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The Five Pillars Essay

1183 words - 5 pages

The Five Pillars of Islam
Islam is defined not only as a set of beliefs but also as a body of actions that reveal the inner convictions of the believers (Cornell 76). The five pillars of Islam comprise five official acts, or religious duties, considered obligatory for all Muslims. Every Muslim is expected to perform these duties, as long as he can do. The Quran presents these Five Pillars as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to faith. These five pillars are mentioned individually throughout the Quran and Muhammad listed them together in the Hadith of Gabriel when he was asked to define Islam. Within a few decades of Muhammad's death, the five practices were singled out to ...view middle of the document...

' The second witnessing affirms one's submission to God, which is the meaning of the word Islam itself. Here, the human being responds to the divine will by acknowledging the Prophet Muhammad as both the vehicle of the Quranic revelation and the paradigmatic Muslim or “submitter” to God. Also, confirms that the message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.
By stressing the sources of both the theoretical and the practical knowledge of religion (i.e., Allah and the Prophet), the “two witnessing” of the Shahada thus reaffirm the complementarity of faith and practice in Islam. The Shahada is the most important pillar of Islam, as it signifies entrance of the believer into the broader community (Ummah) of Muslims and is required of converts to Islam.

Second Pillar
The second pillar of Islam is to make the required five prayers each day in the direction of the Great Mosque (al-Masjid al-Haram) in Mecca. These prayers, collectively known as Salat, are performed just before dawn, at noon, at mid-afternoon, just after sunset, and in the evening, from an hour after sunset to around midnight. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray individually almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities.
Salat is a direct link between the worshipper and God. There are no intermediaries between God and the worshipper. In prayer, a person feels inner happiness, peace, and comfort, and that God is pleased with him or her. The Prophet Muhammad said, Bilal, call (the people) to prayer, let us be comforted by it. Bilal was one of Muhammad’s companions who was charged to call the people to prayers. Also, In the hadith, prayer is depicted as the quintessential act of submission to God and the main proof of Islam. The Prophet said that Prayer is the proof [of Islam].

Third Pillar
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat, which is the third pillar of Islam, means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need. The zakat serves as a reminder of one's broader social responsibilities to the community. Giving zakat means giving a specified percentage on certain properties to certain classes of needy people. A person may also give as much...

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