Islam means “Submission” to the will of Allah Almighty. Submission to Allah is necessary with heart and soul and also at the time of death. The word Islam derives from the root word “Salaam” which means peace. Muslims covers 1/5th of the world’s population. Islam is meant to be a complete way of life for its followers or believers. Muslims believe that all the Prophets sent by God to humanity shared the same central message, and that was the message of monotheism. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا آمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا
“O you who believe, have faith in Allah and His messenger and the book that He revealed to His messenger and the scripture which He revealed before. Whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:136)
The best and most pure of all deeds in the sight of Allah is Iman. Iman is a condition for any deed to be accepted by Allah. The word Iman is frequently used in its wider sense, that is to say, as including good deeds and sometimes simply as standing for good deeds. It is often translated as faith, belief, or conviction. Doing as many good deeds as possible is the main purpose of human creation. Allah said:
شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
“(it is) Witnessed by Allah that [He], (there is) no god except Him, and (so do) the Angels, and owners (of) [the] knowledge – standing injustice. (There is) no god except Him the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Surah Al `Imran 3:18)
At its most basic meaning, imân is a belief in God (Allah), His prophets, revealed books, angels, the Hereafter, and Allah’s divine decree. Imân is considered the most important boundary in human life, for it draws the line between two of the most disparate conditions a person will ever confront: between belief and disbelief; morality and capriciousness; and, ultimately, Heaven and Hell. Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ وَأَيْمَانِهِمْ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا أُولَٰئِكَ لَا خَلَاقَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَا يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَا يَنظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَا يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
“Indeed, those who exchange (the) Covenant (of) Allah and their oaths (for) a price little, those – no share for them in the Hereafter and not will Allah speak to them, and not look at them (on the) Day (of) the Resurrection and not purify them, and for them (is) a punishment painful.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:77)
Iman is everything in Islam. Without Iman, somebody can’t call themselves a Muslim. Iman sets the foundation of Islam itself and from the very first day of life, we have been taught to have Iman in Allah SWT. Iman holds an important role in Islam. Iman means believe. Allah says:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
“And we have not sent you (O Mohammed) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind.” (Surah Saba’ 34:28)
Those deeds will be presented in front of the doer, later on, to help them safely get through the Day of Judgement and proceed to Jannah. Among millions of good deeds in the world, there are two of them that Allah SWT is fond of the most: jihad (fighting in Allah’s way) and man.
Here is the high importance of Iman in Islam for every Muslim to know:
- Searching for Great Rewards from Allah
- Admitting the Existence of Allah SWT
- As a Proof of Fear to Allah SWT
- Kind of Worship to Allah SWT
- Iman Guides Us in Hereafter
- Obligations to Allah SWT
- Manifested in the Heart
- Creating Balance in Life
- A Moral Ground in Islam
- The Best Among Good Deeds
- A Foundation to Do Good Deeds
- Convinced About the Existence of Allah SWT
- A Strong Foundation for Relationship with Allah
Iman is the only mark of a person’s identity that holds any real meaning. The higher meaning of iman refers to the strength of one’s belief in these truths and the degree to which a person lives his or her life by them, for imân is something that may increase or decrease in a person: Indeed, it is but the believers whose hearts tremble out of awe when God is mentioned. Allah says:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
“Only the believers (are) those who when Allah is mentioned feel fear their hearts, and when are recited to them His Verses, they increase them (in) faith, and upon their Lord, they put their trust.” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:2)
Iman is very important for life since it later acts as guidance in the world as well as the Hereafter. Iman lights the ways to the right track that Allah SWT bless. As a Muslim, having iman or faith in Allah SWT is an undeniable obligation that should be possessed. Allah says:
بَلْ إِيَّاهُ تَدْعُونَ فَيَكْشِفُ مَا تَدْعُونَ إِلَيْهِ إِن شَاءَ وَتَنسَوْنَ مَا تُشْرِكُونَ
“Nay, Him Alone you call and He would remove what you call upon Him if He wills, and you will forget what you associate (with Him).” (Surah Al-An’am 6:41)
There are many ways to worship Allah SWT and gain many of His blessings from there. However, upon doing those worship we must put Allah SWT in our hard by having iman to Him. It is a starting point as a Muslim a believer that gives everything only to Allah SWT.
The six major beliefs in Islam, as understood by the majority of Sunni Muslims, are:
- Belief in the Oneness of God: Muslims believe that God is the creator of all things and that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. God has no offspring, no race, no gender, nobody, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.
- Belief in the Angels of God: Muslims believe in angels, unseen beings who worship God and carry out God’s orders throughout the universe. The angel Gabriel brought the divine revelation to the prophets.
- Belief in the Books of God: Muslims believe that God revealed holy books or scriptures to several of God’s messengers.
- Belief in the Prophets or Messengers of God: Muslims believe that God’s guidance has been revealed to humankind through specially appointed messengers, or prophets, throughout history, beginning with the first man, Adam, who is considered the first prophet.
- Belief in the Day of Judgment: Muslims believe that on the Day of Judgment, humans will be judged for their actions in this life; those who followed God’s guidance will be rewarded with paradise; those who rejected God’s guidance will be punished with hell.
- Belief in the Divine Decree:
Pillars of Islam
These are guides for daily life for putting the beliefs of Muslims into practice:
- Shahadah (declaration of faith)—to bear witness or testify that there is no god except one God (Allah) and Muhammad is His prophet or messenger.
- Salat (ritual prayer)—the five daily prayers are performed at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and night. The prayers are offered in the Arabic language and facing the direction of Mecca.
- Zakah (alms tax) –Giving 2.5% of one’s wealth to the poor and needy.
- Sawm (fasting)—Muslims fast during the daylight hours in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar called Ramadan. The purpose is to remind people of the goodness of what they have and to show equality with the poor. Ramadan is a time for study and self-discipline.
- Hajj (pilgrimage): Muslims believe in making a pilgrimage to Mecca to the Kaaba at least once in their lifetime. The Kaaba is believed to have been built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and one of his sons. Muhammad restored it to worship Allah. For this reason, it is a very sacred place for Muslims.
Muslims believe that the last revealed scripture sent by God is the Qur’an. It is the speech of God revealed in the Arabic language to Muhammad during his mission of twenty-three years. The Qur’an was written down by scribes and memorized during the lifetime of Muhammad. The Qur’an emphasizes moral, ethical and spiritual values to establish justice for everyone.
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “Indeed, We have sent down the Quran, and surely We will guard it (from corruption).” (Quran, 15:9)
- “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)
- “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)
- “And whatsoever the Messenger (Mohammed) gives you, take it, and whatsoever He forbids you, abstain from it.” (Al-Hashr 59:7)
- “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.” (Qur’an 2:177)
- “Anyone who replaces [his] faith with disbelief has strayed away from the straightway.” (Quran, 2:108)
Saying that we have iman to Allah SWT might be easy. But the true man is not one that said by the tongue. It’s more than that. True iman manifested in the heart, shown through action. It brings us inner peace we cannot find anywhere else. It provides security, comfort, and optimism to live this life, as well as a feeling that Allah SWT is always by our side. Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَيْبِ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ
“Indeed, those who fear their Lord unseen, for them (is) forgiveness and a reward great.” (Surat Al-Mulk, 67:12)
Iman sets the foundation of Islam. By iman, we are accepting Islam as our religion, Allah SWT as the only God we worship, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His Messenger. Thus, our lives are guided by Islam and everything we do is by Islam and for Islam. Allah says:
وَلَقَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَئِنْ أَشْرَكْتَ لَيَحْبَطَنَّ عَمَلُكَ وَلَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“And it was already revealed to you and those before you that if you should associate (anything) with Allah, your work would surely become worthless and you would surely be among the losers.” (Surah Az-Zumar, 39:65)
Every human being should live under the fear of Allah SWT. By having those fear, they will live according to Sharia, making sure they don’t do anything that awakened the wrath of Allah SWT. Having iman to Allah SWT means that we have fear for Him. We know that Allah SWT watching over us sleeplessly and every deed we do is to His knowledge.