FAITH IN ISLAM
Faith in English generally means to believe in something or to trust. But faith in Islam has meaning much more than just believing. The Arabic word used for faith is Eeman. Islamically, faith means pronouncing by tongue, fixing in heart and then following it by actions. The most important facet of Islam is faith and “faith” has been given utmost importance.
Eeman is a combination of Belief and Actions. The earlier scholars summed up these two components in their saying: "Eeman is Statement and Action." [See al-Laalakai v.1, p.176]
Statement here includes both; statements of the heart and statement of the tongue (Verbal Confessing) and Action include both, actions of the heart and actions of the body. These two components are broken down into three essential parts for better understanding:-
The basic faiths among Muslims include six pillars of faith as mentioned in the book of hadith, Sahih Al Muslim Vol 1:1, 6 and Sunan Nasai Vol 6: 4994.
These pillars are:
Belief in Allah comprises four aspects:
The First Aspect: The belief in Allah’s existence. This is established by:
1. Al-Fitrah (the natural pure inclination towards the truth)
2. Al-Aql (reason and analysis),
3. Ash-Sharee’ah (revelation and scripture),
4. Al-Hiss (physical senses).
a) As for the Fitrah, we say the following: Allah created the belief in Him in every human being. Mankind needs not to be taught this belief or think about how to possess it. However, the ones who have this Fitrah corrupted will not benefit from it. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means, “Every newly born will be born having Fitrah. However, his parents will either convert him to Judaism, Christianity or Majocism (fire worshipping).” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]
b) The Human Mind must be used to prove the existence of Allah. All this creation, of old and new, must have a Creator who invented and started it. This creation could not have come to existence on its own or by chance. It could not have created itself, because it did not exist beforehand. Therefore, how can it create? Also, the creation could not have been started by accident or chance. Everything that exists must have a Creator who brought it into existence. Creation is magnificent in organization, coherent and correlated in its existence. There is a reason and originator behind every act. All this nullifies the saying that this entire universe was started by chance. What was started by chance cannot be organized in its form because it did not have any organization before it was formed. What makes what was created by chance to be this organized? If all this creation neither could have created itself nor was it created by chance, then it must have an Originator, Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Allah mentioned this reasoning in the Quran, “Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?” [52:35].
This Ayah means that men were neither created without a Creator nor did they create themselves. Therefore, Allah is the One who created them. This is why when Jubair ibn Mut’im (radiyallaahu anhu) heard the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) recite this Surah until he reached, “Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm belief. Or are with them the Treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with authority to do as they like?” [52:35-37],
Jubair, a disbeliever then, said, “My heart almost flew (from the power of this reasoning mentioned in the Surah). This was the first time that Iman entered my heart.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari]
c) As for the Shari’ah, all divine religions testify to the fact that Allah created the world. All Laws that were sent with these divine and revealed religions contain what benefits mankind. This is evidence to the existence of a Wise and All-Knowing Lord Who knows what brings benefit to His creation, All divinely-revealed religions describe a universe that is self evident to the existence and ability of Allah, Who Creates what He Will.
d) Also, the senses must be used to prove the existence of Allah. We know that Allah accepts the supplication from whoever seek His aid and help, and that He brings them the benefits that they desire. This is clear evidence to the existence of Allah, who said, what translated means, “And (remember) Noah, when he cried (to Us) aforetime We listened to his invocation.” [21:76] and, “(Remember) when you sought help from your Lord and He answered you?” [8:9].
The Angels are a matter of the unseen. They are created by Allah and they worship Him. They have no attributes that qualify them to be gods or lords. Allah created them from light, and He bestowed on them the bounty of obeying Him at all times. He gave them the power to carry and implement His orders, “And those who are near Him (the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship). They glorify His praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so).” [21:19-20]. They are so numerous that only Allah can count their numbers. Anas (radiyallaahu anhu) said, while narrating the story of the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) ascension to heaven, that Al-Bait Al-Ma’amoor (the House in heaven that is always inhabited. It is, for the inhabitants of heaven, like the Kaa’bah for the people of earth) was raised for the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) in heaven so he can see it. Each day, seventy thousand Angels pray in this House, and when they exit from it, they will never get back into it (this shows how numerous the angels are).[Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]
Kutub (books) is plural for Kitab (a book). They are called Kutub because they are written (maktoob). Books, here means the Books that Allah sent down to His Messengers as a mercy and guidance for mankind. These Books are designed to lead mankind to what brings them happiness in this life and in the Hereafter.
To implement the Commandments contained in these Books, unless Allah commanded to the contrary through Naskh (over ruling). We must accept whatever these Books contained of Commandments, even if we do not know the wisdom behind them. All previous Books were over-ruled by the Qur’aan. Allah said, what translated means, “And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Qur’aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and dominant over it.” [5:48]. This means that the Qur’aan is dominant over all other Books. Therefore, no Commandment contained in other than the Qur’aan can be implemented unless it is in agreement with the Qur’aan.
The Messengers are sent to deliver a Message. They are the ones to whom Allah has sent down revelation and who conveys His Law to mankind. Allah ordered them to deliver these Messages.
The first Messenger to be sent was Noah and the last one was Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam).Allah said, what translated means, “Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad) as We inspired Noah and the Prophets after him.” [4:163]. Anas ibn Malik (radiyallaahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, during his Hadeeth about Shafa’ah (the right of intercession on mankind’s behalf that Allah grants to His Messenger on the Last Day), “Mankind come to Adam to intercede on their behalf but he declines, saying: ‘Go to Noah, the First Messenger that Allah sent...” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] Also, Allah said, what translated means, “Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the Last (end) of Prophets.” [33:40].
Allah sent Messengers to every nation and provided them with Laws that their nations must follow. Some Messengers were sent to revive a Message of a previous Messenger. Allah said, what translated means,“And verily, We have sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (alone), and avoid all Taghut (false deities).” [16:36], The Messengers are only humans and they do not possess any attributes that qualify them to be gods.
The Last Day is the Day when mankind will be resurrected to be asked about their deeds and receive reward or punishment for them. It is called “the Last Day,” because it is the last day, no day after that. Afterwards, people of Paradise will permanently reside and take their places in it, and people of Hell will permanently reside and take their places in it.
Allah said, what translated means, “As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it." [21:104].
The Resurrection is a true event that the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of Muslims have confirmed. Allah said, what translated means, “After that, surely you will die. Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.” [23:15-16].
Al-Qadar is Allah’s predestination of measurements and sustenance of everything and everyone, according to His Knowledge and Wisdom.
Aspects Of Belief In Al-Qadar
1. Knowledge - The belief that Allah’s Knowledge encompasses everything, every matter, major or minor, and time frames of everything that happens in this universe. Allah’s Knowledge encompasses all of His Actions and actions taken by His slaves.
2. Writing - The belief that Allah recorded everything in a Book that He kept with Him, called “A1-Lawh’ Al-Mah’foodh” (The Preserved Book). He said, what translated means, “Know you not that Allah knows all that is in heaven and on earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (Al-Lawh’ Al-Mah’footh). Verily, that is easy for Allah.” [22:70].
Abdullah-ibn-Amr-ibn-al-Aas (radiyallaahu anhuma) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) say, what translated means, “Allah recorded the measurement of all matters pertaining to Creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.” [Saheeh Muslim]
3. The belief that nothing, whether related to Allah’s Actions or actions taken by His slaves, can happen without His Permission. He said, what translated means, “And your Lord Creates whatsoever He wills and chooses.” [28: 68], “ And Allah does what He will.” [14: 27] and, “He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases.” [3: 6]. As for actions taken by His creation, Allah said, “Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.” [4:90] and, “And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them alone with their fabrications.” [6:137].
4. The belief that Allah created all creation, all what they possess of attributes and all their actions, “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian over all things.” [39:62] and, “He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.” [25: 2]. Also, Abraham said to his people, as was mentioned in the Qur’aan, “While Allah has created you and what you make.” [37:96].
As for the Reality of things, every human knows that he has a power and a will of his own. He uses his power and will to indulge in or avoid actions of his choice. Mankind distinguish between what they do by their own power and between what they have no power over, like shivering due to illness or extreme cool. However, the power and will of mankind is under the control of Allah’s Will and Power, “To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. And you will not, unless (it be) that Allah wills, the Lord of the worlds.” [81:28-29]. The universe is Allah’s property and nothing happens in His Kingdom without His Knowledge and Permission.