What is the Faith in Islam ?

Publishing Date : 12.12.2015

The first foundation stone of Islam is faith. One can not be a Muslim without faith. In the Arabic language ‘Iman’ denotes ‘faith’. The word ‘Iman’ is derived from the word ‘amene’ which means to believe in and to give safety. Here we understand that one who has faith in Islam is in safety in every respect.

Faith in Islam can be stated as acknowledging God with full sincerity of heart while accepting all his attributes and their obvious corollaries.


God had removed all generations of Adam from Adam’s loins in human form. He has given them intelligence and ordered them faith and forbidden them disbelief. They have professed that He is the Lord. This is their faith. People are born first on this genesis of Islam. Then unbelievers reject the God and deviate from the first genesis. So they become blasphemer by cutting the help of God. Believers believe in God and ratify faith approvingly with God’s grace and help.

God never forces the people to be a believer or unbeliever.  Faith and blasphemy is related to the deeds of people. It is not possible that a person is believer and unbeliever at the same time. Believers believe really and unbeliever disbelieves really. There is no doubt in faith. The evidence for this are the following verses:


‘Such are the true believers. They have a high standing with their Lord. His forgiveness and an honourable provision made for them.’ (Al-Anfal, verse 4)

‘Those indeed are they who are denying the truth beyond doubt, and we have prepared a humiliating punishment for the deniers.’ (Al-Nisa, verse 151)


For living in Islam one needs to have faith. For the people without faith there is no obligation. Because, things that are obligatory for Muslims were ordered by God after they accept the faith in Islam. In the following verses God order praying only to the believers:


‘Tell My servants, those who are true believers, to keep up prayer and to give alms secretly and openly out of what We have given them, before the Day comes when there will be neither trading nor befriending.’ (Abraham, verse 31)

‘Believers, remember God often.’ (Al-Ahzab, verse 41)


Faith and Reason


According to Islamic scholars it is obligatory for human to believe in Allah. There is no excuse in denying God while one observes the wondrous in his own body and creatures in universe. Even if God had been sent no messenger, however, it would be necessary to believe in existence of a Creator using people’s minds. So people’s mind is responsible to know the Creator.

The prophets reveal to people with the mentally evidence. People try to understand the communicated information through the mind thinking. Therefore in the Quran people were encouraged to contemplation and reasoning.


‘Have they not observed the sky above them and marked how We have built it and adorned it, leaving no flaws in it.’  (Qaf, verse 6)

‘Have they not reflected that their companion is not mad? He is only a plain warner.’ (Al-A’raf, verse 184)

‘Will they not, then, ponder over this Quran? Or are there locks upon their hearts?’ (Muhammad, verse 24)


Faith and Islam


If we compare two terms, faith and Islam, vocabulary; the word ‘faith’ consists of attestation and the word ‘Islam’ consists of submission and sincerely connection. Place of ratifying is in  heart. Language is its translation. Submission is placed in heart, language and all limbs.


As in a hadith explained ‘faith’ is to believe in Allah, the Day of Judgment, His Angels, Books and Prophets and to believe in life after death; and to believe in Paradise and Fire, and the setting up of the Mizan (scales) to weigh the deeds; and to believe in the Divine Decree, the good and the bad of it. But ‘Islam’ is that you should testify that there is no other God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah, pay the Zakah, fast during Ramadan and perform Hajj to the House, if you are able to do so.


Every faith is Islam but Islam is not always faith. This is explained in the following verse:


 ‘The Arabs of the desert say, ’We have believed.’ Say to them, ‘You have not believed yet; say rather, ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered into your hearts. But if you will obey God and His Messenger, He will not detract anything from your good deeds. God is most forgiving and ever merciful.’ (Al-Hujurat, verse 14)


Here they do not believe. They do not submit sincerely but show external devotion. So it is expressed as they are Muslims.


The increase and decrease of faith


Islamic scholars put forward various opinions on the increase and decrease of faith. In fact, faith is a separate being from the deeds. Heart is of the realm of spirituality and deeds are of the realm of property. The effects of both realms to each other has been understood as the increase and decrease of faith through deeds. The following statement of Hz. Ali (ra) should be understood in this sense:


‘Faith appears as a bright spot in the heart. As long as one exercises deeds the shine of faith covers all the heart. But the blasphemy appears as a black dot in the heart and if one goes on rebellion all heart would turn black and at last the heart would be sealed.’


The following verse in Quran confirm this:


‘No! Their own deeds have cast a veil over their hearts.’(Al-Mutaffifin, verse 14)


The sunni Islamic scholars considered good deeds from being faith. They concluded that faith increases through the rising of good deeds and decreases through the missing of good deeds. The following verse shows that in the time of Prophet through the new verses revealed the faith of his companions increase. Similarly if one reads the verses of Quran over again and repeats his information about Islam his faith increase and makes his heart brilliant:


‘True believers are those whose hearts tremble with awe at the mention of God, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations. They are those who put their trust in their Lord.’ (Al-Anfal, verse 2)


Articles of Faith


Iman is generally outlined using the six articles of faith:


• Belief in Allah

• Belief in the Angels

• Belief in Divine Books

• Belief in the Prophets

• Belief in the Day of Judgment

• Belief in Allah’s predestination


These articles of faith are mentioned in some of hadiths ascribed to Muhammad (saw):


‘Iman is that you believe in God and His Angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Hereafter and the good and evil fate (ordained by your God).’ (Muslim)


Belief in Allah


The central belief in Islam is that there is one God. The Muslim name for God is "Allah," which is Arabic for "the (al) God (Ilah)."   The shortest statement of faith is Word of Tawhid: ‘Lâ ilâhe illallâh’. This means that ‘There is no other God but Allah’. The only real strength and power in the universe is Allah. Everything is done by His order and judgment. He is Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, and Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. This belief, in order to be effective, requires complete trust and hope in God, submission to His Will and reliance on His aid. It secures man’s dignity and saves him from fear and despair from guilt and confusion.


The Quran asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique, independent and indivisible being, who is independent of the entire creation. 


The true Muslim believes in the timeless knowledge of God and in His power to plan and execute His plans. God is not indifferent to this world nor is He neutral to it. His knowledge and power are in action at all times to keep order in His vast domain and maintain full command over His creation. He is Wise and Loving, and whatever He does must have a good motive and meaningful purpose. If this is established in our minds, we should accept with good Faith all that He does, although we may fail to understand it fully, or even think it is bad. We should have strong Faith in Him and accept whatever He does because our knowledge is limited and our thinking is based on individual or personal considerations, whereas His knowledge is limitless and He plans on a universal basis. So to believe in God is to believe His Essence, His Attributes and His Acts.


Belief in Angels


The true Muslim believes in the angels of God, They are purely spiritual and splendid beings whose nature requires no food or drink or sleep. They have no physical desires of any kind nor material needs. They spend their days and nights, in the service of God. There are many of them, and each one is charged with a certain duty. If we cannot see the angels with our naked eyes, it does not necessarily deny their actual existence, There are many things in the world that are invisible to the eye or inaccessible to the senses, and yet we do believe in their existence. There are places we have never seen and things like gas and ether that we could not see with our naked eyes, smell or touch or taste or hear; yet we do acknowledge their existence. Belief in the angels originates from the Islamic principle that knowledge and truth are not entirely confined to the sensory knowledge or sensory perception alone.


Angels are heavenly beings mentioned many times in the Quran and hadith. Unlike humans or jinn, they have no free will and therefore can do only what God orders them to do. Believing in angels is one of the six Articles of Faith in Islam. Just as humans are made of clay, and jinn are made ofsmokeless fire, angels are made of spiritual light. It is not correct to become an enemy of the angels because of their tasks.


There are four large angels. They are Jibril, Mikail, Azrael and Israfil.


Jibril (Gabriel) is the angel of revelation. Jibril is the archangel responsible for revealing the Quran to Muhammad, verse by verse. Jibrail is widely known as the angel who communicates with (all of) the prophets and also for coming down with God's blessings.  Jibril is mentioned by name in the Quran.

• Mikail (Michael) is the angel that govern the universe’s order as appointed by God. He provides nourishments for bodies and souls.

• Azrael is the angel of death. He is responsible for parting the soul from the body. He is only referred as angel of death in the Quran.

Israfil  is an archangel in Islam who will blow the trumpet twice [or thrice] at the end of time. According to the hadith, Israfil is the angel responsible for signaling the coming of Judgment Day by blowing a horn. The blowing of the trumpet is described in many places in the Quran. It is said that the first blow will bring all to attention, will end all life, while the second blow will bring all human beings back to life again to meet their Lord for their final judgement.


There are also two recording angels and two guardian angels for every person. Furthermore there are four angels carrying the Throne (Arþ), their number will be eight in apocalypse. There are also many uncountable angels telling beats  and  consecrating God. 


Belief in Divine Books


The true Muslim believe in all the scriptures and revelations of God. They were the guiding light which the messengers received to show their respective peoples the Right Path of God. In the Qur’an a special reference is made to the books of  Moses, David and Jesus. But long before the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad some of those books and revelations had been lost or corrupted, others forgotten, neglected, or concealed. The only authentic and complete book of God in existence today is the Qur’an. In principle, the Muslim believes in the previous books and revelations. Other divine books and pages were sent to a certain tribe. But the Quran was sent to all mankind. The provision of other books and pages were abolished after the Quran was sent. Original copies of other books are not available today. The copies of Torah and Bible today are written by various contemporaries, disciples  and companions. So they are not divinely revealed.

We know  some divine pages were sent to the Prophets Hz. Þît, the son of Adam, Hz. Idris and Hz. Abraham. It was sent to Hz.Þît 50 pages, to Hz.Idris 30 pages and to Hz. Abraham 20 pages.


 The Qur’an was made so by God Who revealed it and made it incumbent upon Himself to protect it against interpolation and corruption of all kinds God says:


Verily We have, without doubt, sent down the Qur’an, and We will assuredly guard it’ (Al-Hijr, verse 9)


Belief in the Prophets


The Muslims believe in all the messengers of God without any discrimination among them. Every known nation had a warner or messenger from God. These messengers were great teachers of the good and true champions of the right. They were chosen by God to teach mankind and deliver His Divine message. They were sent at different times of history and every known nation had one messenger or more. During certain periods two or more messengers were sent by God at the same time to the same nation. The Holy Qur'an mentions the names of twenty-five of them, and the Muslim believes in them all and accepts them as authorized messengers of God. They were, with the exception of Muhammad, known as "national" or local messengers. But their message, their religion, was basically the same and was called ISLAM, because it came from One and the Same Source, namely, God, to serve one and the same purpose, and that is to guide humanity to the Straight Path of God. All the messengers with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelation, and appointed by God to perform certain tasks. Among them Muhammad stands as the Last Messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of prophethood. This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor is it just a convenient belief. Like all the other Islamic beliefs, it is an authentic and logical truth. Also, it may be useful to mention here the names of some of the great messengers like Noah and Abraham, Ishmael and Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon them all. The Qur’an commands the Muslims thus:


‘We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes; and that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and that which was given to all prophets from their Lord. We make no discrimination between one and another of them, and we bow to God’ (Al-Baqarah, verse 136).


In Muslim belief, every prophet preached the same main Islamic beliefs, the Oneness of God, worshipping of that one God, avoidance of idolatry and sin, and the belief in the Day of Resurrection or the Day of Judgement and life after death. Each came to preach Islam at different times in history and some told of the coming of the final prophet and messenger of God, who would be named "Ahmed" commonly known as Muhammad. Each prophet directed a message to a different group of people, and thus would preach Islam in accordance with the times.


The Quran mentions 25 messengers by name but also tells that God sent many other prophets and messengers, to all the different nations that have existed on Earth. Many verses in the Quran discuss this:


‘Before your time We sent other messengers : of them there are some whose story We have related to you, and some whose story We have not related to you…’ (Ghafir, verse 78)

‘We raised among every people a messenger…’ (Al-Nahl, verse 36)


Belief in the Day of Judgment


The true Muslim believes in the Last Day of Judgment. This world will come to an end some day, and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. Everything we do in this world, every intention we have, every move we make, every thought we entertain, and every word we say, all are counted and kept in accurate records. On the Day of Judgment they will be brought up. People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to the Heaven of God, and those with bad records will be punished and cast into Hell. There are descriptions of Heaven and Hell in the Our’an and the Traditions of Muhammad. In Heaven, said Muhammad, there are things which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no mind has ever conceived. However, the Muslim believes that there definitely will be compensation and reward for the good deeds, and punishment for the evil ones. That is the Day of Justice and final settlement of all accounts.


Belief in the Day of Judgment is the final relieving answer to many complicated problems of our world. There are people who commit sins, neglect God and indulge in immoral activities, yet they seem to be "superficially" successful in business and prosperous in life. And there are virtuous and God-minded people, yet they seem to be getting less rewards for their sincere effort, and more suffering in the present world. This is puzzling and incompatible with the Justice of God. If the guilty people can escape the mundane law unharmed and, in addition, be more prosperous, what is, then, left for the virtuous people? What will promote the cause of morality and goodness? There must be some way to reward goodness and arrest evil. If this is not done here on this earth-and we know that it is not done regularly or immediately it has to be done some day, and that is the Day of Judgment.


This is believed to be the final assessment of humanity by God (Allah), consisting of the annihilation of all life, resurrection and judgment. The time of the event is not specified, although there are major and minor signs which have been foretold to happen with Qiyamah at the end of time. Many verses of Qur'anic Sura contain the motif of the impending Day of Resurrection.


The 75th Sura of the Qur'an, "al-Qiyama", has as its main subject the resurrection. Its tribulation is also described in the hadith, and commentaries of Islamic expositors such as al-GhazaliIbn Kathiral-Bukhari. The Day of Judgment is also known as the Day of Reckoning, the Last Day and al-sā'ah, or the Hour.


The Qur'an describes the Last Judgment, with a number of interpretations of its verses. There are specific aspects:


  The time is known only to Allah.

   Muhammad cannot bring it forward.

   Those who have been dead will believe that a short time has passed between birth and death. Nothing will remain except Allah.

   God (Allah) will resurrect all, even if they have turned to stone or iron.

   Those that have accepted false deities will suffer in the afterlife.


At divine judgment, each person's Book of Deeds will be read, in which 'every small and great thing is recorded' with actions before adolescence not written. Records shall be given in the right hand if they are good, and the left if they are evil. Even the smallest acts will not be ignored:


‘Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!
And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.’
(Al-Zalzalah,verses 7,8)


This will be followed by perfect, divine and merciful justice. The age of the hereafter, or rest of eternity, is the final stage after the Day of Judgment, when all will receive their judgment from God.


The dead will stand in a grand assembly, awaiting a scroll detailing their righteous deeds, sinful acts and ultimate judgment. Muhammad (saw) will be the first to be resurrected.


If one did good deeds, one would go to Jannah (heaven), and if unrighteous would go to Jahannam (hell). There will also be a punishment of the grave (for those who disbelieved) between death and the resurrection.


Belief in Allah’s predestination


Allah is the creator of all things, both good and evil.  As is written in the Qur'an, all of humanity is created at the will of Allah, both the good and the evil; and that their natures have been predisposed as such since the beginning of creation.


A hadith reports that Muhammad said about Qadar:


Ali (R.A) narrated that one day the Prophet (saw) was sitting with a wooden stick in his hand with which he was scratching the ground. He raised his head and said, “There is none of you, but has his place assigned either in the Fire or in Paradise.” They (the Companions) inquired, “O Allah’s Messenger! Why should we carry on doing good deeds, shall we depend (upon Qadar) and give up work?” The Prophet (saw) said: “No, carry on doing good deeds, for everyone will find it easy (to do) such deeds that will lead him towards that for which he has been created”. Then he (saw) recited the verse: “As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, and believes in al-Husna, We will make smooth for him the path of Ease (goodness)’ (Al-Layl, verses 5-7).( Sahih Muslim)


However it is made clear that no person has the power to benefit or harm himself or others, and that guidance is only given by Allah, no one else has the power to give guidance. The Quran says:


"For those who do good is good (reward) and more (than this); and blackness or ignominy shall not cover their faces; these are the dwellers of the garden; in it they shall abide."(Yunus, verse 26)


Qadar is one of the aspects of aqidah.  Muslims believe that the divine destiny is when God wrote down in the Preserved Tablet ("al-Lauḥ al-Maḥfūẓ") all that has happened and will happen, which will come to pass as written. According to this belief, a person's action is not caused by what is written in the Preserved Tablet but, rather, the action is written in the Preserved Tablet because God already knows all occurrences without the restrictions of time.   Allah does not need to force anyone to do good or evil by interfering in his will, and nobody will bear witness that Allah did so. 


"They will cry out to them: Were we not with you? They shall say: Yes! but you caused yourselves to fall into temptation, and you waited and doubted, and vain desires deceived you till the threatened punishment of Allah came, while the archdeceiver deceived you about Allah. "(Al-Hadid, verse 14)


The Qur'an makes it clear that people go Hell because they chose to do bad deeds, they go to Heaven by doing good deeds and even if Allah had chosen to guide them to the truth they themselves would choose to reject the faith:


"And if Allah had known any good in them He would have made them hear, and if He makes them hear they would turn back while they withdraw. " (Al-Anfaal, verse 23)

‘…and to this end He has created them (all), except for those to whom your Lord has shown mercy. The word of your Lord shall be fulfilled, ‘I will fill Hell with jinn and men all together.’’ (Hud, verse 119).


The people who have not faith in Islam remain in Hell forever and can not go out any more. But the people who have faith in Islam go to heaven directly, if their account of good and evil would be positive. If their account would be negative, they take first the penalty of their sins in Hell and then go out of Hell. After this they go to Heaven and remain there forever. The people who enter the Heaven  remain there forever by rewarding God’s blessings and bounties.


Faith in Islam is all. The articles explained above are all the parts of faith in Islam. A person who does not ratify any part of faith would not be a full faith believer. Such person may not be saved in the Day of Judgment. Therefore Muslim must believe wholeheartedly in all parts of the faith.



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