76. Are the religious laws stand alone or connected to each other?
From the ayat in the Qur’an and narrations we understand that the Islamic programs are all interlinked to each other. For example, there are over twenty Ayahs in the Qur’an that combine prayers and paying alms together such as
أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ
“Perform the prayer, and pay the alms.”1
يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ
“Who perform the prayer and pay the alms.”2
In narrations we read prayers without paying alms are not accepted. Like a locomotive on track that only has a single rail, it cannot move.
So yes, connecting with Allah SWT (through prayer) and with creation (through paying alms) are like a pair of wings to fly with spiritually. Flying with one wing just won’t work.
The Prophet SAWA would eject those who come to the mosque to pray but do not pay their alms.
Many of the orders in the Qur’an have conditions placed on them that they must reach their destination completely and without any faults or shortcomings before they are accepted by Allah SWT, otherwise they are rejected. The Qur’an states:
“Fulfil the Pilgrimage.”3
Which means all of the rituals must be performed accordingly, and that performing some and not others will invalidate the whole pilgrimage and is not enough. Elsewhere we read
أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ
“Complete the Fast unto the night.”4
So even if it’s just one minute before nightfall, there is no right to break the fast. Likewise, prayers cannot be shortened (except in certain circumstances).