The five pillars of Islam are not specifically mentioned in Qur’an. They were derived by the scholars of Islam after studying Qur’an, Sunnah and the Hadith. The three original sources of Islam. The five pillars are
- Declaration of Faith
With time, Muslims have evolved, their thinking has changed, and the way they practice Islam has changed drastically. If a Non-Muslim who is analyzing Muslims, without being in touch with the original sources, will he be able to come up with the same five pillars? or will they differ?
The hypothesis I’m presenting is that the principles will differ. That too drastically. I am very well aware that there is a debate among the academic circle about the need to reconstruct the religion, there are many scholars who are for it, and they are many who speak against it. My thesis is that the religion has been reconstructed already.
So, without further adieu, let me present to you, the New five pillars of Islam, as understood by our current Muslim community. The five pillars of Islam, version 2.0
1- Halaal Food
Muslims–especially from Indo-Pak subcontinent–are out and out obsessed with this. Is it Halaal, is it Zabiha Halaal, and a new one going around, is it Javed Zabiha halal. Is it a Muslim guy reciting takbeer Halaal or is it a takbeer on Radio Halal. The obsession is to such an extent that it won’t be wrong that Muslims consider that the following teaching of Qur’an Chapter 49 Verse 12 has been abrogated.
Believers, avoid being excessively suspicious, for some suspicion is a sin. Do not spy, nor backbite one another.
Muslim probably now think that as per the teaching of Qur’an one shouldn’t speculate about someone but there is a condition applied to this ruling and that is until and unless that person starts a slaughter house or a restaurant. To put it in simple words, every Muslims is considered truthful by default, till he opens a restaurant, from that point, he is a liar by default, till proven otherwise.
This is the other obsession with Muslim women. Be it Hijaab or Burqa or Niqab. It doesn’t matter that there is hardly any reputed who scholar agrees that Naqab is a part of Islam, nor does it matter that Naqaab defeats the entire purpose of Naqaab if worn in the West, as it attracts more attention than deviates, but still, The delusion of grandeur continues.
One very interesting thing is that the verse usually quoted as mandating Hijaab–chapter 24 verse 31–doesn’t mandate Hijaab in clear terms. It’s derived from it.
..and must wrap their bosoms with their shawls…
I’ve consciously taken the translation of shawl for the word Khimaar instead of the now popularized veil, to point out that there is no such universal agreement that Khimaar means Viel. Secondly, even if it did, for a book, which makes it very clear, repeatedly, that it lays out everything in clear terms, it’s a bit of a stretch to start inferring such heavy rulings from Qur’an verses, assuming words to mean certain things without the presence of strong proof that it means that particular thing. Furthermore, what I find very interesting is that the same very verse lists down all the relatives in front of who there won’t be need for such a covering
..and must not expose their adornment, except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands, or to their sons or the sons of their husbands, or to their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters, or to their women, or to those owned by their right hands, or male attendants having no (sexual) urge, or to the children who are not yet conscious of the shames of women.
Over here, as you can see, instead of just saying close relatives, Qur’an goes in details–some may argue, even more than necessary–and that’s how the book claims it is. Mentioning this clearly, with no confusion.
I understand why women like wearing Hijab, it’s considered modest, and I see their point, it’s a good modest thing, no doubt. But, that is not enough to start passing it out as religiously mandatory, that will be playing God, and Qur’an strictly–without inference–forbids us from doing that.
One Idea which I simply loathe is this comparison of Hijab with a lollipop cover. Implying that woman is some sort of lollipop. Just as in uncovered lollipop thrown in the dust, covered with flies and insects is a disgusting sight and no one would want to do anything with it, similarly a woman who is not covered will be inflicted with flies and insects–which I guess are men. Such teachings are extremely misogynist, coming from men who are very insecure and should be unacceptable when done in the name of Islam.
Fast is obligated on Muslims as per Qur’an chapter 2 verse 183
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become pious
Whether a Muslim at an Individual level becomes pious or not is impossible to comment. But we can look at the state of Muslims as a community and derive that the reason why their fast is only so that they have a Grand Iftaari, where there is a big get together, friends and family unite, chit chat, talk and have a gala time.
Various dishes are introduced, no more fasting with just dates, there is samosa, there is haleem, there is dahi vada, there is fruit salad, there is chaat, and there are various drinks ranging from Mango Lassi to Soft drinks to Chai and Coffee. It will be very surprising if Muslims community ends up becoming pious because of fasting.
4- Signs of Judgement Day
Another great grand obsession among Muslims is to figure out the date of coming of Qiyamah, the Judgement Day. When I was growing up it was said Y2k will be the end of the world, many even claimed that there is a Hadith pointing out, very clearly, that too. I’m still to come across such a Hadith.
Almost, every Muslim WhatsApp group will have one member who has forwarded something related to coming of Qiyamah. You have major signs, minor signs, mahdi signs, 77 minor signs, 48 signs, signs on one page.
The most popular Hadith regarding this is the hadith of Gabriel, which lists only two signs that are awfully clear, first, the slavery will end, and second, the Bedouins of the Arab land will start building tall buildings. Source.
But, Muslims love Drama and they don’t mind spicing things up with extra signs borrowed from other religions to nanny bedtime stories.
5- Global Caliphate
Global Caliphate has been a Muslim rage for some time now. This was discussed by Ibn Tahmiyya, Mawdudi, Qutub and many other great scholars of Islam. Calling a Classical Scholar wrong, and accepting that even he is capable of a mistake is something which Muslims never do, no matter the cost. And this did cost the Muslim society dearly.
The very basic message of religion which was of humility and empathy, in no time changed to establishing the rule of God across the Globe. The religion of no compulsion became the religion of giving takfir ( declaring people as Apostates ) to anyone who disagrees with the majority.
Jihad, a war against self, and a war against opression to save the oppressed became the holy war to establish a caliphate on each and every non-muslim country.
Will these concepts every be corrected in the Muslim community? I honestly doubt that. Rather, what will happen, is what has happened before, a new community will be raised, who will carry out the ACTUAL message of Islam. This happened when Turks accepted Islam and the message spread through them, this happened when Romans accepted Christianity and the message spread through them.
But, if someone is interested in understanding the error in this concept and correcting his perspective then he can do this here, the article by Javed Ahmed Ghamidi on Counter Narrative for Global Caliphate does a good Job in pointing out the mistakes and the correct teachings of Islam.