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The 6 Pillars of Imaan (Belief)

A Muslim's belief is based upon the six pillars (articles) of Imaan, faith/belief.  These are:

  1. Belief in God (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)), the one and only one worthy of all worship (tawhid).
  2. Belief in the Angels (mala'ika).
  3. Belief in the Books (kutub) sent by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)
  4. Belief in all the Messengers (rusul) sent by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)
  5. Belief in the Day of Judgment (qiyama) and in the Resurrection (life after death).
  6. Belief in Destiny (Fate) (qadar).

The first five are backed up by several Quranic references (Quran: Surah al Baqarah 2: Ayah 98; Quran: Surah al Baqarah 2:Ayah 177; Quran: Surah al Baqarah 2: Ayah 285):-

"O you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah , His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray." [Quran: Surah an Nisa 4: Ayah 136]

These six pillars (articles) of faith are derived from the hadeeth of Umar (رضي الله عنه):

'While we were one day sitting with the Messenger of Allah(صلى الله عليه و سلم), there appeared before us a man dressed in extremely white clothes and with very black hair. No traces of travel were visible on him, and none of us knew him. He sat down close by the Prophet(صلى الله عليه و سلم), rested his knees against his knees and placed his palms on his thighs, and said, O Muhammad! Inform me about Islam." Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, "Islam is that you should testify that there is no deity save Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, that you should perform salah (ritual prayer), pay the zakah (alms), fast during Ramadan, and perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), if you can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it)." Said he (the man), "You have spoken truly." We were astonished at his thus questioning him and telling him that he was right, but he went on to say, "Inform me about Iman (faith)." He (the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)) answered, "It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects." He said, "You have spoken truly." Then he (the man) said, "Inform me about Ihsan." He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, " It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you." He said, "Inform me about the Hour (time of the resurrection)." He (the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)) said, "About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner." So he said, "Well, inform me about the signs thereof (i.e. of its coming)." Said he, "They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress, that you will see the barefooted ones, the naked, the destitute, the herdsmen of the sheep (competing with each other) in raising lofty buildings." Thereupon the man went off. I waited a while, and then he (the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)) said, "O 'Umar, do you know who that questioner was?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, "That was Jibril. He came to teach you your religion."'[Muslim]



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