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Five Pillars Of Islam

Five Pillars Of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam (arkān-al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān ad-dīn أركان الدين ”pillars of the religion”) are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory by believers. These are summarized in the famous Hadith of Gabriel.

The Qur’an presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are:

  1. the shahada (Islamic creed)
  2. daily prayers (salat)
  3. almsgiving (zakāt)
  4. fasting during Ramadan (sawm)
  5. the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.

The minority Shi’a and majority Sunni both agree on the essential details for the performance of these acts, but the Shi’a do not refer to them by the same name (see Ancillaries of the Faith, for the Twelvers, and Seven pillars of Ismailism).

The five pillars of Islam

Kalima

Kalima is the declaration of faith, i.e. the professing that there is only one God (Allah) (monotheism) and that Muhammad (S.A.W) is God’s messenger. Kalima is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: ‘La ‘ilaa-ha ‘il-lal-laa-hu mu-ham-ma-dur ra-soo-lul-laah ”I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.” Reciting this statement is obligatory in daily prayer (salāh) as well as on other occasions; it is also a key part in a person’s conversion to Islam.

Salat: Prayer

220px Great Mosque of Kairouan prayer hall Five Pillars Of Islam

Salat (ṣalāh) is the Islamic prayer. Salat consists of five daily prayers according to the Sunna; the names are according to the prayer times: Fajr(morning dawn), Zuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (after-sunset), and ‘Isha’ (late evening, night). The Fajr prayer is performed before sunrise, Zuhr is performed in the midday after the sun has surpassed its highest above you, Asar is the evening prayer before sunset, Maghrib is the evening prayer after sunset and Isha is the night prayer. All of these prayers are recited while facing the Kaaba in Mecca. Muslims must wash themselves before prayer, this washing is called wudū’ (“purification”). The prayer is accompanied by a series of set positions including; bowing with hands on knees, standing, prostrating and sitting in a special position (not on the heels, nor on the buttocks). Salat is the second of the five pillars of Islam.

Zakāt

Zakat or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality. Zakat consists of spending 2.5% of one’s wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, including slaves, debtors and travelers. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward.

There are five principles that should be followed when giving the Zakat:

  1. The giver must declare to Allah his intention to give the Zakat.
  2. The Zakat must be paid on the day that it is due.
  3. After the Offering, the payer must not exaggerate on spending his money more than usual means.
  4. Payment must be in kind. This means if one is wealthy then he or she needs to pay 2.5% of their income. If a person does not have much money, then they should compensate for it in different ways, such as good deeds and good behavior toward others.
  5. The Zakat must be distributed in the community from which it was taken.

Sawm of Ramadan: Fasting

220px Date seller Five Pillars Of Islam

Three types of fasting (Sawm) are recognized by the Qur’an: Ritual fasting, fasting as compensation for repentance (both from sura Al-Baqara), and ascetic fasting (from Al-Ahzab).

Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan.Muslims must abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk during this month, and are to be especially mindful of other sins.Fasting is necessary for every Muslim that has reached puberty (unless he/she suffers from a medical condition which prevents him/her from doing so.)

The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness and to look for forgiveness Allah, to express their gratitude to and dependence on him, atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, profane language, gossip and to try to get along with fellow Muslims better. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.

Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory, but is forbidden for several groups for whom it would be very dangerous and excessively problematic. These include pre-pubescent children, those with a medical condition such as diabetes, elderly people, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Observing fasts is not permitted for menstruating women. Other individuals for whom it is considered acceptable not to fast are those who are ill or traveling. Missing fasts usually must be made up for soon afterward, although the exact requirements vary according to circumstance.

Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca

The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah to the holy city of Mecca. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime . When the pilgrim is around 10 km (6.2 mi) from Mecca, he/she must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. After a Muslim makes the trip to Mecca, he/she is known as a hajj/hajja (one who made the pilgrimage to Mecca). The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kaaba, touching the Black Stone, traveling seven times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah, and symbolically stoning the Devil in Mina.

The pilgrim, or the haji, is honoured in the Muslim community. Islamic teachers say that the Hajj should be an expression of devotion to Allah, not a means to gain social standing. The believer should be self-aware and examine their intentions in performing the pilgrimage. This should lead to constant striving for self-improvement. A pilgrimage made at any time other than the Hajj season is called an Umrah, and while not mandatory is strongly recommended. Also, they make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Jerusalem in their alms giving feast.

   

Source: Wikipedia

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