I. BELIEF IN ALLAH
The first among the six major elements of faith in Islam is the belief in Allah, the One, and only true God. It is necessary to affirm all of what is found in the Qur ‘an and authentic sayings of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad concerning Allah’s Names and Attributes. Some of His attributes are actions (like “He created”) and some of them are characteristics (like “He is Great”), and others are descriptive of Him (“His Face”) etc. All of these are to be affirmed without pitfalls of distortion, denial, qualification, and likening, or resemblance.
He is Alone, He is the One, Who is turned to in repentance, ever Eternal and Perfect, absolutely faultless. He did not give birth, nor was He born. There is no valid worshipped object or deity other than Him although many people worship other deities. He is Alive, Ever-Living; He Sustains and Protects all that exist. He does not tire or become weary; He is the Owner and complete Sovereign of all. His Knowledge encompasses everything; and He is completely Knowledgeable about a thing even before He creates it, knowing the how of the thing and all of its conditions and stipulations, including its duration of existence.
He has complete control over everything and nothing happens except by His Permission. He is the Knower of all things. He is Ever-Living, without end. He is the Wise, the Well Acquainted. With Him are the keys to all knowledge beyond human reaches, and none knows them except Him. Nothing happens at all except that He has written it in a Clear Book. He is Capable of everything. He is the Possessor of Strength. He loves the doer of good, the just, the upright, and the pious. He loves the repentant and those who purify themselves. He loves those who fight for His Cause. He is the Most Merciful and Merciful to those who show Mercy. He has prescribed mercy for Himself, and the Best Protector. He is the Possessor of Majesty and Generosity. He is the Lord. He is the Best Planner. He is without namesake, equal, rival, partner, son, daughter, and offspring. He is the Creator of everything. He is the sender of the tornado, the hurricane, the earthquake, and all natural calamities. He knows, hears, and sees all, having complete control over existence.
Belief in Allah also implies singling out Allah alone in worship. The opposite of this is associating gods with Allah. Association [shirk] is the gravest sin - it is a sin which Allah will not forgive. Likewise, denying any of the attributes of Allah is a heretical act of disbelief, which may lead one to become an apostate. Belief in Allah necessitates believing in all that He has claimed about Himself.
II. BELIEF IN THE MESSENGERS
Allah has chosen messengers from among His own creatures. He has sent all of them with the same Message, delivering it to all people. Allah has sent to each nation a messenger saying “Worship Allah and abandon the false gods.” They also were commissioned with warning people of the torment in the next life for those who did not worship Allah alone; as well as delivering glad tidings to those who worship Allah. They were grateful worshipers chosen by Allah whom Allah honored with the position of Prophethood and Divine Message. They were indeed possessing strength and vision and were loyal servants of Him. They were excellent and repentant upon whom Allah bestowed favors made them example for the entire humankind. The Last of all of the prophets and messengers was Muhammad. He was, in fact, sent for all of humanity. The Legislation that was revealed to Muhammad is the religion of Islam. Allah is pleased for His worshipers with this religion. Allah has perfected our Religion for us, completed His Favor upon us, and have chosen for us Islam, as our way of life. Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be of the losers. The first of the messengers was Nuh (Noah), and the last of them was Muhammad. The best of them with strong and great resolve were Nuh, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), ‘Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all). We also believe that the Law revealed to Muhammad completes and overrides the Law received by all previous prophets. The messengers were men, descendants of Adam, but revealed to them that Allah is one God, and none has the right to be worshipped but He.
It is an essential element of faith in Islam to believe in all of the messengers. Whoever denied Muhammad, then he has denied all of the messengers of Allah, and he, thus, does not have faith in Allah. There are no prophets after Muhammad
III. BELIEF IN THE DIVINE REVELATIONS
Allah has guided and helped the human race in many ways. One of these ways was to reveal a divine book containing the laws and legislation and wisdom that no other people possessed. These are prescribed for a particular people through their prophet to enable them to explain and teach their people how to best implement the divinely revealed teachings. These Books explained to the people that Allah was the only one worthy of worship, and that true success in this life and the Hereafter would only be reached by worshiping Him alone, without any partners or associates. They explained laws and codes for the people to follow; giving glad tidings to those obeyed the messengers and warning of severe punishment for those who rejected their guidance.
The Suhuf (Scrolls) revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham), the Zaboor (Psalm) revealed to Dawud (David), the Tawrat (Torah) revealed to Musa (Moses), the Injeel (Gospel) revealed to ‘Isa (Jesus), and the Qur‘an revealed to Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all).
Although there were many prophets and messengers sent to humankind before Muhammad, a relatively small number of them have been mentioned to us by name. These prophets and their Books are to be believed in, since today humanity neither possesses the original Scriptures that the earlier prophets received from Allah nor the advice that each prophet gave to his followers. However, we do not adhere to any former revelations as we have been commanded by Allah to follow His Last Messenger Muhammad, and to believe in and implement the Qur’an and the Wisdom which was revealed to him.
The Last Revelation: The Qur‘an is the last of the divinely revealed Books. It is preserved in the exact original form that the Prophet Muhammad uttered. He was not able to read and write, received the first revelation from the Qur‘an while he was hermit in the Cave of Hira in the year 610. The Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) delivered it to him. The Qur’an were completely memorized and perfectly written on parchment and stone under the direct supervision of the Prophet r. After the death of Allah’s Messenger r, Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, has copied it into one compiled book-form. The tradition of systematic memorization of the Qur‘an including 114 chapters of 6,236 verses, in its original language (Arabic), is continuing and to be continued intact until the Last Hour.
IV. BELIEF IN THE ANGELS
The angels are usually hidden from the senses of man, though sometimes they may be visible. Their existence is recognizable. Angels are shy and behave modestly; similar to people, they become annoyed by that which they dislike foul odors etc. They flock to those who remember Allah and worship Him alone. Angels are created from light; they are free of the weaknesses of the flesh from which humans suffer, such as hunger, disease, illness, slumber, exhaustion, etc. They celebrate Allah’s praises night and day, without exhaustion. Angels are in awe with Allah and prostrate to Him. They are humble, and fearing their Lord. They cannot intercede except for him whom He is pleased. Moreover, they stand with awe in fear of Him. The angels obey the commands they receive from Allah. They are but honored servants of Allah; they speak not until He has spoken; and they act by His command. Angels possess the ability to love and to show love. They supplicate and celebrate the praises of their Lord. They believe in Him, and ask for forgiveness for those who believe. They curse whomever their Lord curses. The angels are great in their stature, some are larger than others flying on wings two, three, and four.
Certain angels are assigned specific functions; for example: Jibreel (Gabriel) is entrusted with delivering Allah’s Revelation to the Prophets and Messengers (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all). Meekaa’eel (Michael) is in charge of rain and plantation. Israafeel is in charge of blowing the Trumpet at the time of Last Hour and Resurrection. Maalik is the keeper of Hell. Some of the angels have specific tasks, but their names may be unknown, such as the one who takes the soul at the time of death. Some are in charge of the embryo in the mother’s womb. Others are responsible for protecting the human beings, and still others record their deeds: one sitting on the right and one on the left. Two angels come to each person in his grave and ask him about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet.
V. BELIEF IN THE HEREAFTER
The Last Hour and its Signs: There are many future events for the earth, foretold in the Qur‘an and the Sunnah of Muhammad. Among the major events is the arrival of the Ad-Dajjaal, or the Great Liar, who will perform miracles so tremendous that most people will believe that he is Allah. The true believers of that time will wage war against Him and his disciples. However, the Great Liar will not be defeated until Jesus, son of Mary, returns to the earth to slay him and to revive the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad including its continuous implementation in particular and the Divine Laws of Islam in general. Some of the other signs of the Last Hour are such as the appearance of the Beast of the Earth, which will talk to the human beings. The re-appearance of the powerful Gog and Magog, and finally, the sunrise from the west, after which the divine faith and repentance will no longer be accepted from those who did not believe before these signs.
Life in the Grave: After death, each person will endure a real trial in his grave. The grave of such person is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise , or it is a pit from the pits of Hell according to his deeds in this life.
The First Blowing of the Trumpet: After the duration of the earth’s existence has ended, Allah will command the angel Israafeel to blow the Trumpet. Upon the first blowing, all of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth will fall unconscious, except for those whom Allah wills otherwise. Then the earth will be flattened and the mountain ranges will be turned into floating sand dunes. Then, Allah will command the skies to pour rain for a period of forty days. This rain will resemble the sperm of men. Then all people who ever lived will be resurrected from their graves. The process of resurrection begins with the reformation of each person’s vertebral column base. Reformation continues until each person is complete in his original earthly form.
The Second Blowing of the Trumpet: Allah will command Israafeel to blow the Trumpet for a second time, upon which all people who ever lived will rise from their graves.
The Resurrection: The angels will herd everyone, bare-foot, naked, and uncircumcised, to the place of Gathering. At the place of Resurrection, the sun will be drawn near to the heads of the people and their sweat will engulf them. Some will be standing in sweat up to their ankles, some up to their knees or their chests, and still others will be submerged up to their necks in sweat. The depth of the sweat will be a result of the deeds, which they performed during their earthly life.
The Scales of Justice on the Day of Resurrection: Allah shall set up the Scales of Justice on the Day of Resurrection none shall be wronged in any matter. So, whosoever does good deed or evil equal to the weight of an atom or a small ant shall see it.
The Records of each person’s deeds: The one who receives his record in his right hand will have an easy reckoning with pleasure. However, he who receives his record offered to him from behind his back, in his left hand, and will be thrust into the Fire of Hell.
Allah’s Judgment: Then Allah will judge His creation. He will remind them of their good and evil deeds. All of what they did will be recorded in this life, though they may have forgotten it. Allah will bring His believing servant close to Him; put a veil over him; and present his deeds to him privately - making him acknowledge his sins. Allah will say to him, ‘Haven’t you done this on this particular day?’ The servant will acknowledge his sin and feel certain of destruction. Then Allah will say, ‘I have covered your sins during your life, and today I forgive you.’ As for those who disbelieve in Allah, their good deeds will be of no avail, and Allah shall turn to whatever deeds they have done, and render them scattered, floating dust particles. A disbeliever will receive the benefits from his good deeds in this life, so when he is resurrected on the Day of Judgment, he will find his book of good deeds to be blank.
The Pond of Allah’s Messenger: The Pond of Allah’s Messenger will be the largest body of water; its water will be sweeter than honey and whiter than milk; it will be equipped with drinking utensils as numerous as the stars, to accommodate its large number of visitors. The length and width of this Pond will be the distance of a month’s journey each way and anyone who drinks once from this Pond shall never thirst again.
The Bridge that extends over Hell: The Bridge will be extended over the length of the Fire of Hell, reaching Paradise . It is thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword. People will pass over the Bridge at different speeds according to their deeds; some at the blinking of an eye, some at the speed of lightening, or the wind, some at the speed of quick running horses, others as running camels, while others will cross at a normal walking pace. Some others will barely crawl over it. They will be grabbed by iron hooks and thrust into the Fire of Hell. He who crosses the Bridge shall be at the threshold of Paradise .
The Plateau between Paradise and Hell: Those who cross the Bridge will be assembled at a place between Paradise and Hell. Here their mutual debts will be settled until they are all accounted for. Then, they will be permitted to enter the Garden of Paradise .
The Eternal Paradise : Paradise is prepared for the believers who worship Allah alone, and who are sincere and repentant. It is what no eye has seen and no ear has heard and that which has never occurred in a human heart. In it, there are gardens of perpetual bliss - they shall enter them, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring. And angels shall enter upon them from every gate. For the righteous is a beautiful place of final return -gardens of eternity, whose doors will always be open. In it, there are rivers of water, incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, delicious to those who drink; and rivers of clarified honey, pure and clear. In it, there are for them all kinds of fruits, and forgiveness from their Lord. Allah has mentioned many other things about Paradise , but most importantly, it is never ending; and it will be for those whom Allah addresses saying, “I shall cause my favor to descend upon you, after which I shall never be displeased with you.” And that is the greatest achievement.
The Eternal Hell Fire: Hell is a place of unending torture, prepared for the arrogant who reject faith in the Almighty, as well as those sinners who do not repent. Allah warns His creatures of the Flaming Fire. A fire is incomparable to the fire of this life. The Hell Fire is the unfathomable deep Pit, the fierce blazing Abyss, a place where the bodies and souls are melted, unceasingly burning, and the consuming Pit. There will be scorching wind and scalding water and a shadow of black smoke, neither cool nor refreshing. Indeed, it throws up sparks as huge as castles, or a huge log of wood. The people of Hell are given boiling water to drink, which lacerates their bowels. If they ask for help, they will be showered with water like molten lead, which burns their faces.
VI. BELIEF N THE DIVINE DECREE
The Divine Will encompasses all things and events that occur, whether they are good or evil. Belief in the Divine Will is not complete unless it contains some elements such as believing that Allah’s Knowledge is all-inclusive and complete. And He is most aware of every creatures’ qualities and innermost feelings, of the results of their actions, as well as what actions they will perform before they perform them, and what actions they may have performed had He willed them to perform otherwise. He is aware of all of this without burden, and there is no contradiction between His encompassing Will and the free will and choice of the creatures. He is fully aware of you when He brings you into being out of dust, and when you are still in your mothers’ wombs. Allah has power over all things, and He encompasses all things with His Knowledge. Allah has recorded every event that will ever occur. He has referred to the Preserved Tablet, upon which the happenings of all of creation are inscribed. Paramount to belief that Allah predestined the outcome of all creatures.
The first thing, which Allah created, was the Pen. Then He commanded it to write the measure of each thing until the Last Hour. All things that occur do so according to the Divine Plan. Allah knows all that is in the heavens and the earth. It is all in a record. Surely, that is easy for Allah. No calamity befalls on the earth or in us but it is inscribed in a Book before Allah brings it into existence. Surely, that is easy for Allah.
All of the actions of the creatures, whether good or bad, occur according to Allah’s Decree. Allah has commanded His creatures to obey Him, and He has forbidden them to behave disobediently. He loves the just and pious people and He is pleased with their good deeds. He is displeased with those who disbelieve and perform evil. He does not wish disbelief for His creatures; He warns them from it; yet He allows them to stray if they so desire. His Wisdom is unique in that it may not be understandable to human intellect. So we believe that He allows evil and disobedience even though He encourages good from His creatures. It is only due to His Wisdom, not a frustration of His Will, that one will disobey and commit evil acts. Human beings have some control over their actions and they have a limited type of will. The Will of Allah is not frustrated by the fact that He gave humans the freedom to choose. However, one should recognize the truth in what we have mentioned, for the belief in one Allah includes the true concept that there is only one Creator, and He alone created everything, whether good or evil.