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The Five Pillars of Islam. How are Muslims expected to follow God’s will? What is the significance of the Five Pillars of Islam?. Sawm. Again it is a spiritual exercise in obedience to God and in appreciation of His blessings. It is a social exercise of feeling with the poor and needy.

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the five pillars of islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

How are Muslims expected to follow God’s will?

What is the significance of the Five Pillars of Islam?

  • Again it is a spiritual exercise in obedience to God and in appreciation of His blessings.
  • It is a social exercise of feeling with the poor and needy.
  • It is a unifying exercise- unity and equality among all Muslims going through the same thing at the same time.

It is also a moral exercise, strengthening a person's will and giving them self-control.

  • It is a physical exercise, helping a person to bear hunger and thirst.
  • Sawm is fasting in the month of Ramadan from just before dawn til sunset
  • Ramdan recalls the time when the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) and when Allah looks with special favour on his creation
  • During Ramadan, all healthy adul Muslims are required to fast during daylight hours. This is the part of each day when a white thread can be distinguish from a black thread
  • The rules are strict: nothing must pass the lips, no food, drink, gum and no smoke from cigarettes. Unintentional breaking rules, such as accidently swallowing water when taking a shower is excused.
  • Children under the age of puberty, menstruating women, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the elderly, the sick, travellers and soldiers are exempt.
  • Days missed need to be made up later and those not fasting should give food to the poor
before fast
Before fast
  • Suhur is an extra meal which is sometimes eatern before daylight when Ramadan falls in long summer days.
  • Each day, before the fast begins Muslims make a statement of intention:
  • ‘O God, I intent to fast today in obedience to your command and only to seek your pleasure.’
breaking fast
Breaking fast
  • The prayer before breaking the fast is:
  • ‘O God! For your sake we have fasted and now we break the fast with food you have given us’
  • Muhammad (pbuh) broke his fast with a few dares or a drink and most Muslim follow this example. This is Iftar.In the evening, after prayer pf maghrib the family joins together for a meal.
  • As well as the usual five daily prayers there is an extra ‘salah’ called tarawih, performed after the ‘Isha’ prayer.
  • Eid-ul-Fitr is the first day of the month of Shawwal and celebrates the successful conclusion of Ramdan. Eid begins when the new moon appears, signifying the start of a new month.
aims of sawm
Aims of sawm
  • Develop self control and overcome selfishness
  • Restrain passion and appetite
  • Prepare of real suffering that may be faced later in life
  • Feel sympathy for the poor
  • Gain spiritual strength
  • Companionship (shared ‘ordeals’)
what does the qur an say
What does the Qur’an say?
  • O believers, you must fast so that you may learn self-restraint. Fasting is prescribed for you during a fixed number of days’

Surah 2:18-4

  • How does the Ramadan fast draw Muslims together?
  • When would a person’s fast be of no value?
diary entry
Diary Entry
  • Write a diary entry as a Muslim going through a day in Ramadan.
  • Include as much detail as possible ie. Prayers, whats allowed, not allowed, how you feel which parts of the day are most difficult and why
  • Zakat means purification for a person purifies his or her possessions by paying a part of them each year.
  • It amounts to two and a half percent of one's savings to be given each year to help the poor, unfortunate and the needy.
  • Zakah began in Al-Madinah where there were widows and orphans to be looked after. Muslims see wealth as a gift from Allah which is for the benefit of humanity and it should be shared.
  • Wealth is a sign of brotherhood and unity and benefits the givers as it frees them from greed, selfishness, materialism and hypocrisy and helps their spiritual needs.

All Muslims with sufficient means must give two and a half per cent of their income and savings each year. (after they have taken care of their families) to the needy and for community projects.

  • Zakah helps the poor materially but also spiritually as it purifies them because it frees them from the temptation to be jealous and resentful
  • The rules of Zakah are complex and there is a cut off point do that the poor, who need everything they have in order to survive pay nothing.
zakah and sadaqah
Zakah and Sadaqah
  • Muslims can also make sadaqah, voluntary contributions at any time.
  • The money from zakah cannot be used for the upkeep of a mosque so it is distributed to help the local needy or sent to Muslim aid organisations.
  • Zakah is paid annually each lunar year often just before the festival Eid-ul-Fitr when the fast is finishing
what does the qur an say1
What does the Qur’an say?
  • "Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and wisdom
  • (Surah 9:60)
your calculations
Your calculations
  • Income - Wages
  • Outgoings
    • Rent/Mortgage
    • Electric/Gas
    • Water
    • Council Tax
    • Travel expenses
    • Food
    • Phone
  • Excess = Income-Outgoing
  • Zakah = 2.5% Excess
  • Research a Muslim Aid Organisation and find out how they benefit from Zakah
but which is the most important
BUT….. Which is the most important?

In your pairs come up with a convincing argument as to why your pillar is the most important.

You must say: How do Muslims benefit from that pillar? How easy/difficult they are to achieve? Should it be difficult to achieve? Does this pillar bring any advantages/ disadvantages Muslims?

You need to write a short comparison of the Five Pillars with the structure you made at the beginning.

You might like to think about these questions. Apply the answers to both Islam and your structures.

  • What happens if the foundations are weak?
  • What happened as more pillars were taken away?
  • Were all the pillars equally as important?
  • Does more pillars equal better stability?