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Article Title Pillars Entail Construction Upon

MANAL (Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador) Newsletter, St. john's, Canada

Date Published

September 5th 2007

Web Link



Pillars Entail Construction Upon

First, I would like to take advantage of the opportunity of the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the fourth pillar of Islam, to congratulate the Muslim community and wish them  very blessed days throughout this holy month.

In this article I will be sharing with you a well-known tradition of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). He said that: “Islam is built upon five pillars: the testimony that there is no deity but God and Mohammed (PBUH) is his messenger, the observance of prayer, the paying of the charity, the fast of Ramadan, and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca for those who can afford it).” (Bukhari and Muslim)

In the above tradition the Prophet has compared Islam to a building that is built upon pillars and said that the structure of Islam is raised upon the five fundamental tenets.

Indeed, one should stop here and think about the deep meaning conveyed in this tradition. Let me present an analogy between the pillars of Islam and those which are used to establish a   building. If you want to construct a building, definitely, the first thing that you should do (after owning the land of course) is to build the pillars. The question here is that, how many of these pillars should be built? How deep they should go underground? What kind of material should be used for building them? What is the effect of the ambient conditions? …etc.

In fact, you will not be building an infinite number of pillars; otherwise, you will end-up having no building. If you want to build a high rise in an area known to be subjected to wind having high speed, then the pillars have to be deep and strong After completing the building, it has to be furnished and decorated to your taste No matter how different the building is, each building requires pillars which will support it.  

The Muslim character is similar to a building that needs pillars to support it. These are the five pillars mentioned in the tradition. The more a person understands  these pillars, the more committed he/she will be to them, and the stronger these pillars will be.   However, having these pillars are only a foundation upon which we have to build the Muslim character.

It is important to keep a balance between the effort that goes into establishing the pillars and the effort that goes into finishing the building. For instance,  some Muslims insist on  on going to Hajj year after year while their relatives or neighbors are starving or their friends are suffer  financial crises! The same applies in the case of  voluntary prayers. I still remember my freshman year at the university where some of my classmates used to skip the midterm exams in Ramadan, or do poorly in the exams they attend. They used to justify this  saying that they were reciting Qur’an and praying all nightlong so that they did not have time  to  study!

In fact, those who  limit the practice of Islam to   to the rituals behave in the same way as a person who establishes a large number of pillars which support no structure at all.  I am well aware that those who behave this way  are doing it with a good intention, but this reflects a misunderstanding of the meaning of Islam . They should be reminded that Islam is a holistic way of life which  embraces excellence in all human activities. They should understand that there is a difference between acts of worship and worship. Acts of worship are the rituals that we perform when we pray, and fast, but worship has a much wider meaning. Worship involves all aspects of human life.  

If you refer to the Qur’an you will find that wherever the word Iman (faith) is mentioned, it is always followed by “good deeds”.  In fact, Islam teaches us that these two terms are “twins” that complement each other. God says what it means: “And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a (true) believer (in the Oneness of God (Muslim)) such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a speck on the back of a date-stone, will be done to them.”  (4:124)

And in another verse He says: “This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your (good) deeds which you used to do (in the life of the world).” (43:71)

To summarize, Islam is a religion of life where each and every good deed  is considered worship and the believer is highly rewarded for doing them. Indeed, Islam teaches us that life is a test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God on the Day of Judgment. God says what it means: “whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it” (99:6-7). Subsequently, it must be said that nobody else but oneself can define our own construction upon the five pillars of Islam. So let us exploit the opportunity of this blessed month of Ramadan and work hard to strengthen our pillars and then get them ready to build upon them the best structure ever. Let us get prepared for the hereafter and use every moment of this life to build our own construction through racing for doing all good deeds that we can afford. A good deed can be as little as a smile  on your face when meeting people or as a major feat as exercising  high professionalism and commitment towards the development of our society and all humankind. Last but not least, nothing better than ending with this recitation (translation) from the holy Qur’an:

“Verily! Those who live in awe for fear of their Lord; And those who believe in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord, And those who join not anyone (in worship) as partners with their Lord; And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear (whether their alms and charities, etc., have been accepted or not), because they are sure to return to their Lord (for reckoning). It is these who race for the good deeds, and they are foremost in them. And We tax not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.” (23:56-61)

May everyone be blessed to use these days as a preparation for the great month of Ramadan, and may our good deeds ascend to God while we are in the very best spiritual state. Amen!

Khalid El-Darymli

St. John’s 

Article Title Who Is Allah?
Publisher The Telegram Newspaper
Date Published July 22nd 2007
Web Link Click here to see the article on the Telegram website
Letter to the Editor

Who is Allah? 
The Telegram

I am writing in response to Mike Lester’s cartoon titled “How to Tell If Your Doctor Is a Terrorist,” published on The Telegram’s editorial page (July 8).

First of all, being a Muslim and as a new immigrant in St. John’s, it is a must to say that this charming city is blessed with its distinguished people, and I hope that such a caricature will not impact negatively on their unique tolerance.

Many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. This is totally false. Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus — peace be upon them all.

However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims — like Jews — reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. In fact, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic faiths,” and all of them are also classified as monotheistic (“one God”).

It is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews, as well as Eastern Christians living in Muslim countries (such as Orthodox Christians in Turkey), use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English. This is because “Allah” is the only word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G.” Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural or given gender (i.e. masculine or feminine), which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God.

It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “Alôh-ô” (Syriac dialect) or “Alâhâ” (Biblical dialect), which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God.” This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elo¯ah”. The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins.

It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “Elo¯ah” is translated variously as “God,” “god” and “angel.”

Finally, I would like to mention that Islam strongly denounces all kinds of terrorism, whether committed by Muslims or non-Muslims alike.

Hereinafter are quoted two verses from Islam’s holy scripture (Qur'an) emphasizing this very fact.

God says: “Whoever kills a soul, not in retaliation for a soul or corruption in the land, is like one who has killed the whole of mankind; and whoever saves a life is like one who saves the lives of all mankind” (5.32); “And he who kills a believer intentionally will, as punishment, be thrown into Hell, dwelling in it forever; and Allah will be angry with him, curse him and prepare for him a dreadful punishment” (4.93).

Khalid El-Darymli lives in St. John’s.

Research Title

The Modernist Rationalist School and its Stance on the Islamic Tradition

Type Master's thesis

Assisted in research preparation

Web Link


Full Research

Please feel free to email me to request the full research (Available in Arabic language)



Abstract (Translation)



Copyright © 2007.  By Khalid El-Darymli