Five Pillars of Islam
Five Pillars of Muslim
The five pillars of Islam are the most important items to an Islamic life, and they include the following; shahadah, salat, sawm, zakat and the Hajj. The Shahadah is the creed that declares Allah as the only God, and Muhammad is his sole messenger. It is said that the proclamation, when uttered, affirms an individual into the Islamic faith. Moreover, it is whispered into the ears of a newly born child, as well as, being recited in prayer, daily. In addition, it is also written in the Arabic language on the mosques everywhere and on their doors. Salat, an Arabic word meaning prayer, calls for Muslims to pray five times a day: early in the morning, midday, afternoon, evening and in the depth of the night. Zakat implies charity to the poor, and the religion demands that the adherents a part of the wealth to the poor. Sawm implies fasting during the Ramadan, and which literally means abstaining from food a given period. Hajj, which is the pilgrimage to Mecca, is an ancient Arabic tradition that stretched many before the birth of Islam. This paper shall select Salat, Hajj and Sawm from amongst the five pillars of Islam, and describe actions associated with these three pillars, and their relationship to Islamic beliefs on Allah and the humankind.
Salat refers to the Muslim prayer is a pillar of Islam and an obligatory Islamic rite for all Muslims. The Salat uses a combination of mental, spiritual and physical acts when worshipping God and it is practiced five times daily at certain prescribed periods of the day. During such a ritual, the worshipper begins by standing, and then they bow, thereafter prostrate, and end when the worshipper sits on the floor, known as the rakats. During every position, the faithful recites sections of a prayer or the Quran (Hussain, 2012). The first rakat is performed while standing, and it begins by the proclamation of the greatness of God. In the first rakat, the hands are raised level with that of the shoulders and fingers spaced out on the level of the ears and carried out before with or after takbir. In the second rakat, the faithful performs a bow, with hands placed knees, and recites a prayer from the Quran. The third rakat is prostration, to the degree that faithful has his nose and forehead touching the ground.
The main function of the Salat is to act as an individual’s communication with God and remembrance of God. The worshipper first recites the first sura of the Islamic Holy Book; requirements in daily prayer, the worshipper stands then praises God and thank Him, while at the same time seeking guidance along the good way. To perform a Salat, one must be a Muslim, be sane and at least attained the age of seven. Moreover, for the Salat to be valid one must have confidence when worshipping, face the qibla, and the chest face the direction of Kaaba, although not demanded of the ill and the old. Worshippers should be covered in awrah, have a clean body as well as place and body; they should be ritually pure, and pray in front of the Sutrah.
The Hajj is very important in the Islamic calendar, and mandatory in the lifetime of a Muslim, who can endure the financial and physical burdens of the journey to the Saudi Arabian city. To accomplish the pilgrimage, the Muslim becomes a ‘mustati’, the Hajj can be translated to imply unity of all Muslims, and submitting to God. The pilgrimage commences on the 8th day of the Islamic calendar and stretches to the 12th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, and which is the concluding month in the calendar (Kazemi, 2012). Since the Islamic calendar is normally short in comparison to the Gregorian calendar, the Hajj dates shifts annually on the normal calendar used by everybody worldwide. The rites associated with the Hajj include the Ihram, Tawaf and sa’ay (Kazemi, 2012).
A Muslim must visit at least each of the six different stations (each known as Miqat) five were set up by the Holly messenger of God, and the sixth station served the faithful from the east, mostly from the Indian subcontinent. Ihram is the state of holiness expected of the pilgrim when they reach the Miqat, and in the state, the pilgrim must adorn white cloth, wrapped on the waist and being draped on another piece of clothing over the left shoulder, and linked to the right side. The Ihram signifies equality of all the pilgrims to the Allah and does not create a difference between the poor and the rich. Tawaf literally translates to walking seven times counterclockwise round the Kaaba, and it is performed on arrival at the Masjid al-Haram. After the Tawaf, the pilgrims perform the Sa’ay, which involves running round Safa and Marwah, which are located close to the Kaaba.
Sawm is an Arabic word that translates to fasting, and it is regulated by the continuous development Islamic law (Kenney and Moosa, 2013). Sawm implies abstinence from drinking and eating during the daytime, and observing sawm during the month of Ramadan is a pillar of Islam. The fating period stretches from dawn to dusk, and during the period, adherents to the religion are prohibited from engaging in conjugal relationships drinking and eating. Sawm is intended to help a Muslim to build self-control and have a superior knowledge of God, and the circumstances that the deprived endure.
The five pillars of Islam are fundamental to an Islamic life, and they are unique to the Islamic religion. The Shahadah declares Allah as the only God, and Muhammad is his sole messenger, Salat, an Arabic word meaning prayer, calls for Muslims to pray five times a day, Zakat, implies charity to the poor, Sawm, implies fasting during the Ramadan, and which literally means abstaining from food a given period. Finally, Hajj, which is the pilgrimage to Mecca, is an ancient Arabic tradition that stretched many before the birth of Islam.
Hussain, M. (2012). The five pillars of Islam: Laying the foundations of divine love and service
to humanity. Kube Publishing Ltd.
Kazemi, A. V. (2012). Islam and the Modern World.
Kenney, J. T., & Moosa, E. (2013). Islam in the modern world. Routledge.