Imam Al-Nawawi and Hadith 3: The Five Pillars of Islam
Here is the third Hadith compiled by al-Nawawi, first in Arabic and then in English,
عن أبي عـبد الرحمن عبد الله بن عـمر بـن الخطاب رضي الله عـنهما ، قـال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسـلم يقـول : ( بـني الإسـلام على خـمـس : شـهـادة أن لا إلـه إلا الله وأن محمد رسول الله ، وإقامة الصلاة ، وإيـتـاء الـزكـاة ، وحـج البيت ، وصـوم رمضان ) رواه البخاري [ رقم : 8 ] ومسلم [ رقم : 16 ]
On the authority of Aboo `Abd ir-Rahmaan `Abdullaah, the son of `Umar ibn al-Khattab radiAllaahu ‘anhumaa, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) 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 Zakat(obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadaan.
[Narrated by al-Bukhaari (البخاري) and Muslim (صحيح مسلم)]
Ali Gomaa’s Explanation of the Third Hadith
As I mentioned previously, I am trying to get a non-Western and Muslim interpretation. To do this I have been listening to Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt. What is the definition of Grand Mufti? In Sunni Muslim countries, the Grand Mufti is the highest official of religious law (see Islamic Religious Leaders). My goal is to learn about Islam from some of the top authorities of Islam in the world. My limitation is that I only speak English. Thankfully, Ali Gomaa’s teaching on the Forty Hadith has English subtitles,
Ali Gomaa discusses the people who narrated this tradition.
Abu-Qohafa was Abu Bakr’s father. Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s father-in-law; Bakr’s daughter was Aisha (“the mother of the believers”). Bakr was the “master of the companions” to Muhammad.
Other authorities to this tradition were Abu Bakr’s son, Abdul-Rahman and his son Muhammad.
All four of these are “noble companions.”
Ali Gomaa discusses how important these principles are comparing them to the foundation of a house.
“This is a famous hadith that should be memorized by our children.”
Ali Gomaa goes on to discuss in greater length these principles. He discusses the remarkable scholar, Abul-Huda al-Sayady and his two volume work.
Some narrations of this hadith have different orderings of the five principles. “Some of the narrations have mentioned fasting before performing hajj, while other narrations have mentioned performing hajj before fasting…Mentioning hajj before fasting or vice versa, or alms giving before fasting or vice versa, means that these five principles are like an endless circle. They are all on the same level of importance, and they do not have a specific order, that permits you to pray and skip fasting. Or permits you to fast and neglect performing hajj, though you are able to. Or permits you to perform hajj and escape paying zakat. This is not the case. These principles are on the same level of importance. They are all pillars. Neglecting these principles is considered a great fracture in religion. Abandoning these principles leads to a hollow Muslim, making his belief fragile that would collapse any time. Thus we have to cling to these five principles”
Ali Gomaa discusses some who believe Muhammad was the messenger of Allah (first pillar), and other prophets after him. Gomaa calls such prophets “deceivers.” Gomaa indicates that the first pillar is to be understood that Muhammad “is the last Prophet and Messenger.”
Christianity and Hadith 3
There are also “pillars” of Christianity which are summarized by the Creeds such as the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed.
Note the textual variation in this hadith: In some of the narrations of this hadith mention of the Hajj is made before mention of the Fasting in Ramadaan. Textual variations are found in ahadith and the Bible; however, Muslims do not believe they are found in the Qur’an. 1Interestingly, the critical scholarship Muslims use against the Bible also argues for a tradition of variants in the Quran (see for example, Dr. Stefan Wild, “The History of the Quran: Why there is no State of the Art“) and hadiths (Eric F.F. Bishop, “Form-Criticism and the Forty-two Traditions of al-Nawawi,” Muslim World, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1940, pp. 253-61; and “Academic scholarship in the Western tradition” in Wikipedia).
Many Muslims are inconsistent. They argue that the textual variations of the Bible prove its “corruption.” Yet, they accept the traditions of Muhammad which also have textual variations. Muslims sometimes criticize the Gospels for their alleged “late dates” and yet many of the hadiths were not recorded for about 200 years after Muhammad’s death.
Next Posts in this series
- The Encyclopaedia of Islam says about the development of the hadith tradition,