The Doctrine of Five Pillars

Many Sunni theologians, instead of enumerating the Articles of Faith and Acts of Worship separately, state that belief in God and the Prophet as affirmed in the creed (the Kalemah), together with the foregoing four acts of worship constitute the Five Pillars of Faith.

The Shi’as list the five Articles of Faith as the roots of religion (Usool al-Deen) and the Acts of Worship as the branches of religion (Furoo al-Deen).

In addition to the above acts of worship the Shi’as believe in the following acts of worship (The sunnis regard them as mandatory acts of piety):

1. Jihad Struggle or Striving

There are two kinds of jihad, the major jihad and the minor jihad.

The Major Jihad: (Jihad Al-Akbar)

This is the struggle against one's inner self (nafs) to subjugate and control one's passions and carnal desires. The base self (nafs al-ammara) must be controlled by the conscience (nafs al-lawwama), and only when one succeeds in this struggle does one attain the perfect self, the self at peace with itself (nafs al-mutmainna).

To those who attain this state, the God says:

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ

O soul that art at rest! (89:27)

ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيَّةً

 Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him),(89:28)

فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي

 So enter among my servants, (89:29)

وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي

And enter into my garden. (89:30)

The Minor Jihad (Jihad Al-Asghar)

This means to struggle for Islam. Not for extension of boundaries, not for personal glory, not for the glory of any tribe, community or nation, but for the defense of Islam and the protection of its values. Such a struggle can take many forms, through the use of pen, through the use of tongue or through the use of the sword. This last form is often referred to in the Qur’an as Qitaal (warfare).

In the Shi’a theology, a general qitaal can be declared only by an Imaam. A mujtahid has no authority to summon Muslims to a jihad involving qitaal.

2. Amr Bi’l-Ma'Aroof (Directing Others towards Good)

It is an act of worship for a Muslim to advise and direct others to the doing of good deeds for the pleasure of Allah.

3. Nahy 'An Al Munkir (Directing Others Away From Evil).

Similarly it is the duty of every Muslim to advise others against committing sins.

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favor of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favor you became brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it, thus does Allah make clear to you His communications that you may follow the right way.(3:103)

وَلِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُورُ

And whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's; and to Allah all things return (3:109)

لَيْسُوا سَوَاءً ۗ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ

They are not all alike; of the followers of the Book there is an upright party; they recite Allah's communications in the nighttime and they adore (Him). (3:113)

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ

Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant. (7:199)

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger; (as for) these, Allah will show mercy to them; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.(9:71)

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدُونَ الْآمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah; and give good news to the believers.(9:112)

الَّذِينَ إِنْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

 Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah's is the end of affairs.(22:41)

لَوْ أَرَدْنَا أَنْ نَتَّخِذَ لَهْوًا لَاتَّخَذْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا إِنْ كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ

 Had we wished to make a diversion, we would have made it from before ourselves: by no means would we do (it). (21:17)

3. Khums (The One-Fifth Tax)

Only the Shi’as believe in this additional tax and they regard it as a major obligation of every Shi’a Muslim. It was instituted by God as a token of regard for the Prophet and his family.

المص

Alif Lam Mim Sad.(7:1)

لَهُمْ مِنْ جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ وَمِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ

 They shall have a bed of hell-fire and from above them coverings (of it); and thus do We reward the unjust. (7:41)

وَأَوْرَثَكُمْ أَرْضَهُمْ وَدِيَارَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ وَأَرْضًا لَمْ تَطَئُوهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرًا

And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things. (33:27)

وَمَا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْهُمْ فَمَا أَوْجَفْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ خَيْلٍ وَلَا رِكَابٍ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَلِّطُ رُسُلَهُ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

And whatever Allah restored to His Messenger from them you did not press forward against it any horse or a riding camel but Allah gives authority to His messengers against whom He pleases, and Allah has power over all things. (59:6)

مَا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنْكُمْ ۚ وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Whatever Allah has restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns, it is for Allah and for the Messenger, and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not be a thing taken by turns among the rich of you, and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in retributing (evil)(59:7)

لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنْصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

 (It is) for the poor who fled their homes and their possessions, seeking grace of Allah and (His) pleasure, and assisting Allah and His Messenger: these it is that are the truthful.(59:8)

وَالَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِمَّا أُوتُوا وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ َلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَنْ يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

And those who made their abode in the city and in the faith before them love those who have fled to them, and do not find in their hearts a need of what they are given, and prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them, and whoever is preserved from the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones. (59:9)

It is a 20% tax on all earnings after deduction of house-hold and commercial expenses.

Khums is paid to the mujtahid and is divided into two equal portions. One half of all receipts of khums by the mujtahid is the portion belonging to the Imaam in occultation and the mujtahid spends this portion in educational, social and economic projects for the betterment of the Shi’a community.

First priority is accorded to the community from which the khums was received. The second half is distributed amongst the poor and deserving descendants of the Prophet (the sayyids) each of whom may receive only up to a year's subsistence.