Analysis Of The Five Pillars As A Guide For Muslims

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Submission to the will of Allah is unquestionably central to the life of a practising adherent whether they are Shiite or Sunni. Through the Articles of Faith and the Five Pillars, Muslims are guided on righteous practices, however, through the practice of Hajj and the writings of Sayyid Qutb an adherent is able to practice and learn about these teachings of the centrality of Allah and how to reach Salvation through Allah, as he “is indeed the All Forgiving, the All-Compassionate’. (Qur’ān, 24:53)

The belief of Tawhid is fundamental to Islam, as is reflected in the entirety of Hajj as well as the teachings of scholar Sayyid Qutb. Hajj is a pilgrimage concealed in the foundation of the Islamic tradition of the Five Pillars. It involves a spiritual, mental and physical journey to Mecca that each Muslim is expected to make in their lifetime as ‘pilgrimage hereto is a duty men owe to Allah’ (Quran 3:19). Hajj is designed to unify all Muslims through prayer and ‘is a platform for unity among Muslims and seeking forgiveness from Allah’ (Mubarak hadith). This intense expression of Ummah unites Muslims under one common cause, Tawhid. The right of Tawaf celebrated in Hajj encapsulates the belief of Tawhid by establishing a symbolic connection to the oneness of Allah. Muslims journey to the Ka’ba and circle’ round it seven times to awaken their consciousness that Allah is the centre of their reality and the source of all meaning in their life as “the All Forgiving, the All-Compassionate. (Qur’ān, 24:53)”. While they circulate Sunni’s and Shiites chant the Talbiyah ‘here I am, Oh God, at your command’ to affirm their commitment to Allah and put him at the forefront of their thoughts and actions. Hajj reminds adherents that they are servants of Allah and are at the mercy of his will demonstrating the immense extent submission to Hakimiyyah Allah has to the life of a Muslim.

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The belief of Tawhid is fundamental in the teachings of Sayyid Qutb. Qutb is credited for bringing the Ummah away from jahiliyyah by denouncing shrik and bringing them towards Hakimiyyah Allah by promoting Shari’a law as State Law. Qutb articulated, through his writings an Islamic worldview based on Tawhid and how Allah must be the focal point. In Milestones he proclaimed ‘Islam cannot accept or agree to a situation which is half-Islam and half- Jahiliyya’. Qutb’s infamous writing Milestones is framed by two concepts that circulate Tawhid, jahiliyyah and hakimiyyah. Ignorant people (jahiliyyah) are worshipping an object (shirk) rather than submitting to the highest authority (hakimiyyah Allah) ‘To live in the shade of the Qur’an is a blessing which can only be fully appreciated by those that experience it’ (Qutb). His writings contain his philosophies and theories and became a source of Modern Islamic school of thought commonly known as Qutbism. He drew on suras from the Quran such as “Surely God forgives all sins. He is indeed the All Forgiving, the All-Compassionate.” (Qur’ān, 24:53) to explain the power and centrality of Allah to Muslims. It is through these writings that Qutb was able to reach the wide Islamic community and communicate a way to bring the religion back to pure Islam that would be run on strictly Quranic grounds, casting off jahiliyyah. Qutb, through his writing reminded Muslims the importance of submission to Allah in an adherent’s life which is now practiced in the everyday actions of a Muslim.

Through Hajj, participating Muslims of all variants are able to simulate the Day of Judgement, seeking forgiveness from Allah. Arafat is widely considered the most important ritual for adherents as it simulates Qiyama and is fundamental to spiritual purification. During Arafat participating adherents seek forgiveness from Allah as it is understood through the Quran that Allah is merciful if you repent, “O My servants who have been wasteful against their own souls! Do not despair of God’s Mercy. Surely God forgives all sins.” (Qur’ān, 24:53). This essential stage forces Muslims to acknowledge the absolute power of Allah in determining our fate as well as the necessity of submitting in order to reach salvation. As it is salvation a Muslim strives towards, they must take every action with the knowledge that the angels (Mala’ika) are writing down all good and bad deeds for Allah so he can determine whether they are worthy of Salvation. The significance of Arafat is exemplified through beloved Holy Prophet (S.A.W) who stated, “Hajj is halting at Arafat’. This captures the cruciality of this ritual in seeking Allah’s forgiveness through submission.

The central belief of Al- Akhira through Qiyama is greatly taught through Qutb’s writings that was inspired by the belief in Kutubu’llah. It is in Qutbs influential writing, ‘In the Shade of the Qur’an, that Qutb was able to rewrite and reinterpreted the Quran to inspire and guide modern day adherents as to how Allah wanted us to live our lives, successfully bringing Muslims back to a pure, Hakimiyyah Islam that is at “God’s Mercy” (Qur’ān, 24:53). Although being a Sunni Muslim, he’s writings are not limited to the variant and are influential to Shiite Muslims as well. ‘In the Shade of the Qur’an’ provided principals for living as a Muslims and reprised the importance of the Quran in the everyday life of an adherent. His writings provided a view on how a Muslim must live in preparation for Al- Akhira, making Allah the core of anything a Muslim does as Muslims submit to Allah in the hopes of reaching Al- Akhira as Qutb preached.

It is through Hajj and the writings of Qutb that a Muslim understands the unquestionable centrality of Allah in their life. The articles of faith and the five pillars have guided these actions, however, it is the celebration of Allah and the need for his forgiveness that in seen through Hajj and the writings of Qutb that enacts and demonstrates Allah anchored need in the Sunni, Shiite and all other Muslim variants life.


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