Obligations Upon a Muslim in Islam 16th August, 2018
As we near the time of Qurbani once again, it is important for us to take some time out to remember our Islamic beliefs and values, what is obligatory upon us and what more we can do to make us better Muslims in order to better our Hereafter.
In Islam, there are five key commitments each and every Muslim has to take in order to accept Islam. These commitments are core to being a Muslim and are known as the five pillars of Islam. They consist of the key obligations required of all Muslims.
These pillars are as follows:
Shahadah means the declaration of one’s faith - the most crucial aspect of being a Muslim is to acknowledge and declare that there is no God but Allah (SWT) and Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah (SWT).
Salah is the act of performing daily prayers five times a day and is a form of communication between a Muslim and their Lord.
Zakat is a form of charity which is calculated by a percentage of a Muslim’s profitable wealth in order to determine an annual contribution towards those in need. This act goes a long way toward promoting equality amongst us all. Zakat is obligatory upon those Muslims who have a certain amount of disposable wealth above the current year’s nisab value which is usually calculated by the value of gold and silver.
Sawm is the act of fasting, particularly during the Holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims worldwide partake in the act of fasting from sunrise to sunset. The month of Ramadan is known as one of the most auspicious months in the Islamic calendar and consists of the Night of Power – the very night that the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an was sent down to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) as guidance for all mankind. This night, also known as Laylatul Qadr, occurs during the final ten nights of the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is an incredibly spiritual and purifying month for all Muslims; it teaches us and disciplines us on how we should generally be every day as Muslims and not just during this blessed month. It goes a long way towards teaching us compassion for others, humility and selflessness.
Hajj is known as the annual pilgrimage which takes place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during the month of Dhull Hijjah. Amongst many acts and rituals, it involves the encircling of the Holy Ka’aba.
Hajj is obligatory upon all financially, mentally and physically able Muslims and must be performed at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime. Every year, millions of Muslims gather around the Holy Ka’aba to perform this obligation and will do so once again, this year.
This year, Hajj 2018 falls around the 19th of August. One of the key elements of this pilgrimage is the wearing of ihram, or plain clothing, which signifies equality in the eyes of our Lord – regardless of worldly standing or financial or political status. This reminds us that we all came into this world with nothing; nothing in this world belongs to us and we will all leave with absolutely nothing.
The pilgrimage of Hajj is concluded with the festival of Eid-ul-Adha, also known as Hajj Eid or Qurbani Eid. This day primarily commemorates the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) was prepared to carry out in his love and devoutness for Allah (SWT).
Eid-ul-Adha means the major feast of sacrifice and all Muslims who are not partaking in the annual pilgrimage that year will begin the day of Eid-ul-Adha by waking early and performing ghusl (ablution). Following this, they will make their way to their local Mosque in order to join and recite the Eid salah (prayers). Following these prayers, the act of Qurbani is performed. In many wealthy countries, such as here in the UK, many Muslims choose to donate their Qurbani via a trusted Islamic charity, such as Islamic Help, to ensure their Qurbani sacrifice goes towards helping those most in need around the world.
The rest of the day is spent congratulating and wishing each other ‘Eid Mubarak’ (blessed Eid), enjoying a large feast with family, friends and loved ones and giving gifts to children.
With Eid-ul-Adha now almost upon us, it is time to donate your Qurbani with a trusted charity. Islamic Help has been distributing your Qurbani donations since 2003 with a view to help empower those in need and promote an equal world, free from poverty and hunger.
Bar the five obligatory commitments of a Muslim, there are also other characteristics we should adopt into our lives as Muslims. Islam teaches us about compassion, empathy, equality, helping others and the importance of keeping humble. It is important that we remember to adopt these traits and implement them into our daily lives. An act as small as smiling at a stranger is classed as charity in Islam.
Let’s remember that what we have been given in this world only has material value and none of our worldly possessions will matter in the long run. This is further confirmed in the attire of Hajj, the ihram, which clarifies that we all come with nothing and leave with nothing but a simple white unstitched cloth – we will not be buried with our big, lavish houses, expensive cars or the contents of our bank account. At the end of it all, none of it will matter aside from the weight of our good and bad deeds.
What we have been given in this world and whatever wealth we have been blessed with is a test from Allah (SWT) and we are required to share if we have any wealth in excess of our basic needs. This is the primary reason why the poor exist – as a test for the rest of us.
So, as Hajj 2018 draws closer, whether you are one of the lucky ones embarking upon the Holy pilgrimage or not, let’s work together to help eradicate poverty in the world – be it through donating Qurbani this Eid-ul-Adha, giving your annual zakat, helping towards emergency campaigns, volunteering your time or signing up to a charity project that resonates with you.
If we all did a little more to help our fellow civilians in need round the world, the world would be a poverty-free place. Donate your Qurbani for as little as £25 with Islamic Help and ensure all our brothers and sisters in need around the world can also sit down to a nice meal this Eid.