Why did Allah Almighty impose prayer, zakaah, fasting and Hajj?
Why does Allah Almighty impose acts of worship upon us? This question may seem to be strange or self-evident. This depends upon the angle that you intend to answer through. You may consider it an unthinkable question that has no answer because the reason for praying, fasting, zakat and Hajj is not subject to discussion. You may stop to think for a moment in front of this question and challenge to provide a convincing answer. You may just repeat the words of the preceding generations and scholars whom we call the Salaf «predecessors» without any attempt to reveal the mystery of the matter by yourself.
The Emirati researcher and thinker Ali Muhammad Al-Shurafa Al-Hammadi had another opinion. He did not just raise the question, but went over it to provide an answer through a deep research contained in the pages of his book «Muslims … between religious speech and the divine speech», published by “Al-Nokhba House for Publishing, Printing and Distribution”. The thinker said: “For the sake of principles, values and ethics, prayer, zakat, fasting and Hajj have been imposed. What the intellectuals and scholars have called or confined as the pillars have overlooked or ignored them as mere means of achieving higher purposes and objectives which are to promote the behavior of man and his attitudes with other people.
The whole set of practices and worship rituals such as prayer, fasting, zakat and Hajj are basically means that lead man to reach Islam, which is the total ethics mentioned in the holy Qur’an and confirmed by the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and the prophets before him. These ethics and these means are valuable can be understood through thinking of the verses of the holy Qur’an to recognize the divine objectives of education, charity, controlling persons against injustice, abuse of people and defamation of people motivated by authority, wealth, power or social status.
The purpose of studying, educating and charity is to worshiping Allah Almighty, activating the role of ethics in the human practices of the welfare of human society and the spreading good deeds on earth. Thus, people will achieve happiness when they spread mercy, justice, freedom and peace.
Surprisingly, what the scholars repeat and call for under the banner of the limited pillars of Islam is not found in the book of Allah; the holy Qur’an. There is no one single verse in the divine speech that limits the pillars of Islam. This clashes with the clear Qur’an concepts, when the ethics, principles and values of human beings are not included within the pillars of Islam, which are called for through the message of Islam, which Allah Almighty has revealed to His noble messenger.