Being a ( self-proclaimed ) Architecture Nerd, I am expected to be obsessed with building elements. Like pillars.
But this post is not going to be about those tangible posts that help sustain the roof, the walls and even the floors as well as help communicate the foundation to the structures above. ( sigh )
This post is about the religious pillars. ( No, not those you found in prayer halls. )
There's a bad habit among us. We tend to be fairly single-track-minded bunch of people so we forget that there are the Pillars of Islam and there are also the Pillars of Imaan. I'm not saying we forget how to recite them. I'm just observing how we don't really try to have a proper understanding of these pillars, which I believe ( since they are called 'pillars' anyway ) are the main things we need to focus and strengthen on.
Sure, you may argue that you have been upholding and practising the 5 Pillars of Islam ( Or maybe 4 since Hajj is for those who are able to) daily. But rituals don't make you a proper Muslim. Have we been focusing on our faith too?
Have we been deepening your understanding of the 6 Pillars of Imaan?
Have we been accepting Qada' and Qadar and understanding the philosophy of life?
Have we been studying about the end of days and death and afterlife?
Have we been reading of the prophets and gleaning lessons from them?
Have we been reading the revealed books, not just the Quran?
Have we been aware of the existence of the angels and their jobs and how we encounter them every day, really?
Have we been believing Him as we should strongly believe in Him because we believe in all that He has created and given?
( I always believe that the 6 pillars of Imaan is arranged according to how important and deep your belief gets once you've achieved them. Therefore, I think people start to have faith when they try to understand philosophy in life and after-life. And that leads to learning from examples that are from the prophets and the revealed books. And then we attain the proper belief to the intangible beings and all creation. This leads to a string belief of Allah, the Great Creator. )
I think the 5 pillars of Islam that we build will be just empty rituals if we don't have the 6 pillars of Imaan readied in our hearts.
Let's look at it constructively. We can't build 6 pillars on top of 5 pillars. Our building will collapse. Therefore, have faith ( which we can strengthen through understanding ) before we can build our Islamic self. So that the Muslim in us is not and empty veneer but something that withstands loads because we have our Imaan.
That is why it is scary to meet those who practise the 5 pillars but refuse to do more than verbally dictate the pillars of Imaan without eradicating any rising doubts within them. It's ok to question your belief so long as you strive to find the answers with an open-mind ( and question with an open-mind ). Be a quality Muslim. Know and understand why you pray and believe.
When your Imaan is strong and your practice is fulfilled, here is where Ihsan should be attained as best as you can.
Bismillah and InsyaAllah.