The Primary and Secondary Principles
The message of Islam is presented in the five primary principles of religion (Usool-ud Din /Osool-e Din)
- Unity of God (Tawheed)
- Prophecy of Mohammad (pbuh) (Nabovvat/ Nubuwwah)
- Resurrection (Ma’ad)
- Balance and Justice (Adl)
- Spiritual Guide (Imamat /Imamah)
The five primary principles of religion lie in discipline and effort. After cognition of the holy principles of Islam, they are followed by secondary principles of religion (Furoo-ed Din/ Foroo-e Din), wherein what has been cognized will be practiced.
- Salat — “Prayer” – performing the five daily prayers
- Sawm — “Fasting” – fasting during the month of Ramadan
- Khums — “One-fifth” – giving on one-fifth of resources for good cause
- Zakat — Tazkieh- “Cleansing” the self, deeds, and wealth (by giving to the poor )
- Hajj — “Pilgrimage” – performing the pilgrimage
- Jihad — “Endeavor ” – Endeavor to reach cognition
- Amr-Bil-Ma’roof, Nahya-Anil-Munkar – Enjoin the knowledge, Prevent ignorance
Sufis have spoken of the threefold meaning of the teaching of Islam. Hazrat Jalaleddin Ali Mir Abolfazl Angha, in referring to a saying by Sheikh Najmeddin Kobra has said:
“Sufism consists of three stages: shari’at (tradition), tarighat (path of the heart), and haghighat (state of the heart). Shari’at is like the ship, tarighat like the sea, and haghighat like the treasure; therefore, whosoever desires the treasure must embark, sail the sea, and reach the treasure. Whosoever disobeys this order will not reach; thus the first duty for the Salek (the seeker of the truth) is shari’at. Shari’at is adherence to what God and His Prophet (pbuh) and his followers have designated as ablution, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, abstaining from vice, and other duties as ordained or prohibited in accordance with their extant reality; and tarighat lies in purification and whatever brings you closer to your Lord, such a renouncing rank and satisfaction. But haghighat is reaching the goal and witnessing the Divine Light.”1
“Amir-al-Mo’menin Ali (pbuh) has said: “Shari’at is servitude to Him with certainty; Tarighat is presence in Him with certainty; and haghighat is witnessing Him with certainty.” The word Salat (prayer) literally means “call” and to perform it is to seek closeness to God. Imam Ja’far Sadegh (pbuh) has said that Salat (prayer) encompasses these threefold meanings: Servitude is shari’at, Closeness is tarighat, and Union is haghighat.”1
Indeed, all principles have these threefold meanings. For instance, fasting in shari’at is abstention from food and drink, and fasting in tarighat is abstention from the illusions of the mind and complete devotion to the love of the Lord. Pilgrimage in shari’at is visiting the House of Allah, in tarighat it is witnessing the Presence of Allah, and in haghighat pilgrimage is absolute annihilation in Allah.
“When the Salek (the seeker of the truth) has fully adhered to the aforementioned, he shall have reached his rank at the summit of devotion and servitude, his words and actions shall be strengthened by the Divine Light and he shall be blessed. As the Almighty has promised”1
“God is the protector of those who have faith; From the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into Light” Holy Qur’an (2:257).
- Sadegh ANGHA, Hazrat Shah Maghsoud, Al-Rasa’el – Purification and Enlightenment of the Hearts, M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi Publication®, Verdugo City, CA, USA, 1991.