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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pillars of our lives!

We all have certain principals (pillars) that define and govern our existence. Some we inherit from our faith, while others we embrace on our own. In an email conversation with a dear friend, I found myself defining the principals that I strive to live my life by. This got me thinking...so welcome to the inside of my head!  

Islam has 5 pillars which govern and define every Muslim's life. They are every Muslim's responsibility to respect and follow. 

The 5 pillars of Islam are:

1. Imaan or Faith - This clearly defines the belief in the "Oneness" of God. Muslims, along with Christians and Jews are called, "People of the Book". All three religions have common denominators which includes the belief in ONE God and in a Holy Book, namely the Quran, the Bible and the Torah.

Back to Imaan or Faith, this comes in the form of a declaration that every Muslim makes, "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God."

2. Salah or Prayer: This defines the responsibility of every Muslim to say their prayers five times a day. This further strengthens the intimate relationship shared between God and his follower. 

3. Zakah: This defines the form of tithing or giving a portion of one's earnings to help others. The belief is that giving Zakah purifies the income and consequently everything touched by that purified income.

4. Sawm or Fasting:  Every year in the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from food, water and sexual relations with their spouses. Fasting is seen as a form of self-restraint which leads to purification, a deeper appreciation for life and gratitude to Allah.

5. Hajj or Pilgrimage:  This defines the obligatory visit to the holy land, Makkah for all Muslims who are physically able and financially capable of making this trip. Every year, millions of Muslims from around the world make the holy pilgrimage where they are stripped of their worldly belongings and are dressed in simple clothes. Thus, all are the same in the eyes of God, regardless of their bank balances and zip codes.

As a Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim, I also adhere to a few more expectations which include: Dasond (tithing 12.5% of my income) and allegiance to His Highness Prince Karim Agakhan, who is a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and our first Imam, Hazrat Ali. 

But in addition to these pillars and expectations, I have my own 6 pillars that further define my existence and journey on this earth.

They are: 
FAITH, TRUST, BREATHE, SURRENDER, HUMILITY AND GRATITUDE!!!

So I strive to live my life with complete FAITH in God. I TRUST HIM and know that HE has me in the palm of his hands...and so when things get tough, i BREATHE and SURRENDER to HIS will and know that whatever happens will be the right thing.!!! Oh and ofcourse,  I also strive to live life with humility and constant gratitude!!!!!!

Thus, when i am told that I am spoiled, i say,  "Shukar!" (Shukran Lillah Wal Hamdullilah - All Thanks is due to Allah and All Praise is due to Allah.)

Ofcourse, I have my days when I am not feeling so humble and grateful. In fact, not too long ago, I went through a period of months where I was pretty upset at HIM. In fact, I was straight up angry. I even challenged HIM to put on HIS boxing gloves and meet me in a ring so that we could duke it out.  Although, this was literally just a few months ago, I honestly can't even recall what I was so upset about. These days, I am in a pretty good place!!! I am feeling extremely blessed and grateful for HIS many graces and thus it's easy to feel humbled and grateful to HIM for all of my blessings. Shukran Lillah Wal Hamdullilah - All Thanks is due to Allah and All Praise is due to Allah. That's not to say that my life has drastically improved or changed. In fact, things are pretty much the same as they were a few months ago. But what's different now is my attitude! 

I invite you to take a few minutes to count your blessings and offer a heartfelt THANK YOU!!! Please do share your thoughts. I know we are here to teach and learn from each other!!! So PLEASE be generous with your wisdom and do share!

Love and Light

From one Sufi to another...

Anita

References:
- For further information on the 5 pillars of Islam, please google it. There are numerous websites that describe in little and or great detail to appeal to one's interest in the subject.

Do check out the following websites to learn more about us Ismailis. 
www.theismaili.org
www.akdn.org



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