In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.
Pillars of Islam (1)
Definition of Islam
With respect to defining Islam, there are two broad areas or aspects to be disclosed:
Firstly: Theoretical Aspects (1)
There are theoretical points which include the general meanings and connotations of the term "Islam".
We have the general meaning that indicates "peace" or "security". Here peace takes place in various directions:
I- Peace with people. Prophet Mohammad (peace and prayer are upon him) says: “The true Muslim is that who the other Muslims are safe from being harmed by his bad words and deeds”
II- To believe in Allah is to be sincerely obedient and submissive to Him. Consequently, one gains reconciliation with Allah and His consent, a matter which bestows peace on man.
III- Peace with oneself: Diversity and ramifications of aims causes distraction of attention and hinders psychological tranquility and integrity. monotheism, which means believing in one God- "Allah" and adhering to Him, enhances unification of worshipping aims. Consequently, spiritual, psychological and mental conflict within one's soul is eradicated, because the heart focuses on only one aim- namely worshipping Allah alone.
Theoretical Aspects (2):
There are also theoretical points which include the special meaning of Islamic testimony. It is verbally to say and testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah. This testimony indicates the sincere belief in the oneness of Allah and His Prophet Mohammad (peace and prayer are upon him), who has been sent with the Message of Islam revealed in Qur'an.
Secondly: Practical Aspects:
Here we can mention the worshipping rituals. The afore mentioned Prophetic Tradition (Hadith) states the elements of Islam which include theoretical matters such as articulating testimony of monotheism. It also expresses ritual aspects, such as saying prayers, giving alms (zakah), fasting Ramadan, and going on pilgrimage to Mecca.
These ritual actions indicate some worshipping practical aspects of Islam. Some of them have largely personal dealings, such as saying prayers and fasting Ramadan, whereas others relate to social interactions, such as giving alms to the poor. Moreover, commerce and financial transactions also receive intensified regulation in Islam.
Later on, if Allah wills, we shall give intensified explanation for these worshipping actions.
We need to draw the reader's attention that matters of this part of Islam, which concentrates on bodily actions, is the direct concern of the Islamic Jurists and Shari'a Laws. These laws have been thoroughly tackled in Qur'an and explained in the Prophetic Traditions, interchangeably known as "Hadith" or "Sunna."
From:Fundmentals of Islm:
Abdal Rahman Wadelkebeida