The Pillars are important acts of worship that develop the Muslim character and strengthen Islam. Muslims are commanded by Allah to carry out these duties and to follow the example of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wassallam) in the manner they perform these duties. These pillars form the foundation and starting point for all other good deeds and acts of worship to God.
“La ilaha Ill Allah, Muhammad ur Rasulullah”.
That, There is no god but Allah, and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the messenger of God.
Islam encourages its followers to start, step by step, to learn those teachings so that they can worship Allah correctly and gain the great reward specified for them. The more they learn the more reward they will get.
كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
“They had not been forbidding each other from wrongdoing they did [it]. Surely, evil (was) what they were doing.” (Surah Al-Ma`idah 5:79)
It is a religion of peace because it brings out real justice for everyone. Allah Almighty is beyond any comprehension or justification but even then He has shown his followers how just he is. The Holy Quran has stated various incidents and events which give us hints about his true nature. The 99 names of Allah Almighty include ‘Al-Adl’, the Just and ‘Al-Muqsio’ the Dispenser of Justice.
Islam is built upon the Five Pillars of Islam which are as follows:
Islam Is Based on Five
- Shahadah: The testimony of faith, namely no one has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger
- Prayer (Salah): It is the central worship of Islam. It consists of certain acts, sayings, and supplications, such as kneeling, prostration, and Takbir (saying, Allahu Akbar).
- Zakah (Charity): It is a kind of charity obligated on those who have properties that reach the nisab (the minimum amount of property on which Zakah is due) paid to eight beneficiaries (set in the Qur’an) with certain conditions.
- Hajj: Pilgrimage means to leave to the House of Allah (i.e. the Ka`bah) and perform certain obligatory and recommendable rituals in the order reported from the Prophet Muhammad.
- Fasting (Sawm): The abstention from eating, drinking and sex from the break of dawn to the sunset to worship Allah, the Almighty.
Benefits of the Five Pillars of Islam
Shahadah: The first pillar of Islam has some benefits that are mentioned below:
- This pillar reminds the Muslims of the purpose of their life which is to worship Allah Almighty alone.
- It produces a high degree of self-respect and confidence while remaining humble and modest.
- It makes us complete surrender to the will of Allah and become His true servant
- A person will feel more liberated, freer when submitting to the will and command of his creator.
- 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
Prayer (Salah): Prayer is the second pillar of Islam its benefits are mentioned below:
- Prayer enriches the soul by giving peace and contentment.
- It purifies the heart from the effects of indolence and sin by providing a continuous opportunity for communication with Allah and repentance.
- It lightens up our bodies and gives us positive energy.
- Praying five times a day at their particular time brings discipline and consistency in our lives which are essential qualities for a successful life.
- It raised brotherhood, equality, and humility between the Muslims.
- Through prayer, a believer acquires spiritual awareness.
- 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 their Creator and supplicates to Him for his needs and wishes
- Repeatedly humbling oneself before Allah prevents a person from falling into sin
- Salah is a type of purification for one’s soul
- Salah is an opportunity for repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allah
Zakah (Charity): Zakah is the third pillar of Islam some of its benefits in Muslim’s life are mentioned below:
- Zakah teaches us to share what Allah Almighty has granted us to take care of those who are less fortunate.
- Reduce poverty from society and balance the gap between different socio-economic classes and groups.
- It also develops the personality of the poor person by providing for him a sense of solidarity with others in society.
- It increases wealth and allows it to be blessed.
- Zakah maintained a balance in society.
- It also helps us avoid being selfish.
- Purify one’s heart from greediness, selfishness, and arrogance
- Made people be sympathetic and compassionate towards needy and poor
- Reminds blessings of Allah and encourage to be grateful to Almighty Allah
- It reminds the blessings of Allah and encourages being grateful to Almighty Allah.
Fasting (Sawm): The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting which has so many benefits some of them are given below:
- Forgiveness of sins
- Fasting develops willpower and teaches patience.
- Fasting is a means of learning self-restraint and patience
- Fasting is healthy which is proven scientifically.
- Promotes self-purification and spiritual growth
- Fasting provides an opportunity for complete devotion to Allah
- Fasting has health benefits it is proven scientifically
- Create awareness about the state of affairs across the globe and the hardships encounter
- It is a way of recognizing the blessings of Allah Almighty that surround us but we don’t give them importance.
- It purifies the soul and helps to acquire obeying Almighty Allah by restraining desires, and promotes steadfastness
- Purifies the soul and helps it acquire obeying Almighty Allah by restraining desires, and promotes steadfastness
Pilgrimage (Hajj): The fifth pillar of Islam is Hajj (Pilgrimage), benefits of Hajj are mentioned below:
- Hajj emphasizes the Islamic characteristics of unity and equality among Muslims while at the same time proclaiming the absolute unity of Allah.
- The Hajj is a weighty spiritual and emotional event that remains a part of the believer for the rest of his/ her life.
- Hajj is a cultural journey for Muslims during which racial, gender and economic differences are subdued as commonalty of Muslims from many nations together to worship Allah.
- Hajj is an ultimate challenge where Allah (SWT) takes the believer to the peak of his/her ability and sacrifice.
- The biggest part of sacrifice is controlling the temper in the days of Hajj.
There is no higher aim for the Muslim than the cultivation of what is described as a sound heart because from the sound heart comes sound judgment. Therefore Muslims have been warned many times in the Holy Quran that if they seek mercy from the lord of all lords, they must show mercy and justice to their worldly fellows and creatures.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ أُحِلَّتْ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الْأَنْعَامِ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ غَيْرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ
“O you who believe! Fulfil the contracts. Are made lawful for you the quadruped (of) the grazing livestock except what is recited on you, not being permitted (to) hunt while you (are in) Ihram. Indeed, Allah decrees what He wills.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:1)
All the pillars are commanded by Allah but not all of them are duties for all Muslims, as those who are unable are excused by God. Those who are too ill to fast, or too poor to pay Zakah or go on Hajj, can still lead a life of total obedience to Allaah. That leaves the Prayer – those who cannot do the movements of the prayer because they are too sick or too old, can sit or even lie down to pray. Allah says:
خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا وَأَلْقَىٰ فِي الْأَرْضِ رَوَاسِيَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ كَرِيمٍ
“He created the heavens without pillars that you see and has cast in the earth firm mountains lest it (might) shake with you, and He dispersed in it from every creature. And We sent down from the sky water then We caused to grow therein of every kind noble.’ (Surah Luqman 31:10)
The acts of worship are so many. They include removing harm from the road, speaking to people nicely, helping the old and the weak, modesty and so on. However, the pillars of Islam are the greatest and the most important. The Declaration of faith is the most important of all.