Five pillars of Islamic faith
The five pillars of Islamic faith tend to be the five basic activities which are to be performed by the Muslims at least, once in their life. The two groups of the Shia and Sunni developed in the Muslims, both follow these activities, though Shia practice different names of the activities. These five pillars provide the Muslims with an ideology and framework for living a religious life and ensuring peace for his soul. These five pillars are, “Shahadah”, which means practicing faith; “Salah”, which means prayers; “Zakat”, which refers to Charity or almsgiving; “Sawm”, which refers to fasting and “Hajj”, which refers to the pilgrimage to Mecca (Abuznaid, 2006).
Body: Zakat (Charity)
Zakat, is an act of giving alms and charity to the needy. It has to be dome on the basis of the available wealth and hence, it is different for different person, depending on their income. It serves to be the third pillar of Islamic faith and is very important for everyone. It constitutes treating the poor with respect and providing them with some part of your earnings, so that, they can lead their life effectively and fulfil their daily needs.
This pillar of Islamic faith is such that it can be practiced during any time of the day throughout the year, unlike the other pillars which have specific time and occasion during which they are followed. Hence, this pillar serves to be unique and possess great importance for the Muslims all around the world. In this pillar, the word “Zakat” means purifying and growing through helping others to prosper and grow. It is not mandatory for all the Muslims to give the same amount of Charity. However, it has to be around 2.5% of the total earnings of the person. This has to be provided as per the availability and feasibility of the Muslims (Hodge, 2005).
The reason for explaining this act is that it promotes social wellbeing in the society It propagates that doing Social service is a part of an individual’s service to god. This form of social service includes removing the inequalities and help in overcoming economic problems faced by other people. While performing Zakat, there are five rules which are to be accomplished and they are:
Intention of the donator while providing the Zakat (Kochuyt, 2009),
• The donator has to provide his intentions before the god regarding the purpose of charity,
• It should be paid on the due date,
• On completion of this act, the provider should not carry publicity of the deeds.
• The main mode of payment is kindness. People who are not capable of providing financial help can achieve their act by practicing good will, good character and proper behavior with the other people.
• This act has to be carried for the community which was the source of income for the giver.
Thus, it can be seen that the act of charity, in the third pillar, is to support the poor and needy people in their community and other communities to lead a sustainable life. This is very important pillar as it involves the wellbeing of the entire human race.
Abuznaid, S., 2006. Islam and management: What can be learned?. Thunderbird International Business Review, , Volume 48(1), , pp. 125-139..
Hodge, D. R., 2005. Social work and the house of Islam: Orienting practitioners to the beliefs and values of Muslims in the United States.. Social Work, , 50(2), pp. 162-173..
Kochuyt, T., 2009. God, gifts and poor people: On charity in Islam.. Social Compass, , 56((1), .), pp. 98-116..