Pillars of Islam

Social Service

All the teachings of Islam are based on two basic principles – worship of God and service of men. Without putting both of these principles into practice, there can be no true fulfillment of one’s religious duties. In its followers, Islam inculcates the spirit of love and respect for all human beings. By serving human beings on the one hand they please their God, and on the other they achieve spiritual progress for themselves. According to a hadith, you should be merciful to people on earth and God on high will be merciful to you.

Simplicity

A believer is one who finds God. God’s discoverer starts living by nature on the plane of higher realities. He rises above outward, superficial things and finds sources of interest in the world of piety. Such a person by his very nature becomes a simplicity loving person. His motto is: Simple living and high thinking. One who has acquired the taste for the meaning of the divine reality can have no taste for outward and material things. Such a person relishes simplicity. In his eyes pretensions lose their attraction. His soul finds peace in natural things.

Signs of God

The Indian writer Khwajah Hasan Nizami (1878¬1955) once wrote an article in Urdu entitled “Story of a Fly.” In it he complained to a fly about the bother it caused people. “Why don’t you let us sleep in peace?” he remonstrated. “The time for sleep and eternal repose has not yet come.” the fly replied. “When it does, then you can sleep in peace. Now it is better for you to remain alert and active.” This little exchange shows that if one, remains open to admonition, one will find a lesson for one’s life even in such mundane events as the buzz of a fly.

Salvation

What is the greatest issue facing man in this world? It is how to secure salvation in the life after death so that he may find his true abode and have a share in God’s eternal blessings. Every man who is born in this present world has to enter another world after death. In this world man was granted life’s opportunities as a matter of being tested by them. Whatever man receives in the next world will be purely on the basis of his deeds in this world. This means that in the world before death, man has been given a great number of things and opportunities, whether or not he deserved them.

The Rights of Human Beings

A believer has important responsibilities towards both God and man. His duty towards God means believing in Him with all His attributes, worshipping Him, regarding himself accountable to Him; and making himself ready to carry out wholeheartedly any such demands that God may make upon him. Another responsibility of the believer is one, which concerns the rights of human beings. This responsibility devolves upon him in his relations with others.

Religion of Peace

The Model World according to Islam is a world of peace. Islam in itself means a religion of peace. The Qur’an says: And God calls to the home of peace. This is the message of Islam to mankind. It means that ‘Build a world of peace on earth so that you may be granted a world of peace in your eternal life in the Hereafter’. Now what are the basic elements of building of a culture of peace, according to Islam? To be brief, these are three: compassion, forgiveness and respect for all. Let’s take compassion first.

The Quran

The Qur’an, the Book of God, enshrines the teachings which were basically the same as were to be found in previous revealed scriptures. But these ancient scriptures are no longer preserved in their original state. Later additions and deletions have rendered them unreliable, whereas the Qur’an, preserved in its original state, is totally reliable. The Qur’an has 114 chapters.

Purity of Body and Soul

A believer is a clean person. First of all faith cleanses his soul. Consequently his appearance becomes pure as well. His religious thinking makes him a person who loves cleanliness. A believer performs his ablutions before praying five times a day by washing his face, hands and feet. He takes a bath daily to purify his body. His clothes may be simple, but he always likes to wear well laundered clothes. Along with this he likes to keep his home clean. Therefore, he cleans his home daily and keeps all his things in their proper places. All these duties become part of his daily life.

Prophets in Every Age

The Qur’an testifies to the fact that God’s messengers came in every age and in every region. According to a hadith, more than one lakh messengers were sent to guide the people. However, the prophets mentioned by name in the Qur’an are two-dozen in number, the Prophet Muhammad being the last of them. In the past, the need for new prophets had always arisen because God’s religion, suffering from the vagaries of time, had frequently been distorted from its original form.