BASIC TENETS OF ISLAM (أركان الإسلام)
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
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 (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) - Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said - Islam is based on (the following) five (principles) - (i) 'there is no (real) god except Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 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
In this book we have discussed briefly about the Islamic tenets.
There is another book detailing the articles of faith, (i) Belief in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) (ii) Belief in Angels, (iii) Belief in holy books, (iv) Belief in Prophets, (v) Belief in the Day of Judgment, and (vi) Belief in Destiny and Fate, and (vii) Believe in Virtue and evil. This book can be read HERE.
Two book has been written to provide details about first article of faith (i) 'Belief in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)', (ii) Belief in Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). These books are important read for Muslims.
While teaching the fundamentals tenets of Islam, people are generally taught (i) Iman-e-Mujmal (Abstract Declaration of Faith) (ii) Iman-e-Mufassil, (Detailed Declaration of Faith) and (iii) Six Kalimas (Islamic Testimonies). These were compiled by early Islamic Scholars to facilitate easy memorization and learning of Islamic beliefs by students.
Iman-e-Mujmal (Abstract Declaration of Faith)
امَنْتُ بِاللهِ كَمَا هُوَ بِاَسْمَائِه وَصِفَاتِه وَقَبِلْتُ جَمِيْعَ اَحْكَامِه
Aamantu Billahe kama huwa be-Asmaaehi wa sifaatehi wa qabiltu jameeya ahkaamehi
I have faith in Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ), as He is known by His names and attributes, and I accept all His Commands.
Iman-e-Mufassil (Detailed Declaration of Faith)
امَنْتُ بِاللهِ وَمَلئِكَتِه وَكُتُبِه وَرُسُوْلِه وَالْيَوْمِ الْاخِرِ وَالْقَدْرِ خَيْرِه وَشَرِّه مِنَ اللهِ تَعَالى وَالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَالْمَوْتِ
Aamantu Billahe wa malaaekatehi wa kutubehi wa rusulehi walyawme al-aakheri wal-qadri khayrehi wa sharrehi min-Allahe Ta’ala wa al-ba’se ba’d al-mawt
I have faith in Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ), His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, Fate and that all good and (apparent) Evil is from Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and it is sure that there will be Resurrection after death.
SIX TESTIMONIES (KALIMAS)
(1) Kalima-e-Tayyabah (Testimony of Purification)لا اله الا الله محمد رسول اللهLa Ilaha Ill-Allahu Muhammed-ur-Rasoolu-AllahThere is no real (worshipable) God except Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is Allah's Apostle.
(2) Kalima-e-Shahaadah (Testimony by Statement)اشْهَدُ انْ لّآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ وَحْدَه لَا شَرِيْكَ لَه، وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدً اعَبْدُه وَرَسُولُهAsh-hadu al-laa ilaaha Ill-Allahu wahdahoo laa shareeka lahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammedan abduhoo wa RasooluhI testify that there is no real (worship-able) God except Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ), the one only, without partner and I testify that Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is His servant and Apostle.(3) Kalima-e-Tamjeed (Testimony of Glorification)سُبْحَان اللهِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ وَ لآ اِلهَ اِلّا اللّهُ، وَ اللّهُ اَكْبَرُ وَلا حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّة ِ الَّا بِاللّهِ الْعَلِىّ الْعَظِيْمSubhaanallahe walHamdu lillahi wa laa ilaaha ill-Allahu wAllahu akbar; wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billah –ilAliy-ilAzeemGlory be to Allah and praise to Allah and there is no real (worship-able) god except Allah and Allah is the Greatest. And there is no might or power except with Allah, the Exalted, the Great One.(4) Kalima-e-Tawheed (Testimony of Unification / monotheism)لا الهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيْكَ لَهْ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْى وَ يُمِيْتُ وَ هُوَحَىُّ لَّا يَمُوْتُ اَبَدًا اَبَدًا ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَ الْاِكْرَامِ بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلى كُلِّ شَئ ٍ قَدِيْرٌ
La ilaaha ill-Allahu wahdahoo laa shareeka lahu, lah-ulMulk wa lah-ulHamdu yuhyee wa yumeetu wa huwa hayy ul-laa yamootu abadan abadaa; zulJalaali wal-Ikraami ; beyadehil-Khair; wa huwa alaa kulle shaeyin qadeer
There is no real god (worship-able) except Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ). He is one and has no partner. To Him belongs the Kingdom and for Him is all praise. He gives life and causes death, He is the exalted and most high. In His hand is all good and He has power over everything.
(5) Kalima-e-Astaghfar (Testimony of Penitence)
اسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ رَبِّىْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ اَذْنَبْتُه عَمَدًا اَوْ خَطَاً سِرًّا اَوْ عَلَانِيَةً وَاَتُوْبُ اِلَيْهِ مِنْ الذَّنْبِ الَّذِىْ اَعْلَمُ وَ مِنْ الذَّنْبِ الَّذِىْ لا اَعْلَمُ اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الغُيُبِ وَ سَتَّارُ الْعُيُوْبِ و َغَفَّارُ الذُّنُوْبِ وَ لا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ اِلَّا بِاللّهِ الْعَلِىِّ العَظِيْم
Astaghferullaha rabbee min kulle zambin aznabtuhoo amadan aw khata-an sirran aw alaniyatan wa atoobu ilayhe min-azzambi-llazzee aalamu wa min-azzambi-llazzee laa aalamu innaka allaam-ulghuyoobi wa sattaar-uluyoobi wa ghaffaar-uzzunoobi wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billah-ilAliy-ilAzeem.
I seek forgiveness from my Lord, who is my Creator and Sustainer, from every sin I committed, knowingly or unknowingly, secretly or openly. I also seek His forgiveness for all sins which I am aware of or am not aware of. Certainly You (O' Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ), are the Knowledgeable of the hidden and the Concealer of mistakes and the Forgiver of sins. And there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great.
(6) Kalima-e-Rud-e-Kuffr (Testimony of Rejecting Disbelief)
اَللّهُمَ اِنّىْ اَعُوْدُ بِكَ مِنْ انْ اُشْرِكَ بِكَ شَيئًا َّ وَاَنَا اَعْلَمُ بِه وَ اسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لا اَعْلَمُ بِه تُبْتُ عَنْهُ وَ تَبَرَّاْتُ مِنَ الْكُفْرِ وَ الشّرْكِ وَ الْكِذْبِ وَ الْغِيْبَةِ وَ الْبِدْعَةِ وَ النَّمِيْمَةِ وَ الْفَوَاحِشِ وَ الْبُهْتَانِ وَ الْمَعَاصِىْ كُلِّهَا وَ اَسْلَمْتُ وَ اَقُوْلُ لآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدُ رَّسُوْلُ اللّهِ
Allahumma Innee aoozubeka min an ushreka beka shay-an wa ana aalamu behi wa astaghferuka lemaa laa aalamu behi tubtu anhu wa tabarra’tu minal-Kufri wash-shirki wal-Kizbi wal-geebati wal-bid'ati wan-nameemati wal-fawaheshi wal-buhtaani wal-ma'aasee kullihaa wa aslamtu wa aqoolu La Ilaha Ill-Allahu Muhammed-ur-Rasoolu-Allah
O' Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی ! Certainly I seek your protection from that I associate partner with You anything and I know it. And I seek your forgiveness for that I do not know it. I repent from it and I made myself free from disbelief and polytheism and the falsehood and the back-biting and the innovation and the tell-tales and the bad deeds and the blame and the disobedience, all of them. And I submit and I say there is no real (woshipable) god except Allah سبحانہ و تعا لی and Mohammad صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم is the Apostle of Allah.
We have written a book titled 'The belief in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)' which is an important read in this context.
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 (سبحانه و تعالى), a distinct manifestation of Muslims' submission to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) in the form of (i) Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) 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 - سبحانه و تعالى) 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 (سبحانه و تعالى).
There are innumerable benefits of Salah, both to human body and his/her Innerself. The following Quranic verses and Ahadith give an idea about the importance of Salah.
It is in Quran - إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي [Verily, I am Allah. 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 - قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ [Say (O'Prophet ﷺ) truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah the Cherisher of the Worlds". (Al-Ana'am - 162).
It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ [ O' you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and Salah; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.] (Al-Baqara - 153)
It is in Quran - اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ ۖ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ [ Establish Salah - for Salah restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that you do.] (Al-Ankaboot - 45)
It is in Quran - حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَىٰ وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ [ Maintain with care the (obligatory) prayers and (in particular) the middle prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.] (Al-Baqara - 238)
The Middle prayer referred in this book could be Salatul Fajr and Maghrib. These are the times when the administration of our Planet and the angels responsible for it, take their shifts. Those servants who are found prostrating to their Lord during these times stand a good chance in their protection in this world and special rewards in Hereafter.
It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ [ 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 (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 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 (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: 'The one who performed two raka of salat in such a way that his attention was in the salah, then in return, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgives all his previous sins.' (Mishkat)
It is in Hadith - Abu Mas'ud Ansari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) relates that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : 'On the approach of the time of every Salah, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) appoints an angel who proclaims: 'Arise, O' 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 (سبحانه و تعالى) 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 (سبحانه و تعالى) 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 (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 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 (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is reported to have said that whoever performs the four raka before and after the Zuhr Salah with constancy, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) makes the fire of Hell haram (forbidden) for him. (Mishkat, Tirmizi, Abu Da'ud, Nisai, Ibn Majah)
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is reported to have said that whoever prayed twelve raka at the time of Chasht, then Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will, as reward, prepare a palace of gold for him in Paradise. (Mishkat, Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
Zakat 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. Zakat is generally given at the end of Hijri year or in the month of Ramadhan.
Zakat is mentioned in about 30 verses of Quran along with Salah, which shows its importance.
It is in Quran - وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ [ Establish Salah and give Zakat; and lend to Allah a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for your selves, you shall find it with Allah better and greater in reward and you seek the grace of Allah, for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.] (Al-Muuzammil - 20)
It is in Quran - فَإِن تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ ۗ وَنُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ [ But (even so), if they repent; (and) establish Salah and Zakat, 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, sincere in their faith in Him alone - and of upright religion - and to establish the Salah and the Zakat. Such is the upright religion.] (Al-Bayyina - 5)
It is in Quran - وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ - يَوْمَ يُحْمَىٰ عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَىٰ بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنُوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ ۖ هَـٰذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ [ Those who lay up treasures of gold and silver and spend them not in the way of Allah; 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 - إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۖ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ [ Zakat 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; and for the wayfarer : (thus is it) ordained by Allah.. And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise. ] (At-Tauba - 60)
It is in Quran - وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم ۖ بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَّهُمْ ۖ سَيُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بَخِلُوا بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۗ [And those who are miser in what has been given to them by Allah 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 (for fire) on the Day of Judgment. (Aal-e-Imran -180).It is in Hadith - It is narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : There are 360 joints in a human body. Man should give charity for each of those joints. The Companions asked: 'O Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) who has the ability to give so much charity? ' The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 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 Rakah of Salah al-Ishraaq will be enough for you.' (Mishkat, Abu Da'ud).
It is in Hadith - To whoever Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has given wealth and he did not fulfill his right from his wealth, his wealth on the Day of Qiyamah 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 (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) recited this verse - وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم ۖ بَلْ هُوَ شَرٌّ لَّهُمْ ۖ سَيُطَوَّقُونَ مَا بَخِلُوا بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ [And those who are miser in what has been given to them by Allah 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 (for fire) on the Day of Judgment. (Aal-e-Imran -180). (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 the wealth owner will run away from it. The snake will call out to him 'come take the wealth which you hid for, as I don't 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 (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). The Prophet () asked them, 'Would you prefer that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) should give you bracelets of fire to wear on the day of Qiyamah ? 'They replied, No, O' Blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)" The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 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, physical and spiritual both. Following Quranic verses and Ahadith emphasize the importance of Islamic fasting.
It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ [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 (سبحانه و تعالى) has no need for him to leave his food and drink.” (Bukhari)
It is in Quran - إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ - وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ - لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ - تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ - سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ [ 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 (Jibreel ) 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 (سبحانه و تعالى) 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 (سبحانه و تعالى) for his beneficence. They also sacrifice a domestic Halal animal, such as a sheep, goat, cow, or camel on that day and the meat is distributed among relatives, and poor in society.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is obligatory for all Muslims, who can afford and travel, to do Hajj at least once in their lifetime.
Hajj is performed during the period from the 8th to 13th Dhu'l Hijjah, every lunar year.
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 - وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ [ Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses. Whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the Aalameen (Mankind and Jinns)." (Aal-e-Imran - 97)It is in Hadith - Narrated Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, "Whoever performs Hajj for Allah's sake 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, Muslim )It is in Hadith - Narrated Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 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 (سبحانه و تعالى) Cause." He was then asked, "Which is the next?" He said, "To perform Hajj-Mabrur. (Bukhari )