Shahada – Five pillars of Islam
#01 Al Shahada – Five pillars of Islam
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah son of ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
(The superstructure of) al-Islam is raised on five (pillars), testifying (the fact) that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is His bondsman and messenger, and the establishment of prayer, payment of Zakat, Pilgrimage to the House (Ka’ba) and the fast of Ramadan. (Sahih Muslim:21)
What are the Five Pillars?
- The Declaration of Faith (Shahada)
- Establishing regular prayers (Salah)
- Paying Charity (Zakah)
- Pilgrimage (Hajj)
- Fasting the (lunar) month of Ramadan (Sawm)
The religion of Islam is completed by the five pillars that are mentioned in the above hadith. If there are not even one of these pillars, then the edifice of the religion will remain incomplete. Although a man enters in Islamic religion and becomes entitled to be called a Muslim after accepting the first pillar of Islam, but his religion is complete only when he follows the rest of the pillars.
Denying the obligation of one of the above-mentioned pillars of Islam and abandoning it will make him a disbeliever. However, if a person abandons one of the above pillars due to laziness, then he will commit a grave sin and become a sinner, but he will not be excluded from the nation of Islam except for the prayers. Because a significant number of Islamic scholars have declared that a man abandoning prayers because of laziness will not remain Muslim.
Every sound structure must have a solid foundation in order to remain strong. Islam’s foundation is the five pillars it was built upon, forming the basis of Islamic teaching as taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Muslim people (who follow Islam) have five duties which are called the Five Pillars of Islam. Every Muslim tries to carry out these five things, and it helps them to feel that they are members of the worldwide Muslim community.
These are the five pillars on which Islamic foundation based. Now we will explain them one by one in detail. These five pillars have a great deal to do with shaping the personality of a believer and making him an ideal character.
1. Shahada – Declaration of faith
Shahadah is the promise of someone willing to become a Muslim. This is because, as a Muslim, it is necessary to acknowledge and recognize that Allah SWT is the only God to be worshipped and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the only Messenger to be followed.
Hence, it is illegal to be Muslims without such confession. When becoming a Muslim, one is obligated to obey all the commandments and prohibitions of Allah Almighty and the Messenger (SAW). However, the claim of Shahadah has a certain package that needs to be fulfilled when pronouncing it, as many people misunderstand the concept of Shahadah until they think that the word of Shahadah is merely a pronouncement.
The first pillar of Islam consists of two parts. The first part is called “Tawheed“. That is, confessing with heart and tongue that there is no true god but the Allah Almighty. He is the Provider of sustenance and He is the Owner of all the profits and losses that we face. He alone is the Sovereign of tomorrow. He is the Owner of our children and He has no co-partner. He is also one in attributes like his caste.
The second part of the first pillar of Islam is called “Risalat”. It means that Allah Almighty has sent Prophets and Messengers in every age for the guidance of mankind. This chain was started from Hazrat Adam (A.S) and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) is the last link in this chain. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) has become a prophet and messenger for all human beings till the Day of Resurrection. No prophet or messenger will come after Him till the Day of Resurrection. If anyone claims to be a Prophet or a Messenger, he will be a liar, an antichrist, and a disbeliever, and who believes in him is an apostate.
The words of Shahada:
The Shahadah has two parts which is recited in Arabic as:
أشهد أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُأ
(ašhadu) an lā ilāha illá l-Lāhu (wa ashhadu ) anna Muḥammadan a’abbduhu warasūluhu
(I profess that) there is no god except Allah Almighty and (I profess that) Muhammad (SAW) is the bondsman and Messenger of Allah.”
Shahadah is a word through which a believer is freed from the worship of the creatures by confessing the oneness of his Lord, and by confessing the message of the Holy Prophet, he determines the way of his life. This is the basis of faith and this is the basic belief on which the rest of the pillars and Islamic teachings are based. That is why the Holy Qur’an has emphasized monotheism and prophethood and it is stated in hundreds of verses of the Holy Quran.
In the noble Quran Allah says:
وَاِلٰهُكُمۡ اِلٰهٌ وَّاحِدٌ ۚ لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ الرَّحِيۡمُ۞
And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. (Al-Baqarah: 163)
The second part of the declaration:
The testimony of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) means to carry out what you have commanded by the Holy Prophet (SAW), to believe what you have been told by our beloved Prophet (SAW), to refrain from what you have been forbidden to do, and only to do what you have said to worship Allah Almighty accordingly.
Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. It will be fulfilled only with the perfect faith and certainty that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the servant of Allah and His Messenger who has been sent to human beings and jinn and that He is the last prophet and messenger of Allah. And He is the most beloved of Allah Almighty. He has no attribute of God. We have to follow Him, to obey His commands, and to speak by Obeying His Sunnah in action and belief.
Allah says in the Noble Quran:
قُلۡ يٰۤاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اِنِّىۡ رَسُوۡلُ اللّٰهِ اِلَيۡكُمۡ جَمِيۡعَاْ
Say, [O Muhammad], “O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all. (Al- A’raf: 158)
And Allah says:
وَمَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰكَ اِلَّا كَآفَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيۡرًا وَّنَذِيۡرًا
And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. (saba: 28)
And Allah says:
قُلۡ سُبۡحَانَ رَبِّىۡ هَلۡ كُنۡتُ اِلَّا بَشَرًا رَّسُوۡلًا
Say, “Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger? (Al-Isra: 93)
Virtues of Shahada:
- It is the first pillar of Islam, the essence of the religion, and the foundation of the nation. Only because of this the heavens and the earth are established
- In establishing it, both the monotheism of Allah and the implementation of the Shari’ah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) come together.
- Saying lā ilāha illá l-Lāhu is the best deed and the greatest cause of the forgiveness of sins on the Day of Resurrection. If the seven heavens and the seven earths are placed on the same scale and lā ilāha illá l-Lāhu is placed in the other scale, then the scale of lā ilāha illá l-Lāhu will be heavy.
- Whoever accepts it with sincerity, loves it, and acts upon it, whatever he does, he will be admitted to Paradise by this word.
- Also, it is said that when dying one should recite this declaration of faith. When a person wishes to convert his religion to Islam, he should recite this affirmation and believe in it. The Shahadah is recited in the adhan or call to prayer and by all Muslims performing the daily ritual prayer or Salat.
- It is whispered into the ear of a newborn Muslim baby and recited at an aqiqah ceremony