“Have faith” and “keep the faith,” along with other adages, are phrases we use daily. We reference faith to help keep us confident and send out some positive energy – either by having faith in a higher deity, having faith in ourselves, or having faith in others. The basis of any religion is faith. Faith is not merely a conviction of the truth of a given principle, but it is essentially the acceptance of a principle as a basis for action. Allah says:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الْأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ
“Those who believed and (did) not mix their belief with wrong, those, for them, (is) the security and they (are) rightly guided.” (Surah Al-An`am 6:82)
Faith in the context of religion is very defining for a person. It places the person in a belief system that develops into a way of life and provides its unique system of logic to explain the phenomena of life around us. Faith in God enables humans to be thankful for the blessings they enjoy and to be patient in times of difficulty, for they believe that nothing can happen without His will. Allah says:
فَسَجَدَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ اسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“So the angels prostrated, all of them entirely, except Iblees for he was arrogant and was among the unbelievers.” (Surah Sad 38:73)
Faith in Islam is the belief in the Unity of Allah. This is conveyed in the primary Kalimah of Islam which is: “There is no one worthy of worship but Allah.” Muslims believe in One Lord that is Allah Almighty. Allah alone is the Creator and Provider of this entire universe. Belief in One Lord is the necessary condition to become a Muslim. So, faithful Muslims submit voluntarily to Allah’s will and obey His commandments which are mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Allah says:
وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن رِّزْقٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ آيَاتٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
In the changing of night and day and in what Allah sends down from the sky of provision and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and in His directing the winds are signs for people who reason.” (Surah Al-Jathiya 45:5)
Faith is the fundamental beliefs which every Muslim must refer to are described below:
- Believe in Allah: Being a Muslim it is obligatory on us to believe in Allah Almighty as One Lord of this entire universe and everything in it. This is known as the basis of faith in Allah.
- Belief in the Existence of Angels: Angels are spiritual creatures that are present for Allah Almighty. Muslims has to believe in angels as the creation of Allah. Gabriel is an angel, is mentioned in the Quran.
- Believe in Divine Books of Allah Almighty: Muslims believe in all divine books of Allah. Quran is the last sacred book of Allah which was revealed on the Holy Prophet (SAW).
- Believe in Prophets: Muslims believe that Muhammad (SAW) is the last Prophet of Allah and the Quran is revealed to him. Besides Muhammad (SAW) a Muslim has to believe in all the other Prophets that Allah sent for the guidance of mankind and give them equal respect and devotion.
- Believe on the Day of Judgment: A Muslim has to believe that Judgment day is inevitable and once it arrives, all the people will be held answerable for their deeds which they had done in this world. Being Muslim it is part of our faith to believe on the Day of Judgment.
- Believe in the Divine Decree: A Muslim has to believe that some things are beyond human power and capacity and these should be observed as elements of destiny or faith.
- Testimony of Faith (Shahada). When you become a Muslim, you make a testimony of faith. Say aloud: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”
- Performance of the five daily prayers (Salah). Pray five times daily in the direction of the holy city of Mecca.
- Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm). Ramadan is a holy month. Observe it by praying, fasting, and performing acts of charity.
- Almsgiving. Donate 2.5% of your savings to the poor (Zakat).
- Making a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). If you are able, you must travel to Mecca at least once in your lifetime.
Faith in Islam is the moral ground and basis for action and not a dogmatic assertion of salvation-justification like Christianity. The well-being of man, therefore, depends upon faith that is accompanied by good actions. Muslims have faith in the teachings of the Quran. This Holy Book is the guidance for all mankind. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تُطِيعُوا فَرِيقًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ
“O you who believe[d]! If you obey a group from those who were given the Book they will turn you back after your belief (as) disbelievers.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:100)
There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger. This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. A Muslim with perfect faith is the one who declares Islam by the tongue, believes in Allah, His Messenger and what they told, and performs the good deeds and refrains from misdeeds. Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْكَبِيرُ
“Verily, those who had faith and had done righteous deeds will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is a great achievement.” (Surah Al-Buruj 85:11)
Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الْكُفْرَ بِالْإِيمَانِ لَن يَضُرُّوا اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
“Indeed, those who (have) purchased [the] disbelief with the faith never will they harm Allah (in) anything, and for them (is) a punishment painful.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:177)
The Quran in many places demands human reason in reaching true belief. Faith in Islam is acceptance of the belief of Unity of Allah. Faith is at once confirmation of truth and submission to the truth that is declared. Intellectual concern plays an important factor in the Islamic faith.
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” (Quran 3:85)
- “He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.” (Quran, 112:1-4)
- “We (God) have certainly sent down Signs that make things clear: and God guides whom He wills to the straight path.” (Quran 24:46)
- “Righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels and the Scriptures and the Prophets.” (Quran 2:177)
- “Surely, the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb, who have no sense.” (Quran 8: 32)
Faith in Islam means to submit to Allah, not against a lack of evidence, but fairly because the proof of His Lordship is amazing. Muslim who has a pure heart and performs many good deeds regularly has strong faith in Allah. Faith always leads a man to a life of obedience and submission to the Will of Allah. Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَّن تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الضَّالُّونَ
“Indeed, those who disbelieved after their belief then they increased (in) disbelief never will be accepted their repentance, and those – they (are) those who have gone astray.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:90)
The person who lives a life of submission is known as a Muslim. So, we find that faith is the starting point that leads man to a life of submission to Allah and that a man cannot become a Muslim without faith. Allah says:
وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُوا إِذْ جَاءَهُمُ الْهُدَىٰ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولًا
“And what prevented the people that they believe when came to them the guidance except that they said, “Has Allah sent a human Messenger?” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:94)
Therefore, to be a true Muslim and complete in belief, a Muslim has to believe in and practice the core foundations of Islam. Thus, faith is a firm belief arising out of knowledge and unshakable conviction in the Unity of Allah, in His Attributes and revealed guidance. One who believes as such is called Mu’min (faithful).