Ibadah and Taharah
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The word 'Ibádah comes from the Arabic "Abd", which means slave or servant. Man is a born subject and servant. When he turns to Alláh with humility and devotion, he preforms an act of 'Ibádah. 'Ibádah is a means for purifying man's physical and spirtual life. In Islám, every good deed performed to seek the pleasure of Alláh is an act of worship.
The obligatory rituals of 'Ibádah are prayers(Saláh), fasting (Saum), Zakáh, pilgrimage(Hajj), and struggling in the ways of Alláh(Jehad). These along with Imán are often called the pillars of Islám. Islám is an integral whole. It covers all aspects of man's life. The pillars unite all humans activites, spirtual and material, individual and collective.
The obligatory rituals of 'Ibádah make the "faith" (Ímán) to play a practical and effective role in the human life. 'Ibádah is therefore something positive. It is the means by which the faithfuls can serve Alláh as well as their fellow men.
The Saláh, which is the subject of this booklet, is an essential part of 'Ibádah'. The Prophet(S.A.W.) is reported to have said: "Saláh is the pillar of Islám and whosoever abandons it, demolishes the very pillar of religion".
Before a person can say his prayer, he must be clean and pure. The Qur'an says: "Truly Alláh loves those who care for cleanliness". Cleanliness of mind, of body, and of clothes is called Tahárah or purification. It is only in such a condition of purification that a Muslim may preform the Saláh.
Purification of the body is attained by partial or total washing with clean water. The partial wash is known as Al-Wudú or the ablution, and the total wash is called Al-Ghusl or the washing (bath) of the whole body.
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