Articles of Faith
Belief in Allah
Tawhid is the first articles of faith also romanized as tawheed, touheed or tevhid) is the indivisible oneness concept of monotheism in Islam. Tawhid is the religion’s most fundamental concept and holds that God is One (Al-ʾAḥad) and Single (Al-Wāḥid). Because of the “principle of Tawhid the Islamic belief in God is considered Unitarian.”
Tawhid constitutes the foremost article of the Muslim profession of faith. The first part of the shahada (the Islamic declaration of faith) is the declaration of belief in the oneness of God. To attribute divinity to a created entity, known as shirk, is an unpardonable sin according to the Qur’an. Muslims believe that the entirety of the Islamic teaching rests on the principle of Tawhid.
Belief in angels is the second articles of faith. Angels are Allah’s servants and their only purpose is to obey, serve and worship Him. They only do whatever is commanded to them by Allah unlike the humans and Jinns, they do not have a free will. Therefore, they are sinless. Muslims also believe that the angels are made of Divine light (Noor). Furthermore, the angels do not have any share in the authority of Allah so, worshipping them and to seek their assistance is regarded as shirk, which is an unpardonable sin in Islam. Another aspect of Muslim belief about angels is their special service to messengers. They were sent down throughout the history to strengthen the hearts of the believers. The Battle of Badr is a worth quoting example in which Allah saved Muslims from defeat by sending a thousand angels. Holy Quran says:
“SURELY! I WILL ASSIST YOU WITH A THOUSAND OF ANGELS, RANKS ON RANKS.”
Angels’ submission to Allah can be judged from the fact that they even prostrated before Adam (R.A), when they were commanded to do so:
“AND BEHOLD! WE SAID TO THE ANGELS, BOW DOWN TO ADAM AND THEY BOWED DOWN.”
Muslims also believe that angels have no physical relation with Allah and Quran rejects the pagans’ belief that the angels are daughters of Allah in these words:
“THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE HEREAFTER, NAME THE ANGELS WITH FEMALE NAMES.”
Angels have particular tasks to perform. Angel Jibrael (R.A), ‘The Arch Angel’ or the ‘Angel of Law’ was responsible for bringing revelations from Allah to His chose people. He also brought the news of the birth of Jesus Christ without a father, to Hazrat Maryam (R.A). Jibrael (R.A) also brought the first revelation upon Prophet (PBUH) and accompanied him on the ‘Night Journey’. The Holy Quran says:
“HE DOES SEND DOWN HIS ANGELS WITH INSPIRATION OF HIS COMMAND TO SUCH OF HIS SERVANTS AS HE PLEASES.”
Angels have been appointed for guarding the Hell fire and to welcome the righteous ones in Heaven. The angel that is in charge of Hell is ‘Malik’ and one in charge of Heaven is ‘Rizwan’. Angels also record the deeds and actions of human beings all the time. Two angels are appointed for this purpose for every human that is in existence, has been or will be. They are known as Kiramun Katibeen. Angels are also appointed to question the person in the grave who are known as ‘Munkir’ and ‘Nakir’. Besides these, there are some prominent angels as well. Hazrat Israel, also known as the ‘Angel of Death’, is responsible for taking the souls out of the body upon death. Hazrat Israfil would blow the trumpet on the Day of Judgment. Hazrat Mikaeel is appointed to look after the universe, movement of galaxies and the provision of rain.
Belief in the reality of Allah’s guidance to humanity, in the form of reveled books, is the third article of Islamic faith. Revelation is the name given to the means of communication through Hazrat Jibrael (R.A) employed by Allah for conveying His commands and messages to prophets and apostles. About the various commands of Allah to be conveyed to his messengers, the Holy Quran says:
“IT IS NOT FITTING FOR A MAN THAT ALLAH SHOULD SPEAK TO HIM EXCEPT BY INSPIRATION OR FROM BEHIND A VEIL OR BY SENDING OF A MESSENGER TO REVEAL WITH ALLAH’S PERMISSIONS WHAT ALLAH WILLS.”
The guidance sent by Allah from time to time was the same. The principles of religion, relating to the Tawheed of Allah, His attributes, prayers, belief in Prophethood, Day of Judgment and Life of Hereafter are common to all revealed books. However, as the need of people varied in different periods, the details of laws enunciated in these books also varied. Each of the previous, apostles or prophets were sent to some particular nation, people or tribes and therefore the revelations sent to each were for the guidance of the people and were not intended to be universal. By the time of Holy Prophet (PBUH), the books revealed have been lost or their original message had distorted. Allah therefore sent a final and complete revelation in the form of Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran is the only revealed scripture, which has been preserved up to present time in its exact original form and language. The Holy Quran says:
WE HAVE, WITHOUT DOUBT, SENT DOWN THE MESSAGE; AND WE, WILL ASSUREDLY GUARD IT (FROM CORRUPTION).”
The Quran does not mention all the prophets either all the revealed books. It only mentions revelations sent to Hazrat Noah (R.A), Hazrat Ibraham (R.A), Hazrat Ismail (R.A), Hazrat Eshaq (R.A), Hazrat Daud (R.A), Hazrat Musa (R.A) and Hazrat Esa (R.A). The revealed books mentioned by name in Holy Quran are: Sahifas revealed to Hazrat Adam (R.A), Hazrat Abraham (R.A) and other prophets. Zaboor was revealed on Hazrat Daud (R.A). Taurah was revealed on Hazrat Moosa (R.A). About Taurah, Holy Quran says:
“AND BEFORE THIS WAS THE BOOK OF MOSES AS A GUIDE AND MERCY.”
According to Holy Quran, the book of Moses contains guidance, Allah’s commands and warnings for Bani Israel. Furthermore, the Bible was revealed to Hazrat Esa (R.A). The Bible confirmed that Taurah also contained guidance and light for Bani Israel. The Quran is perhaps, the last and the most comprehensive book revealed by Allah to His last messenger, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through Hazrat Jibraeel (R.A). Its revelation spreads over a period of 22 years, 15 months, and 4 days. The Holy Quran perfects and completes Divine Message and speaks of the attributes of Allah, His power and gives details of Islamic principles and the primary knowledge to lead a righteous life. It lays down moral, ethical principles and contains stories of earlier prophets as well. Quran says:
“THIS IS THE BOOK; IN IT IS SURE GUIDANCE FOR THOSE WHO FEAR GOD.”
The Quran is undoubted, the only revealed book, which stayed in its exact form as it was 1400 years ago. This is because Allah Himself has promised to protect it, till the Day of Judgment.
Belief in Prophets is the fourth articles of faith. Throughout the history, prophets were sent as a source of guidance and wisdom for mankind. Prophethood is a prerogative given by Allah to His servants that are the special ones. It cannot be obtained by personal efforts or tremendous amount of worship. Angel Jibrael (R.A) who brought upon them, the revelations from Allah, guided all the prophets sent by Allah. They were all human beings, normal mortals and lived an entirely normal life like others. They had wives, relatives and children. Despite of being humans, they were sinless. This means that they never disobeyed Allah’s orders deliberately. They were pious and truthful and Allah favored them over other creations e.g. humans and Jinns. He chose the prophets Himself and guided them throughout their mission of preaching faith. They only preached the message of Allah and not their own beliefs. The Quran incites that the prophets were raised in order to be obeyed and praised:
“WE SENT NOT A MESSENGER, BUT BE OBEYED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WILL OF ALLAH.”
The messages and commands received by prophets, contained the same key teachings i.e. belief in Oneness of Allah, belief in Hereafter etc. Those messages also contained instructions about fundamentals and moral principles. Some of the prophets were gifted with books and scriptures i.e. Bible on Moses (R.A), Psalms on David (R.A), Gospel of Jesus Christ (R.A) and Holy Quran on Prophet (PBUH). Only the last book, Holy Quran, is still in its original form. The followers according to their own requirements have corrupted the rest revealed books. Prophets were also blessed with miracles as a sign of their divine powers gifted by Allah: Moses (R.A) was given the miracle of a stick, which turned into a snake when it was thrown down. Jesus Christ (R.A) could heal the lepers and blinds and cure them. He also had the authority of resurrecting the dead but with the command of Allah. The prophets were sent with guidance for a particular community and for a specific period of time e.g. Moses (R.A) was sent for Bani Israel. Only Prophet (PBUH) was sent as a source of guidance for whole mankind till the Day of Judgment. The Hadith states that a line of messengers from Adam (E.A) numbered 124000 but Quran mentions only 25 of the major individual including Moses, Jesus Christ, Joseph, David etc.
Muslims also believe that Prophet (PBUH) was the last messenger and there will be none after him. Quran says:
“MUHAMMAD IS NOT THE FATHER OF ANY YOU MEN BUT THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH AND SEAL OF PROPHETS.”
Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself said:
“I AM THE SEAL OF PROPHETS AND THERE WILL BE NO PROPHET AFTER ME.”
According to Muslims belief, all messengers were equal in status, neglecting their communities, miracles and books revealed on them. Holy Quran says:
“AND WE MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE ONE AND THE OTHER OF HIS MESSENGERS.”
Belief in God’s predestination and decree is the fifth article of Muslim’s faith. The word ‘decree’ is from an Arabic word which means power and authority. One of the Allah’s attribute is ‘Qadir’, which means all powerful. Everything in the universe is subjected to the law of Allah. This universal law is explained in the following verses of Holy Quran:
“GLORIFY THE NAME OF THY GUARDIAN-LORD. THE MOST HIGH, WHO HATH CREATED AND FURTHER GIVEN ORDER AND PROPORTION, WHO HATH ORDAINED LAWS. AND GRANTED GUIDANCE.”
Here four things are mentioned regarding every object of creation including man, its growth, its completion, its measure and guidance to its goal, which is brought about according to a law, or measure within which everything works by Divine guidance. Muslims believe that Allah is the Creator of all that is in existence and that everything in this universe is subservient. The Quran says in Ayat al-Qursi:
“HIS ARE ALL THINGS IN THE HEAVENS AND ON EARTH.”
It means that everything in the universe belongs to and praises Him. In Surah Fatiah it is said:
“PRAISE TO BE ALLAH, THE LORD OF THE WORLDS.”
Allah is not merely supervising the universe but also directing it to its destined end.
Muslims also believe that everything in this universe takes place as per Allah’s will. Since, Allah has created everything therefore; He has the authority to do whatever He wants to do. There is no one to challenge His authority and decisions. Allah is Omnipotent and can decide the outcomes of the events even before they have occurred. The Holy Quran says:
“HE HAS THE POWER TO DISPOSE OF ALL AFFAIRS.”
The Quran tells that the birth of Hazrat Esa (R.A) without a father was pre-decided. It is written in Surah Maryam:
“A MATTER SO DECREED.”
The Holy Quran tells us that victory of Muslims in Battle of Badr was already decided. Quran says:
“A MATTER ALREADY ENACTED.”
Part of Islamic faith is believing in that Allah has the knowledge of everything that is happening, has happened or will take place. Allah’s knowledge encompasses all things; possible or impossible. The Holy Quran refers to it as:
“HE KNOWS WHAT IS AFTER AND BEFORE OR BEHIND THEM.”
At another instant, Holy Quran says:
“HE HAS CREATED ALL THE THINGS AND HE HAS THE KNOWLEDGE OF ALL THINGS.”
Allah has predestined everything but at the same time He has given every human a free will with which the human has the power to choose between evil and righteous path. Holy Quran says:
“THE TRUTH IS FROM YOUR LORD; LET HIM WHO WILL BELIEVE AND LET HIM WHO WILL REJECT (IT).”
It is the exercise of this power of free will, which will result in a reward or a punishment.
Belief in life after, which pertains to the Day of Judgment, bodily resurrection, Heaven, and Hell is the sixth articles of faith. The Holy Quran gives great importance to this belief, placing it next in importance to faith in Allah. At many places in Holy Quran, it is written:
“ANY WHO BELIEVE IN ALLAH AND THE LAST DAY AND WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL HAVE THEIR REWARD WITH THEIR LORD.”
Muslims believe that an external life begins after the death. The reward and punishment of life hereafter depend upon the deeds and sins of the worldly life. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“THIS WORLD IS THE CULTIVATING GROUND FOR HEREAFTER.”
Muslims also believe that immediately that after the death, the lesser judgment or Qiyamat-e-Sughra takes place after which the righteous are spoken of tasting the fruit of their good deeds, while evil doer has to taste the worst consequences of their wrong deeds. Then the soul remains in the state of Barzakh until the Day of Judgment. The state of a grave is the same state as that of Barzakh. At a time, only known to Allah, this world will be brought to an end by a deafening noise from the trumpet of Hazrat Israfil (R.A). There will be chaos and destruction. All landmarks of the Earth will be lost as the result of a tremendous convulsion. Quran refers to it in these words:
“WHEN THE EARTH IS FLATTENED OUT AND THROWS OUT WHATEVER IT CONTAINS AND GETS EMPTY.”
Human beings would be running in confusion and the mountains would be flying like soft wool. The Sun will be folded up, the Moon will be in darkness, and the stars will become dim and would fall. The oceans will boil tremendously. Holy Quran says:
“ONE DAY THE EARTH WILL BE CHANGED TO A DIFFERENT EARTH AND SO WILL BE THE HEAVEN.”
The trumpet will be blown again and the bodies of the dead would be raised from their graves and rejoined to their souls. This is known as resurrection. All men will then stand before Allah to give an account of their actions in this world. All events will proceed according to Allah’s command. Surah Fatiah refers to Allah as:
“THE MASTER OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.”
According to the Muslim’s belief, the court will be held in the plain of Arafat. No injustice will be done on that day. The hands, feet and tongues will bear witness against the mortals. The respected recorders, Kiraaman Katibeen, will present their records including the deeds and the evil acts of every individual. Every human will be shown their smallest of good and bad deeds.
“THEN SHALL ANYONE WHO HAS DONE ATOM’S WEIGHT OF GOOD SHALL SEE IT. AND ANYONE WHO HAS DONE ATOM’S WEIGHT OF EVIL SHALL SEE IT.”
The righteous and unrighteous would be held in separate companies, to be shown their deeds. Those whose balance of good deeds will be found heavier, their record would be given to them in their right hand and they would be rewarded with the blessings of Paradise. Holy Quran says:
“THEY ARE THE COMPANIONS OF THE GARDEN, THEY WILL ABIDE THEREIN.”
Those whose balance of evil deeds will be found heavier, their record will be given to them in their left hand and would be punished in the fire of Hell.
“THEY ARE THE COMPANIONS OF FIRE, THEY WILL ABIDE THEREIN.”