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Sixth Pillar of Islam

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Title: Sixth Pillar of Islam  
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Subject: Five Pillars of Islam
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sixth Pillar of Islam

Shi'a Islam tends to incorporate the Sixth pillar of Islam, referring to an addition to the universally held Five Pillars of Islam.

Possible Sixth Pillar: Duty to do Good

In his book on Islam, Khaled Abou el Fadl says that in earlier times, many Muslims believed that there were six pillars of Islam, not five. El Fadl says: "The sixth pillar is summed up in the proclamation that every Muslim has a duty to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Today, all Muslims agree that [this] is a solemn religious duty … but few would still count it as the sixth pillar of Islam." [1]

Controversy over Sixth Pillar of Islam

Most Sunni Muslims believe there are precisely five Pillars of Islam, since Sunni leaders have taught that there are only five major pillars of the faith. Traditionalists say that no sixth pillar should be added, because changing the pillars would be altering the religion and its beliefs, and so one who believes that there is a sixth is committing a sin. Thus, Sunnis believe that a "six pillar of faith" is outside the folds of mainstream Islam. The sixth pillar of Islam is not included in the Sunni way of life.

However the Shia faith believe the sixth pillar is khums, which means that believers have to pay 1:5 of your wealth to the Sayyids.

See also


  1. ^ El Fadl, The Great Theft (San Francisco: Harper-Collins, 2005), p. 122.
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