Summary of Islamic Obligations

Salat includes your zakat–not 2½ percent but 100% percent. Because when you work and make money and go from one year to another year you are only obliged to give 2 ½ percent of the profit–not the capital. You are going to give on what you have profit.

Out of your capital and it is 2½ percent. Whatever you have of jewelry and gold or any kind of savings is money on which you must give 2½ percent, from one year to another. But in salat you do not only give that. Because when you work you are spending time to go work five; six; eight hours a day making money, saving and then paying 2 ½ percent.

In salat you are giving your whole time to Allah swt. If you make ten dollars in one hour; if you spend one hour in salat, it is as if you are giving the entire ten dollars, not just 2 ½ percent. And the ten dollars might be spent and won’t last for one year and you don’t pay any zakat on it, but the salat you are giving. You are giving the entire amount so it is in a geometrical multiplication that increases from 2½ percent to 100%. That is real zakat! You are giving everything that belongs to you. And the most important thing that belongs to you is when Allah gave you the body and this spirit–you are giving to Allah (swt) you are giving to Allah’s will.

Salat as Siyam

Second in salat you are holding your tongue from eating, drinking, backbiting, speaking. Not only your tongue, but your whole body from touching. Because in siyam a man cannot approach his wife or vice versa, because it is not allowed. Eating is not allowed. In salat you cannot do anything like that. In siyam you can fast but you can also speak. In salat it is more you fast you cannot speak and you cannot approach your spouse. That is a higher level of fasting that is included in salat.

Visiting Ka`aba

The last pillar of Islam is hajj. In your prayer it is as if you are making pilgrimage five times a day. When you direct yourself to the qiblah as soon as you say “Allahu Akbar.”

Even in Mecca near the end of the renovation of al-Haram ash-Sharif, you could not see the Ka`aba. And from outside Mecca you cannot see the Ka`aba. Anywhere in Mecca even you cannot see the Ka`aba. From outside Mecca you can face the Ka’aba [without seeing it] and in Mecca and in the haram you might face it without seeing it.

As if you are going on a trip through your salat because hajj is to visit the Holy Ka`aba.  Ziyarat al Ka’aba al-musharrafah.

The most important pillar (rukn) of hajj is to be in the Holy House, al-Baytu ‘l-haraam. So the most important thing for us is when we say “Allahu Akbar“, is to see it through our hearts, through our mind, through every cell of our body and with every drop of our blood. EVERYTHING is saying “Allahu Akbar” in the presence of the Ka’aba, the House of Allah (swt) on earth, which Allah wanted people to face and direct themselves toward. Allah knows what kind of secrets and tajalli are there. So in your prayer it is as if you are directing yourself by disconnecting with the dunya and facing the Ka`aba. So it as if you have gone there for hajj.

So in salat you find all the five pillars of Islam. That is why you cannot be excused from leaving one prayer, else there will be heavy punishment. If you want heavy punishment that is up to you. If you want to save yourself, then Oh, Muslims let us keep our connection with Islam tight!

Wrapping it all up

Islam is five pillars. The Prophet (s) wrapped all of them, shahada, salah, zakat, siyam and hajj with two cords: iman bil-ghayb, belief in the Unseen, and the state of ihsan – perfected character. These five pillars, which every Muslim performs, cannot be perfected without first tying up salat, prayer. That is because prayer includes all five pillars. One cannot perform the prayer properly when one’s heart is dirty and damaged – when one’s faith is damaged. It must be wrapped like a gift. When you look at a present, wrapped nicely from outside, it looks very pleasing, and when you open it, it is also very pleasing. So how are you presenting your prayers to Allah (swt) when your heart is not clean? Cleanliness of the heart by means of attaining the state of Iman and then the state of Ihsan is very essential. We will continue about that, insha-Allah another time.


Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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