Concept Behind the Five Basic Duties of Islam; In comparison with todays'

(Tajammal Hussain Ahmar, Lahore)

As all of we know this fact that ALLAH has not created anything without any reason. He is the mastermind of the universe and has made everything in the very favor of His most beautiful creation; the man. He assigned us five basic duties as a Muslim and in fact not assigned rather gifted these in order to get His blessings. Behind these duties the basic concept was not only to let people perform these for the sake of performance but behind every duty there was a concept and at the end which was again for the benefit of mankind and not for ALLAH. All of us being Muslims are well familiarized by these five basic duties, namely Oneness of ALLAH, salat, fasting, hajj, zakat, since our childhood.

Now coming to the concepts behind these and how we are taking these now days. The Oneness of ALLAH, a belief that is holding the complete faith and religion of a person as a base. The concept behind this as a duty was to make people realize that the supreme power is ALLAH and one can have fulfilled his desires only by Him. No one else is there to help you in need. Belief in Him as the only friend around you was the basic concept behind this duty. But how we are taking it? We have completely changed the concept of this duty and faith. When we are in desire to get our things done, we approach all our contacts and at the end when we are unable to get any help from our public relationships then we ask Him. We take His help at the last. We grade the supreme and ultimate power as the least.
Second basic duty, the salat, was gifted to Muslims by ALLAH on mairaj of our Holy prophet (P.B.U.H). The basic concept behind the salat in mosque was to make people socialize. When people offer prayer in mosque five times a day, they get to know about their neighbors, they get to know about the condition of the person standing besides him that whether he has eaten something or not, whether he is in need or not. But, what we have done for this concept? Firstly we don’t even bother to go to mosques except Fridays and if we go then we are not even aware of the person who is standing besides us. We are now that much busy in our lives and businesses that we have no time for bowing before the Creator who has bestowed us all of these things.

The third basic duty is fasting; to be hungry for whole day was not only the concept behind it. The concept was to let us know that how a poor person feels when he is in hunger, when he is thirsty, to make us know about the feelings of a poor hungry person. Also the concept was to make ourselves morally and ethically good because fasting is useless if we are unable to stop our hands and tongues from bad deeds and vulgar language. We have completely modified the concept. We eat in morning and in evening that very much, that we are not able to even see any eatable before us. Secondly, we have no concerns about the feelings of others and use the same routine language and same bad deeds in fasting as before.

The fourth basic duty of Islam is hajj or the pilgrimage. The basic concept behind this was to make yourself uneasy and let yourself engaged in journey for ALLAH, who has given you power and all benefits. Then offer prayers in Mecca and Medina. But what we use to do is that we need every luxury there. We need luxury apartments, air conditioned cars and we want to enjoy every facility there.

The last basic duty of Islam is Zakat. This was a duty binding to every Muslim who has got a certain extent of assets. He has to give a form of tax to government every year. The basic concept was that by doing so we can circulate the money in society, the main theme of economics, and help the poor people to meet their requirements and also the benefit was that our money gets purified by doing so. What we take it now days is a burden on our shoulders and as we try to avoid other taxes, we engage auditors to avoid zakat also. We have no concern about the lower class of our society who needs our help.

So, as we have seen what was the concept behind the duties assigned by Islam and how we are taking these now days. There is an urgent need to make ourselves realize that what we are behaving and reacting for our duties can never lead us to the right path. These duties assigned are not burdens but are for our own benefit as an individual, as a Muslim and as a nation.

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16 Mar, 2009
About the Author: Tajammal Hussain Ahmar

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