It is essential for every individual to acquire a comprehensive understanding of his religious obligations. If a person is ignorant of the duties assigned to him by Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) through His Deen (the comprehensive code of life), he will be unable to perform his obligations in true spirits. Similarly, if one's concept of the duties incumbent upon him is deficient in any way, he can only partially carry out his religious responsibilities. In such a case he is likely to meet with failure on the Day of Judgment no matter how sincerely committed he might have been to his religion in his opinion.
Another aspect of this problem is equally important that concerns women in special. There is a possibility that a person might take upon himself certain responsibilities that his religion has not imposed on him. This is bound to lead to disastrous consequences because even the desire to do good, when it exceeds the prescribed boundaries, gets channelized to completely undesirable directions. Monasticism, for instance, is the result of human extremism in trying to be pious. It was the desire to do good that led to the concept of celibacy in Christianity which later became the breeding ground for vice and immorality. Hence, negative and undesirable consequences are bound to follow if anyone overburdens his responsibilities.
Therefore we must learn and understand our true religious duties and must not burden ourselves with the duties that have not been imposed upon us. When an individual begins to assign certain duties to himself other than the ones Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has imposed on him, he exposes himself to the danger of the Qur'anic indictment stated in Surah An-Nisa’:
"We appoint for him that unto which he himself has turned and expose him unto Hell, a hapless journey’s end." [Qur'an, Surah An-Nisa’, 4:115]
In other words Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) lets him opt for the way he himself has chosen and withdraws His support and help.
Therefore, with respect to the obligations we owe to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), we must have a comprehensive consciousness regarding the rights of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) that we have to fulfill, the rights of our 'self upon us and the rights regarding our fellow human beings. We have to learn to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate, legal and illegal as ordained by Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). If we blindly follow our innate and instinctive needs, we are bound to cross our limits into the premises of forbidden (Haram). Similarly we have to perform our duty towards people, and mankind in general, according to the tenets set by Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). If this principle is duly followed, our vision will remain clear and our target defined. If, on the other hand, we follow our own whims and desires, we will deviate from the divinely prescribed path.
The Three Levels of Our Religious Duties: An Analogy of a Three-Storied Building
In order to understand the true nature of our religious obligations, it will be elpful to use the analogy of a building with three floors. With the help of this analogy, the duties that are particular to men will be explained first. Then, the duties that are equally applicable to women and men and duties with disparities between the two genders will be pointed out.
As mentioned, the building comprises of three floors, standing on four pillars. On the ground floor all you can see are the pillars, as there are no walls, but of course there is the foundation beneath the pillars that supports them. Higher floors are dependent on the floors below them. In that respect, top floor is the highest but not the most important part of the building. Most important part is the foundation, while the pillars become the second most important, for they carry the weight of whole the structure. If the foundation or the pillars are weak, the whole structure would collapse. It is important to note that on the second and third floors, the pillars, hidden behind walls, though still present, become invisible.
The building accurately represents our religious obligations. The foundation of this building is Faith (Iman), on which depends the strength of the structure. If the foundation is deep and firmly entrenched in the ground, the above lying structure will be unshakable. On the other hand, if the foundation itself is weak and unstable, the building can come crashing down any moment. The pillars are the four obligatory forms of worship: Salah , Saum , Zakah , and Hajj. In the Holy Qur'an, Salah is always preceded by Zakah, however, in the building; Salah is placed adjacent to Saum as both forms of worship are obligatory for all Muslims. Whereas Zakah and Hajj are binding upon only those Muslims who possess physical and financial capacity to perform them.
The roof of the first level can be referred to as Islam , Ita’a, Taqwa, and 'Ibadah . The basic demand conveyed through these four terms is for the individual to submit and surrender wholeheartedly to the commands of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and His Messenger (Peace be upon him), becoming in the truest sense of the word, an 'Abd' - 'slave', thereby fulfilling the very purpose of her creation. As Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says:
"I created the 'jinn' and humankind only that they might worship Me." [Qur'an Surah Adh-Dhariyat, 51:56]
When this submission, obedience, and piety reaches its climax, Islam becomes lhsan - the level of consciousness characterized by the feeling that one is in constant presence of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). This is the ground floor of the edifice we are describing.
At the second level, the person invites others towards the message of Islam, striving to the best of his ability to spread and propagate it. He enjoins good and forbids evil  and performs the sublime duty of being witness-bearer against mankind  so that on the Day of Judgment mankind would not be able to proclaim their ignorance regarding the message of Islam.
The third floor of the building is representative of the establishment of the just social, economic and political system of lslam.  Terms such as Islamic Revolution and Takbeer ar-Rabb  are employed at this level. The goal is to implement Islam in its totality so that the Word of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) reigns supreme as stated in a Hadith:
"So that the word of Allah becomes supreme." [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim]
The intended objective is that the "Word of Allah" becomes the law of the land taking precedence over everything else until the whole social structure including the parliament and judiciary are subordinate to it. To work towards this end by utilizing all of one's material and mental resources, to live for this cause and be ready to die for it, is what constitutes the third and the highest level of our religious responsibilities.
 Refer to the inside of book cover
 The obligatory daily prayers
 Fasting during the month of Ramadan
 Annual obligatory charity
 Pilgrimage to Makkah
 'Submission', 'resignation' and 'surrender'
 Being conscious of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He)
 'Slavery' to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He)
 Tubleegh and Da'wah
 Amr bil Ma'roof Wa Nahi 'Anil Munkar
 Shahadah 'Ala an-Naas
 The Qur'anic term for "establishing the Deen" is lqamah Al- Deen.
 "To glorify and proclaim the greatness of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He)"
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