It is incumbent upon every Muslim to know the basics of his religion, from the aspects of al-Aqeedah, iman and the basic tenets of our ibadah. In this article I will be summarizing the top five lessons every Muslim should know, specifically with regard to their belief or aqeedah. For a more detailed explanation please refer to the online book titled: 33 Lessons For Every Muslim complied by Abdul Aziz Saleh Al-Shomar. You can use the below as a guide to teach children the basic aspects of their religion, when giving dawah to non-Muslims or even to new Muslims!
Lesson 1: The Shahada (Testimony of faith)
Firstly, when someone says La Illaha Illaha, they are affirming that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, divinity is for Him alone and no one shares in these divine attributes. Thus there is no excuse for anyone to worship an angel, prophet, saint, or idol for they have absolutely no right to be worshipped.
We are all aware that to become a Muslim one must utter the testimony of faith: La Illaha Illa Allah Muhammad Rasoolulah, but have any of you pondered over the meanings and conditions of this beautiful proclamation?
The second part of the Kalimah: Muhammad Rasullullah, means “I testify that Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam is the Messenger of Allah.” It is to believe that he is the seal of all Prophets, the final messenger and he is to be followed and obeyed after Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala.
Lesson 2: Practicing the 5 Pillars of Islam
a. The Shahada (as explained above)
Islam is based on 5 pillars which have been legislated by Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. If a Muslim is capable, they must perform the following pillars as stated by the Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. These 5 pillars are:
b. The 5 daily prayers
c. To pay Zakah each year (charity to the poor once a year)
d. To fast in the holy month of Ramadan
e. To perform Hajj – (the pilgrimage to the Holy city of Mecca once in a lifetime if capable)
Lesson 3: Believing in the 6 Pillars of Iman
a. Belief in Allah
Iman – is described as faith which is mandatory for a person to have and to be considered a Muslim or Mu’min
b. Belief in the Angels
c. Belief in the Books sent by Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala
d. Belief in the Prophets and Messengers sent by Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala
e. Belief in the Last day
f. Belief in fate and destiny – Qadaa and Qadr
Lesson 4: Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism)
Tawheed can be defined as believing Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala’s Lordship and sole right to be worshipped and His names and attributes.
1. Tawheed Ar Rubobiyyah: Is the belief that Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala has oneness in His Lordship, it is the belief He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Owner of everything within the heavens and the earth.
2. Tawheed Ul Ullohiiya: Is the belief in Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala’s sole right to be worshipped alongside no partners. It is to affirm He is the only diety who has the right to be worshipped.
3. Tawheeed Asmaa wa Sifat: It is the belief in Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala’s names and attributes.
Lesson 5: Knowing the dangers of Shirk (associating others in the worship of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala)
Shirk comes in two different categories; major and minor shirk.
Shirk is to give the right of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala to other than Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala. It also referred to as the worst sin in Islam. If one dies upon major shirk, he will not be forgiven.
Minor Shirk: Is that which leads to major shirk, it is something which, if done, does not take one out of the fold of Islam. Examples include:
- Riyaa (showing off)
- As Sum’a – wanting to be recognized, known or heard (such as a hajjan becoming high on his/her ego)
- Making duah to other than Allah (Such as a saint, prophet, idol etc)
- Making a sacrifice to other than Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala
The above mentioned are the top five lessons that every Muslim should be aware of, as mentioned previously to gain a greater understanding of the above mentioned topics please look into the book 33 Lesson Every Muslim Should Know written by Abdul Aziz Saleh Al-Shomar.