There are 5 Tenets (pillars or principles) of Islam, (i) Shahadah (Iman - faith), (ii) Salah (Distinctive Submission - a form of Islamic Prayer ), (iii) Zakah (Islamic Charity), (iv) Sawm (Islamic Fasting), (v) Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah).
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Ibn Umar (RU) - Allah's Apostle (SAWS) said - Islam is based on (the following) five (principles) - (i) 'there is no (real) god except Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (SAWS) is Allah's Apostle, (ii) to offer Salah ( prayers) dutifully and perfectly, (iii) to pay Zakat (Islamic charity), (iv) to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to
), and (v) to observe fast during the month of Ramadhan. (Bukhari Book 2 Hadith 7 ) Makka
The Arabic word Salah ( الصلاة ) is generally translated in English as 'Prayer' or 'Ritual Prayer'.
However, the word "prayer" is used in English to mean (i) supplication (Dua), (ii) liturgical formulations (the branch of theology dealing with the forms of people's worship) (worship - Ibadah), and (iii) religious services consisting mainly of such liturgical formulations.
Salah is a 'specific form of reverence and honor paid to Allah (SWT), a distinct manifestation of Muslims' submission to Allah (SWT) in the form of (i) Allah's (SWT) praise, (ii) specific physical actions and (iii) devotional supplications. Salah is done both publicly (in congregation) and privately (individually).
This distinction has been maintained in Arabic language. Like we use different terms for different prayers; (i) Salah, (ii) Ibadah, (iii) Dua, (iv) Zikr, etc.
Therefore we can translate Salah as 'Distinctive Submission' (or Distinctive Islamic Submission to Allah - SWT) in order to explain it to non-Muslims.
After 'Shahadah', the most important aspect in Islam is obligatory (mandatory) Salah, five times a day.
We get involved in many worldly affairs all through the day for earning our livelihood or in business and some other activities. The compulsory Salah, 5 times at specific hours of the day, give us a break from these activities to remember and divert our attention towards Allah (SWT).
There are innumerable benefits of Salah, both to human body and soul. The following Quranic verses and Ahadith give an idea about the importance of Salah.
It is in Quran - "Verily, I am Allah (SWT). There is no god but I, so you worship Me (only) and establish Salah (regular prayer) for celebrating My praise". (Taha - 14 ).
It is in Quran - "Say (O'Prophet -SAWS) truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah (SWT) the Cherisher of the Worlds". (Al-Ana'am - 162).
It is in Quran - "O' you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and Salah; for Allah (SWT) is with those who patiently persevere". (Al-Baqara - 153)
It is in Quran - "Establish Salah - for Salah restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah (SWT) is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah (SWT) knows the (deeds) that you do." (Al-Ankaboot - 45)
It is in Quran - "Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish Salah and Zakah (charity), will have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve". (Al-Baqara - 238)
It is in Quran - "O' you who believe! When you prepare for Salah, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If you are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah (SWT) does not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you,that you may be grateful". (Al - Ma'ida - 6)
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (SAWS) said: 'if there is a brook running in front of someone's house, and if he bathes in it five times everyday, will there be any dirt left on his body?' Then he said that this is the example of the five times salat, by virtue of which Allah (SWT) removes the dirt of His servant's sins.' (Tirmidhi)
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (SAWS) said: 'The one who performed two rakaahs of salat in such a way that his attention was in the salah, then in return, Allah (SWT) forgives all his previous sins.' (Mishkat)
It is in Hadith - Abu Mas'ud Ansari (R.A.) relates that the Prophet (SAWS) said: 'On the approach of the time of every Salah, Allah Ta'ala appoints an angel who proclaims: 'Arise, 0 people! and extinguish the fire that you have (by committing sins) kindled to burn yourselves.' So, the worshipers rise up, make their Wudhu and perform their salah, due to which their sins are forgiven. For those who ignore Allah's (SWT) orders, i.e. those who do not get up to pray, their sins stay on their heads, and in this condition, they remain deprived of Allah's (SWT) forgiveness. So they stay as they were, i.e. they do not attempt to get out and purify themselves from the quicksand and misfortune of their sins.' (Kanzul A'mal)
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (SAWS) is reported to have said: 'Perform the five times salah, fast during Ramadan, give zakat from your wealth, follow the true scholars of Deen, then enter your Lord's Paradise.' (Mishkat)
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (SAWS) is reported to have said that whoever performs the four rakaahs before and after the Zuhr Salah with constancy, Allah (SWT) makes the fire of Hell haraam (forbidden) for him. (Mishkat, Tirmizi, Abu Da'ud, Nisai, Ibn Majah)
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (SAWS) is reported to have said that whoever prayed twelve rakaahs at the time of Chasht, then Allah (SWT) will, as reward, prepare a palace of gold for him in Paradise. (Mishkat, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
The Zakah is an obligatory charity for Muslims who have reached the age of puberty, are sane, free, and who own the minimum assigned wealth ( 85 grams of gold or 595 grams of pure silver or equivalent in cash or articles of trade). Muslims are required to pay 1/40th part of their surplus wealth to the designated needy, every lunar year.
Zakat is often described as purification of surplus wealth. The surplus wealth, in a given year, is the net balance amount, after we have spent on basic necessities, expenses, credits, and taxes. Zakah is generally given at the end of Hijri year or in the month of Ramadhan.
'Zakah' is mentioned in about 30 verses of Quran along with Salah, which shows its importance.
It is in Quran - "Establish Salah and give Zakah; and lend to Allah (SWT) a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for your souls, you shall find it with Allah (SWT), better and greater in reward and you seek the grace of Allah (SWT); for Allah (SWT) is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al-Muuzammil - 20)
It is in Quran - "But (even so), if they repent; (and) establish Salah and Zakah, they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand." (At-Tauba - 11)
It is in Quran - "They were enjoined only to worship Allah (SWT), sincere in their faith in Him alone - and of upright religion - and to establish the Salah and the Zakah. Such is the upright religion. (Al-Bayyana - 5)
It is in Quran - "Those who lay up treasures of gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah (SWT); give them the news of a painful punishment, on the Day when that (wealth) will be heated in hellfire, and their foreheads and their sides and their backs branded therewith: "This is the treasure which you laid up for yourselves! Taste, then, your hoarded treasure!" (At-Tauba -34/35).
It is in Quran - "Zakah is for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to the truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah (SWT); and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained byAllah (SWT), and Allah (SWT). And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise.." (At-Tauba - 60)
It is in Quran - 'On that day their treasures will be heated in the fire of Hell and their foreheads, sides and back will be branded therewith. (They will be told) This is what you had hoarded for yourself. Now taste the penalty of such hoarding (9-35).
It is in Quran - 'And those who are miser in what has been given to them by Allah (SWT) by His grace should not think that it is good for them; on the contrary it is bad for them. The riches they have piled up shall become their necklace on the Day of Judgment. (3-180).It is in Hadith - The Prophet (SAWS) is reported to have said that there are 360 joints in a human body. Man should give charity for each of those joints. The Companions (RU) asked: 'O Prophet (SAWS) who has the ability to give so much charity? ' The Prophet (SAWS) replied: 'To clean any filth or dirt in the Masjid, or remove some harmful object from the road, is also charity. If you do not find something which would be a charity equivalent to the 360 joints, then the two Rakahs of Ishraq Salah will be enough for you.' (Mishkat, Abu Da'ud).
It is in Hadith - " To whoever Allah Subhana Wa Taala has given wealth and he did not fulfill his right from his wealth, his wealth on the Day of Qiyamah (Judgement Day) will take up the shape of a bald snake, - whose hair has fallen out because of its poison and who would have two black dots on its eyes. The snake will be made into his necklace and it will grab both jaws and say 'I am your wealth, I am your treasure'. " then the Prophet (SAWS) recited the verse (3:180) of Qur'an. (Bukhari ).
It is in Hadith - "For every wealth owner who did not fulfill his right from his wealth, his wealth will come on the day of Qiyamah in the shape of a bald snake, who will have its mouth open. When it comes close towards the wealth owner the wealth owner will run away from it. The snake will call out to him 'come take the wealth which you hid for I dont need it.' When the wealth owner (in despair) sees no other way he will put his hand into the mouth of the snake. The snake will chew his hand like a bull chews something. " (Muslim).
It is in Hadith - 'Two women wearing gold bracelets came into the presence of the Prophet (SAWS). The Prophet (SAWS) asked them, " Would you prefer that Allah (SWT) should give you bracelets of fire to wear on the day of Qiyamah ? " They replied, " No, O Blessed Prophet.(SAWS)" The Prophet (SAWS) replied, " So give what is your duty on what you have in your hands. " (Ahmad).
Islamic fasting (Saum) is an act of Ibadah and the fourth tenet of Islam. We are required to fast from dawn to dust every day during the month of Ramadhan, every lunar year.
Fasting means, abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations (between spouses) during the hours of fasting. Travelers, sick and certain other categories can defer fasting in Ramadhan but they are required to complete the left over fasts in the following months.
The objective of fasting is not that one merely abstains from the material and physical things which break one’s fast, but rather, one must also refrain from those intangible things which diminish the reward of one’s fast, such as backbiting, deception, unnecessary gossip, etc.
There are many benefits of fasting to human body and soul. Following Quranic verses and Ahadith emphasize the importance of Islamic fasting.
It is in Quran - "O you who believe; fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you are expected to be truly obedient". (Al-Baqara - 183)
It is in Hadith - “Whoever does not refrain from false speech and deeds, Allah (SWT) has no need for him to leave his food and drink.” (Bukhari)
It is in Quran - "Verily! We have sent it (this Quran) down in the night of Al-Qadr. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rûh (Gabriel) by Allâh's Permission with all Decrees, Peace! (All that night, there is Peace and Goodness from Allâh to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn. (Al-Qadar - 1-5).It is in Hadith that Lailatul Qadar occurs during the last ten days of Ramadan. This night has great significance, therefore, it should be spent in Ibadah.
Tarawih (20 rakah) is offered during the month of Ramadhan after Isha. Salatut Tarawih is sunnah. It is generally offered in congregation. Those who cannot join a congregation, can offer Tarawih at home.
A pre-dawn meal known as Suhur is usually taken in Ramadan.
At the end of Ramadan Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on 1st Shawwal. All Muslims are required to offer special prayers on this day in congregation to thank Allah (SWT) for His Mercy.
Similarly, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Azha on 10th of Dhu'l-Hijja every year. They offer special prayers in congregation on this day to thank Allah (SWT) for his beneficence. They also sacrifice a domestic Halal animal, such as a sheep, goat, cow, or camel, by slaughter.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is obligatory for all Muslims, who can afford to travel, to do Hajj at least once in their lifetime.
Hajj is performed during the period from the 8th to 13th Dhu'l Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.
Hajj is the annual assembly of Muslims from all parts of the world in which all barriers of language, territory, color and race disappear and the bond of faith becomes apparent. There are a number of benefits of Hajj to people, individually as well as collectively. Please refer concerned books for details.
It is in Quran - "Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah (SWT), those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves, then Allah (SWT) stands not in need of any of the ‘Aalameen (Mankind and Jinns)." (Aale Imran - 97)It is in Hadith - Narrated Abu Huraira (RU) - The Prophet (SAWS) 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.” (Bukhari and Muslim )It is in Hadith - Narrated Abu Huraira (RU)- The Prophet was asked, "Which is the best deed?" He said, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle." He was then asked, "Which is the next (in goodness)?" He said, "To participate in Jihad in Allah's (SWT) Cause." He was then asked, "Which is the next?" He said, "To perform Hajj-Mabrur. " (Bukhari ).