You Are a Muslim and Your Prophet Is Muhammad

You Are a Muslim and Your Prophet Is Muhammad

Your Prophet is Muhammad (peace be upon him). You should read his biography and get to know him and you will read about the greatest human being that has ever been known.

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The Prophet whom you have got to know is colossal, you will accompany the most virtuous in the Hereafter.

Allah, Exalted be He, did not create anyone better than him nor did he create anyone similar to him in his sublime character. As Allah raised the ranks of all Prophets over the rest of creation, he too raised the rank of Muhammad (peace be upon him) over all the worlds.

Are you not aware that all the sublime characteristics are combined in his person?

Perfect Character

He was the kindest of people to live with and possessed the softest of hearts. He was the most easygoing person in his dealings, always smiling and never frowning at his companions. None had ever witnessed any evil from him, neither in Islam nor before the advent of it. He was the best of people in speech and he stated:

“The Muslim is the one whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He was persecuted in the way of Allah, but was patient and was put through many ordeals in relation to his companions and family, but he bore them and forgave all. He was hurt by those who were closest to him, who expelled him from his home and the most beloved and sacred of cities and all for the sake of Allah the Exalted.

However, he was the most truthful of people in delivering the message of his Lord and the most forgiving of them.

He was the best of people towards his people and the most ascetic in what the people possessed; yet the most generous in what he possessed. He never refused a soul and never said the word ‘no’ to anyone. He would always be good to the people and only seek his reward with Allah the Exalted.

Best Example

He was the most courageous and outspoken of people when spreading the truth; never fearing for a moment. He would command his people to do good and forbid them from evil and was the first to fulfill these commands and was the best of role models for his companions.

No one ever saw him except that they would love him and any human who met him irrespective of their background and stature in society would become awestruck by him. He had the softest of hearts, the kindest of temperaments, and a strong stature. He was handsome and blessed with graciousness.

Sympathetic and loving, a sincere friend, the best of people in how he dealt with his family, the best in keeping ties of kinship. He would not get angry except for the sake of Allah and he never took revenge or made enemies with anyone for himself or through his own desire.

Know dear friend, that which you have believed in is great, and the Prophet Muhammad whom you have got to know is colossal and you will accompany the most virtuous in the Hereafter.

Muhammad & Other Prophets

Your faith in Prophet Muhammad is not correct if you reject Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them both) for you are required to believe in all of them and not to differentiate between them, however it was from the limitless wisdom of Allah that he decided to conclude all messages with the message of Islam. Whoever believes in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) must believe in the complete message that he brought.

On the authority of `Ubadah ibn Samit (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Whosoever testifies that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone who has no partners, and that Mohammed is His slave and apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s slave and apostle and His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise through any of its eight gates that he likes.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

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The Conditions of the Shahadah to Be Accepted by God

The Conditions of the Shahadah to Be Accepted by God

It is not enough that one merely utter the Shahadah for it to be accepted by Allah. It is the key to the gates of Paradise, but in order for it to work, it needs to have the right ridges.

The Shahadah must meet the following conditions for it to be accepted by Allah:

1- Knowledge

One must have knowledge that all other deities worshipped besides Allah are false, so there is no deity worshipped in truth except Allah. Never should anyone else be worshipped, even if he be a prophet, a messenger or an angel. Allah is the only one who deserves all types worship, such as salah (prayer), du`aa’ (supplication), hope, sacrificial slaughtering, making oaths, etc.

Whoever directs any type of worship to other than Allah has committed kufr (disbelief), even if he uttered the Shahadah.

2- Certainty

One must have certainty in the Shahadah. Certainty is the opposite of doubt, so there is no room for a person to doubt or waver in his belief. Allah says:

The believers are only those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not, and strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful. (Al-Hujurat 49:15)

3- Acceptance

One should accept the Shahadah fully and not reject it. It is not sufficient that a person merely know what the Shahadah means and believe it with certainty. Rather he must accept it my pronouncing it openly and accepting to become a Muslim. Allah says:

Truly, when it was said to them, “La ilaha illa Allah (no deity is worshipped in truth except Allah),” they puff themselves up with pride and deny it. (As-Saffat 37:35)

4- Compliance

It means obedience and acting upon all what the Shahadah necessitates.

A person must do according to what Allah ordered and abstain from what He prohibited. Allah, Exalted be He, says:

And whosoever submits his face to Allah, while he is a muhsin (doer of good), then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold [La ilaha ill-Allah]. And to Allah return all matters for decision. (Luqman 31:22)

We should note that the word muhsin” in the verse literally means a person who does something well. Here it means one who does righteous deeds sincerely for Allah, according to the method the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us.

Here we see that Allah mentions both submission to Allah along with doing righteous deeds, and only if a person does this has he grasped onto the sure handhold of the Shahadah.

5- Truthfulness

One must be truthful in his Shahadah. Even though a person may be doing all these things on the outside, he might be hiding disbelief in his heart, like the hypocrites.

Allah says:

They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. (Al-Fath 48:11)

6- Sincerity of worship

One must make his worship and obedience sincerely for Allah alone. And it may be that one fulfills all the previous conditions, but he directs worship to other than Allah at times, like supplicating to the dead, etc. He has not made his worship purely for Allah.

Allah says:

And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, following the religion purely and sincerely for Him, turning away from other religions. (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)

7- Love

One must love Allah, His Messenger, and His righteous slaves. He must hate and show enmity towards all who show enmity to Allah and His Messenger. He must prefer what Allah and His Messenger love, even if it is different to what he desires. Allah says:

Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight… are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the rebellious and disobedient to Allah. (At-Tawbah 9:24)

Shahadah & Oneness

The Shahadah also necessitates that Allah is the only one who has the right to legislate, whether it be in matters concerning worship, or matters concerning the government of human relations in both the individual and public affairs. The act of making something prohibited or lawful is for Allah alone. His Messenger merely explained and clarified Allah’s commandments.

And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). (Al-Hashr 59:7)

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The article is an excerpt from”How to Become a Muslim” by Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha.

 

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The Muslim’s Rights towards the Prophet

The Muslim’s Rights towards the Prophet

Allah sent His Messenger and Prophet to guide mankind and if man believes and obeys him giving him all his due rights, Allah has promised success in this life and the Hereafter as a reward. These rights are summarized in the Testimony of Faith (There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah). Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the slave and Messenger of Allah).”

This declaration requires the following:

A Believer must comply with the commands of the Prophet and must strive to avoid acts of disobedience as Allah says in the Qur’an:

So take what the Messenger gives you, and abstain from that which he forbids you. And fear Allah, verily Allah is severe in Punishment. (Al-Hashr 59:7)

A Muslim must follow the authentic traditions of the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) to the best of his ability. No one has any authority to alter, add or omit any of the Sunnah traditions of the Messenger of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:

Say: ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Aal `Imran 3:31)

A Believer must honor the special status and dignity bestowed by Allah to His Prophet (peace be upon him). No one must adulate or degrade this status. The Prophet said:

“Do not adulate me as the Christians adulated the son of Maryam; (as) I am no more than a salve of Allah…so  say: Allah’s slave and His Messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)

And he (peace be upon him) said:

“O people! Say what you have to say, and do not allow yourselves to be seduced by Satan. I am Muhammad, the slave and Messenger of Allah. I do not like you to elevate me above the status assigned to me by Allah the Almighty.” (An-Nasa’i)

And he is reported to have said:

Do not praise me more than I deserve. Allah (Exalted be He) created me as a slave before calling me a Prophet and Messenger.” (At-Tabarani)

A Muslim must show acceptance and satisfaction of any verdict passed by the Prophet of Allah as Allah (the Exalted) says in the Qur’an:

But no, by Your Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions and accept them with full submission. (An-Nisaa’  4:65)

Belief in the universality of the Message of Prophet Muhammad to all humanity. Islam is not oriented to a specific category of people, as it was the case with previous Prophets and Messengers. This is derived from the verse of the Qur’an:

Say:  “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa (there is no god but He); It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His Words, the Tawrah (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also Allah’s Word: “Be!” – and he was, i.e. `Isa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), and follow him (Muhammad) so that you may be guided. (Al-A`raf 7:158)

Belief that Allah’s Prophet and Messenger Muhammad has been protected by Allah against possible human errors in relation to his mission to mankind. This includes the belief that the Prophet never omitted or added anything to the complete Message of Allah. This is based on the verse of the Qur’an:

Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. (An-Najm 53:3)

Belief that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet and Messenger of Allah to mankind, and that no Prophet or Messenger will come after him. Allah says in the Qur’an:

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Last of the Prophets. (Al-Ahzab 33:40)

And the Messenger of Allah said: “…and there’s no prophet after me.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Belief that the religious duties and divine commands Allah sent to mankind are complete, and that the Prophet has delivered the Message of Allah in its entirety, and gave the best advice to his Ummah (nation) and the best guidance to do all good and to avoid all evil. This is based on the verse of the Qur’an:

This day, those who rejected Faith have given up all hopes of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

Belief that the laws legislated in Islam are approved by Allah, and that all the various types of worship are based upon and revolve around these divine laws. Independent human actions will not be accepted, Allah knows best, unless and until they are in conformity with these divine laws. This is based on the verse:

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Aal `Imran 3:85)

A Muslim must offer the proper greeting to Allah’s Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him) when his name is mentioned as a form of respect, as instructed in the verse of the Qur’an:

Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respect. (Al-Ahzab 33:56)

A Believer must have true love and affection for the Prophet and Messenger of Allah above the love of all others, since information and practices of the true religion of Allah and the many blessings that the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought as guidance, are the only means of salvation by the will of Allah. This is based on the instruction of Qur’an:

Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; and the dwellings in which you delight -are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause- then wait until Allah brings about His decision. And Allah guides not the rebellious. (At-Tawbah 9:24)

A Muslim must devote every possible effort and opportunity available to him to call, with wisdom and patience, all others to the Message of Muhammad (peace be upon him). He should strive to inform those who are unaware and misinformed and strengthen the faith of people with weak, wavering faith. As Allah (the Most Wise) says:

Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in a way that is better and most gracious. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Most Aware of those who are guided. (An-Nahl 16:125)

This is also based on the statement of Allah’s Prophet and Messenger: “Propagate, on my behalf, even if one verse.” (Al-Bukhari & At-Tirmithi)

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Source: The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptions”.

 

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How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim

How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim

To convert to Islam is a lie-changing decision that must be based on full conviction that Islam is the religion chosen by Allah (God) to guide humanity.

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The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background.

First, we thank you for your interest in Islam. Thank you for taking the time to read about Islam and Muslims.

If you take the decision to embrace Islam, be sure that you will never regret this decision.

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. To convert and become a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no prerequisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

How to Convert to Islam

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahadah“, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahadah” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahadah“, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam wipes out all sins which come before it?” (Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. The new convert should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Qur’an and Hadith (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

The only religion in the sight of God is Islam(Aal `Imran 3:19)

In another verse of the Qur’an, God states:

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).(Aal `Imran 3:85))

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet of God also reported:

“Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: “I testify that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah (God),’ seeking thereby the Face of God.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah)

To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning:

I testify “La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”

The translation of which is:

“I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God.”

When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim.

The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Qur’an:

We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me(Al-Anbiya’ 21:25)

This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone.

Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.

Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one’s family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.

The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.

One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:

And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.(Al-Qalam 68:4)

God also said:

And indeed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.(Al-Ahzab 33:21)

He was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an, in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet, when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied:

“His character was that of the Quran.” (As-Suyuti)

To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahadah is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says:

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love God, then follow me.’(Aal `Imran 3:31)

It also means that Muhammad is the Final Prophet and Messenger of God, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him.

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything.(Al-Ahzab 33:40)

All who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief.

We welcome you to Islam, congratulate you for your decision, and will try to help you in any way we can.

This video shows you how to practically convert to Islam…

 

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Source: Islamreligion.com.

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The Five Pillars of Islam: Their Meaning and Priority

The Five Pillars of Islam: Their Meaning and Priority

By Jamal Badawi

What are the Five Pillars of Islam and what is the origin of this expression?

The term and the specification of the number appear in more than one saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). One of the most famous sayings is narrated in the collection by Muslim and says that “the infrastructure of Islam is based upon the Oneness of Allah, the performance of regular prayers, the payment of Zakah or the poor’s due, the fasting, and the pilgrimage”. (Muslim) The term was based on the mention of this hadith.

More specifically the first pillar on the Oneness of Allah means that in order for a person to be Muslim they would have to confess with conviction of the heart and mind that there is no deity but one God and that is Allah who is the One and Only universal God of all. One is required to mention this a minimum of one time in their lifetime in order to be Muslim.

The second pillar is the performance of regular prayers and these are also specified as five specific prayers which follow a specific format during the day and night. This is not prayer in terms of supplication, I use the term prayer in English because it is the closest translation. It is not prayer in the sense of sitting and making supplication but requires lots of preparation.

The third pillar is the payment of poor’s due and is called Zakah in Arabic.

The fourth is fasting and this refers to observing the fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan which is the ninth lunar month in the Islamic calendar.

Finally is the pilgrimage to the Holy places in Makkah (Mecca) at least once in a life time if a person is able to.

When non-Muslims write about Islam and mention these Five Pillars quite often one is under the impression that these Five Pillars is all that Islam is about. Is this correct?

Unfortunately, it is not. The problem with many non-Muslim authors, writers, film producers, and narrators is that they try to interpret Islam from the point of view of their own background which is like placing Islam in an alien framework and this is where the mistake occurs. Most writers in films and so on and many who pose as experts on Islam come from a background which views religion as a large set of dogmas or rituals or something that focuses on the spiritual aspect of life with some kind of separation from the secular or mundane activities.

True Islam is an all embracive comprehensive way of life, it is a way of looking at life and taking it as a totality not making an artificial separation between religion and secularism.  The lack of understanding of this particular point makes many people view the pillars of Islam in the sense that doing those five things is all that Islam is about.

Any particular structure pillars are not everything but essential for a building’s support. In addition to the pillars one needs a roof, walls, partitions, insulation heating system and furnishing. The same thing applies to Islam. Many people think that once we talk about the Five Pillars of Islam that they’ve got everything. No they have not.

If we look at Islam the same way we look at the structure of a building as a functioning religion as a faith that is not limited to the spiritual aspect but is a complete way of life. One doesn’t have a functional building just with the pillars one has got to have all the other things that go along side with the pillars.

The pillars are essential and are the create the base but they are not everything. There is a difference between saying the pillars are everything and between saying the Five Pillars are the basis of everything. This is the way a Muslim looks at the Pillars of Islam.

In fact Islam addresses spiritual, moral, social, economic and even political aspects of life. When those writers refer to the Pillars of Islam they do not even depict it in sufficient depth. It is depicted as a formal ritual, whereas if one looks very closely in depth at the nature of those pillars one finds that they give lots of lessons which regulates social, moral, economic and even political life. In a way Islam goes far beyond the simple notions of rituals or formalisms.

Is there any significance as to the order in which these pillars appear and if so which come first and why?

Yes, there is a hierarchy. For example the first pillar which we mentioned which is the corner stone of Islam is the belief in the one universal God of all. Belief in God and faith in Him and acceptance of his prophets represents the very foundation upon which any good deeds can be accepted by God. This is the source of all virtue.

One notices that the second Pillar is the keeping of regular five daily prayers which is the most noble act of communicating directly with God without an intermediary. This is a reflection of how a Muslim after accepting God tries to nourish this direct relationship with his creator.

The second pillar is followed by the poor’s due which is an instrumental pillar in building social equity and justice in society. This is followed by the fourth pillar which is fasting. This is a method to discipline one’s self and control our desires and as such lead a virtuous life. Finally is the pilgrimage for those who are able to. As I understand it there is a hierarchy of relative importance.

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Source: jamalbadawi.org

 

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What Does It Mean to Believe in Allah? (Part One)

What Does It Mean to Believe in Allah? (Part One)

By Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin `Abdullah Al-Tuwayjiri 

What does it mean to believe in Allah?

Belief (iman) in Allah consists of four matters:

The First: Belief in the Existence of Allah

– Allah created all of mankind to have belief in their Creator, as He  says:

So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. (Adhere to) the disposition of Allah upon which He has created all people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. (Ar-Rum 30:30)

Human intellect has proven that this universe has a Creator, for indeed all of creation, from its beginning and afterwards, must have a Creator that brought it into existence. A part of creation cannot bring itself into existence by itself, nor can it be created by chance. This leads one to realize that there is a Creator, and He is Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, as He says:

Or were they created by nothing, or were they the creators (of themselves)? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they are not certain. (At-Tur 52:35-36)

– One’s senses also prove the existence of Allah, for we witness the alternating of the day and night, provision for every human and animal, and the management of the affairs of all creation; all of which prove His existence by clear-cut evidences:

Allah alternates the night and the day. Indeed, in that is a lesson for those who have vision. (An-Nur 24:44)

And Allah has supported His messengers and prophets by sending them with signs and miracles that their people either saw or heard.

These are affairs that are beyond human capacity and Allah used them to bestow victory on His messengers and aid them by them. This is clear-cut evidence for the existence of a Sender, who is none other than Allah. For example, Allah made the fire cold and safe for Ibrahim split the sea for Musa, brought the dead back to life for ʿIsa and split the moon for Muhammad ((peace be upon them all). So there is no doubt of His existence:

Their messengers said, ‘Can there be doubt about Allah, Creator of the heavens and earth? He invites you that He may forgive you of your sins.’ (Ibrahim 14:10)

How many has Allah answered from those who call upon Him? How many has He given to those who asked of Him? How many has He relieved from anguish? This, without a doubt, proves His existence, knowledge and ability.

1– Allah says:

(Remember) when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, ‘Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.’ (Al-Anfal 8:9)

2– And Allah says:

And (mention) Ayyub, when he called on his Lord, ‘Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’ So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him back his family and the like thereof with them, as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers (of Allah). (Al-Anbiya’ 21:83-84)

– Legislation also proves the existence of Allah, for the great and just rulings that comprise of what benefits the creation, and which He has revealed to His prophets and messengers in His books; is evidence that these rulings are from a Wise, Omnipotent Lord, that knows what is beneficial for His slaves.

The Second: Belief that Allah Alone Is the Lord, without Any Partners

The Lord who deserved to be worshipped is the King within Whose Hand is the sovereignty. All affairs and creation belong to Him.

So there is no Creator or Sovereign except Allah, and indeed all affairs belong to Him alone, the creation is His creation, the sovereignty is His sovereignty and the command is His command. He is the All Mighty and the Most Merciful, the Self-Sufficient and the Praiseworthy, the All Knowing and the All Powerful. He showers His mercy upon those who seek His mercy, forgives those who seek His forgiveness, gives when asked, answers when called upon and does whatever He wills. He is the Ever Living and the Sustainer who is never overtaken by drowsiness or sleep. To Him alone belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, to Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth, to Him belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth, to Him belong the unseen matters of the heavens and the earth and to Him belong the troops of the heavens and the earth.

1– Allah says:

Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds. (Al-A`raf 7:54)

2– And Allah says:

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent. (Al-Ma’idah 5:120)

Thus, we know and have full conviction that Allah is the Lord who created all the creatures, brought about all forms of creation, fashioned all that exists and created the heavens and the earth:

That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Then will you not remember? (Yunus 10:3)

He created the sun and the moon, the day and the night, water and plants, man and animal, soil, the mountains, and the seas:

He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and who has not taken a son and has not had a partner in dominion, and has created each thing and determined it with (precise) determination. (Al-Furqan 25:2)

– Allah has created everything with his Own ability. He does not have any adviser, consultant or assistant. Glory be to Him, the Lord, the One, the Dominant. He rose above the throne by His mercy, holds the heavens and the earth by His ability, flattened the earth by His will, created all things by His will and subdued His slaves by His strength.

He is the Lord of the east and the west. There is no deity worthy of worship except Him, the Ever Living, the Sustainer:

Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Disposer of affairs over all things. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. And they who disbelieve in the verses of Allah- it is they who are the losers. (Az-Zumar 39:62)

We also know and have full conviction that Allah  is the Lord and is Able to do all things, encompassing all matters, Owner of everything, Knowledgeable of all things and Dominant over everything. Heads are humbled due to His greatness, voices are stilled in fear of Him, the mighty are humbled due to His might. Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives all vision. He is the Subtle One and the Most Aware. He does what He pleases and decrees whatever He wills:

His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is. (Ya-Sin 36:82)

– He knows of all matters in the heavens and upon earth, and knows of the world of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Most Great, the Most Exalted. He knows the weight of mountains, the measure of the seas, the number of drops from rainfall, the number of leaves on trees, the number of grains of sand, what the darkness conceals, and what the night time covers in darkness and what the daytime shines forth upon:

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry thing but that it is (written) in a clear record. (Al-An`am 6:59)

– We further know and have full conviction that every day Allah is bringing about a matter. Nothing is hidden from Him in the heavens and earth. He controls all affairs, sends the winds, brings forth the rain and gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. He honors whom He wills and He degrades whom He wills. He gives life and causes death. He gives and restrains from giving, and raises the ranks of some and brings down others:

Say, ‘O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is all good. Indeed, You are over all things competent. You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.’ (Aal `Imran 3:26-27)

– We also know and have full conviction that the treasures of all things are with Allah alone, and that the treasures within the heavens and the earth all belong to Allah alone. In fact, the treasures of everything in existence belong to Allah: The treasures of water, plants, air, minerals, health, safety, blessings, punishment, mercy, guidance, strength and honor; all of these and others are with Allah and in His Hand alone:

And there is not a thing but that with Us are its treasures, and We do not send it down except according to a known measure. (Al-Hijr 15:21)

Thus, if we know that and have full conviction of Allah’s ability, greatness, strength, grandeur, sovereignty, treasures, mercy and Oneness; the hearts would draw nearer to Him, the chests would open to His worship, the limbs would submit to His obedience, and the tongues would be in constant remembrance of Him through reverence, glorification, exaltation and praise.

So do not ask of anyone except Him, do not beseech anyone except Him, do not truly rely upon anyone other than Him, do not fear anyone but Him and do not worship anything other than Him:

That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things. (Al-An`am 6:102)

 

To be continued….

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Summarized Islamic Fiqh In Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah”, translated by Kamil Ahmad & Jawad Beg

 

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The Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

Learn about the five pillars and obligations of Islam; the general duties that regulate a Muslim’s relationship with Allah, Prophet Muhammad and worldly desires…

Narrated Ibn `Umar: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Islam is based on five: Testifying that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger, offering Salah (Prayer), paying Zakah (alms giving), performing Hajj (pilgrimage) and observing sawm (fasting) during the Month of Ramadan.”

The Narrator

The narrator  of the hadith here is `Abdullah ibn `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with them both). He was born 4 years after the advent of Islam and died in 74 or 73 AH. He embraced Islam at an early age and migrated to Madinah with his father `Umar, when he was 10. He was one of the greatest Hadith narrators among the Companions.

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

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: 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.

Sawm: The abstention from eating, drinking and sex from the break of dawn to the sunset with the intention of worshiping Allah, the Almighty.

So what Does This Hadith Mean?

The hadith at hand mentions the main and central obligations upon which the whole religion of Islam is established. Islam has been defined as submission, obedience and worship of Allah, the only God and Lord of the universe, being its Creator.

The hadith is showing the major principles that exemplify these meanings. Imam An-Nawawi said, “This hadith is a great source of understanding the religion of Islam as it included all of its pillars.”(1)

The hadith deals with the general duties that regulate a Muslim’s relationship with Allah, Prophet Muhammad and worldly desires. It explains the main individual obligations that are required from every Muslim, male or female. Imam Ibn Rajab said, “The hadith means liking the religion of Islam to a building, while the pillars of the building are these five things and without them the building is collapsed. Then, the rest of Islam’s rites are complements of this building.”(2)

Below is a brief description of the five pillars mentioned in the hadith:

1- The Testimony of Faith

The first pillar of Islam is to testify that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah, the Almighty and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. Sheikh Mohamed Salih Al-Munajjid explains the meaning of the Testimony of Faith by saying: “To bear witness that there is no god except Allah means to deny that no one other than Allah has the right to be worshipped, and to affirm that this is the right of Allah alone, with no partner or associate. Allah says:

That is because Allah is the Truth, and that which they call upon other than Him is falsehood, and because Allah is the Most High, the Grand. (Al-Hajj 22:62)

To bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah is to believe firmly that Muhammad is Allah’s slave and His Messenger to all of creation; the mankind and the Jinn. That means believing in what he has told us, obeying and following what he has commanded, giving up and avoiding what he has forbidden, following his laws, adhering to his Sunnah in secret and in the open, accepting and submitting to his judgments, and knowing that obedience to him is obedience to Allah, and disobedience to him is disobedience to Allah.(3)

2- Performing Salah

Prayer occupies a matchless rank in Islam. It is the column of religion and the first thing that one is called into account about. If it comes to be good, the rest of one’s deed will be so and if it is invalid, the rest of one’s deed become null and void.

Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said: “Shall I not tell you of the head of the matter and its pillar and peak?” I (Mu`adh) said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” He said: “The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is prayer and its top is jihad.” (At-Tirmidhi)

It is a constituent part of Islam, without which one’s religion is nothing. It implants modesty, unity, equality and common cooperation in the hearts and souls of Muslims. Also, it brings the worshipper closer to Allah and purifies him from the filths of sins. Moreover, it teaches good manners and upright attitude. Almighty Allah says:

And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing. (An-Nahl 29:45)

Prayer has been obligated five times a day so that a praying person implores his God, regrets his sins and asks Him help and support in all matters. It is a good time to get out for a while of the discomforts of life to spiritual contemplation and meditation.

Therefore, it is highly required to perform with utmost reverence because this is reflected on one’s attitude and morals in the daily life, as mentioned in the aforementioned verse.

3- Zakah

Zakah means to give the prescribed shares from certain specified kinds of property to those who are entitled to them. The types of property include gold, silver, crops, fruits, trade goods and livestock (i.e., camels, cattle and sheep). It is required that a full Hijri year passes while the property in in one’s possession as well as that it must reach the nisab (the minimum amount of property on which Zakah is due).

Moreover, the Qur’an illustrates that Zakah should be given to eight types of people and it is not permissible to give it to other than these eight types:

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect (zakah) and for bringing hearts together (for Islam) and for freeing captives (or slaves) and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the (stranded) traveler – an obligation (imposed) by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:60)

Zakah represents one of the highest forms of thankfulness to Allah, and Islamic solidarity. Those with big wealth are commanded to pay out a small part of their money to be spent for the benefit of the poor, community and religion, showing gratitude to Allah who blessed them with that wealth and all other all favours.

Zakah is paid for helping the needy and indebted people, establishing public facilities and spreading the message of Islam. It is not to be given to saints or sheikhs, or to a specific tribe or class. Rather, it is expended only within the eight categories mentioned in the Qur’an, as mentioned in the verse above.

4- Hajj

Hajj or pilgrimage consists of certain rituals such as Tawaf (circumambulation of Ka`bah), standing in `Arafat and throwing pebbles. Allah says:

And (due) to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. (Aal `Imran 2:97)

Abu Hurairah reported: “The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations, nor commits sin, nor disputes unjustly (during Hajj), then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The majority of scholars are of the opinion that Hajj was prescribed in the ninth year of Hijrah. However, it is enjoined one time in life and it is required only on those who are capable to perform it financially and physically. One should be keen to offer it because it is a means of expiation of sins, if a person does it in the manner prescribed in Shari`ah.

Sheikh Ibn `Uthaimin says: “During Hajj, Muslims from all parts of the world come together and show their love for one another and get to know one another. Also, Muslims demonstrate unity in time, place, actions and appearance. All of them stand in the different locations of Hajj at the same time, doing the same actions, and wearing the same clothes, with humbleness before Allah. The season of Hajj brings a great deal of good in both spiritual and worldly terms, as the Muslims may benefit by coming together, learning from one another and doing business.”(4)

5- Sawm

Fasting or sawm is defined as the abstention from the things that invalidate fasting from the break of dawn to the sunset with the intention of worshiping Allah, the Almighty.”(5)

Fasting was enjoined in 2 AH, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) fasted nine months of Ramadan. Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) fasted Ramadan for nine years, because it was made obligatory in Sha’ban 2 AH.” (Al-Majmu`, 6/250)

Regarding the obligation of fasting, Allah says:

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “Fasting is for Me and I reward it. Every good action is rewarded by ten times its kind, up to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me, and I reward it.” (An-Nasa’i)

Fasting teaches sincerity and righteousness. It also makes us feel the sufferings of those who do not find food and drink, so that one becomes more generous and bountiful with them.

Also, it has a lot of healthy and moral benefits. The Prophet stated that Allah has prepared a great reward for the fasting people and there will be a special door for them in Paradise called Ar-Rayyan.

Lessons and Rulings

  • The hadith does not include all the obligations of Islam. There are, of course, other obligatory and top ranked deeds, such as Jihad. This is because the hadith highlights the basics of Islam as well as that Jihad is a collective obligation.(6)
  • The rites not mentioned in the hadith are also required and they complete one’s religion and one will be called into account about abandoning them for no excuse, such as enjoining good and forbidding evil.
  • The five duties mentioned here are indispensable and it is impermissible to abandon them, except within the legal excuses set by Shari`ah.

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(1) Muslim, Sahih Muslim, Dar Al-Khair, 1996, volume 1, p. 146.

(2) Ibn Rajab, Jami` Al-`Ulum wa Al-Hikam, Beirut, Al-Risalah, 2001, p. 145.

(3) http://www.islam-qa.com/en/21738 (Last accessed, 17/Nov/2013)

(4) Quoted from http://www.islamqa.com/en/109234 (Last accessed, 20/Nov/2013)

(5) Ibn `Uthaimin, http://ar.islamway.net/fatwa/6253 (Last accessed, 17/Nov/2013)

(6) Ibn Rajab, Jami` Al-`Ulum wa Al-Hikam, Beirut, Al-Risalah, 2001, p. 152.

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