"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
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Pillars of Islam

Pillars Of Islam

The Declaration of Faith, Shahada:

  • Shahada is the first pillar of Islam. It is the declaration:
  • “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (SAW) is the messenger of Allah”
  • This is the testimony or profession of faith, containing knowledge, commitment and declaration. It consists of two parts.
  • The first, that there is no god but Allah, attests not only to the oneness and uniqueness of Allah, but it also signifies the oneness of Lordship, the sovereiegnty, and the authority in the universe. Allah is accountable to no one, He creates what He pleases, giving each of His creation the role He desires. The Quran says:
  • You do we worship and your aid we seek”
  • True unity of Allah means that Allah is unique in person, that there is no other god but Him, unique in attributes, that man cannot acquire perfection in the attributes of Allah, and unique in action, that no one can do the works that Allah has done or may do.
  • Associating partners with Allah is called shirk. Shirk is not only the worship of idols but also offering prayers and supplications to anyone dead or living, believing that they hold the same attributes as Allah. 
  • Thus the belief that Allah is not sovereign or independent or that deities can intercede with Him and any attempt to implore any other being besides Allah. 
  • The Quran considers shirk to be an unpardonable sin. It says:
  • “Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him”
  • The second part of this declaration is that Muhammad (SAW) is the messenger of Allah. 
  • For Muslims, it is necessary to believe that Prophet (SAW) was the last in the line of messengers sent by Allah, and he is the seal of Propjets. 
  • He is distinguished in many ways from the previous prophets. 
  • For example, his prophet hood is universal and eternal i.e. he was not sent for a particular nation or country but the entire human kind.

 Prayer, Salat:

 Timings of Prayer:
  1. Fajr: from dawn until just before sunrise
  2. Zuhr: after midday until afternoon
  3. Asr: from afternoon until just before sunset
  4.  Maghrib: after sunset until the end of daylight
  5. Isha: from evening until just before dawn
Preparation of Prayer:
  • Wudu: washing of hands, mouths, nostrils, face, arms, across the head, ears, back of the neck and feet.
  • Satar: proper dress code i.e. from navel to knees men must be covered and for women whole body except hands, feet and face
  • Qiblah: facing the Ka’bah
  • Niyat: intention of prayer
  • After saying the niyat, worshipper stands still with his hands on his sides and feet on the ground, only slightly apart
  • Then he raises his hands up to his ears and says Allah u Akbar
  •  He then folds his hands on the navel and recites the Sana followed by Tasmia and the Qirat
  • He then bows down in ruku by placing both his hands on his knees and says: “Glory to the God, The mighty” thrice
  • He then stands erect, hands by his side, in wuquf
  • After saying Allah u Akbar again, the worshipper prostrates by touching his forehead on the ground
  • In this position, he says: ”Allah is the highest” at least thrice
  • He then sits up in the jalsa position and the prostrates again
  • The second prostration completes one rakat

Importance of prayer:

The importance of Prayer in Islam is great as it is the fore most duty of the Muslims, and the chief of the pillars on which the structure of Islam stands. It is the first thing that was made obligatory on Muslims and the first thing they will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment.

Congregational Prayers:

1.     Friday Prayers:
  • Take place of the Zuhr prayers of Friday
  • Cannot be offered as qaza
  • Must be offered in congregation
  • Obligatory on all adult men
  • Women, slaves, minors, sick are exempted
  • 2 azaans
  • Sermon (Khutba) is delivered
  • Listening to it is obligatory
  • While the sermon is being delivered no conversation is allowed, not even reciting the Quran
  • The sermon consists of 2 parts
  • In the first part the Imam recites and explains Quranic passages and then after a short rest stands up again to deliver the 2nd part which includes general prayers for the welfare of Muslim Ummah
  • 2 obligatory rakat are offered after the khutba

2.     Eid prayers:
  • 2 eids in one Islamic calendar
  • Eid-ul-Fitr on 1st Shawal
  • Eid-ul-Azha on 10th Zilhajj
  • A day of thanksgiving when Muslims assemble in a brotherly atmosphere
  • Congregational prayer for men only
  • Women, minors, travelers, sick are exempted
  • Can be offered from sunrise to noon
  • Offered in large empty grounds
  • No replacement of any other prayer
  • Cannot be offered as qaza
  • Consists of 2 rakats
  • After rakats, imam delivers khutba in two parts which focuses on Sadqah tul Fitr in Eid ul Fitr and importance of sacrifice on Eid ul Azha
  • Muslims exchange greetings after offering prayers
  • Take alternate routes while coming and going to meet as many people as possible

Private Prayer.Dua
  • No Qiblah
  • No wudu
  • No satar
  • No fixed language
  • No Niyat
  • Not obligatory
Delayed Prayer:
  • If a Muslim misses an obligatory prayer, he must make up for the loss
  • These qaza prayers must be offered as soon as possible
  • Only Farz and Witr can be offered as Qaza
  • Conditions in which it is allowed to miss a prayer:

  1.     In battle field
  2.     Taking care of seriously ill patients
  3.     If a person sleeps with necessary arrangements but fails to wake up on time
  4.     If a person is sick or injured
  • A place where believers get together for religious purposes
  • Educational, political and social centres of society
  • House of Allah
  • One should enter the mosque with respect, in clean clothes and footwear must be removed.
  • Indulging in wordly affairs is not allowed in mosque
Alms-giving, Zakat:

         How it is performed:
  • Zakat consists of giving set proportions of possessions for the poor
  • Compulsory on all adult rich muslims to gibe zakat which they’ve had in their possession for more than one calendar year
  • Its rate on annual savings is 2.5%
  • If a person has 7.5 tolas or more of gold, 2.5% of it is due as zakat
  • If a person has 52.5 tolas or more of silver, 2.5% of it is due as zakat
  • If a person has 40-120 goats, then one goat is due in zakat
  • No fixed date of payment
  • However, usually paid in the month of Ramzan
  • Reciepients of zakat:

  1.     Poor
  2.     Needy
  3.     Newly converts to Islam
  4.     Travelers
  5.     Slaves
  6.     Those appointed by state to collect Zakat
  7.     Those who are in bondage or in debt
  8.     Those who can’t fulfill an obligation
2.   Significance in the community:
  • Helps poor people stop starving
  • Sense of brotherhood develops between rich and poor
  • It reduces financial difference between rich and poor
  • Encourages a bond of social responsibility
  • Brings the society closer
  • Encourages unity in society
Fasting, Sawm:

1    The Way it is Observed:
  • Carried out in the month of Ramzan
  • Starts from the sighting of the moon of Ramzan and ends at the sighting of the moon on Shawal
  • All adult Muslims should fast suring day light hours i.e. from dawn to dusk
  • They take their sehr before dawn
  • After that they refrain from eatinf or drinking until sunset
  • During a fast, Muslims abstain from smoking, indulging in evil and indecent acts, abusing etc
  • They remember Allah throughout the day by offering prayers and reciting the Quran
  • However, they cannot ask for concessions is their work and must lead the normal daily routine
  • At the Maghrib prayers, they break their fast with dates and water
  • After the Isha prayers they offer 20 rakat of taraweeh prayers
  • During the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramzan, they search for Laila tul Qadr, the night when Quran was revealed
  • Muslims even withdraw to mosques and sit in Aitkaaf for the last ten days, i.e. they avoid any contact with the world and submit themselves to Allah
       Those exempted:
  • Sick
  • Pregnant women
  • Travelers
  • Elderly people
  • Minor
Pilgrimage, Hajj:

1.     The Main Observances Involved:
8th Zilhajj
- perform wudu
- wear Ihram
- offer 2 rakat
- make niyat
- recite Talbiah
8th Zilhajj
- perform tawaf-e-qudum, encircling Ka’abah 7 times
- kiss the black stone
8th Zilhajj
- say private prayer
8th Zilhajj
- offer 2 nafal
8th Zilhajj
Safa and Marwa
- sayee, starting at Safa and ending at Marwa, 7 times
8th Zilhajj
- offer Zuhr, Asar, Maghrib, Isha prayers
9th Zilhajj
- listen to sermon
- offer combined Zuhr and Asar prayers
- perform wuquf-e-arafat
9th Zilhajj
- perform Maghrib and Isha prayer combined
-collect pebbles for rami
- spend night in rememberance of Allah
10th Zilhajj
- stone Jamarat-ul-uqba 7 times with pebbles
-offer sacrifice
- men cut their hair and women clip a lock
11th – 12th Zilhajj
- perform rami, symbolic stoning of satan
- perform tawaf-e-ziyarat between one of these days in Ka’abah
- perform tawaf-e-wida before leaving Makkah

Now, try a few questions your selves to check your understanding. Good Luck!
Q)  What is the individual importance of fasting?
Q) What is the communal importance of fasting?
Q)  What is the individual importance of hajj?
Q) What is the communal importance of hajj?
Q) Explain the significance of the following with reference to Islamic history:
 (a)     Arafat
      (b)    Sacrifice
      (c)     Ka’abah

(Sir Iftikhar)

Pillars of Islam Paper 2





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