The Pillars of Islam
This Great Religion - Islam - stands on five pillars; as recorded in the Two Sahihs, that Ibn 'Umar, (Radhi Allahu Anhuma), related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Islam is built on five: The testimony that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the establishment of the prayer, the giving of Zakat, the fasting of Ramadhan, and Al-Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka'bah).
The two testimonies comprise the first and most important pillar of Islam. Those testimonies are not meant for one to only utter them on his tongue - even though, by doing so, one outwardly enters the fold of Islam; rather, one must apply its meanings and implications as well. One must sincerely worship Allah alone, believing that He truly deserves his worship, and believing that worship to all else is the greatest of falsehood.
One of the implications of those testimonies is that one must love Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) which consequently requires one to worship Allah alone, glorify Him, and follow the way of His Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Allah Almighty says:
Say: "If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins ….(Surah Aal’Imran 3:31)
Another one of its implications is that we should obey the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) in all that he has commanded us:
And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). (Surah Al-Hashr 59:7)
In a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
When one has in him the following three, he will have found with them the sweetness of faith: That Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than all else ...
He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) also said:
Not one of you believes until I become more beloved to him than his father, child, and all other people.