The Blessings and Sunnahs of Eid ul Adha

Yawm al-Arafat: The day of Arafat

The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of Arafat. It is this day when the pilgrims gather on the mountain plain of Arafat, praying and supplicating to their Lord. The day of Arafat holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger (SAW).

It is reported in the Sahhayn (i.e. Sahh al-Bukhar and Sahh Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) that a Jewish man said to him:

O Amr al-Muminn (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Qur`an, which if was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival). Umar asked: Which verse? He said:

“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah al-Maidah (5): 3]

Umar (RA) said: “We know on which day and in which place was this verse revealed to Allah’s Messenger (SAW). It was when he was standing in Arafat on a Friday.”

Arafat is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (alaihis-salm), it was reported that Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) related:

(When Allah created Adam (AS) Allah took covenant from him in a place Na’man on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:

“Am I not your Lord?”

And they all replied: “Yes, we testify to it”. Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said:

“That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely, we were unaware of this. We had no idea that You, Allah, were our Lord. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship you.”

[(Sahah by Shaikh al-Albana in Silsilah al-Ahadath as-Sahahah vol: 4, no: 1623]

Fasting on the day of Arafat

Fasting on the day of Arafat is a true blessing and a means of great forgiveness for all who undertakes it and there is no doubt that we should all try our best to fast on this blessed day which is Tomorrow (Sunday the 7th)

In the UK Sehri ends (20 mins before Fajr starts) at 5.55 am and Iftar will be at sunrise at 3:51 pm.

The Prophet (saw) says: “Be content with the fact that Allah will expiate for your sins for a whole year before the day of Arafat and the year after the day of Arafat”! [Saheeh Muslim]

“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people want?” [Saheeh Muslim]

However whoever is at Arafat as a pilgrim then fasting is not expected of him as the Prophet (SAW) stopped at Arafat to eat.

Yawm an-Nahr:

The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the greatest day of Hajj. It is known as Yawm an-Nahr (the day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allah. It was recorded in a Hadath by Imam Ahmad (in his Musnad vol: 4, no: 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The greatestday of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Irwa al-Ghalal (no: 1101). Abu Dawad no: 1945]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:

“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”

[(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Irwa al-Ghalal (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawad no: 1765].” [Majma al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The day of An-Nahr is also known as ‘Eid al-Adha’ meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allah has granted to the Ummah of Prophet (SAW). Anas (RA) narrated, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) came to Medina and the people of Medina in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said:

“I came to you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allah has replaced something better for you. The Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [(Sahah) by Hafidh Ibn Hajr in Bulagh al-Maram. Related by Musnad Ahmad vol: 3, no: 103]

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashraq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Sahah al-Jama (no: 8192). Related by Musnad Ahmad (no: 1945)]

Glorifying Allah with Takbar: (Takbar al-Muqayyid):

From the day of Arafat until the Asr prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, one should make Takbar after every obligatory Salat. Ibn Aba Shaybah relates that Ala (RA) used to make the Takbar beginning after the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafat, until after the Asr prayer on the last day of at-Tashraq. [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in al-Irwa. Related by Ibn Aba Shaybah in al-Musannaf]

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

“The most correct saying concerning the Takbar – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbar from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafat up until the last day of at-Tashraq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [Majma al-Fatawa (24/220)]

Imam al-Khattaba (rahimahullah) (d. 456H) said:

“The wisdom behind saying the Takbar in these days is that in the times of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their Taghats (false objects of worship). So the Takbars were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [Fath al-Bara]

As regards to the actual wording of the Takbars, then nothing authentic has been related from the Messenger of Allah. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah:

1. Ibn Mas’ad (RA): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd. [(Sahah) Irwa al-Ghalal (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah]

(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises)

2. Ibn Abbas (RA): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu akbaru ala mahadana.

[(sahah) – Bayhaqa (3/315)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)

3. Salman (RA) : Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabara.

[(sahah) – Bayhaqa (3/316)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)

“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid. (Takbar al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allah on the appointed Days.” [Sarah al-Hajj (22): 28]

This verse has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (SAW) is reported to have said:

“There are no days that are greater to Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid during these days.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid mean saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘al-Hamdu lillah’, respectively.

Ishaq narrates from the scholars of the Tabi’an that in these ten days they used to say: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; La-ilaha-ill-Allah; wallahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; Wa-lillahil-hamd.

It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbar in the markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids and other places, because of the saying of Allah Most High in Sarah al-Hajj verse 37:

“…that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you…”

Imam Bukhara (rahimahullah) said in the book of al-Idayn in the chapter of the Virtue of good) deeds during the days of Tashraq, Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (RA) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbar, and the people would say Takbar when they said Takbar. [Sahah al-Bukhara]

The Sunnah is to say the Takbar individually. The saying of Takbar in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbar with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahabah and those who followed their ways. This is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).

Narrated al-Bara (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) delivering a khutbah saying: “The first thing to be done on this day (first day of Eid-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he has acted according to our sunnah. (Kitaabul-Eidayn, Bukhari)

Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 12th day of Dhil Hijjah, the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Many of the rituals related to the Eid directly commemmorate the sacrifices of Hadrat Ibraham (alayhis-salaam) and his family for the sake of Allah. On the way to the Eid prayer, while waiting for it and on the way back from the prayer one should recite the following takbeer as much as possible:

Allaahu akbar – Allaahu akbar – Laa ilaaha illallaahu – wal-laahu akbar Allaahu akbar wa lil-laahil-hamd

(Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest; There is no god except Allah; And Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and for Allah is all praise.)

It is the tradition of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) to go to the prayer by one way and return by another. The takbeer-e-tashreeq above is also to be recited after every fard prayer beginning from the Fajr prayer of the 9th to the Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhil Hijjah (23 times in all).

The following actions are also sunnah on the day of Eid:

  • To clean the teeth with miswaak;
  • To take a bath;
  • To adorn oneself and dress in the best clothes that are available and are permitted in Shariaah;
  • To use perfume;
  • To rise early and go to the prayer grounds early;
  • To walk to the prayer grounds if possible and to recite the takbeer above;
  • Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr;
  • No (nafl) prayers should be prayed at the Eid prayer ground, neither before or after the Eid prayer.

Procedure of the Eid Prayer

Eid-ul-Adha prayer consists of two rakaaah in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:

First, make the niyyah for the Eid salaah:

Nawaytu an usallee rakaatayil-waajibi salaata eidil-adhaa maaa takbeeraatin waajibatin

(I intend to pray 2 rakaaah of waajib prayer of Eid-ul-Adha with the (extra) waajib takbeeraat )

Then the Imam says Allahu akbar (and the followers do so after him). Then the hands are folded as in other prayers and the thanaa is recited:

Subhaanakal-laahum-ma wa bi hamdika wa tabaarakas-muka wa taaaalaa jad-duka wa laa ilaaha ghairuk

(O Allah! Glory and Praise are for You, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty; and there is no god except You.)

Then Allahu akbar is said 3 times, every time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when they are folded. Then the Imam recites the Taaawwudh and Bismillah quietly and then recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah. Then rukua and sujood are performed as in other prayers. In the second rakaaah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly and then says Allahu akbar 3 times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them. Then Allahu akbar is said a fourth time and the congregation goes into rukua and finishes the prayer as any other. After the Eid prayer is completed, the Imam stands up and gives two khutbah in Arabic, sitting between them, as was the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam).

An alternate method of performing twelve extra takbeeraat during the prayer, instead of the six extra that are described above, is also permissible: 7 and then 5 extra takbeeraat are performed during the first and second rakaaah respectively (Umdatus-Saalik, Shafia madhhab).

Selected Traditions from Sahih-al-Bukhari: The Chapter of the Two Eids.

-> Narrated Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that Allahas Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”

-> Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (Radiyallaahu anhu) that Allahas Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr and then deliver the khutbah after the prayer.

-> Narrated Ibn Abbaas (Radiyallaahu anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Dhil Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even jihaad?” He replied, “Not even jihaad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allahas sake) and does not return with any of those things.”

-> Narrated Jaabir ibn Abdullah (Radiyallaahu anhu): On the day of Eid, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.

-> Narrated Urwa on the authority of Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that on the days of Minaa (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhil Hijjah) Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) scolded them and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Minaa.”

The Slaughter:

According to Imam Abu Hanifah, the slaughtering is a wajib. For Abu Hanifah, a wajib is more than a sunnah and less than a fard. The other Imams consider a wajib to mean fard (obligatory).

Therefore, he sees that it is wajib for those people who are capable to do it according to the hadith, “Whoever has the ability to slaughter and he doesnat, then let him not come near our prayer area.” So Abu Hanifa took from this hadith that it was a wajib. If we canat consider it as a wajib, at least it is a sunnah muakkadah and in it is a great bounty.

Its time of occurrence is after Salat al-Eid, meaning the earliest salat ul-Eid that has been performed in your area. After which, it is permissible to make the sacrifice. If it is done before that, it is not considered an Eid sacrifice.

For the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) commanded the one who performs the slaughtering before the Eid prayer to consider his sheep as a “sheep of meat” and not as a “sheep of worship”. Even if he gave all of it in charity he will only be rewarded for it the reward of charity, not the reward for slaughtering for the Eid. For slaughtering is a an act of worship and the acts of worship if they have a fixed time and condition then it is not befitting for it to be performed early or late, like the daily prayers. Is it permissible for you to pray Dhuhr before its appointed time? So it is with the slaughtering of the Eid, it has its specified time too.

Some people in certain places slaughter the night before the Eid. This is incorrect and a misplacement of the Sunnah, as well as a loss of the reward that it contains. If this person realizes his mistake in time, especially if he made a vow to slaughter (then it is obligatory for him), he should repeat it in the correct time after the Eid prayer. It is also permissible to slaughter on the second and third days of the Eid.

It is best to slaughter before the sun reaches its zenith. If the time for Dhuhr comes and he has not performed the slaughter it is better to wait till the second day to do it. Some of the Imams have said that it is permissible after that during the day or even the night. For this reason I see that it is not absolutely necessary that everybody slaughters on the first day because there will be a lot of crowding at the site of the slaughtering. So, it is possible that some people can delay their slaughtering until the second or third day.

What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?

Camels, cows, sheep and goats are the proper animal to use for slaughtering because they are considered livestock (anaam). So it is permissible to slaughter from any of these types. The sheep can be used for onea, meaning a man and the members of his household. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.”

Abu Ayyub has said, “During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a man used to slaughter one sheep for himself and his family until it came to the point that people competed with each other and they became what you now see.” This is the Sunnah.

As for cows and camels, 1/7 of either of them is sufficient for one person, so it is possible that 7 people could share one camel or one camel or one cow with the condition that the cow is not less than 2 years old or the camel less than 5 years old.

The better the quality of the animal that is used for slaughtering, with regards to its size and condition, the better. That is because it is a gift to Allah, Mighty and Majestic. Therefore, it is befitting for the Muslim to present to Allah the best possible thing. As for one giving to Allah what he himself would dislike, then no, this is not appropriate. But in the end, “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, rather, it is the piety of the hearts that reaches Him.”

The Five Pillars Of Islam

From www.islamworld.net

Shahadah

The first pillar of Islam is that a Muslim believe and declare his faith by saying the Shahadah (lit. ‘witness’), also known as the Kalimah:

La ilaha ila Allah; Muhammadur-rasul Allah. ‘There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’
This declaration contains two parts. The first part refers to God Almighty, the Creator of everything, the Lord of the Worlds; the second part refers to the Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) a prophet and a human being, who received the revelation through the Archangel Gabriel, and taught it to mankind.
By sincerely uttering the Shahadah the Muslim acknowledges Allah as the sole Creator of all, and the Supreme Authority over everything and everyone in the universe. Consequently the Muslim closes his/her heart and mind to loyalty, devotion and obedience to, trust in, reliance on, and worship of anything or anyone other than Allah. This rejection is not confined merely to pagan gods and goddesses of wood and stone and created by human hands and imaginations; this rejection must extend to all other conceptions, superstitions, ideologies, ways of life, and authority figures that claim supreme devotion, loyalty, trust, love, obedience or worship. This entails, for example, the rejection of belief in such common things as astrology, palm reading, good luck charms, fortune-telling and psychic readings, in addition to praying at shrines or graves of “saints”, asking the dead souls to intercede for them with Allah. There are no intercessors in Islam, nor any class of clergy as such; a Muslim prays directly and exclusively to Allah.

Belief in the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh) entails belief in the guidance brought by him and contained in his Sunnah (traditions of his sayings and actions), and demands of the Muslim the intention to follow his guidance faithfully. Muhammad (pbuh) was also a human being, a man with feelings and emotions, who ate, drank and slept, and was born and died, like other men. He had a pure and upright nature, extraordinary righteousness, and an unwavering faith in Allah and commitment to Islam, but he was not divine. Muslims do not pray to him, not even as an intercessor, and Muslims abhor the terms “Mohamedan” and “Mohamedanism”.

Salah

Prayer (Salah), in the sense of worship, is the second pillar of Islam. Prayer is obligatory and must be performed five times a day. These five times are dawn (Fajr), immediately after noon (Dhuhr), mid-afternoon (‘Asr), sunset (Maghrib), and early night (Isha’). Ritual cleanliness and ablution are required before prayer, as are clean clothes and location, and the removal of shoes. One may pray individually or communally, at home, outside, virtually any clean place, as well as in a mosque, though the latter is preferred. Special is the Friday noon prayer, called Jum’ah. It, too, is obligatory and is to be done in a mosque, in congregation. It is accompanied by a sermon (Khutbah), and it replaces the normal Dhuhr prayer.

There is no hierarchical clerical authority in Islam, no priests or ministers. Prayers are led by any learned person who knows the Qur’an and is chosen by the congregation. He (or she, if the congregation is all women) is called the imam. There is also no minimum number of congregants required to hold communal prayers. Prayer consists of verses from the Qur’an and other prayers, accompanied by various bodily postures – standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting. They are said in Arabic, the language of the revelation, though personal supplications (Du’ah) can be offered in one’s own language. Worshippers face the Qiblah, the direction of the Ka’bah in the city of Makkah.

The significance of prayer lies in one’s maintaining a continuous link to God five times a day, which helps the worshipper avoid misdeeds if he/she performs the prayers sincerely. In addition it promotes discipline, God-consciousness and placing one’s trust in Allah alone, and the importance of striving for the Hereafter. When performed in congregation it also provides a strong sense of community, equality and brotherhood/sisterhood.

Fasting (Sawm)

The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting. Allah prescribes daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, beginning with the sighting of the new moon. Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarreling and trivial nonsense.

Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.

Although fasting is beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.

In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Qur’an. In addition, special prayers, called Tarawih, are held in the mosque every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur’an (Juz’) is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur’an has been completed. These are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was begun during Ramadan.

During the last ten days – though the exact day is never known and may not even be the same every year – occurs the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah’s reward for it is very great.

On the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted, a special celebration is made, called ‘Id al-Fitr. A quantity of staple food is donated to the poor (Zakat al-Fitr), everyone has bathed and put on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends.

There are other fast days throughout the year. Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan, Mondays and Thursdays, and the ninth and tenth, or tenth and eleventh of Muharram, the first month of the year. The tenth day, called Ashurah, is also a fast day for the Jews (Yom Kippur), and Allah commanded the Muslims to fast two days to distinguish themselves from the People of the Book.

While fasting per se is encouraged, constant fasting, as well as monasticism, celibacy, and otherwise retreating from the real world, are condemned in Islam. Fasting on the two festival days, ‘Id al-Fitr and ‘Id al-Adha, the feast of the Hajj, is strictly forbidden.

Zakah

The third pillar of Islam is the alms-tax (Zakah). It is a tax on wealth, payable on various categories of property, notably savings and investments, produce, inventory of goods, salable crops and cattle, and precious metals, and is to be used for the various categories of distribution specified by Islamic law. It is also an act of purification through sharing what one has with others.

The rationale behind this is that Muslims believe that everything belongs to God, and wealth is held by man as a trust. This trust must be discharged, moreover, as instructed by God, as that portion of our wealth legally belongs to other people and must be given to them. If we refuse and hoard this wealth, it is considered impure and unclean. If, for example one were to use that wealth for charity or to finance one’s pilgrimage to Makkah, those acts would also be impure, invalid, and of course unrewarded. Allah says:

“Of their wealth, take alms so you may purify and sanctify them.” [9:103]
The word Zakah means purification and growth. Our possessions are purified by setting aside that portion of it for those in need. Each Muslim calculates his or her own Zakah individually.
For most purposes this involves the payment each year of 2.5% of one’s capital, provided that this capital reaches a certain minimum amount that which is not consumed by its owner. A generous person can pay more than this amount, though it is treated and rewarded as voluntary charity (Sadaqah). This amount of money is provided to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and can be used in many useful projects for the welfare of the community.

Historically the pillar of Zakah became mandatory on Muslims form the second year after the Hijrah, 622 C.E. It is mentioned more than thirty times in the Qur’an, usually in the same breath as Salah. So important is this pillar that one is not considered a part of the Islamic brotherhood if one ignores this obligation.

Hajj

The fifth pillar of Islam is to make a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah, in Saudi Arabia, at least once in one’s lifetime. This pillar is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, provided that he/she is physically and financially able to do so. Prerequisites for performing the Hajj are to be a Muslim, to be free, to be an adult or mature enough, to be of sound mind, and to have the ability to afford the journey and maintain one’s dependents back home for the duration. The reward for the Hajj is nothing less than Paradise.The Hajj is the ultimate form of worship, as it involves the spirit of all the other rituals and demands of the believer great sacrifice. On this unique occasion, nearly two million Muslims from all over the globe meet one another in a given year. Regardless of the season, pilgrims wear special clothes (Ihram) – two, very simple, unsewn white garments – which strips away all distinctions of wealth, status, class and culture; all stand together and equal before Allah (God).

The rites of Hajj, which go back to the time of Prophet Abraham who built the Ka’bah, are observed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth day of the last month of the year, named Dhul-Hijjah (pilgrimage). These rites include circumambulating the Ka’bah (Tawwaf), and going between the mountains of Safa and Marwah, as Hajjar (Abraham’s wife) did during her search for water for her son Isma’il. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafah and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. The pilgrims also cast stones at a stone pillar which represents Satan. The pilgrimage ends with a festival, called ‘Id al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers, the sacrifice of an animal, and the exchange of greetings and gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.