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Islam - knowledge help

Hi all, I’m looking to come closer to faith - specifically Islam. I am born a Muslim but haven’t been practicing as I should till the recent years and want to intentionally practice Islam, understand the religion on a much deeper scale than blindly follow my family/traditions.
I’ve been watching a lot of debates like Christianity Vs Islam and debunking other beliefs etc.

One thing stood out to me that being a Muslim just means to submit your will to God. Hence Islam has always existed - From Adam (AS) because they - the Prophets have submitted their will to God making them all Muslim.

My question is: then where did the 5 pillars of Islam come from? 5 daily prayers, zakat, pilgrimage, fasting, shahada.
Specifically prayer, pilgrimage, zakat & fasting - where did they come from or who did it start with?
Silly question but of course it’s the commandments Allah has prescribed us. But did Adam AS pray 5x a day & fast or did it begin with Mohammed Pbuh ?

Forgive me if I haven’t worded the question properly but I hope it makes sense thank you

Assalamu alaikum! I'm very happy to hear that you are actively seeking out to understand your religion better to practice it with stronger faith inshaAllah, besides the fact that you may've spent the past couple years not practicing the way you were meant to.

Firstly, a beautiful hadith comes to mind:

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Allah Almighty says: Whoever comes with a good deed will have the reward of ten like it and even more. Whoever comes with an evil deed will be recompensed for one evil deed like it or he will be forgiven. Whoever draws close to Me by the length of a hand, I will draw close to him by the length of an arm. Whoever draws close to Me the by length of an arm, I will draw close to him by the length of a fathom. Whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him running. Whoever meets Me with enough sins to fill the earth, not associating any partners with Me, I will meet him with as much forgiveness."
Source: Sahih Muslim 2687

In addition, it's true that sometimes culture gets into the mix of religion. Please note that these are two completely seperate things, and the religion of Islam is what we should strive to follow, as it is flawless, a perfect way of life, and free from any error or harm. Culture on the other hand may
sometimes introduce or change aspects of the religion, so be wary of that! Many people blindly follow adverse family traditions/practices or outlooks and form a warped and negative view on this beautiful religion.

Now, in terms of your question: where did the 5 pillars of Islam come from? where did they come from or who did it start with?

Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Islam is built on five (pillars): bearing witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing prayer, paying zakah, Hajj and fasting Ramadan." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim,

And in another Hadith:
Umar ibn al-Khattab reported: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, one day, a man appeared with very white clothes and very black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and we did not recognize him. He sat in front of the Prophet, rested his knees by his knees, and placed his hands on his thighs.
The man said, "O Muhammad, tell me about Islam." The Prophet said, "Islam is to testify there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to give charity, to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to the House if a way is possible." The man said, "You have spoken truthfully." ... The Prophet said to me, "O Umar, do you know who he was?" I said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." The Prophet said, "Verily, he was Gabriel who came to teach you your religion."
Source: Sahih Muslim 8

There are also many references to these fundamental pillars of our religion in the holy Quran:

Shahadah (Declaration of Faith): Surah Al-Baqarah 2:163, which states, “And your god is one God. There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.”
Surah Al-Ahzab 33:40, which states:
"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets.

Salah (Prayer): Prayer is mentioned many times in the Quran. For example, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:43 says, “And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].”

Zakat (Almsgiving):
The obligation of zakat is mentioned alongside Salah in verses like Surah Al-Baqarah 2:110, “And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.”

Sawm (Fasting during Ramadan): Fasting is prescribed in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183, “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”

Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca): The pilgrimage is mentioned in Surah Al-Imran 3:97, “In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way.”

The elements of these fundamental pillars of Islam were also implemented before Muhammed (Saw), by the prior prophets, as mentioned in points in the qur’an;

For example:


Belief and Worship of One God (Tawhid/Shahadah): The Quran recounts the story of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim), who was a monotheist and rejected idolatry, exemplifying the concept of Tawhid, which is the essence of the Shahadah. For instance, Surah Al-An’am 6:79 mentions Abraham saying, “Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.”


Prayer (Salah): The importance of prayer is highlighted through the example of Prophet Moses (Musa), who spoke directly to God and received the commandments. Surah Taha 20:14 states, “Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.”


Charity (Zakat): The principle of charity can be seen in the story of Prophet Solomon (Sulaiman), who was known for his wisdom and wealth, and used his resources to help his people, as indicated in various parts of the Quran.


Fasting (Sawm): Fasting has been a common practice among many prophets as a means of spiritual purification. The Quran mentions that fasting was prescribed for those before the Muslim community, as seen in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183. In addition: It is narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best fasting is the fast of Dawood: he used to fast one day and not the next.”


Pilgrimage (Hajj): The origins of the pilgrimage can be traced back to Prophet Abraham, who, along with his son Ishmael (Ismail), raised the foundations of the Kaaba, which is central to the Hajj in Islam. This is mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:127-128.

I hope that clarifies, moving on to the next bit of your question: “did Adam AS pray 5x a day & fast or did it begin with Mohammed Pbuh?”

Read below:

Prayer in this religion did not start with Muhammed (saw). Look at some examples from the Qur’an below:

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.14:37
[part of the supplication of Ibrahim to Allah, where prayer is mentioned]

My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. [14:40]
[part of Ibrahim’s (as) supplication]

And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive [19:31]
[what Jesus (as) declared]

So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, "Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of John, confirming a word from Allah and [who will be] honorable, abstaining [from women], and a prophet from among the righteous." 3:39
[ the angels talking to prophet Zakariya as]

and many more.
In addition, the prayer did look like ours:
And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]." 2:125

O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]."3:43

Finally, in terms of the number of prayers enjoined upon us:

Allah initially on the night of the Mi’raaj when our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was taken up into heaven enjoined fifty prayers to be performed night and day. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) kept asking his Lord to reduce it until it became five prayers to be offered night and day. But Allah decreed the reward of fifty prayers for these five, so whoever prays five prayers will receive the reward of fifty prayers.

I hope this clarified your question, please ask anything if you have any more questions!
Don’t be afraid to message me as well if need be.

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