Most of the Muslims know what are the five pillars of Islam and what do they mean. However, a proper definition is tough to find. Isn’t it strange?
Well, it’s not a hard nut to crack. Here we have explained all the details in a very interactive and laid-back way for you. Islam presents these elements as the basic framework of offerings and a sign of submission to Allah Subhana hu Wata’la.
Why are they important?
Since these are the fundamentals of Islam, hence kids and adults must learn about them. It doesn’t matter how devotedly a Muslim believes in Allah Subhana hu Wata’la unless he puts his faith into actions and accomplishments.
To sum up, sailing through these obligations laces daily routine into a single cloth of religious integrity. So, one can say five pillars of Islam jointly make the basic framework of Islam. Let’s discuss them one-by-one in order.
1. The profession of Faith (Shahadah)
First and the foremost pillar is the testimony of faith. it’s when one says with conviction “La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammadur Rasoolu Allah.” The first part means, “There is no true god but God (Allah)” and the second part states, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” This is “Shahadah.”
One has to confess this from the core of the heart if he claims himself as a Muslim. Furthermore, he will have to demonstrate this declaration with his practices. So, this is the most imperative part of Islam.
2. Prayer (Salah)
The second pillar in the list is prayer (Salah). Its significance is evident as Rasoolu Allah (S.A.W) said,
“The place of prayer in religion is like the place of the head in the body.”
Muslims offer prayers five times a day. Besides, it is mandatory for every adult Muslim man and woman. Prayer is the direct connection between a Muslim and Allah Subhana hu wata’la removing all the intermediaries.
On the other hand, it serves as the public and physical evidence of the believer’s submission to Allah subhana hu Wata’la. The Muslims perform these five prayers before dawn, at noon, just after the afternoon, in the evening, and the last one just at the start of the night.
Furthermore, a believer must carry prayers in the direction of Mecca, in the state of ritual purity and with an intention uttered just before the commencement of each prayer.
In particular, prayer contains certain movements cyclically and rhythmically. Meanwhile, the believer utters praise of Allah Subhana hu wata’la, supplications, and God’s blessing on Muhammad (S.A.W).
In prayers, believers find peace, tranquility, and contentment. As the Prophet (S.A.W) said, “Bilal, call to prayer, let us be comforted by it.” It signifies that the prayer imparts tranquility.
3. Alms (Zakat)
The third pillar of Islam reminds the believer of his broader social responsivity toward the deprived class of society. Also, it’s religiously mandatory for Muslims to pay the fortieth part or 2.5% of their liquid assets and income-generating properties.
Alms are collected by the state representative, the local Mosque or by the local bodies of Zakat councils. Then, this collected amount is distributed among the needy and certain classes of society. These are the “Recipients of Zakah (Misaarif-e Zakah).”
The eight recipients of Zakah as narrated by the Holy Quran are;
- The poor (Al-Fuqarah)
- The needy (Al-Masakin)
- Zakah administrators (Al-Amiliyn ‘Aliha)
- Those whose hearts need to be reconciled (Al-Muallafatul Qulubuhum)
- To free from slavery or servitude (Fir-Riqaab)
- The debtors (Al-Gharimin)
- Those who are fighting for Islam (Fi-Sabeelillah)
- The wayfarers (Ibn ul Sabil)
4. Fasting (Sawm)
Fasting (Sawm) is the observation of abstaining from foods, drinks, and sexual activities from dawn to dusk. Also, it is a monthlong activity in the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. Moreover, it is mandatory for all adult and healthy Muslim men and women.
By abstaining from worldly things, a believer truly realizes the pain of the needy and hungry people of society. Moreover, through this temporary refrain, Muslims return to the awareness of the gratitude towards the blessings of Allah Subhana hu wata’la.
5. Pilgrimage (Hajj)
The annual pilgrimage is mandatory for the Muslims who are physically and financially able enough, once in the lifetime. The Muslims perform pilgrimage on the eighth and twelfth days of the last Islamic month.
About two million Muslims from all over the world, gather in the Mecca, city of Saudi Arabia. In Masjid-Al-Haraam, Ka’ba is a cubical construction covered with an elegant black embroidered cloth.
Additionally, Muslims believe that it is the house of Allah Subhana hu Wata’la built by Abraham (S.A.W). On a certain day, pilgrims wear specifically designed white cloths. This shows that all are equal before Allah Subhana hu Wata’la regardless of their worldly statuses and classes.
Every Muslim seeks fortification and blessing of Allah Subhana hu Wata’la. The five pillars of Islam are the ladder toward the nearness of Allah Subhana hu Wata’la. So, one must observe them. Moreover, one who loves Allah Subhana hu Wata’la loves His commands.