Following Ahl As-sunnat Wa'l - Jama'at

Our Prophet 'sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' declared: "The Beni-Israil (Sons of Israel) parted into seventy-one groups. Seventy of these went to Hell and only one of them was saved. And the Nasara parted into seventy-two groups, seventy-one of which went to Hell and one was saved. After some time, my Ummat [1] also will part into seventy-three groups. Seventy-two of these will go to Hell and one will be saved." When asked by the Sahaba [2] who were this one group, "The group which will be saved from Hell are those who follow my Sahaba's way," he said. The saved group is the Ahl as-sunnat wa 'ljama'at [3], who have held fast to the way of the best of mankind. O our Allah! Do not make us dissent from the iman [4], from the belief communicated by the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat! Take us out of this world as we are together with them! Ya Rabbi! Let us be together with them on the Day of Resurrection. After being guided into the true faith, do not let our hearts slip away from the right way and give us rahmat from Your High Kingdom. You are the greatest of those who give blessings.

The first principle of Islam is belief in Allahu ta'ala and His Prophet. That is, it is to love them, like and admit their words.

After correcting the belief, it is certainly necessary to do the commands of the Shari'at [5], to refrain from its prohibitions, that is, to carry out the rules of Islam. One should perform salat five times without being slack or lazy. One should perform it with ta'dil-i arkan [6] and in jama'at. "It is salat which distinguishes the Muslim from the kafir." [A person who performs salat correctly and well is a Muslim. If a person performs salat incorrectly or does not perform it at all, his being a Muslim is doubtful.] When a person performs salat correctly and well, he has held fast to Islam's rope. For, salat is the second of Islam's five principles.

Islam's third principle is to pay zakat [7].

Islam's fourth principle is to fast every day in the blessed month of Ramadan.

Its fifth principle is to perform hajj [8] by making tawaf [9] around the Ka'ba-i mu'azzama [10].

Islam's first principle, iman, is to believe with the heart and express it with the tongue. And the other four principles are the worships that are to be done with the body and intended with the heart. Salat, which has accumulated all worships in itself, is the highest of all. On the Day of Judgement the first questioning will be on salat. If salat is correct, all the other questions, with the help of Allahu ta'ala, will pass easily.

[1] umma(t) followers of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam); the community, body of believers, of a prophet.
[2] Sahaba: if a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi. Plural form of Sahabi is Sahaba or As'hab. The word Sahaba-i kiram includes all those great people each of whom has seen the Prophet at least once. The lowest of the Sahaba is much higher than the highest of other Muslims. If a person has not seen the Prophet but has seen or talked to one of the Sahaba at least once, he is called Tabi'. Its plural form is Tabi'in. In other words, the Tabi'in are the successors of the Sahaba. If a person has not seen any of the Sahaba but has seen at least one of the Tabi'in, he is called Taba'i Tabi'in. The Sahaba, the Tabi'in and the Taba'i tabi'in altogether are called the Salaf-i salihin (the early savants).
[3] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[4] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.
[5] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.
[6] ta'dil al-arkan: keeping the body motionless for a while after becoming calm during and between the various acts in salat.
[7] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser. See chapter 1 in Endless Bliss V.
[8] hajj: fard pilgrimage to Mecca.
[9] tawaf: the 'ibada of going round the Ka'ba in Mekka during hajj.
[10] Ka'ba(t al-mu'azzama): the big room in the great mosque in al-Masjid al-Haram in Mekka.