Summary of Islamic Obligations

Importance of Salat and the Five Pillars of Islam

Jumu`ah Khutba

Ramadan, 1419 – January 8, 1999

Fenton, Michigan

Alhamdulillah for the favor that Allah (swt) honored us with Islam, to be Muslims. To be Muslims is enough to be a pathway for us to Paradise, enough to at least put our first step in paradise.

Kalimat ash-Shahada

It is enough to say that you have reached the side of safety. When someone says that ‘I am a Muslim’ it means he or she accepted and admitted Kalimat at-Tawheed, Kalimat ash-Shahada, “ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah”.

To become a Muslim means accept the shahada, or else you are not a Muslim. By saying “I am a Muslim” you have passed the first level. Then you have to go to the second level. It means you have said, “O Allah I admit that you are the Creator and I am your slave.” Slave, not servant.

A servant is different from a slave: a servant is higher. That is a level that Allah did not give to anyone other than the Prophet (s). When he said subhan alladhi asra bi abdihi laylan min al-masjid al-haraam ila al-masjid al aqsa alladhee barakn hawlahu... – “Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts…”. [17: 2]

He called the Prophet (s) “`Abd“. He specified him with that title. To be a slave is a lower level, because our Islam is not yet perfect. We accept to say kalimat shahada, we accept Allah (swt) as our Lord and Prophet Muhammad (s) as our Messenger. Yet, we are not doing what is supposed to be done. To do what is supposed to be done is a very important aspect of Islam, it is the most… when you say shahada when you declare Kalimat at Tauheed – how many times are you obliged to say it per day, week, month year, or lifetime how many times. You can say Kalimat at-Tauheed one time, it is enough not to say it all the time. You don’t need to repeat it every time, once is enough to put you into the circle of Islam. So Kalimat at-Tauheed, the first pillar of Islam, can be said only once in the whole lifetime – it is obligatory to say it once.

The second pillar of Islam is iqamatu ‘s-salaat (establishing prayer). We will to it come later.

Poor due – Zakat

The third pillar is ita’uz-zakat. Who can, must do it once a year. And you cannot do it if you don’t have money. If you are poor and you did not make enough profit–a certain amount of money that goes from one year to another–you are not obliged to take out your zakat. It is an obligation fard to be done once a year for those who are obliged to give because they have made on their money, money from one year, min al hawli il al-hawli. But if you did not, then you are not obliged to give it. If there is a poor person who cannot find food for one day’s sustenance, you cannot expect him to have saved money on the side. This means some people will do it every year and some people will not do it. Who cannot afford to, is not obliged to do it.

Fasting – Siyam

Wa sawmu ramadan. Fasting, you are obliged to do it every year one time, for one month. And alhamdulillah Allah (swt) gave us this month to remember Him. And the Prophet (s) used to urge the Sahaba for `itikaf in the last 10 days of that month. And many Muslims around the world do `itikaf and they try to do their best to come closer to Allah (swt) and for Allah (swt) to be happy with us and to for us to be nearer to Him in this life, dunya, and the hereafter, akhira.

Fa man kana minkum mareedan aw `ala safarin fa `iddatun min ayyamin ukhar- (Fast) a certain number of days; and (for) him who is sick among you, or on a journey, (the same) number of other days; [2: 184]. In that case Allah gave you permission to fulfill them later. If someone is continuously sick then he is excused. It means you have to do it once a year, but some people if they cannot fast,they do not have to do it–Allah is relieving them, excusing them.

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