The 6 Pillars of Iman
The Faith or Iman in the Arabic language means to affirm something and to comply with it. Accordingly, faith is an affirmation and not merely belief. Affirmation includes the words of the heart, which is the belief, and the actions of the heart, which is compliance.
1- Belief in the existence and unicity of Allah
It’s the first and most important pillar. To believe in Allah is to believe that there is only one God worthy of worship, with no partner, or son. This concept is known as Tawheed. Also, it is to completely believe in the way he is described in the Quran, Sunnah and in his 99 names.
Allah clearly explains Tawheed in the Holy Qur’an as He says in Surah Ikhlas:
“قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ ، اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ ، لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ”
“Say, He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”
2- Belief in the existence of Angels
The second pillar is to believe in Allah’s angels. They are not his children as some may think. They were created from light and were created before humans for the purpose of worshipping Allah.
Angels do not sleep, eat or suffer from illnesses. It is crucial to believe in the angels, as they keep a record of our deeds. Some of the other duties of angles include: blowing the trumpet on judgment day, taking people’s souls (i.e. angel of death) and to be the keepers of heaven and hell.
Allah clearly confirmed the importance of this pillar in the Holy Qur’an as He says in Surah An-Nisa:
“يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ آمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلالاً بَعِيدًا”
“O you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.”
3- Belief in the books of Allah
The third pillar is to believe in the books of Allah which delivered to the nations by the messengers. Allah revealed books to his messengers as a form of guidance and proof for mankind. Among these books, is the Quran, which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
Allah has guaranteed the protection of the Quran from any distortion or corruption and clearly mentioned that in the Holy Qur’an as He says in Surah Al-Hijr:
“إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ”
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.”
The books that were sent and known to mankind are:
- The Scrolls (Suhof) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him
- The Psalms (Zaboor) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Dawud (David), peace be upon him
- The Torah (Torah) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him
- The Gospel (Injeel) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him
- The Quran which sent with the last Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him
Muslims believe in all of the books revealed to the messengers. However, they only follow the Quran, as it is the final revelation, and aims to implement the rulings into their daily lives.
4- Belief in Allah’s messengers and that Muhammad is the last of them
The fourth pillar is to believe in all prophets and messengers sent by Allah and that the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the last of them.
Most of the messengers of Allah were sent to a specific nation except Prophet Muhammad, who was sent to guide all of mankind. It is a duty of Muslims to send salaams (Peace and Blessings of Allah) when mentioning the names of any of the Prophets.
Allah clearly mentioned that he sent the messengers in the Holy Qur’an as He says in Surah An-Nahl:
“وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الطَّاغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلالَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ”
And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.
5- Belief in the Day of Judgment
Muslims attest to the truth of everything Allah or his messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said about death.
Allah has not created his creation in vain. He created men and jinn to worship him and promised paradise as a reward to those who obey him and his messengers, and promised hellfire to those who disobey him or his messengers.
Allah has set a certain period for the whole universe, whose end will be the final hour. During the final hour, humans will be questioned about their deeds in this world. Those deeds will be weighed for them. One whose good deeds overweight his evil deeds will prosper, while whose bad deeds outweigh his good ones will be condemned to hellfire – unless he died in the state of Islam. Then, Allah would either forgive him or punish him, and eventually, he would enter paradise.
Allah described justice of the judgment day in the Holy Qur’an as He says in Surah Al-Anbya:
“وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ”
“And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.”
6- Belief in the Qadhaa’ & Qadr (Doom & Divine Decree)
Doom (Qadhaa’) is the general decree of Allah that every human shall die, whereas a divine decree (Qadr) is a particular decree of Allah or the execution of Qadhaa’, that a certain person is to die at a particular time and place. Hence, believing in this pillar entails believing that Allah has created everything and has foreordained its proper measure.
Moreover, The belief in Divine Predestination includes belief in four things:
- Allah is well acquainted with everything taking place, and His Knowledge encompasses everything.
- Allah has pre-assigned portions of everything in the preserved tablet.
- Nothing takes place in the heavens or on the earth without the will of Allah and his wish.Whatever Allah wills, takes place and whatever he does not, will do not take place.
- Allah is the creator of all things. There is no other creator besides him.