At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2006, Eid al-Adha will begin on approximately December 31st, and will last for three days. During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. One of Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his “sacrifice” had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.
Since the pagan festival of Christmas, celebrated by the Trinitarian polytheists, is fast approaching on the 25th of December, we would like on this occassion present a fatawa (Islamic ruling) for the Muslims with regard to celebrating their festival or even congratulating them. It should be noted that the Christians believe that Jesus is literally God, hence to participate or even greet them is to agree with their doctrine. Therefore Muslims should be aware of the boundaries with regard to Christmas and how one should approach it.
Prayer (salat) is the first duty imposed by God Almighty upon mankind after that of the belief in tawhid and constitutes a pillar of the Islamic faith. The position of prayer is very important and unparalleled by any act of other worship. Like the pole of a tent without which it cannot stand straight, Islam cannot stand without prayers. Prayers are also an act whereby it will be accounted for on the Day of Judgment.
The Qur’an is the last revealed word of God and the basic source of Islamic teachings and laws. It deals with a variety of subjects including the basic beliefs of Islam, morality, worship, knowledge, wisdom, God and man’s relationship, and relations among human beings. Comprehensive teachings on which sound systems of social justice, politics, economics, legislation, jurisprudence, law and international relations can be built form an important part of the Holy Qur’an.
Although Prophet Muhammad(P) did not receive a formal education, the Qur’an as soon as it was revealed to him in the spoken word, was committed to writing by his secretaries. In this way every word was written down and preserved during his lifetime by his Companions. The original and complete text of the Qur’an is in Arabic and translations of its meaning in most known languages are available in major libraries and bookstores.
Islam, as we had earlier explained before, consists of belief and Laws. We have previously mentioned some pillars of the Laws. These pillars are the basis of Islamic Law. As for the Islamic ‘Aqeedah (creed), its pillars are: Believing in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and the good or bad that Qadar (predestination) brings.
The Pillars of Islam are the cornerstones on which Islam is built. There are five pillars of Islam. This is mentioned in a hadith on the authority of Aboo `Abd ir-Rahmaan `Abdullaah, the son of `Umar ibn al-Khattab(R), who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah say: Islaam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, establishing the salaah (prayer), paying the zakaah (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadaan.” [related by al-Bukhaari and Muslim]