Monday, October 20, 2008

6 pillars of Faith (iman)

Iman is made up of 6 things, as taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW):

1. Belief in Allah
Allah is the one and only God of all that is created. He has no partners, and he is not a man or a woman. In fact, Allah is unlike anything we can possibly imagine! He is All Powerful, All Wise, All Seeing and All Hearing. Sometimes it is difficult for us to comprehend this. So if we want to know and understand Allah better, we can do so through His 99 Names, or attributes.

2. Belief in His angels
There are an innumerable amount of angels that Allah has created for many different purposes. We generally cannot see or hear angels, but we must believe that they exist. Some of the tasks of angels include:

i) Delivering the Revelations of Allah to the Prophets – this is the job of Jibreel
ii) Looking after and maintaining the weather – this is the job of Mikaeel
iii)Protecting us humans
iv) Observing and recording our deeds – the Quran says "When the two angels receive (his deed), one sitting on the right and one on the left, he utters not a word but an observer is near him." (50:18)

So angels see us and help us all the time, we are often not aware of it!

4. Belief in the holy books
Allah has sent revelations to the Prophets, and these have been compiled as books.

i) The Suhuf (Scrolls) revealed to Ibrahim (AS)
ii) The Zaboor revealed to Dawud (AS)
iii)The Tawrah (Torah) revealed to Musa (AS)
iv) The Injeel (Gospel) revealed to Isa (Jesus) (AS)
v) The Qur’an revealed to Muhammad (SAW)

5. Belief in the Prophets (AS)
There have been over 124,000 messengers sent to mankind since the beginning of time! However, only some of their names are listed in the Quran. The 5 most important Prophets are:

(i) Nuh (AS)
(ii)Ibrahim (AS)
(iii) Musa (AS)
(iv) Isa (AS)
(iv) Muhammad (SAW)

Belief that we will be resurrected after we die, and there will be a day of Qiyamah
Muslims believe that when we die, we will all be resurrected once again this means that Allah will awaken all people, even if they had died thousands of years ago! The Qiyamah is the day on which all people will awaken, and this is when Allah will judge between us all, to separate the good people from those who did much wrong.

6. Belief that Allah has predestined all things
Muslims must also believe that Allah has predestined all that is to occur. This means that Allah knows everything, even what you will eat, or read tomorrow, in 1 week or in 2 years time! Allah knows all the events which you will live in your life, and the emotions which you will feel. And only Allah knows exactly where and when you will pass away.

Here is a short story from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, which sums up the pillars of Islam and iman:

One day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) appeared before the public. Then a man came to him and asked: Prophet of Allah, what is Iman? Upon this he (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, His angels, His Books, His meeting, His Messengers and that you affirm your faith in the Resurrection hereafter. He (again) asked: Messenger of Allah, what does Islam signify? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Islam signifies that you worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him and you perform the prescribed Prayer and you pay the obligatory poor-due (Zakah) and you observe the Fast of Ramadan. He (the inquirer) again asked: Messenger of Allah, what does Al-Ihsan (Faithfulness) imply? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and in case you fail to see Him, then observe that He is seeing you.

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