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Sayings of Prophet Muhammad
may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him

The Pillars of Islam and The Pillars of Faith

Arkan al-Islam, Arkan al-Iman and Ihsaan
Sayyidina 'Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: One day when we were with Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) a man with very white clothing and very black hair came up to us. No mark of travel was visible on him and none of us recognized him. Sitting down besides the Prophet (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him), leaning his knees against his, and placing his hands on his thighs, he said, "Tell me, Muhammad, about Islam."

He replied, 'Islam means that you should testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger, that you observe the prayer, pay the zakah, fast during Ramadan, and make the pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to go." He said, "You have spoken the truth". We were surprised at his questioning him and then declaring that he spoke the truth.

He said, "Now tell me about Iman (faith)." He replied, "It means that you should believe in Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted), His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the last day, and that you should believe in the decreeing both of good and evil."

Remarking that he had spoken the truth, he then said, "Now tell me about Ihsaan (doing good)." He replied, "It means that you should worship Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted) as though you saw Him, for He sees you though you do not see Him."

He said, "Now tell me about the Hour." He replied, "The one who is asked about it is no better informed than the one who is asking." He said, "Then tell me about its signs." He replied, "That a maidservant should beget her mistress, and that you should see barefooted, naked, poor men and shepherds exalting themselves in buildings."

(Sayyidina 'Umar) said: He then went away, and after I had waited for a long time, (the Prophet) said to me, "Do you know who the questioner was, 'Umar?" I replied, "Allah (The Glorified and the Exalted) and His Messenger know best." He said, "He was Jibril (peace be upon him) who came to teach you your religion." (Muslim)

Arkan-al-Islam
On the authority of Mu'adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I said: O Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) tell me of an act that will take me into Paradise and will keep me away from Hell-fire. He said: You have asked me a major matter, yet it is easy for him for whom Allah Almighty (The Glorified and the Exalted) makes it easy. You should worship Allah associating nothing with him; you perform the prayers; you should pay zakat; you should fast in the month of Ramadan; and you should make the pilgrimage to the House.

Then he said: Shall I not show you the gates of goodness? Fasting (which) is a shield; charity (which) extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire, and the praying of a man in the depths of the night. Then he recited:

"Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend (benevolently) of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden from them - as a reward for their good deeds." *

Then he said: Shall I not tell you of the peak of the matter, its pillar and its topmost part? I said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: The peak of the matter is Islam; the pillar is prayer; and its top most part is jihad. Then he said: Shall I not tell you of the controlling of all that? I said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah, and he took hold of his tongue and said: Restrain this. I said: O Prophet of Allah, will what we say be held against us? He said: May your mother be bereaved of you, Mua'adh! Is there anything that topples people on their faces - or he said on their noses - into Hell-fire other than the harvests of their tongues? (Tirmidhi)

* Qur'an: Chapter 32, verses 16-17. In the original Arabic, as is often the practice with a long quotation from the Qur'an, only the intial words and the final word or words are given.

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