Topic: SociologyIdentity

Last updated: July 15, 2019

What are the five pillars of Islam? Describe their meaning and discuss impacts of each pillar in your life.
Five Pillars of Islam:
The Five Pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory by Muslims. These are summarized in the famous Hadith of Gabriel. The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are:
1. Shahadat (Creed).
2. Daily prayers (Salat).
3. Fasting during Ramadan (Sawm).
4. Almsgiving (Zakat).
5. Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) at least once in a lifetime.
Shahadat is a saying professing monotheism and accepting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as God’s messenger. The shahadat is a set statement normally recited in Arabic: (ashadu an) la ilaha illa l-Lahu (wa ashhadu anna) Mu?ammadan rasulu l-lahi “(I profess that) there is no god except God and (I profess that) Muhammad is the messenger of God.” Also, it is said that when dying one should recite this declaration of faith. In azaan (call to prayer) it is recited. When a person wishes to convert his religion, he should recite this affirmation and believe in it.
• Complete surrender to the will of Allah and becoming his true servant.
• It produces a high degree of self-respect and confidence while remaining humble and modest.
• Makes a person obey and observe Allah’s commands with strong determination, patience, and perseverance.
• Makes a person obey and observe Allah’s commands.
• Making a person brave and courageous, as well as dutiful and upright.
One will become a true Muslim only if he/she will utter Shahadat and also accept it by heart.

Salat is the Islamic prayer. As per Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the difference between Muslim and non-believer is Salat. Now if you say that you are a Muslim, it is obligatory for you to offer prayer. Salat consists of five daily prayers: Fajr, Zuhar, Asr, Maghrib, and Eshaa . Fajr is performed at dawn, Zuhar is a noon prayer, Asr is performed in the afternoon, Maghrib is the sunset prayer, and Isha’a is the evening prayer. Each prayer consists of a certain amount of rakaat. A prayer either consists of two, three, or four rakaat. All of these prayers are recited while facing the Kabbah in Makkah.Prophet (PBUH) told us that the first question on the day of judgement will be asked regarding Salat.The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked his companions, “If one of you had a river by his door in which he bathed five times a day, would any filthremain on him?” They replied, “No.” Then the Prophet added, “Likewise, Allah wipes away sins with the five daily prayers.”
• Prayer establishes a personal and spiritual connection between the Muslim and his Creator based on faith and love.
• It will have an enduring effect on the person, filling his heart with contentment, peace, and closeness with Allah.
• Through prayer, Muslim remembers the greatness of his creator and supplicates to Him for his needs and wishes.
• Repeatedly humbling oneself before Allah prevents a person from falling into sin.
• Salah is type of purification for one’s soul.
Salah is actually an opportunity for repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allah.

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“Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain piety”. (Al-Quran)
Three types of fasting (Sawm) are recognized by the Quran: Ritual fasting, fasting as compensation for repentance (both from surah Al-Baqarah), and ascetic fasting (from Al-Ahzab).Ritual fasting is an obligatory act during the month of Ramadan. Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse 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. The fast is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to God, 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. 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. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory. Fasting other than Ramadan can be called as nafli fasting for which one can get extra reward.
• Promotes self-purification and spiritual growth.
• Fasting has health benefits it is proven scientifically.
• Forgiveness of sins.
• Purifies the soul and helps it acquire obeying Almighty Allah by restraining desires, and promotes steadfastness.
• Create awareness about the state of affairs across the globe and the hardships encounter.
• Fasting is a mean of learning self-restraint and patience.
• Purifies the soul and helps it acquire the habit of obeying Allah by restraining desires, and promotes steadfastness.
• Creates an increased feeling of unity and collective identity amongst those fasting.
• Sympathy for that less fortunate, prompting more charity.

The word zakat is originated from zaka which means to purify. The purpose of zakat is to purify one’s wealth. 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 (sadqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward. Zakat on wealth covers money made in business, savings, income, and so on. In current usage Zakat is treated as a 2.5% collection on most valuables and savings held for a full lunar year, as long as the total value is more than a basic minimum known as nisab(3 ounces (85.05 g)).The Prophet (peace beupon him) said: “Allah has made zakat obligatory simply to purify your remaining wealth.”
• Purify one’s heart from greediness, selfishness, and arrogance.
• Made people be sympathetic and compassionate towards needy and poor.
• Reminds blessings of Allah and encouragesto be grateful to Almighty Allah.
• Reduce poverty from society and balance the gap between different socio-economic classes and groups.
• Reduces poverty and ensures equality by making it obligatory upon the rich to share some of their wealth with the less fortunate.
If someone wants to give more than specified that is 2.5 percent then he can give if he has a will to do more for needy people for pleasing Almighty Allah.

5. HAJJ:
This act of worship which has to be done once in a lifetime if:
• You have wealth to do so.
• You have wealth to do so.
Once the conditions met, then one should not delay this act of worship. The Hajj is a pilgrimage that occurs during the Islamic month of Zulhijja to the holy city of Makkah, and derives from an ancient Arab practice. Every able-bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if he or she can afford it. When the pilgrim is around 10 km (6.2 mi) from Mecca, he must dress in Ihram clothing, which consists of two white sheets. Both men and women are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The main rituals of the Hajj include walking seven times around the Kabbah, 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 honored in their community. Hajj should be an expression of devotion to God, 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.
• Symbol of unity of power.
• Lesson of spirituality and guidance.
• Makes a man generous in every little deed.
• Removes poverty and social disobedience.
• Warned about our futures.
The five pillars of Islam have been prescribed by Allah, and a Muslim is required to believe and act according to them. They are practical as well as easy, and the blessings and wisdom behind them are manifold. When put into perspective, they contribute to the well-being of the individual and the society, enhancing the character and manners of the individual, and making both society and individuals accountable and closer to Allah.
These noble pillars of Islam are purely for the benefit of His creation, as Allah is free of all needs. These five pillars provide the solid structure and training program for the betterment and success of all humanity.


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