any matter grieved
him, he would turn to prayer and converse with his Lord and call upon
Him, seeking His forgiveness and asking Him of His bounty. 

Prayer done with proper humility and fear
of Allaah brings the Muslim closer to his Lord, and keeps him from doing
evil, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Recite (O Muhammad) what has been revealed to you
of the Book (the Qur’aan), and perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah).
Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) prevents from Al‑Fahsha’
(i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al‑Munkar
(i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)”[al-‘Ankaboot

The third pillar: zakaah (poor due, charity

Just asAllaah 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, Allaah has enjoined
upon the Muslims zakaah which is taken from the rich and given to the
poor. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“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”[al-Tawbah 9:103] 

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 happy.  

Allaah has made the payment of zakaah obligatory
upon everyone who owns the nisaab (minimum amount) for one year. 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, Allaah expiates his sins
thereby, and blesses his wealth, and stores up for him a great reward.
Allaah 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”[al-Baqarah 2:110] 

Withholding zakaah brings disasters and evils
upon the ummah. Allaah has threatened those who withhold it with
a painful torment on the Day of Resurrection. He says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“O you who believe! Verily, there
are many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks who devour
the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the way of
Allaah (i.e. Allaah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism). And those who
hoard up gold and silver (Al‑Kanz: the money, the Zakaah of which
has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allaah, announce
unto them a painful torment.

On the Day when that (Al‑Kanz: money, gold and silver, the
Zakaah of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell
and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their
backs, (and it will be said unto them:) ‘This is the treasure which
you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard’”

[al-Tawbah 9:34-35] 

Concealing one’s zakaah is better than paying
it openly in front of people, as Allaah says (interpretation of the

“If you disclose your Sadaqaat (almsgiving), it is
well; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, that is better
for you. (Allaah) will expiate you some of your sins. And Allaah is
Well-Acquainted with what you do [al-Baqarah 2:271] 

When a Muslim pays his zakaah, it is not permissible
for him to give it to anyone except those whom Allaah 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”[al-Tawbah 9:60] 

The fourth pillar:
sawm (fasting) in Ramadaan 

Fasting means abstaining
from things which break the fast, such as food, drink and intercourse,
from sunrise until sunset, with the intention of fasting. 

The relationship
of patience to faith is like that of the head to the body. Allaah has
enjoined upon this ummah fasting for one month of the year, in order
to draw closer to Allaah, to avoid that which Allaah 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)”[al-Baqarah 2:183] 

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. 

Allaah has made fasting
the month of Ramadaan obligatory upon every sane, adult Muslim, male
and female alike, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The month of Ramadaan in which was revealed the
Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and
the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the
crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadaan i.e. is present
at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month, and whoever is
ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe
Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you
ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants
that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must
magnify Allaah [i.e. to say Takbeer (Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is the Most
Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him” [al-Baqarah

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.
Allaah said, ‘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.’”
(Narrated by Muslim, al-Siyaam) 

fifth pillar: Hajj (pilgrimage) 

Allaah 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 Allaah 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 Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah)
is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, 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. 

has its own etiquette and conditions which the Muslims must observe,
such as restraining their tongues, hearing and sight from all that Allaah
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 Allaah 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!”[al-Baqarah 3:197]

If the Muslim does
Hajj correctly, in the manner prescribed and sincerely for the sake
of Allaah, 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) 


From Usool al-Deen al-Islami, by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Tuawyjri

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