Foundation of A Muslim: The 5 Pillars of Islam

by Muslim Pro

وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏بني الإسلام على خمس‏:‏ شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدًا عبده ورسوله، إقام الصلاة، وإيتاء الزكاة، وحج البيت، وصوم رمضان‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏ ‏.‏

Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “(The structure of) Islam is built on five (pillars): Testification of ‘La ilaha illallah’ (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), that Muhammad ﷺ is his slave and Messenger, the establishment of Salat, the payment of Zakat, the pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Ka’bah), and Saum during the month of Ramadan.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Riyad as-Salihin 1206]

Importance of the 5 Pillars of Islam

The foundation of a Muslim is based on these five pillars. Believers are encouraged to lead their life according to these practices to strengthen their connection with Allah and live a life of righteousness.

1. Shahada

The profession and love of Allah. The acceptance of his authority over everything and the trust that there is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammadﷺ is His last Prophet.

This pillar reminds Muslims of their purpose: to worship Allah in all circumstances and time. In happiness and sadness.

It provides a sense of self-respect and boosts confidence in an individual to remain modest, for the only one who provides and we need to turn to is Allah.

A true believer will feel a sense of liberation, contentment and gratitude.

2. Salah

A Muslim has been commanded by Allah to perform five prayers daily. To stand in front of Allah, our creator with all our concentration and self. To bow in supplication and to know that there is nothing between you and Allah.

Praying slowly and peacefully provides the mind with contentment and enriches the soul.

Offering prayers with the best of intentions purifies the heart for better communication with Allah. The more you immerse yourself in the duas and Quranic verses you pray during salah, you will feel your body lighten up and positive energy radiate from your thoughts.

A Man in Sujood

Consistently offering prayers at the given time pushes you to follow a discipline and brings consistency and calm in your life.

When congregating in prayers, there is no inequality. All brothers and sisters are the same. A servant in front of his Master.

Prophet Muhammadﷺ said:

‏ صَلاَةُ الْجَمَاعَةِ تَزِيدُ عَلَى صَلاَةِ الْفَذِّ خَمْسًا وَعِشْرِينَ دَرَجَةً

Prayer in congregation is twenty-five levels better than a prayer offered on one’s own.

[Sunan an-Nasa’i 839]

3. Zakat

وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا۟ لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

And establish prayer and give zakāh, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.

[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:110]

Zakat as referred to charity teaches Muslims of their obligation towards the poor. It makes them realize their privilege and nourishes the feelings of compassion and brotherhood towards others who may not be equally fortunate.

Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allahﷺ said :

‏ “‏ تَبَسُّمُكَ فِي وَجْهِ أَخِيكَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَأَمْرُكَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهْيُكَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِرْشَادُكَ الرَّجُلَ فِي أَرْضِ الضَّلاَلِ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَبَصَرُكَ لِلرَّجُلِ الرَّدِيءِ الْبَصَرِ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِمَاطَتُكَ الْحَجَرَ وَالشَّوْكَةَ وَالْعَظْمَ عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِفْرَاغُكَ مِنْ دَلْوِكَ فِي دَلْوِ أَخِيكَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ ‏”‏

Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is the charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.

[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1956]

This pillar emphasizes that we share what Allah grants us, in turn pushing us away from being selfish and ungrateful.

Helping others by sharing what you have been bestowed with creates a sense of like-mindedness and a feeling of belonging among the poor.

Charity unintentionally creates a balance in society among the rich and the poor and always reminds the giver and the taker, the blessings of Allah.

4. Saum

Saum, known as fasting, is to abstain from food, drink, and otherworldly pleasures from dawn to dusk. Fasting during the Holy month of Ramadhan is mandatory for all Muslims.

It has numerous scientific and spiritual benefits. It helps develop willpower, stamina and patience.

It strengthens our ability to acknowledge the blessings of Allah by actively denying worldly desires. Fasting is a kind of zakat we pay for our bodies.

وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ زَكَاةٌ وَزَكَاةُ الْجَسَدِ الصَّوْمُ» . رَوَاهُ ابْن مَاجَه

Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger as saying, “There is zakat applicable to everything, and the zakat of the body is fasting.”

Ibn Majah transmitted it.

[Mishkat al-Masabih 2072]

5. Hajj

Hajj is the last pillar of Islam. It is mandatory for those who can afford it financially and make the journey physically. Muslims from all over the world, from all branches, come together to perform Hajj with only one niyaah, to get closer to Allah and return home free from their sins.

It is a unique sight when Muslims gather, pray and perform in unison without dismay or disrespect for their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.

Muslims at Hajj

It is a powerful, emotional, and spiritual event for all those who are blessed to visit the house of Allah.

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا سَيَّارٌ أَبُو الْحَكَمِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا حَازِمٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ حَجَّ لِلَّهِ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَيَوْمِ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 1521]

A Strong Foundation

The five pillars of Islam demand us to productively and intentionally use our bodies and minds in the service of Allah. The world is a riveting cage, and we get used to the pleasures of this life. Sometimes we may forget our true home; where Allah wants us to be free, in Paradise.

Make your aqeedah strong, let your mind and heart be disciplined, your foundation be form. Once in the hands of Allah, we will all be free.

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