There are a number of topics that have been common among Muslims and have been transmitted over the past centuries as unquestionable topics that must be followed without revision or verification. Amongst these topics is that the main pillars of Islam are limited only on (reciting that there is no Allah Almighty but Allah and that Mohammed is His prophet, prayer, zakat, fasting and pilgrimage). They considered these elements as an entire faith of Islam in itself and did not consider the principles they call for.
The religious scholars who have abbreviated Islam in what they call the five pillars have not bothered themselves to define the true pillars of Islam that were mentioned in the verses of the Holy Quran.
The ancient advocates of Islam have transferred to us the human devotions that have transformed the means the (religious rites) into objectives. Thus, people have abandoned the origin of the religion and its supreme goals, which the Qur’an calls for. These true goals embodies the true Islam that the Prophet Muhammad and the prophets before him had brought, including the noble morals and values to create peaceful societies in which justice, mercy, freedom and cooperation are achieved among their members and enjoy what Allah Almighty has given them of different sorts of wealth and riches to live in a prosperous and a dignified life full of security, prosperity and peace.
For these reasons, Muslims today lack much of the ethics and humanitarian principles. Most of them pray, fast and perform Hajj, but their behavior is not compatible with Islam because of their belief that these rituals and worship performances are the goal while the human morals and principals are not of the basics or pillars of Islam.
But the truth is that all practices and worship rituals of prayer, fasting, Zakat and Hajj are the means that must help the person to achieve Islam and the morals that were mentioned in the holy Qur’an and were called for by Prophet Muhammad and the Prophets before him. These true pillars include studying the Qur’an to know the purposes of Allah Almighty in education and justice. The true pillars include not being unfair to other individuals depending on power, wealth, authority or social status.
What the clerics and religious men repeat about the limited pillars of Islam is not mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. The scholars depended on the Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, attributed to Ibn Omar ibn al-Khattab: (I heard the Messenger of Allah says: (the faith of Islam is built on five: the testimony that there is no God but Allah, and that Mohammed is His messenger, the performance of prayer, the giving of Zakat, pilgrimage to the holy mosque and fasting in the month of Ramadan).
This is the basis upon which those who limit the pillars of Islam depend on. They limited the pillars of Islam in the rituals of worship. This narration turned to specify the features of religion as a whole. With this narration, they demolished an entire approach of the holy Qur’an that aims at achieving human happiness through the laws that is derived from the Islamic legislation to regulate the social relations between people and codify civil relationships and advocacy for virtue and morality in dealing with people and to protect the society from abuse of rights and property.
Although the origin in the Islamic religion is based on justice, morality and humanitarian principles, this narration comes to say the opposite. This narration reduces the pillars of Islam in the practices and rituals of worship, if established by the individual then he is a good Muslim even if he was a thief or a liar or even a murderer, as long as the has carried out these rituals.
The Holy Quran has defined the characteristics of Islam for its mission to humanity, which shows the truth of the message, saying: “Conformity of life and conduct in divine law for righteous living does not simply mean turning your faces at prayer toward the east or the west, but it entails adherence to principles serving as the basis of Allah’s system of faith and worship. It entails that you believe in Allah and in the Day of Judgement with faithful hearts, that you entertain with profound reverence the belief on ground of Authority in Allah’s, spiritual beings, attendants and Messengers, that you solemnly consent to Allah’s Books revealed to His Prophets and to the Prophets themselves, that you spend of your wealth in benevolence and benefaction on the poor among your kindred, on the orphans, on those in need and on the wayfarer who has no means of transportation, on those who make a request for aid in times of difficulty or distress and on redeeming and setting free servants who are completely divested of freedom and personal rights, that you engage in the act of appropriate worship, that you give zakat for zakat is the vehicle of prayer, that you fulfil the promise when you make one and that you exercise patience when befallen with a misfortune and the distress of warfare against enemies. These are the ones who have characterized themselves with virtuous qualities and stand true in Allah’s honour and these are the ones who entertain the profound reverence dutiful to Him.” Al Baqara: 177
So, when we think of the Book of Allah Almighty we find clearly that Islam is based on morality. The rituals of worship are only means to help us achieving the complete unification, the moral purity, the self-purification and the self-elevation.
The objective of Prayer is to prevent individuals from saying and doing bad things. The objective of zakat is to help the poor and purifies the soul of immorality. Zakat is a great worship that is always coupled with prayer, as the verse says: “Pay reverence and veneration to Me, and duly engage in worship and give zakat (alms), for zakat is but a vehicle of prayer, and bow the knees with those who bow their knees to Me in reverence and adoration” Al-Baqara: 43
By performing obedience to Allah Almighty, the human being is assured that Allah will compensate him for what he has spent and make sure of his trust in the promises of Allah that Allah Almighty will not deprive of any of His creation. Also, zakat cleanses the soul of the fear of lack of money to insure that our god who gave us in the past will not abandon us in the future. The Hajj to the holy mosque in Mecca aims at proving equality amongst all people from all parts of the world. They are all equal in clothing and housing. The king, the rich, the poor, the strong and the weak, there is no important, rich or king other than Allah Almighty. The Hajj to the House of Allah Almighty aims at achieving acquaintance between Muslims to achieve the interests and benefits of all Muslims, where Allah Almighty says ((«They shall be eager to respond to your call to observe facts and events considered a source of knowledge, and to participate in the intercourse of life and envisage the spiritual and the deeply moving sacred events and associations dating back as the most ancient times.» «And they will extoll and proclaim the glorious attributes of Allah throughout the predetermined days in appreciation of Allah’s blessings, and be impelled to the feeling of gratitude and gratefulness for what He provided for them of cattle for sacrifice, and to fulfill what He has enjoined» Thus: «Eat there from if you may and feed the indigent and the needy who are in need of Zakat (alms) ») Hajj 28.)
As for fasting in the month of Ramadan, it is an obligation to obey Allah Almighty and train the soul to control the desires and prevent individuals from all the pleasures of life to worship Allah Almighty, and to be virtuous in practicing tolerance with people and not taking people’s money unfairly. A Muslim should be honest, loyal and respect his promises so as to be a real servant of Allah who hurry to do good deeds and good actions.
All rituals and worship performances are means to achieve those moral goals. The faith of Islam is centered on the high ethics called for by the Holy Qur’an; the same ethics were called for by the prophets who were committed to them until Prophet Muhammad came as the last of the prophets and messengers.
Allah Almighty commands Muslims to expand their good deeds, cooperate in goodness and reform among the people, help those in need, remove harm from the oppressed, not to help the oppressors, and follow the path of justice and defend human rights.
We confirm that the campaigns targeting the nation intellectually and ideologically started from the narrations and the Israeli tales to prevent the progress of the Islamic nation and to engage Muslims in believing the narrations. These narrations have caused Muslims to be divided into sects, groups and parties fighting each other, while we read in the Holy Qur’an that the Prophet is a mercy for the entire world: (We did not send you O Muhammad for a reason other than to symbolize, and serve as an embodiment of mercy which Allah has extended to all His creatures) Al-Anbiyaa 107, and then we do not see this mercy amongst Muslims.
We read that the Qur’an is to be recited by people where the Almighty says: (Indeed, those who recite Allah’s Book -to themselves or to an audience- – from memory or by reading and in an appropriate manner- and observe their act of worship and do spend of what We bestowed on them of Our bounty in Allah’s cause and in benevolence secretly and openly must expect a satisfying return for the commerce they have between Allah and themselves and in their intercourse in the affairs of life.) “Fatir 29”
Then we do not see Muslims reciting the Qur’an and do not think about the wise advices and teachings and do not think about the creation of the heavens and the earth. They do not utilize the verses of the holy Qur’an to make the required laws that help in regulating the life of the Islamic societies with legislation that control the behavior of individuals.
The divine command came to encourage cooperation on righteousness and piety and non-cooperation in sin and transgression, and that the honored people with Allah Almighty are the righteous individuals. It is those individuals whose deeds and worship are accepted by Allah Almighty. Therefore, we affirm that the non-Muslim individual who achieves the qualities of piety and good treatment with people and non-aggression is honored by Allah Almighty than a false Muslim clergyman who commits evil deeds, is unfair with others or does not fear Allah Almighty and does not fear punishment on the day of reckoning.
The pillars of Islam which are prayers, zakat, fasting and Hajj are means of reminding individuals of these divine legislations and the values and principles mentioned by Allah Almighty in the Qur’an, which a person must adhere to in sayings and deed. A Muslim should performs the rituals of worship and does good deeds so he will achieve happiness in this life and the afterlife.