Archive for the ‘Pillars of Islam’ Category

The Pillars Of Islam

There are five things that Muslims claim to be the foundation of Islam, These are faith, prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. Some Muslims add a sixth which is Jihad. These are called the “Pillars of Islam” and are the fundamentals of Islam.

Faith

The first is faith callad Shahad. Faith begins with what is called “Kalima.” Kalima is the declaration of one’s belief and consists of two concepts. The generalized statement is, ”There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.” Upon making this statement, salvation is granted to a believer. By saying Kalima one becomes a Muslim. Needless to say, the statement must be made from conviction, not just as a matter of expediency.

There are five things the Qur’an says are articles of faith. These are things one must believe if you are to go to heaven and escape Hell.

Surah 2:136. O you who believe! believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Book which He has revealed to His Apostle and the Book which He revealed before; and whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His apostles and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error.

The first of these articles of faith is the belief in Allah as God. The second is belief in Muhammad as the Apostle or messenger of Allah. Muhammad is believed to be the final Messenger of Allah, and that he got his revelation from Allah. Third is the belief in angels. Fourth is the belief in previous messengers of Allah such as Adam, Noah, Moses and Jesus. The fifth is a belief in the fact of a judgment day.

Prayer

The second Pillar of Islam is prayer called Salah or Salat. Prayer is highly ritualized and should be performed five times a day. There is a cleansing, or washing that is to take place before prayer. The prayers are repetitive and the same prayers are said every day. There are certain positions that are to be assumed for specific prayers and these too are repetitive. Friday is the holy day for Muslims and they assemble at the mosque on that day for prayer as well as exhortation. Muslims are to pray five times a day.

Muslims are also to face Mecca when praying. Originally Muhammad instructed them to face Jerusalem when praying. Solomon established the practice of praying while facing Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:29, 30, 44; 2 Chronicles 6:21; Daniel 6:10). This seems to have continued in Muhammad’s time. When Islam first began, Muslims also prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. However, in 2 AH Muhammad issued the instruction to face the Kab’ah in Mecca in response to a revelation he received: “Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque:. (Qur’an, Surah 2:144).

2:144. Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a qiblah [direction, NR] which you shall like; turn then your face towards the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the Book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not at all heedless of what they do.

If you were to be in a hotel in an Islamic country, somewhere in that room there will be an arrow pointing toward Mecca.

Charity

The third Pillar of Islam is Charity, called Zakah or Zakaat. “Zakah” means purity. One purifies his wealth by giving the Zakaat. The amount of “charity” is regulated. Some businesses must pay a high percentage of their income while others pay a smaller amount. Originally, the Zakah was to be paid at least in part, to Muhammad.

58:12. O you who believe! when you consult the Apostle, then offer something in charity before your consultation; that is better for you and purer; but if you do not find, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

58:13. Do you fear that you will not (be able to) give in charity before your consultation? So when you do not do it and Allah has turned to you (mercifully), then keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey Allah and His Apostle; and Allah is Aware of what you do.

He then distributed it to those who had need. In his personal life, Muhammad was not a man covetous of wealth. While he ruled as a king, he did not have the trappings of a king.

Today, in Islamic countries, the government collects the Zakaat. Muslims consider Zakah is a system of economic equalization. Imam Ibn Hazim made the following observation.

The obligation of Zakaat is mandatory on every Muslim who possesses the minimum Nisaab [Necessities of Life-NR], whether the person is man, woman, young, old sane or insane. Because the proof of Zakaat in Al-Qur’an and Sunnah is general and does not exclude young or insane. Allah (SWT) stated that: “Of their goods take alms so that thou mightiest purify and sanctify them…” (Al-Qur’an, 9: 103)

Many Muslims believe Islam and capitalism are incompatible.

Pilgrimage

The fourth Pillar of Islam is Pilgrimage called Hajj. Every Muslim, at least once in his life, is to make the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims believe that this pilgrimage is to the first place of worship on earth, the Kab’ah. It is an inspiring journey made with thousands of others. The mass presence is genuinely awe inspiring. Animal sacrifices are frequently made during Hajj. These are then consumed by the offerers and any who have need.

Pilgrimage to Mecca is an obvious holdover from paganism. Prior to Muhammad, Arab tribes carried their pagan Gods into Mecca and worshipped there. Pilgrimage also reflects the regional nature of Islam.

Fasting

The fifth Pillar of Islam is fasting, called Sawm. The Muslim practice of fasting is much different than we are used to seeing. The fast is one month long and done during the month of Ramadan. The fast is from dawn to dusk. One may eat during the night hours.

Return to Islam Unveiled