What are the pillars of faith?

Creedal acts of worship are called the Pillars of Faith (Iman); and they are as follows:

114th Chapter
This is the 114th chapter in the Quran. It was revealed when the polytheists asked Prophet Muhammad to describe the Lord of the worlds.

1. Belief in Allah

Belief in Allah entails belief in His existence, and that He is the only One Who deserves to be worshipped, and He has no partners, equals or rivals in His Ruboobiyah4 , Uloohiyah5 , and His beautiful names and attributes6. He is the Creator of this existence, its Proprietor and the One Who disposes of all its affairs. Only that which He wishes comes to pass and He is the only One who deserves to be worshipped.

Allah says:

(Say, 'He is Allah, [who is] One. * Allah As-Samadh (the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need). * He neither begets nor is born. * Nor is there to Him any equal. ) (112:1-4)

2. Belief in Allah's Angels

This is to believe that the angels exist. No one knows their exact number except Him (Allah). He created them to worship Him.

Allah says:

(Never would the Messiah disdain to be a slave of Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. ) (4:172)

 The angels do not share any of Allah's specific qualities, nor are they His children. Rather, Allah created them to perform certain tasks.

Allah says:

(And they say, 'The Most Merciful has taken a son.' Exalted is He! Rather, they (Those they claim to be 'children' of Allah, such as the angels, Ezra, Jesus, etc.) are [but] honored slaves. They cannot precede Him in word, and they act by His command ) (21:26-27)

3. Belief in Allah's Books

Holy Quran
The Holy Quran

It is to believe that Allah revealed Divine Books to His Messengers in order for them to convey to mankind. These Books contained nothing but the truth at the time of revelation. All these Books called people to the Oneness of Allah, and that He is the Creator, Proprietor and Owner, and to Him belong the Beautiful Names and Attributes. Some of these Books are as follows:

  • The Suhuf (Scriptures of Abraham): The Suhuf is the Sacred Scripture which was revealed to Prophet Abraham .
  • The Torah: The Torah is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Prophet Moses .
  • The Zaboor (Psalms): The Zaboor is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Prophet David .
  • The Injeel (Gospel): The Injeel is the Sacred Book which was revealed to Prophet Jesus .
  • The Noble Quran: One must believe that the Quran is the Speech of Allah which Angel Gabriel brought to Muhammad and that it is the last of the Divine Books which abrogated all previous Books.

4. Belief in the Messengers of Allah

It is to believe that Allah chose the finest amongst mankind to be Messengers whom He sent to His creation with specific legislations; to worship and obey Him, and to establish His religion and His Tawheed (oneness). Allah ordered His Messengers to convey the Message to people, so that they would not have any proof against Him after He sent them.

Allah says:

(And We sent not before you, [O Muhammad] except men to whom We revealed [the message] so ask the people of the message [i.e., former scriptures] if you do not know. ) (21:7)

The first Messenger was Noah and the last was Muhammad.

5. Belief in the Last Day

It is to believe that the life of this world will come to an end. Allah says:

(Everyone upon it [i.e., the earth] will perish. And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.) (55:26-27)

Following this, Allah will resurrect all creation, take them to account and reward those who did well, due to their righteous deeds, belief (in Allah) and adherence to their Prophets and Messengers with an everlasting life in Jannah (The Heavenly Gardens).

He will punish those who committed evil deeds, disbelief, and were disobedience to their messengers, with an everlasting life in Hell.

6. Belief in Qada and Qadar (Predestination)

It is to believe that Allah knew everything before it came into being, and what will happen to it afterwards. He then brought them into existence, all in accordance to His Knowledge and Measure.

Allah said:

( and [Allah] has created each thing and measured it with [precise] measure. ) (25:2)

This belief does not contradict the fact that one must strive to attain things. Belief in Divine Measure results in the following:

  • Belief in Qadaa´ and Qadar results in a clear conscience and peace of heart. No room is left for one to feel sad about what results or does not come to be.
  • It encourages knowledge and exploration of what Allah created in this universe. Afflictions, such as diseases drive humans to seek a cure, and this is done by searching for the sources of medicine which Allah, the Most High, created in this universe.
  • It increases one's dependence upon Allah and removes fear of the creation. Ibn 'Abbaas said "I was behind the Messenger of Allah one day and he said to me:
'O young boy, I will teach you some words: Guard Allah's commandments and He will guard you. Guard Allah's commandments, you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah, and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah and know that if the whole world was to gather to help you, they would never be able to help you except with something which Allah has already preordained for you. And if the whole world gathered to cause you some harm, they would not be able to harm you except with something which Allah has already preordained for you. The pens have been lifted, and the scrolls have dried." (Tirmidhi)