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Concept of belief system in Islam is called Eeman or Imaan."Eemaan or Eeman consists of Speech and Action". This is the saying of the Pious predecessors regarding this topic, and this statement needs further clarification and explanation.



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Linguistic meaning

Eeman LINGUISTICALLY means "affirmation".  It is a combination of Belief and Actions.


Islamic meaning

Islamically, Eaman means "theaffirmation of the heart that necessitates speech and action, i.e. belief of the heart, speech of the tongue, and action of the heart and limbs."


What is "Speech" and what is "Action"?

When we say Eeman is speech, we mean two things:

  • the speech of the heart
  • the speech of the tongue


When we say Eeman is action, we mean three things:

  • the actions of the heart
  • the actions of the tongue
  • the actions of the limbs


For this reason we find that the Scholars such as Ibn al-Qayyimرحمت الله , Ibn Taymiyyah رحمت اللهetc. have statements similar to the following:

The following diagram should help us to see this more clearly:


Pillars of Eeman

Just as Islam have five pillars [i.e.,Belief in the Oneness of Allah سبحانه و تعالىand the finality of the Prophet hood of Muhammadﷺ, Salah, Zakat, Saum and Hajj]. So Eeman also has six pillars, taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. These pillars are:

a.  Belief in Allah

b.  Belief in the angels

c.  Belief in the revealed books

d.  Belief in the Messengers

e.  Belief in the resurrection and the events of Qiyamah(Day of Judgement)

f.  Belief in the destiny


Difference between ISLAM & EEMAN

When the two terms are found together then Eeman is taken to mean the inward submission [affirmation and action of the heart] - which will only eminate from a believer [Mu-min], while Islaam is taken to mean the outward submission [speech of the tongue and action of the limbs] - which eminates from someone who's complete or weak in Eeman, or even void of it [e.g. a hypocrite].

Allah سبحانه و تعالىsays in Qur’an.Surah Hujarath 49:14 - The bedouins say, "We have believed." Say, "You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], 'We have submitted,' for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allahسبحانه و تعالىis Forgiving and Merciful."Qur’an. Surah Anfal 8:2-4: The believers are only those who, when Allah سبحانه و تعالىis mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His Ayath are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely – The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend. Those are the believers, truly.

Hence the meaning of Eeman is superior for every Mu-min is a Muslim, but the reverse is not the case.



  • Knowing Allah's Names and Attributes.
  • Contemplating over the Ayaat of Allah سبحانه و تعالىthat relate to His Decree and His Laws.
  • Doing Acts of Obedience - with Eeman increasing according to the sincerity and correctness of the action done, the type of deed done [e.g. if obligatory or recommended], and the amount of deed done.
  • Leaving a Sin Due to Fear of Allah سبحانه و تعالى- with Eeman increasing according to the strength of the temptation being overcome.



  • Being Ignorant of Allah's Names & Attributes.
  • Disregarding & Turning Away From the Ayath of Allah سبحانه و تعالى that relate to His Decree and Laws.
  • Doing Sins
  • Leaving off Acts of Obedience

Eeman decreases according to the type of evil [e.g. if major or not, or if Kufr or Shirk], the amount of sin done, the lack of regret & importance when doing the sin, and according to the lack of temptations calling to the sin.

Eeman decreases according to how certain one is in the deed that is part of obedience. And one could be punished for this [i.e. where an obligatory act is not done with no excuse from the Islamic Sharee'ah], or not punished [i.e. where one has a physical or Islamic Sharee'ah proof for not doing the act




See Also: Aqidah; asma wa siffath; Rights of Allah; The 7 Conditions Of Laa Ilaha Illallah; Faith or The Pillars of Eeman


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