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THE APPLICATION OF FAITH
OR PILLARS OF ISLAM

Faith without action and practice is dead, as far as Islam is concerned. Faith by nature is very sensitive and can be most effective. When it is out of practice or out of use, it quickly loses its liveliness and motivating power. The only way to enliven Faith and make it serve its purpose is practice. Practice provides Faith with nourishment, survival and effectiveness. A person without Faith has no real source of inspiration and, consequently, has no worthy objectives to attain or even aspire to. The life such person is meaningless, and he lives from day to day which is no life at all.


THE PRAYER ( SALAH )

The Purpose of Prayer

Prayer constitute one pillar of Islam and is considered the Foundation of Religion . Any Muslim who fails to observe his prayer and has no reasonable excuse is commiting a garve offense and a heinous sin. To neglect prayer is to oppress the good qualities in human nature and unjustifiably deny it right to adore and love, the right to aspire and ascend, the right to excel in goodness and achive noble aims. Here is an explanation how importance is Prayer:

1. It strenghten the belief in the existence and goodness of God and transmit this belief into the innermost recesses of man's heart.

2. It helps man to realize his natural and instinctive aspirations to greatness and high morality.

3. It purifies the heart and develops the mind, cultivate the conscience and comfort the soul.

4. It foster the good and decent elements in man, and supresses the evil and indecent inclinations.

5. A good habit of discipline and willpower.

6. A vigilant reminder of God and constant revelation of His goodness.

7. It is a devotional activity to keep man in contact touch with His Creator.

8. To suppress his arrogance, revive his sense of promise and fuel his faculties of goodness, righteousness, courage and fair
play.

9. It is a disciplinary measure that makes the fine adjustments and corrections.

10. Belief in Allah will weaken without prayer . Life is full of temptation, money, business,sex,evil, and evil-doers. If a be liever does not pray, most probably he will be overcome by the physical temptations of life. So Prayer, a believer keeps in touch with Allah. Prayer keeps reminding man of Allah.

ZAKAT ( POOR TAX )

In many instances in the Holy Qur'an, prayer and Zakat are mentioned together. If you believe in Allah, pray to Him, submit to Him and do good to other humans especially the poor or any person who needs helps.

The Meaning

In the Holy Qur'an the word Zakah has no equivalent in any other language as far as we know. It is not just a form of charity or alms giving or tax or tithe, not kindness; it is all of these combined and much more. The Qur'anic Zakah not only in cludes charity, alms,kindness, divine tax, voluntary contributions etc. The literal and simple meaning of Zakah is PURITY . The technical meaning of the word designates that annual amount ( 2.5 % ) in kind or coin which a Muslim must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. It is a humanitarian and sociopolitical value.

The Effect of Zakah

1. Zakah purifies the heart of the contributor from selfishness and greed for wealth, as a result, the society at large will purify and free itself from class warfare and suspicion, from ill feeling and distrust, from corruption and disintegration, and from all such evils.

2. Zakah mitigates to a minimum the suffering of the needy and poor members of society. It is amost comforting consolation to
the less fortunate people.

3. Zakah is a healthy form of internal secuirty against selfish greed and social dissension, against the instrusion and penetration of suversive ideologies. It is an effective instrument in cultivating the spirit of social responsibility on the part of the contributor, and the feeling of secuirty and belonging on the part of the recipient.

4. Zakah is a vivid manifestation of the spiritual and humanitar ian spirit of responsive interactions between the individual and society. It is a sound illustration of the fact that though Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemn private possesion,
yet it does not tolerate selfish and greedy capitalsim.


The Recipients Of Zakah

The Holy Qur'an classifies the recipients of Zakah :

1. The poor Muslims, to relieve their distress;
2. The needy Muslims, to supply them with means whereby they can earn their livelihood.
3. The New Muslim ( reverts), to enable them to settle down and meet their unusual needs;
4. The Muslim prisoners of war, to liberate them by payment of ransom money
5. The Muslims in debt, to free them from their liabilities incured under pressing necessities.
6. The Muslim employees appointed by a Muslim governor for the collection of Zakah to pay their wages;
7. The Muslims in service of the cause of God by means of research or study or propagation of Islam. This share is to cover their expenses and help them to continue their services.
8. The Muslim wayfarers who are stranded in a foreign land and in need of help.

Way of Distribution

1. Zakah may be distributed directly to individuals of one or more of the said classes, or to welfare organizations which look after them.

2. It may also be distributed in a form of scholarship to bright and promising Muslim students and researchers, or in the form
of grants to welfare organizations and public institutions which patronize such causes.

3. A disabled or invalid poor Muslim is preferable to one who is able and capable of making earnings. The contributor should
use his best judgment in finding the most deserving benefiaries.

4. The contributor should not seek pride or fame by carrying out this duty. He should make it as covert as possible so that he
may not be victimized by hypocracy or passion for vanity which nullifies all good deeds.


The Fasting ( Sawm )

Fasting means to abstain " completely " from foods, drinks, intimate intercourses and smoking, before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. Here is an explanation of the spiritual meaning of the Islamic Fasting.

1. It teaches man the principle of sincere love ; because when he observes the Fasting he does it out of deep love for God. And the man who loves God truly is a man who really knows what love is.

2. It equips man with a creative sense of Hope and an optimistic outlook on life ; because when he fasts he is hoping to please God and is seeking His Grace.

3. It imbues man with a genuine virtue of effective Devotion,honest Dedication and closeness to God ; because when he fasts he does so for God and for His sake alone.

4. It cultivates in man a vigilant and sound Concience ; because the fasting person keeps His Fast secret as well as in public.  In
Fasting, especially, there is no mundane authority to check man's behaviour or compel him to observe the Fasting. He keeps it to please God and satisfy his own concience by being faithful in secret and in public.

5. It indoctrinates man in Patience and Unselfishness; because when he fasts he feels the pains of deprivation but endures patiently. Truly this deprivation may be only temporary, yet there is no doubt that the experience makes him realize the severe effects of such pains on others. The meaning of this experience in a social and humanitarians sense is that such a person is much quicker than anybody else in symphatizing with his fellow men and responding to their needs. And that is an eloquent of unselfishness and genuine sympathy.

6. It is an effective lesson in applied Moderation and Willpower. The person who observes his Fasting properly is certainly a man who can discipline his passionate desires and place his self above physical temptations. Such is theman of personality and
character, the man of willpower and determination.

7. It shows man a new way of Wise Saving and Sound Budgeting; because normally when he eats quantities or less meals he apends less money and effort. And this is a spiritual semester of home economics and budgeting.

8. It enables man to master the art of Mature Adaptibility. We can easily understand the point once we realize that Fasting
makes man change the entire course of his daily life. When he makes the change, he naturally adapts himself to a new system and moves along to satisfy the new rules. This, in long run, develops in him a wise sense of adaptability and a self-created power to overcome the unpredictable harships of life. A man who values constructive adaptability and courage will readily appreciate the effects of Fasting in this respect.

9. It grounds man in Discipline and Healthy Survival. When a man observes the regular course of Fasting on consecutive days of the month of Ramadhan, he is certainly applying himself to a high form of discipline and a superb sense of order . Similarly, when he relieves his stomach and relaxes his digestive system, he is indeed insuring his body, not to metion the soul, against all harm that result from stomach overcharge . In this manner of relaxation he may be sure that his body will survive free from the usual disorder and break, and that his soul will continue to shine purely and peacefully.

10. It originates in man the real Spirit of Social Belonging of Unity and Brotherhood, of Equality before God as well as before the Law. This spirit is the natural product of that when man fasts, he feels that he is joining the whole Muslim society in observing the same duty in the same manner at the same time for the same motives to the same end . No sociologist can say that there has been at any period of history anything comparable to this institution of Islam. People have been crying throughout the ages for acceptable belonging, for unity, for brotherhood, for equality, but how echoless their voices has been, and how very little success they have meet !.

11. It is a Godly prescription for self-reassurance and self-control. When a man fasts in the proper manner, he is in control of himself,exercises full command over his passions, disciplines his desires and resits all evil temptation.


PILGRIMAGE ( HAJJ )

The performance of Hajj is obligatory, at least once in a ifetime, upon every Muslim, male or female, who is mentally, financially and physically fit. The course of Hajj is another unique characteristics of Islam. It is enjoined by God to serve many purposes among which are the following:

1. It is the largest annual convention of Faith where Muslims meet to know one another. It is also the greatest regular confer
ence of peace known in the history of mankind.

2. It is a wholesome demonstration of the universality of Islam and the Brotherhood and equality of the Muslims . From all walks of life,from all trades and classes, and from every corner of the globe the Muslims assemble at Mecca in response to the call of God. They dress in the same simple way, observe the same regulations, utter the same supplications at the same time in the same way, for the same end. There is no royalty of all to God. There is no Aristocracy, but humility and devotion.

3. It is to confirm the commitment of the Muslims to God and their readiness to forsake the material interests in His service.

4. It is to acquint the pilgrims with the spiritual and historical environment of Prophet Muhammad, so that they may derive warm inspirations and strenghten their Faith.

5. It is to commemorate the Divine rituals observed b y Abraham and Ishmail, who are known to have been the first pilgrims to the first house of God on Earth ( Kaabah in Mecca )

6. It is a reminder of the Grand Assembly on the Day of Judgment when people will stand equal before God, waiting for their Final Destiny, and where no superiority of race or stock can claimed. It is also a reminder of the fact that Mecca alone, in the whole existing world, was honoured by God in being the centre of Mono theism since the time of Abraham, and that it will continue to be the centre of Islam, the religion of pure monotheism, till the end of time.


In the performance of Hajj it can easily be observed that it is a course of spiritual enrichment and moral rearmament, a course of intensified devotion and disciplinary experience, a course of humanitarian interests and inspiring knowledge -- all put together in one single institution of Islam.

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