Five Pillars

Definition

The word ISLAM has a two-fold meaning: peace, and submission to God. This submission requires a fully conscious and willing effort to submit to the one Almighty God. One must consciously and conscientiously give oneself to the service of Allah. This means to act on what Allah enjoins all of us to do (in the Qur’an) and what His beloved Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged us to do in his Sunnah ((his lifestyle and sayings personifying the Qur’an).

 

Who is a Muslim?

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God. This is done by declaring that “there is no god except one God Muhammad is the messenger of God.” In a broader sense, anyone who willingly submits to the will of God is a Muslim. Thus, all the prophets preceding the prophet Muhammad are considered Muslims. The Quran specifically mentions Abraham who lived long before Moses and Christ.

 

Who was the Prophet Muhammad? (pbuh)

 In brief, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael (P), son of Prophet Abraham (P). His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He did not attend a formal school since he was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle. As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At age 40, he was given the prophethood when the angel, Gabriel, appeared in the cave. Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were compiled in the form of a book called the Quran which Muslims believe as the final and the last word of God. The Quran has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah, the psalms and the Gospel.

 The Qur’an has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms

  the truth in the Torah, the psalms and the Gospel.

 

1. Shahadah (the testimony):

“I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that

  Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” 

In Arabic, it sounds like this: “ASH-HADU ALLA ILAHA ILLALLAH, WA ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAR RASULULLAH.”

”أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا رسول الله “ 

 

This is the testimony that one must pronounce when embracing Islam. It reflects the beauty and simplicity of Islam.

 

2. Salat (prayer): performing the five daily, mandatory prayers (prayer includes standing, kneeling down, prostrating, reading parts of the Qur’an, praising and remembering Allah, and asking His mercy, forgiveness and Paradise).

 

3. Sawm: fasting or refraining from eating, drinking (i.e. all intake of food and liquid), and having sex with one’s spouse during a certain period of time (from dawn until sunset). Some of the beautiful benefits and lessons of fasting include:

 

• Spiritual benefits. It develops ‘taqwa’ (piety) and sincerity. The fasting month of Ramadan is a great season for attaining God’s mercy, forgiveness, release from Hell Fire, and getting eternal life, Paradise.

• Moral and emotional benefits. In the school of Ramadan (Sawm), we learn and experience the hunger that millions of people in different parts of the world suffer from. It inspires us to share, to feel, to be humble, generous and kind.

• Health benefits: Through the process of fasting, the body gets rid of toxins and extra fats. Doctors and nutritionists recommend fasting and describe it as a ‘rubbish-burner’ and as a ‘curative therapy.’   Fasting is a good remedy for several diseases.

 

4. Zakat: the mandatory giving of a certain amount of one’s earnings to the poor and needy. Zakat or alms giving and charity to those who are in need purify us from greed and miserliness.

 

 It purifies our properties and money and teaches caring and sharing which build strong bridges of mutual love and respect between the rich and the poor Indeed, it fosters support, help, cooperation, and solidarity in the whole society.

 

 5. Hajj: The pilgrimage to Makkah that every Muslim must perform once in his or her lifetime, provided he or she is physically, mentally and financially able to do so.

 

 Like the other pillars and tenets of Islam, the beauties, lessons and benefits of Hajj are many. Millions of believers (of different colors, races and parts of the world) answer the call of Abraham. Wonderful principles and concepts can be seen in action during Hajj, including: submission and obedience to Allah, brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam, unity, patience, sacrifice, prayer, charity and fasting. Islamic pilgrimage (hajj) witnesses and features the largest, unique religious conference or gathering of its kind in human history.

At such a great convergence of all races and colors serving just one God and following just one message, Malcolm X and others learned the lesson and the beauty of true faith, Islamic brotherhood and equality – when they went to Makkah to perform Hajj.  

“My pilgrimage broadened my scope. It blessed me with a new insight. In two weeks in the Holy Land, I saw what I never had seen in thirty-nine years here in America. I saw all races, all colors, — blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans — in true brotherhood! In unity! Living as one! Worshipping as one!” – Malcolm X

 

Prince Charles’ Speech at Wilton Park

 The Prince of Wales explains how the Muslim critique of materialism helped him to rediscover the sacred Islamic spirituality and the decline of the West.

I start from the belief that Islamic civilisation at its best, like many of the religions of the East – Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism – has an important message for the West in the way it has retained an integrated and integral view of the sanctity of the world around us. I feel that we in the West could be helped to rediscover the roots of our own understanding by an appreciation of the Islamic tradition’s deep respect for the timeless traditions of the natural order.

 

In Islam,The One true God (Allah) has created the entire creation. It is only this great God (Allah) who made all humans and animals,
the earth and its mountains, oceans and rivers, plants and forests.  

The sun and the moon, galaxies and orbits, days and nights.                                                                                                                    

All other objects, which we may or may not know, or have not yet been discovered, are all aspects of His infinite creation.

All in all, Allah is the Creator of life, death, and life after death.

 

However, some might refer their existence to ‘nature’ or ‘natural selection’! Scientifically speaking, let’s define what they talk about: NATURE! What is nature?

Don’t you agree with me that nature includes: plants and planets, orbits and galaxies, valleys and mountains, oceans and rivers, earth, sun, moon, stars, and other objects. Have these things created themselves or created human beings?!

 

The Glorious Qur’an beautifully tells us:


“O mankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those who came before you that you may become righteous.” (2:21)


“He (God) created the Heavens and the Earth for Truth.” (The Qur’an 39: 5)


“It is He who created the night and the day, and
the sun and the moon. They swim along, each in an orbit.” (The Qur’an 21: 23)

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