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
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
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
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
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).
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
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
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.