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Islam has five pillars which form the bedrock of our existence. The first one is to believe absolutely in Allah alone, as the source of our creation. Consequently there is a law of first things first which should govern our lives. Embracing this principle encourages us to acknowledge, accept and embrace Allah first in all that we do. By commencing every action with the Basmallah, we do everything for the sake of Allah. When we truly believe, we inquire of Allah what we are supposed to do. As we listen to our parents, because we know they have our best interests at heart, so we listen and obey Allah. We firmly believe that Allah, who created us, knows what is best for us. We obey out of gratitude, first for the gift of life, and then for the many blessings in our life. When we believe in Allah, we trust Allah will lead and guide us. When we put Allah first in our lives, the law of first things ensures that Allah will reward us abundantly.


Have you ever heard the phrase: “I know you as if I made you”? Mostly it is said by parents. Often we get very irritated at this, and this causes us to rebel just to prove that they do not in fact know us.  Parents impose rules and regulations which they feel is for our good, and most times we cannot see the wisdom of these rules.
However, there are certain rules and guidelines imposed upon us which we disobey at our peril. These are the commandments of Allah, and when we are conscious we realise that since Allah in fact made us, or created us, Allah indeed knows what is best for us. The five daily Salaah is one case in point. We know that it is compulsory, but very often we become neglectful and do not perform it at all. Or, when we do, we make our own rules, mistakenly believing that we know better.  The truth is that we do not know better. For instance, we have to perform Salaah at specific times. , Nabi Muhammad (SAW) did not bring the message that we must perform the five Salaah at our own discretion, and at times which we feel we should do it. The time of the five waqts has been specified for us, and we


The performance of the five daily prayers is one of the pillars of Islam. As with most things which are done repetitively, it can soon turn into a ritual, done without true consciousness. For us prayer is not just a communication with Allah, because of the specific set of movements, it becomes an active act of worship. It is done in veneration, in gratitude and in obedience. Even the preparation for Salaah is different. We are required to take ablution, this means we cannot just fall into prayer mode.

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We stop what we are doing and in so doing we exercise discipline for the performance. When we open the tap for wudhu, the feel of the water on our skins also serves a function. In winter, when it is very cold, it serves to jolt us into awareness of what we are about to do. And in summer, when the heat is so intense, the coolness of the water brings a healing balm, serving also to centre us for what lies ahead.


Muharram is one of the sacred months of the Islamic year. It is derived from the word ‘haraam’ which means forbidden. What is forbidden during this month is fighting. We are not heads of countries that wage war on others, but we have our own battle fields in our homes, families, workplace and even our neighbourhoods.
Most of us live at such a frenetic pace that when we get home from work we are tired and stressed. This is the time when impatience and intolerance flares up and we fight with our partner, or our children. A good thing to do is to remember who they are and what they mean to us.  With consciousness it becomes possible to think before flaring up. The same thing often happens at work as well. When we remember that we are all working to provide a service, even if we never know who benefits from what we do, it could change our attitude.  Another thing that is useful is be aware that we are all different and unique, and that we are all the divine creations of Allah. Being conscious at all times that even if we cannot see Allah, Allah is seeing us, should make us pause and consider before we act impulsively.
Rasullullah (SAW) said that on the 10th day of Muharram we should be more generous to our family. We do not have to confine such generosity to the

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