THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
The definition of worship in Islam is an all-inclusive term for all that Allah loves of private and public sayings and actions in accordance with His teachings. Islam considers every virtuous action, which is performed with a view to carrying out the commandments of Allah and in order to seek His pleasure as an act of worship for which man will be rewarded. The specific acts of worship, termed the five pillars of Islam, stand as the framework of the spiritual life on which the structure of Islam rests. They include the following:
1. The Declaration of Monotheism:
Monotheism is the corner stone of Islam. A man joins the fold of Islam by believing and declaring the profession of Monotheism: There is no god (worthy of worship) but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger. It is the acceptance or denial of this belief that differentiates a Muslim from a non-Muslim.1
Daily prayers are prescribed five times a day as a duty towards Allah. Prayers are performed at the following times: dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. A Muslim may pray almost anywhere though Muslims are enjoined to pray in congregation in a mosque. Prayers are symbolic of equality, for the poor and the rich, the ruler and the ruled, the black and the white. All standing together united in a row, shoulder to shoulder and prostrating themselves before Allah. Prayers strengthen the belief in Allah and elevate man to a higher morality. It also helps to purify the heart and prevent temptations towards wrongdoing and evil.
3. Fasting the Month of Ramadan:
Muslims observe Fasting once every year during Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar. Fasting means abstention from food, drinking and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset. Fasting teaches sincerity and implants devotion. It develops in the fasting person a sound social conscience, patience, self-restraint, will power and an awareness of how the needy members of the society lead their lives. It also helps to maintain good health by resting the body and getting rid of the excess weight.
4. Charity (Zakah):
Every Muslim whose net annual savings are above a certain specified minimum must pay an annual amount of 2.5% of his savings to the poor and the needy. Zakah purifies one’s accrued wealth. It fosters in the Muslim the quality of sacrifice, and rids him of selfishness and greed. Zakah, also, helps reduce resentment and envy between the poor and rich members in the society.
5. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca):
Hajj is an act of worship, which is to be performed at least once in a lifetime, if one can afford it both financially and physically. During this time, Muslims meet from all corners of the world in an international congregation responding to the call of Allah. It creates and refreshes the faith that all Muslims are equal, irrespective of their geographical, cultural or racial origins.
THE SIX PILLARS OF FAITH IN ISLAM
The Muslim believes in the following articles of faith:
1. He believes in the oneness of God “Allah”. Supreme and Eternal. Merciful and Compassionate. Creator and provider of everything. He must be worshipped alone. His names and attributes are all perfect and unique to Him.
2. He believes in all messengers of Allah with no discrimination between them.2 Every nation has had a messenger (or more) sent by Allah to convey His message, and to exemplify it for Mankind. The Qur’an mentions the name of only twenty five of them and indicates that there have been many others. Those twenty-five include Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John, Jesus, and finally Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. Every messenger was sent to a specific nation but Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him) was sent with the universal mission for all Mankind. This special role played by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the seal and last of all messengers puts the Muslim in the position whereby honoring Muhammad implies honoring all those messengers who came before him as well. Evidences of proof that Prophet Muhammad is an Apostle of Allah are more than a thousand; all are mentioned in his biography. The greatest of these is the Holy Qur’an (the word of Allah) which couldn’t have been conveyed but by a messenger. The Biblical versions in their present forms clearly mention the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). See Deut 18:18, 18:15, 33:2-3, Isaiah 29:12, Songs of Solomon 5:16, John 16:12-14 & John 14:15-16.3
3. A Muslim believes in all the scriptures of Allah, but in their original form. These scriptures form the enlightenment, which the messengers received to show their respective peoples the right path of Allah. In the Qur’an special reference is made to the books of Abraham (Suhui), to the Torah of Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) of David and the Injeel (Gospel of Jesus). But long before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), those books were either lost or corrupted. Because of this, Allah revealed the Holy Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be the final revelation and guidance for all mankind.
4. The Muslim believes in the existence of angels as part of the unseen world. Angels are created beings whose nature requires no food, drink or sleep.
5. A Muslim believes in the Day of Judgement. The Qur’an teaches that life is but a test for man to see whether or not he will follow the commands of Allah. Accordingly, one should prepare himself with good deeds for the eternal life after death. People will be resurrected in the Hereafter to stand before Allah for just a reckoning of their worldly deeds and actions. People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to the Heavens of Allah, and those with bad records will be punished and cast into hell. Through belief in Allah and in the Day of Judgement, Islam firmly implants in man’s heart a consciousness of Allah’s presence impelling man and society at large to obey the moral law sincerely without any external human pressure.
6. A Muslim believes that whatever happens in this world is ordained and predestinated by Allah. Allah is the Most Wise, so whatever He does has a meaningful purpose although at times we may fail to understand fully.
ONE GOD, ONE LORD
ALLAH is the Only God. There is no other God besides him. He is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. He is the Lord of all the beings within them. He is the One who fosters and nourishes everyone and everything. He is the only patron and Guardian of the Creation; for everything and everyone (besides him) is His creation. He is the Supreme Omnipotent Sovereign; His will is done. He is the supreme Law giver whose Law overrides, overrules, abrogates, and nullifies every other law; the Absolute King whose Kingdom encompasses the Heavens and the Earth and to Whom all are His subjects. He is our cherisher, Protector, Provider, and Creator and He is the Only one worthy of our worship, submission, humility, and adoration. He did not give birth nor was He given birth to. He does not have a son, daughter, wife, relative, etc.
He is Perfect in all of His Names and Attributes and nothing resembles Him. He orders us to obey Him and forbade us to disobey Him. He is Eternal and Everlasting. He causes de death and gives life and we will all return back to Him.
Allah (God) says: “Say He Allah is one. Allah the Self-Sufficient Master ( Whom all creation needs). He begets not, nor was He begotten and there is no one who is co-equal or comparable to Him. (Quran 112:1-4)
Allah (God) Says: “O people! Worship your Guardian Lord Who created you and those who came before you that you maybe righteous. Who has made the Earth your couch and the Heavens your canopy and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance. Then set not up rivals unto Allah when you know (that He alone is the One to be worshipped). (Quran 2:21-22)
And He, Glory be to Him, says:
“Then Praise be to Allah Lord of The Heavens and Lord of the Earth and Cherisher of all the worlds. And unto Him (Alone) belongs Majesty in the Heavens and the Earth; and He is All-Mighty, The All-Wise. (Quran 45:36-37)
We invite you to Pure Monotheism. We invite you to the Worship of Allah the Most High. We invite you to Al-Islam.