The Second Pillar: Salaah (Prayer)
It is obligatory upon you to establish the prayer [Salaah] for it is the backbone of the Religion; without it, one’s Islam would not be complete. Striking an example between the Religion and a camel, the Prophet (ﷺ) said :
“As for the head of the Religion, it is Islam (the Shahadataan); as for its backbone, it is the Salaah, and as for the highest part of its hump, it is Jihad.” [at-Tirmidhi]
Salaah is a term which denotes a group of words and actions which starts with Takbeer [saying `Allahu Akbar’, meaning: `Allah is the Greatest’] and ends with tasleem [saying ‘As-Salaamu `alaykum wa Rahmatullaah].
A Muslim performs it out of obedience to Allah, magnifying and glorifying Him in it. Through it, one maintains a continual relationship with His Creator. Whenever a person becomes
absorbed in the entertainments of this life and his faith weakens, he hears the call to prayer [Adhaan] which would admonish him.
There are five prayers which must be performed in the day and night. Men must observe them in the Masjid in congregation, except for those who have a valid excuse. Through this, Muslims come to know one another, and the bonds of love and unity which hold them together are built, maintained and strengthened. They come to know of the condition of their fellow Muslims on a daily basis. If someone is not present and thought to be sick, they visit him, and if it seems that he is falling short in some of his obligations, they advise him. All social differences, such as class, race, and lineage are disregarded, for Muslims line up side by side in straight rows, all facing one direction [Makkah (Mecca)] all at the same time. All are rendered equal in regards to their subservience to Allah and standing before Him.
The Third Pillar: Obligatory Charity (Zakaah)
It is a certain percentage of money which a rich Muslim gives to the poor and needy to save them from the humility of begging. It is compulsory upon every Muslim who possesses the Nisaab (minimum amount upon which Zakaah is due). Allah (SWT) says:
And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and to establish the Salaah and give the Zakaah: and that is the correct and upright Religion. [98:5]
Whoever rejects its obligation would have fallen into disbelief, and transgressed against the weak, poor, and needy. It is not a tax levied by the Islamic State from its subjects, as the ignorant believe; for were it so, it would have been levied from Muslims and non-Muslims alike! Among the conditions of Zakaah is that a person be Muslim, and is not to be taken from non-Muslims.
The following are some of its conditions.
- Possession of the minimum required amount: A person’s wealth must reach the limit which has been set by the Religion of Islam.
- The completion of one you. if the wealth is not in the person’s possession for this period, there is no Zakaah due upon it.
Allah has specified those who are eligible to receive Zakaah. Allah (SWT) says:
The Sadaqaat [Zakaah] is only for the fuqaraa’ and masaakeen [the poor] and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for the wayfarer [a traveller who is cut off from everything]; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise. [9:60]
The amount which is to be paid is 2.5 % of the amount collected over a period of a year. Through it, Islam seeks to uproot poverty from the Muslim society and alleviate the dangers which result from it, like theft, murder, and acts of transgression against people’s honour. It revitalizes the spirit of mutual dependence and brotherhood in the Muslim society by fulfilling the requirements of the poor and needy.
The difference between Zakaah and tax is that a Muslim pays it will fully and on his own accord; lie is the one who supervises its payment. Furthermore, its name indicates its goal”, which is purification of the soul of rich Muslims. It also cleanses a Muslim of greed, selfishness, base covetousness, and the love of this temporal world and drowning in its desires, all of which make him forget his brothers from the poor and needy. Allah (SWT) says
And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.[59:9]
It also purifies the poor from hatred and jealousy which they may have against the rich. They see. them giving from their wealth as Allah has ordered, and continuously caring for them, by giving them money and treating them well.
Islam sternly warns those who refuse to pay Zakaah. Allah (SWT) says:
And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty [Wealth] think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakaah). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. [3:180]
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“If any owner of gold or silver does not pay what is due from him, when the Day of Resurrection comes, plates of fire will be beaten out for him. These will then be heated in the fire of Hell and his sides, his forehead and his back will be cauterized with them. Whenever these cool down, (the process is) repeated for a day the extent of which will be fifty thousand years, until judgment is pronounced upon the slaves, and he sees whether his path is to take him to Paradise or to Hell.” [Muslim]
To Be Continued….