Pillars of Islam

Eid al-Azha: The Spirit of Sacrifice

Eid al-Azha, an annual festival of the Muslims, is celebrated in the last month of the Hijra calendar, that is, Zulu Hajji. Muslims from all over the world gather at Makkah to celebrate Hajj in the month of Zulu Hajji.

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

In Arabic, Eid literally means 'returning at regular intervals'. The fact that they occur in a regular cycle is important, for it gives a repeated opportunity for renewal, to forgive enemies, and contact people one has not seen for a long time. Although there are several special times in the Islamic calendar, there are really only two religious festivals. These are Eid al-Fitr and Eidul Adha.

The Inner Reality of Fasting

The month of Ramzan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. The Qur’an makes special mention of its revelation in the month of Ramadan, while making it obligatory upon the followers. This indicates that there is a close link between Ramadan and the Qur’an. In the words of the Qur’an:

In the month of Ramadan the Qur’an was revealed, a book of guidance with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong. Therefore whoever of you is present in that month let him fast. But he who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. (2:185)

What is Faith?

The essence of faith is ma‘arifah, (realization or discovery of God). When a man consciously seeks out and finds God, and thereby has access to divine realities that is what constitutes faith.

This discovery is no simple matter. God is the Creator and Owner of all things. He will award or punish all, according to their deeds; none is free from His grip. The discovery of such a God shakes to the core of the whole life of man. His thinking is revolutionized, for God becomes the centre of all His emotions.

Islam in the 21st Century

The 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries saw a revolution in the mind. Under the influence of science, man believed that knowledge was very much within his reach and he could build his world. That changed by the end of the century when he realised that science could give but a partial knowledge of reality. And limited knowledge was an insufficient basis to construct an ideology.

The Universality of Islam

Islam dates back to the year 610 AD. At that time there lived in the Arabian town of Yathrib (later known as Medina) two tribes – the Aws and the Khazraj – who were constantly at war with each other. However, when they be¬came aware of the truth of the religion revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, and entered the fold of Islam, they stopped fighting altogether, and these once deadly enemies now became close allies.

Islam and Social Relations

What are the teachings of Islam on the subject of the multi-religious society? When Islam is studied with this question in mind, we find clear and consistent commandments for all social interaction. In chapter 109 of the Quran, the Prophet is enjoined to address non-Muslims thus: “I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship. You have your own religion, and I have mine.”

The Essential Guide to Society

The Quran leads us to true guidance. It says, “God is He besides Whom there is no god, the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting by Whom all subsist; slumber does not overtake Him nor sleep; whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His; who is he that can intercede with Him but by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He wills. His knowledge encompasses the heavens and the earth, and the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Great.

What is an Islamic Society?

The God sought out by one believer is that very same God sought out by other believers. Just as one believer's life is governed by what he imagines his fate will be in the Hereafter, so are the lives of other believers lived out ac¬cording to the same principles. This being so, how is it at all possible for one believer to come into conflict with another? It is an unfortunate fact that good has been pitted against evil in the world – and every believer knows this full well ¬– for the companions of Satan are free to act in whatever manner they choose.