Iqra Islamic Publications

The Pillars of Iman

By: Yasin Syed

Iman (faith) is a very important part of a Muslim's life. Muslims believe in six articles of faith. These beliefs are derived from the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. The pillars of Iman are belief in Allah, belief in His angels, belief in His Books, belief in His Messengers, belief in the Hereafter and belief in the Divine Decree of Allah. It is extremely important to believe in these six pillars as Allah Ta'ala says in the Holy Qur'an:

O you who believe! Keep faith in Allah and His Messenger and the Book which He revealed to His Messenger, and the Book which He revealed before. Who so disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His Messengers and the Last Day, he verily has wandered far astray. (Surah an Nisa, 4:136)

Belief in Allah

Belief in Allah is the foundation of Iman. There is no one worthy of worship except Allah. He is our Creator, but He is not created. He is the Eternal and the Ever-Lasting without a beginning or an end. He sustains and protects all that exists. To Him belong the heavens and the earth and everything in between them. He is the All-Knower and nothing escapes His Wisdom. He does not tire or become weary. He is the Owner and complete Sovereign of all. He has complete control over everything and nothing happens except by His Permission. He is the Best Planner. Others may plan, but His is the way that will be. He is Pardoning and Forgiving. He forgives His servants out of his infinite Mercy. He is the Mighty. He is Unique; the Possessor of Majesty and Nobility.

Muslims believe in all the ninety-nine names and attributes of Allah Ta'ala which are described by the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Belief in Allah as the Lord is known as Tawheed. On the other hand, associating someone else with Allah is called shirk and is one of the gravest sins in Islam. Allah clearly explains Tawheed in the Holy Qur'an as He says, Say: He is Allah, the One. Allah, the Eternally Besought. He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is none comparable unto Him. (Surah al Ikhlas, 112:1-4)

Belief in His Angels

Angels are a creation of Allah who have been created from pure light. They neither eat nor sleep. They are free from the weaknesses of the flesh. They don't suffer from hunger, weakness, illness or disease. Allah created them for the sole purpose of worshipping Him and obeying Him. They perform different and numerous tasks which have been assigned by Allah. For example, Jibreel Alayhissalam is the Angel of Revelation, Malak al-Mawt, the Angel of death and so on.

They are constantly engrossed in the remembrance of Allah:
They celebrate His praises night and day, without exhaustion. (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:20)

The angels are a special creation of Allah.

All praise is Allah's, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Appointer of the angels - messengers flying on wings: two, three, and four. He increases in the creation what He pleases. Surely, Allah Has power over all things. (The Qur'an 35:1)

Belief in the angels is very important since they play a huge role in our affairs. They keep a record of our good and bad deeds. They attend gathering of zikr held in the remembrance of Allah.

Belief in His Divine Revelations

Allah guided and helped different nations by sending a revelation that contained the laws that were to be observed by a particular nation. He sent these revelations through a Prophet and also blessed him with the knowledge and the wisdom to teach the revelations to his people. These Books helped the people understand that Allah was the only One worthy of worship, and that true success in this life and the Hereafter could only be achieved by worshiping Him alone, without any partner. They informed of life in the Hereafter, giving glad tidings to those who obeyed the Messengers, and warning of severe punishment for those who rejected their guidance.

Among the Books that were revealed by Allah were the Suhuf (Scrolls) given to Prophet Ibrahim Alayhissalam, the Zaboor (Psalms) revealed to Prophet Dawud Alayhissalam, the Tawrah (Torah) revealed to Prophet Musa Alayhissalam, the Injeel (Gospel) given to Prophet Isa Alayhissalam and the Holy Qur'an which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.

Muslims believe in all of the Divine Revelations revealed by Allah. However, we follow the Qur'an only as it is the Final Revelation and implement it in our daily lives, as commanded by Allah the Almighty to His Messenger, The Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.

Belief in His Messengers

Allah chose Prophets and Messengers in order to guide and bring people to Islam.
He has sent all of the Messengers with the same Message, as He says in the Qur'an: Surely, We have sent to each nation a Messenger (saying): Worship Allah and abandon the false gods. (Surah An-Nahl 16:36) There were many Prophets sent by Allah but only twenty-five of them have been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. The first Prophet sent by Allah was Prophet Adam Alayhissalam and the last prophet to be sent by Allah was Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. He is known as the Seal of Prophethood since there will not be any Prophet after him.

The Messengers were worshippers of Allah whom Allah honoured with the position of Prophethood. They were indeed the greatest men who ever lived as Allah says about Prophet Nuh (Noah, peace be upon him) in the Qur'an, Indeed he was a great thankful bondsman. (Surah Bani Israeel 17:3).

Most of the Messengers were sent by Allah to a particular nation or people but the Last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam was sent for the whole mankind. Allah tells Prophet Muhammad to tell the people, Say (O beloved Prophet): O mankind! Surely I am the Messenger of Allah unto all of you... (Surah Al-A'raf, 7:158).

The Hereafter

Muslims should believe in the Final Hour when Allah will terminate the creation and cause everything to die. We should believe in the Day of Resurrection in which Allah will raise mankind back to life and in the Day of Judgement when all of mankind will return to Him and have our deeds rewarded by Allah.

We should also believe in the Last Hour and its signs. There are many future events that will happen in the Last Hour which are foretold in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith Shareef of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. One of the major events is the appearance of Dajjal (The Antichrist). Some of the other signs of the Last Hour is the appearance of the Mahdi, Nabi Isa Alayhissalam and the appearance of Ya'juj and Ma'juj.

On the Day of Judgement, there will be scales set up as Allah says in the Qur'an: And We shall set up the Scales of Justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none shall be wronged in any matter. If the weight of a mustard seed exists, We shall manifest it... (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:47). The good deeds will be placed on one side of the scale and the bad deeds will be placed on the other side of the scale. The weighing of the deeds will be followed by a revelation of the person's record. The person who receives his record in the right hand will have an easy reckoning while the person who receives his record in the left hand will be thrown into Hell.

Muslims also believe in the existence of Paradise and Hell. Paradise is prepared for the servants of Allah only and they will receive what no eye has seen and what no ear has ever heard and which has never occurred to the human heart. Allah describes the Paradise in the Qur'an as, Gardens of perpetual bliss - they shall enter them, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring. And angels shall enter upon them from every gate. (Surah Al-Ra'ad 13:23). Allah has mentioned many beautiful descriptions about Paradise but the most important aspect is that life in Paradise will never end. And the greatest happiness of those in Paradise will be achieved when they behold Allah.

Hell is prepared for the sinners and for those who have rejected faith in Allah. It is filled with many kinds of punishments. Allah warns his creatures beforehand about Hell in the Holy Qur'an, Therefore I warn you of the Flaming Fire. (Surah Al-Layl 92:14).

The main goal of every Muslim is to enter Jannah (Paradise). We know the description of Jannah from the Holy Qur'an and the Blessed Hadith Shareef, but we have not seen it. We can only imagine Paradise through our analogy. But the reality of Jannah is far beyond description. According to a hadith, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says that he has prepared for his servants, "what no eye has seen and no ear has heard and has never occurred to a human heart." (Sahih Al-Bukhari). The Jannah is not just limited to enjoyments but it also contains the greatest pleasure of all, the pleasure of being closer to Allah.

But Paradise comes with a price. The price of Jannah is true faith in Allah and in His beloved Messenger, Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Muslims should believe in "La ilaaha illallah, Muhammad ur-Rasulullah" with all their hearts, and be prepared to sacrifice all that they have for Allah.

Belief in the Divine Decree

Allah has decreed and ordained in due measures everything that has happened until this present day and everything that will happen from this day until the Last Hour comes. There is nothing that can interfere with the Decree that has been issued by Allah. Allah has recorded every event that will ever occur. He has recorded everything in the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz), which contains the records of all creations. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Know you not that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on the earth? Indeed it is (all) in the Book. (The Qur'an 22:70).

A Muslim believes in Allah's predestination of all things and events (Qadaa), His Decree (Qadar) and His Will. Nothing in the universe can occur without the knowledge of Allah. A Muslim further believes that Allah is Just in His predestination and His Decree and Wise in all of His actions. Whatever He desires, it occurs and whatever He does not desire, it doesn't occur. There is no power or any movement except by Allah.

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