The following paragraphs are quoted from the book “The Belief and Islam” , annotated translation of “Itiqad Nama”, written by Mawlana Khalid-i Baghdadi and published in English by Hakikat Kitabevi, Istanbul. Mawlana Khalid-i Baghdadi is the great walî, the treasure of Allâhu ta’lâlâ’s blessings, superior man in every respect, the master of unattainable knowledge, the light of right, truth and religion.
“The Belief and Islam” explains the Fundamentals of Islam briefly. Mawlana Khalid-i Baghdadi begin to this valuable book with a Hadith, the blessed saying of our Prophet (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam). This Hadith is known as Hadith-i Jibril, had been transfered by Hadrat ’Umar ibn al-Khattâb (radî-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh), who was a gallant leader of Muslims, one of the highest of the Prophet’s Companions.
“It was such a day that a few of us, the Companions, were in the presence and service of Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ’alaihi wa sallam).” That day, that hour was so blessed, so precious a day that one could hardly have the chance to live it once again. On that day, it fell to his lot to be honoured with being in the Prophet’s company, near him, and to see his beautiful face, which was food for spirits and pleasure and comfort to souls. To emphasize the value, the honour of that day, he said, “It was such a day…” Could there be another time as honourable and precious as the one at which it fell to his lot to see Jabrâ’îl (Jibrîl, Archangel Gabriel, ’alaihi ’s-salâm) in the guise of a human being, to hear his voice and to hear the knowledge men needed as beautifully and clearly as possible through the blessed mouth of Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ’alaihi wa sallam)?
“That hour, a man came near us like the rising of the moon. His clothes were extremely white and his hair was very black. Signs of travel, such as dust or perspiration were not seen on him. None of us, the Companions of the Prophet (sall-Allâhu’alaihi wa sallam), recognized him, that is, he was not one of the people we had seen or known before. He sat down in thePresence of Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam). He placed his knees near the Prophet’s blessed knees.” This person, in the guise of a human figure, was the angel named Jabrâ’îl.Though his way of sitting seems to be incompatible with manners (âdâb), it showed us a very important fact that, in learning religious knowledge, there is no such thing as shyness, nor does pride or arrogance become a master. Hadrat Jabrâ’îl wanted to show the Prophet’s Companions that everybody should ask what he wanted to know about Islam freely from teachers without feeling shy, for there should not be shyness in learning the religion or embarrassment in paying, teaching or learning one’s debt to Allâhu ta’âlâ.
“That noble person put his hands on Rasûlullah’s (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam) blessed knees. He asked Rasûlullah, ‘O Rasûl-Allâh! Tell me what Islam is and how to be a Muslim.’ ”
The literal meaning of ‘Islam’ is ‘to yield and submit.’ Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam) explained that the word ‘islam’ was the name of the five basic pillars in Islam, in berief as follows:
1.Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ alaihi wa sallam) said that the first of the five fundamentals of Islam was “to say the kalimat ash-shahâda”; that is, one should say, “Ash’hadu an lâ ilâha illa’llâh wa ash’hadu anna Muhammadan ’abdûhu wa rasûluhû.” In other words, a discreet person who has reached the age of puberty and who can talk has to say vocally, “On the earth or in the sky, there is no one but Allâhu ta’âlâ worthy of worship. The real being to be worshipped is Allâhu ta’âlâ alone. He is the Wâjib al-wujûd. Every kind of superiority exists in Him. No defect exists in Him. His name is Allah,” and to believe in this absolutely with all his heart.
2.The second fundamental of Islam is “to perform the ritual prayer (namâz, salât) [five times a day in accordance with its conditions and fards] when the time for prayer comes.”It is fard for every Muslim to perform salât five times every day after each time of salât starts and to know that he or she performs it in due time.
In the Qur’ân al-kerîm the ritual prayer is called ‘salât’. Salât means man’s praying, angel’s doing istighfâr, and Allâhu ta’âlâ’s having compassion and pitying.
3. The third fundamental of Islam is “to give the zakât of one’s property.” The literal meaning of zakât is ‘purity, to praise, and become good and beautiful.’In Islam, zakât means ‘for a person who has property of zakât more than he needs and at a certain amount called nisâb to separate a certain amount of his property and to give it to Muslims named in the Qur’ân al-kerîm without reproaching them.’
4. The fourth fundamental of Islam is“to fast every day of the month of Ramadân.” Fasting is called ‘sawm.’ Sawm means to protect something against something else. In Islam,
sawm means to protect oneself against three things [during the days] of the month of Ramadân, as they were commanded by Allâhu ta’âlâ: eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. The month of Ramadân begins upon seeing the new moon in the sky. It may not begin at the time calculated in calendars.
5. The fifth fundamental of Islam is “for the able person to perform the hajj (pilgrimage) once in his life.” For an able person who has money enough to go to and come back from the city of Mecca besides the property sufficient for the subsistence of his family, he leaves behind until he comes back, it is fard to perform tawâf around the Ka’ba and to perform waqfa on the plain of Arafât, provided that the way will be safe and the body healthy, once in his lifetime.
“The person, upon hearing these answers from Rasûlullah (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam), said, ‘O Rasûl-Allah! You told the truth.’ ”Hadrat ’Umar (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) said that of the Prophet’s Companions, the ones who were there were astonished at the behaviour of this person who asked a question and confirmed that the answer was correct. One asks with a view to learn what one does not know, but to say, “You told the truth,” indicates that one already knows it.