Tomorrow is a start of a blessed month in Islam...the sacred month of Ramadan.
Muslims all over the world generally, and Malaysia particularly, will be observing a month full of religious duty.
Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam, although some would say it's the third pillar, as was widely taught during our school days.
I have asked this question many great times to my fellow friends, whether fasting or zakat is the third pillar of Islam?
To date, none could have answered this seemingly basic question properly.
I do not know about our current syllabus, but during my school days, we were practically drilled to fully observed our fasting period, as our ustaz/ustazah continually stressed, that fasting is the third pillar of Islam behind syahadah and prayer.
But just recently, I watched one officer from JAIS on national television (TV1), emphasizing that zakat is the third pillar of Islam.
Of course I was stumped and perplexed upon hearing his bold statement. This ran contrary to what I've been taught all along.
He seemed to base his statement from the following hadeeth (sahih), popularly known as the hadeeth of Jibril:
And the learned JAIS officer is not alone on this. A number of people are also advocating this belief, particularly those who hold fast to hadeeth.
So, which is which?
Personally, I think we should follow the hadeeth, although this ran afoul of my earlier belief, which was taught to me from such a tender age.
All in all, hope this year's Ramadan would bring new spirit. Let us all light this Ramadan with a new spark of enthusiasm to do better in whatever we wish to endeavour.