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THE 6 ARTICLES OF FAITH OR THE PILLARS OF EEMAN


The 6 Articles of Faith are Islamically called as Arkan E Eeman/Imaan or the 6 pillars of Eeman. The 6 articles of faith comes in a famous hadith called as The Hadith of Jibreel or Hadees  E Jibreel. In the hadith of the Gabriel (Gibreel), related by 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (R), a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him Peace) and the second Khalifa or Caliph of an Islamic state, the basic aspects of the Islam are laid out. [1]

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Qur’an

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets. Qur’an.Surah Baqrah 2:177. And the sixth pillar of eeman is mentioned in Qur’an.Surah Taghabun 64:11, Surah Qamar 54:49 and Surah Furqan 25:2. [2]

 

Hadith

“Tell me about belief (iman).”The Prophet (May Allah honour Him and grant Him Peace) replied, “It is to believe in Allah; His Angels; His Books; His Messengers; the Last Day; and in destiny—its good and bad.” Sahih Muslim Vol 1: 6 [3]

 

Six pillars of Eeman or Belief

1.     Absolute and total belief and acceptance in the Oneness of Allah.

2.     Absolute and total belief and acceptance in all the appointed Prophets of Allah.

3.     Absolute and total belief and acceptance in all the revealed Scriptures of Allah.

4.     Absolute and total belief and acceptance in the Angels of Allah.

5.     Absolute and total belief and acceptance in the concept of the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell Fire, etc.

6.     Absolute and total belief and acceptance in the ‘Qadr’ or Divine Decrees of Allah. [4]

 

 

Details of Eeman

1. Belief in Allah

 

With respect to actual definitions of Tawheed there are three main branches which is derived by scholars based on the teachings of Qur’an, the indication of 3 categories are mentioned in Qur’an.Surah Mariam 19:65.

 

a. Tawheed al-Ruboobiyah:The belief in the Lordship of Allah; the oneness of Allah concerning His actions, His being the sole Creator and the only One who sustains and maintains the creation (Qur’an.Surah Fatiha 1:1, Surah Anam6: 14 and Sura Muminoon 23: 84-89)

b. Tawheed al-Uloohiyah:The belief that all acts and forms of worship must be directed to Allah and Allah alone, as He is the only One worthy and deserving of worship; to hope in Allah, to make supplication to Allah, to show gratitude to Allah alone (Qur’an.Sura al-Dhaariyaat 51: 56; Sura al-Israa 17:23; Sura al-Araaf 7:59,65,83,85; Sura Hood 13:50,61,84; Sura al-Muminoon 23:23,32)

c. Tawheed al-Asma wa al-Sifaat:Believing in all of the names and attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur’an and authentic hadith, without distortion or anthropomorphic interpretation or figurative/poetic interpretation of their respective meanings(Qur’an.Surah Isra 17:110, Surah Taha 20:8 and Sura al-Shoora 42:11). The scholars say, the correct Faith in Allah’s attributes means believing in them without denying them or their meanings (ta`teel), without interpreting them and changing their meanings (tahreef), without explaining how they are (takyeef) or likening Allah’s attributes to those of the creation (tamtheel).

 

2. Belief in the “Last Day”

 

It is the second article of faith and it means to recognize that there will be no day after this day and that people will reside forever in either Paradise or Hell.  The belief in this Day implies belief in everything mentioned about it in the Qur’an or authentic ahadith—which are numerous and difficult to summarize here.  It is highly recommended for Muslims to learn as much about this day as possible so that one may prepare well for its eventuality.  One of the most important beliefs about this Day is that all of humanity will be resurrected as they once were—with the same body.  Also, to believe that Allah will judge with justice and only He knows how the “balances/mizaan” will be set on that Day.  This will not be a “metaphysical” experience—rather, it will be a real, actual, physical event, as will be the existence in either paradise, or hell.  It is important for the believer to realize that we all will face an earlier “judgment” of our own and this occurs when a person enters the grave.  In the grave the soul will enter its own realm, known as Al-Barzakh.  It is in this realm that the soul will experience either punishment or reward.  What should this belief do for us as we live now?

 

a. It should make the believer rush to do good deeds

b. It should prevent the believer from partaking in sinful deeds

c. The justice on that Day should bring solace and comfort to the heart of the believer—good deeds and sacrifice will not have been done in vain and evil doers will have what they earned

d. Without belief in Allah and the Last Day, what would be the purpose of this life? (Qur’an.Surah Saad 37:27)

 

3. Belief in “His Angels”

 

It is the third article of faith, which is an essential belief of Islam as it leads to belief in the Qur’an; meaning, that since it was the role of Angel Jibreel to bring the Qur’anic revelations to the Prophet Muhammad then belief in the Qur’an cannot be confirmed unless a person believes in the angels.

 

Further, Angles are to be regarded as strictly a type of creation of Allah—not as daughters of Allah, which was the belief of the mushrikeen; angels do not have any divine qualities.  Angels are made from “light,” but still have a physical form and body.  Also, angels submit fully to the commandments of Allah and have no choice in that matter.  As such, they never stray from what is true and correct.  Next, there are 5 aspects of belief in angels:

a. First is to believe that they actually do exist.

b.Second, is to believe in their names—at least the ones that have been mentioned in the Qur’an and/or authentic hadith.  These names include Jibreel, Mikhael and Israfil.

c. Thirdly, angels have specific attributes as mentioned in the Qur’an and/or authentic hadith.  These attributes include being able to change form, such as the human form that Jibreel took in this hadith.  Also, their actual form—this is in reference to when the Prophet (saw) saw Jibreel covering the entire horizon and adorned with 600 wings.

d. Fourth is to believe in the actions that angels perform—again, as revealed in the Qur’an and/or authentic hadith.  Examples include Jibreel’s role as “life of the heart,” meaning the angel who is in charge of revelation; Mikhael’s role in rain and vegetation; Israfil’s role in blowing of the trumpet; the role of the two angels who accompany every human being to record his/her deeds (Qur’an.Surah Qaaf:17-18).

e. Lastly, is to have a strong love for the angels due to their complete and total obedience to Allah and due to their love of true believers in Allah, for the angels make supplication to Allah for forgiveness on the behalf of the believers.

 

4. Belief in Allah’s “Books

 

It is the fourth article of faith and refers to the revelation from Allah to humankind.  The revelations of these books were sent as a mercy from Allah to provide guidance for humanity to attain victory and success in this life and in the life hereafter.  It should be noted that the Qur’an came to confirm the previous scriptures and so a Muslim does not need to turn to any other revelation other then the Qur’an. (Surah Maaidah 5:48)  Also, the Qur’an stands as the final revelation for all humankind, until the Day of Judgment and, thus, Allah has protected the Qur’an from any distortion or tampering (Surah al-Hijr 15:9). There are 4 aspects to this belief:

a. First to believe that these books were truly revealed from Allah, and no other source.

b. Second to believe the books themselves as mentioned in the Qur’an and/or authentic hadith: the Taurah revealed to Musa (as); the Zaboor revealed to Da’oud (as); the Injeel revealed to ‘Eesa or Isa (as); the Qur’an revealed to Muhammad; the “pages” revealed to Ibrahim (as) and Musa (as).

c. Third is to believe in everything that Allah had revealed in these books—the Muslim has no choice in this matter; if a person rejects any part of revelation then he/she has negated belief in Allah’s “books.” (Qur’an.Surah al-Baqara 2:85) ***It is important to note that, other then the Qur’an, the previous revelations have been distorted and/or added to.  Therefore, the Muslim believes in the Taurah, but does not have to believe in the first five books of the Old Testament.

d. Fourth is to act according to the Qur’an, to be pleased with what it commands and to submit to its commands willingly and completely—regardless of whether or not a person understands the wisdom behind its statements. 

 

5. Belief in Allah’s Messengers

 

It is the fifth article of faith and includes belief that Allah chose His messengers from among the angels and humans (Qur’an.Surah al-Hajj 22:75; Surah al-Anaam 6:124).  All the messengers to humanity were simple, human beings that did not have any divine attributes.  Also, to believe that Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him Peace) is the last of the messengers (Qur’an.Sura al-Ahzaab 33:40). 

 

In terms of what is the difference between a Prophet and a Messenger: a prophet is a person who was granted knowledge of Islam and did not necessarily spread that message/knowledge beyond his own immediate village or tribe.  A messenger, however, also received the revelation, but was also obligated to spread that message beyond his own immediate surroundings.  Thus, all messengers were first prophets, while not all prophets were messengers; this means that when Allah says that Muhammad (saw) is the “Seal of the Prophets,” then he (May Allah honour Him and grant Him Peace) is also the seal of the messengers.  What sets Muhammad apart from the other messengers is that his (May Allah honour Him and grant Him Peace) message is for all time and for all humankind until the Day of Judgment.

 

There are 4 aspects to believe in here:

a. To believe that the message of all prophets is the truth from Allah.  To deny a prophet who is confirmed in the Qur’an and/or authentic ahadith is, in fact, denying them all.  This is what separates the Jews from the Christians and is what separates both of these groups from the Muslims.

b. To believe in all the Messengers and Prophets mentioned by named in the Qur’an and/or authentic ahadith.  Also, those that are not mentioned by name should be recognized on a “general” level, as Allah sent messengers to every nation that has ever existed on the face of the Earth from the beginning of humankind’s existence (Qur’an.Surah Ghaafir 40:78).

c. To believe in everything that every prophet stated and that they all communicated their messages completely and properly, from Allah.  Also, they put full effort into conveyance of the message and that they were the best in knowledge and the best worshippers of Allah.

d. Lastly, to submit, accept and act in accordance with the law of the messenger who ha been sent for this guidance (Qur’an.Surah al-Nisaa 4:64-65).

 

6. Belief in Divine Decree (Al Qadr)

 

It is the sixth and final pillar of eeman, the good and evil thereof.  As such, the Prophet (May Allah honour Him and grant Him Peace) knew this would be and has thus re-stated the words “to believe in,” which means that this is a crucial aspect to the completion of one’s Eeman or Iman.  Again, there are 4 aspects of belief:

a. Belief in Allah’s knowledge of everything—universal and particulars of every living and non-living thing, before its existence.  Allah has foreknowledge of all the deeds of the creation and has foreknowledge of all forms of sustenance such as rain, giving life, etc. and this is all part of His ever-existing, eternal knowledge (Qur’an.Surah al-Anaam 6:59).

b. Belief in that all things have been recorded before the creation of the heavens and the Earth in Al-Lauh al-Mahfooz, known as the “preserved tablet,” (Qur’an.Sura al-Hajj:70, Surah al-Hadeed 57:22).  There are 4 types of “pre-recording” which include: (i) the pre-existant measure by the knowledge All that is recorded in the preserved tablet; (ii) Allah’s decree concerning the life of a person who is still in the womb of the mother (life span, sustenance, deeds, and whether a person is successful or miserable); (iii) a yearly determination that occurs on Lailat al Qadr; (iv) a daily pre-measuring for everything that occurs daily (Qur’an.Surah al-Rahmaan 55:29)

c. To believe that Allah decrees everything that is in existence and if He does not will something than it will not come into existence.  This refers to giving life, all acts performed by humans, all forms of sustenance (Qur’an.Surah al-Baqara 2:253)

d. Belief in Allah’s creation of everything and making everything “be” (Qur’an.Surah Al-Furqaan 25:1-2; Surah al-Zumar 39:62; Surah al-Qamar 54:49; Surah al-Saafaat 37:96)

 

What is the result of believing in Qadr?

a. When a person realizes that everything is under the control of Allah, than that person frees him/herself from shirk

b. When a person puts his/her reliance totally on Allah than he/she begins to see the “causes and effects” that occur daily

c. It keeps a person from becoming arrogant, prideful or boastful because he/she realizes that accomplishments come about only from Allah and, thus, becomes thankful for things that happen and things that don’t happen—whether or not issues are perceived, outwardly, as “good” or “bad.”

d. Gives tranquility to the mind—a person does not despair or give up hope.  Rather, he/she realizes that there is a purpose behind everything that occurs. (Qur’an.Surah Hadeed 57:22-23)

e. Gives a person strength and courage because he/she knows that Allah has recorded his/her lifespan and sustenance and that Allah will take care of all His creation.

f. If a person does not believe in Qadr then that person does not see a goal or purpose to this life.  But, if a person does believe and seeks the help of Allah then surely Allah will help him/her. [5]

 

References

[1] http://www.123muslim.com/urdu-posts/2060-hadeeth-e-jibreel.html

[2] http://quran.com/

[3] http://www.sunnah.com/muslim/1

[4] http://www.islamhelpline.net/node/5584

[5] deenden.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/hadith-of-jibreel-explained.doc

 

See Also: LAA ILAHA ILLALLAH; Pillars of Islam; Hadeeth e Jibreel; Tawheed;

 

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