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Sixth pillar of Islam

The term Sixth pillar of Islam'\' refers to an addition to the Five Pillars of Islam''; the five pillars of Islam explain the basic tenets of the Muslim faith.

Some Muslims, mainly those belonging to the sect of the Khawarij, have taught that Jihad, or personal struggle, should be considered the sixth pillar of Islam. Since the Islamist movement began in the 20th century, this point of view has become more prevalent. In this view, Jihad is viewed as external war against those perceived to be enemies of Islam. For other Muslim groups, the term sixth pillar of Islam can also refer to "Allegiance to the Imam" or "Hajj" depending on who is using it. Muslims who speak of the "Five Pillars of Islam" may find the mention of a violent sixth pillar to be offensive.

Table of contents
1 Jihad as the sixth pillar
2 Allegiance to the Imam
3 Modern usage
4 See also

Jihad as the sixth pillar

(To be discussed; mention Khawarih, Islamist and Wahabbi views.)

Allegiance to the Imam


According to Ismailis, the pillars of Islam include the usual five, plus Allegiance to the Imam

[1], and Jihad.

The ordering of the pillars as understood by Ismailis is as follows:

  1. Walayah (love and devotion) for Allah, the Prophets, the imam and the dai
  2. tahrah (purity & cleanliness)
  3. salah (prayers)
  4. zakah (purifying religious dues)
  5. sawm (fasting)
  6. hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah)
  7. jihad ("struggle"))

(See [1])

In this case, the sixth pillar of Islam is hajj, not Allegiance to the Imam, and not Jihad.

Modern usage

According to Kenneth R. Timmerman's book, "Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America," and his Washington Times article "Truth from the mouths of terrorists" [1] (published June 19, 2003), the sixth pillar of Islam is violent jihad. In Timmerman's words, "Think of it: Murder has become the sixth pillar of Islam, according to the terrorists. Where are the Muslim leaders to denounce this?"

The phrase has also been used by orientalistss, and some Muslims, although the meanings plainly can differ widely.

See also