There are six articles of belief of Islam that anyone who claims to be Muslim must believe in. If one does not believe in these six things, then it is kufr or disbelief and puts them out of the religion. These six beliefs are:
- Belief in Allah swt: Allah the Most Exalted is One. He is alone and none else is worthy of worship. He has no partner. Allah has no gender. He has knowledge of everything, and nothing is beyond His knowledge. He has great power and potency. He alone created the sun, the moon, the earth, human beings, animals, the entire universe and all that is within. He gives and takes away life. He is the Provider to all His creations. He has no need for slumber. He does not eat, sleep, or drink. He is forever and will be forever. No one has created Him. He has neither father nor sons, nor daughters, nor wives, nor mothers, nor any other relations. He is not dependent on anyone, but all depend on Him. He is Peerless, and free from all blemishes. He has no shape. He created the angels and sent messengers for guidance for His creatures for them to follow the true religion.
The Main Basis from this comes from Surat al-Ikhlas also known as Surat al-Tawhid (monotheism) which is Quran 112 as well as Ayat al-Kursi Qur’an 2:255. Ayat al-Ikhlas which also translates to “Purity of faith” is a very important Ayat in the Qu’ran. This Ayat is strictly about the Oneness of Allah. This Ayat states that:
In the Name of Allah swt The Most Affectionate, the Merciful.
- Say you, He is Allah, the one. Allah the Independent, Care free.
- The Absolute, the Eternal
- He begets not nor was he Begotten
- And there is none like him in creation.
Surat al-Baqarah Qur’an 2:255 is Ayat al-Kursi also known as “The Verse of the Throne”. This is considered one of the most important Ayats or verses in the Qur’an. Ayat al-Kursi states that: "Allah! There is no god but He - the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor Sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede In His presence except as he permitted? He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures as before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they encompass Aught of his knowledge Except as He willeth. His throne doth extend Over the heavens and on earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding and preserving them, For He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory)."
There are Hadiths the confirm the importance of this Ayat. Asma' bint Yazid (radiAllahu anhu) narrated in a Sahih Hadith, ' I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say about these two following Ayahs, i.e, verses: "Allah! There is no god but He - the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. [2:255], And, Alif Lam Mim, Allah! There is no god but He - the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal [3:1-2], That they contain Allah's Greatest Name." as rated Sahih by Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, the great Hanbali Scholar in his Musnad.
Both Ayat al-Ikhlas and Surat al-Kursi are commonly find as dectorations in Muslim homes. Ayat al-Kursi is believed to protect Muslims from magic as well as people with bad intentions. It is also believed to be a protection against the Dajjal or the anti-Christ.
- Belief in the Angels: The Angels are a race of beings made from translucent light. They are created to obey Allah swt in all things and are unable to disobey Allah swt. Angels are workers of Allah swt. They deliver messages to humanity as well. There are many in number which is known to Allah swt alone.
- Belief in all of Allah’s Books: The Qur’an is not the only divinely revealed book. There were four Kitabs are big books. The Torah or Pentateuch as revealed to Musa (Moses). There was the Zaboor (Psalms) that was revealed to Dawud (David). Then there was the Injeel (Gospel) sent to Prophet Issa (Jesus) PBUH. All these books were considered divine when they were first revealed but humans had corrupted and tampered the books so only the parts that agree with the Qur’an are accepted, the other parts are rejected. There are also other traditions that say that as many as one-hundred books were revealed. These books are called Sahifas and are the smaller books. Ten of these books were revealed to Father Adam. Fifty were revealed to Hazrat Shees (Seth). Thirty books were revealed to Hazrat Idris (Enoch). Then between ten to thirty books were revealed to Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham).
- Belief in all of Allah’s Messengers: In order to be a Muslim, one must believe in all of the Prophets as well as Messengers that Allah swt has sent. There has been 124,000 Prophets sent to every people but only five Messengers. A Prophet confirms the message that has been sent before him whereas a Messenger brings a new way, a new law with him. These five Messengers that have been sent by Allah swt as a blessing to humanity are Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Issa (Jesus), and Muhammad, may the Peace and Blessing of Allah swt be upon them all, ameen.
All of these Prophets and Messengers taught Monotheism, the Oneness of Allah swt. They also taught how humans should worship Allah swt and how we should be towards our fellow man. They all taught the Divine Law of Allah (Sharia) to man. They either brought books or confirmed the books that came before them. They all taught the same religion in a way that the local people would understand. That is why there are so many similarities in religion, they all come from the same source and were Islams of their time.
- Belief in the Last Day: On this day, everything that was ever created on Earth will cease to exist. The mountains will crumble, the land will flip over on itself. There are close to 1,200 references to this day in the Qur’an. Every Muslim hopes that if they are living on this date that they are in a State of Iman (Faith) because on this day it will be too late. If someone is not in a state of Iman on this day, then it will be too bad for them and the Hellfire will be their abode.
The belief in the Resurrection and the Day of Judgment also correlates in the belief of all Muslims. The word in the Arabic is Qiyama and it means the Last Day and the Resurrection. On this day Muslims believe that all of humankind will be returned to their original form, even if they have been dead for centuries and gathered around Allah swt for their Ultimate Judgment
This is the day that every human who ever lived will be judged by his or her actions. If their good actions outweigh their bad actions, they will go to Jannah (Heaven). If their bad deeds outweigh their good deeds, then they will end up in Jahannam (Hell). I find it interesting that the Ancient Egyptians also used the word Jahannam for the Hellfire.
- Belief in Divine Preordainment and Divine Decrees: The belief in Divine Decree or Divine Predestination is a belief of all Muslims. In Arabic this is al-Qadar. It means that Allah swt has granted humans limited free-will. What this means is that they can choose between right and wrong and will be held responsible for their choices.
Another word in Arabic for this is Taqdir. It means that Allah swt has full knowledge of all that has happened and all that will happen. Muslims also believe that everything happens due to the will of Allah swt, if Allah swt wills something it happens, if Allah swt does not will it, then it will not. It is why we always say insha’Allaah. It means God Willing or if it’s God’s will. We know that we can only do something if Allah swt allows it.