The Essentials Of Belief
Islam is the Religion of all theProphets of Allah
starting with Adamand ending with Muhammad.
In Arabic Islammeans submission. To believe in the heart
and declare withthe tongue: "No one is God except Allahand
Muhammadis the Messenger of Allah"is how
one becomes Muslim. Utterance with the Two Professions (ashShahadatan)is
required of the person who is not already a Muslim. A Muslimis a believer
and a follower of Islam.
The First Profession (ash-Shahadah),i.e.,
"No one is God except Allah"means nothing deserves
to be worshipped except Allah."Allah" is the
name ofthe Creator in Arabic which means "The One Who has theGodhood which
is the power to create the entities."
The second Profession, i.e., "Muhammadis
the Messenger of Allah"includes believing Muhammad
was thelast of the prophets, he was truthful in all he told about andconveyed
from Allah (as were all theprophets before him), and the
Creator gave us prophets andmessengers (A 'prophet' is a man who receives
the Revelation fromAllah and conveys it to the people. A'messenger'
is a prophet who comes with some new laws. Theprophet who is not a messenger
follows the laws of the messengerwho came before him. Every messenger is
a prophet, but not everyprophet is a messenger.) to guide us to worship
Him correctly. AMuslim must believe in all the prophets and messengers.
The Two Professions are the essentials of belief in Islam;they
are the foundation of the faith. The analogy of constructinga building
is useful in explaining the importance of this basicbelief. There will
be no building without a concrete foundation.Likewise, there will be no
benefit and fruitful results in theHereafter without having the correct
This analogy illustrates the need to start from the beginningand build
upward; before one can remain steadfast in the Religionone must have the
proper belief. Muslims firmly believe only oneCreator exists, His name
is Allah,and Muhammad is His Prophet andMessenger.
Knowledge and belief in this are the foundation of thefaith, and all Muslims
are united by this basic belief. TheMuslim uses the mind as a guide because
the mind and faith gohand-in-hand. Knowledge is essential since learning
gives onestrength and purpose.
The sound intellect and the explicit statements revealed to Prophet Muhammad
affirm the belief in God, His existence, and His attributes. One must
understand that Allah is not His attributes nor is He other
than them. For example: One can say: "Allah has the attribute
of power" but one cannot say: "Allah is power." God has no
faults or weaknesses. He, the Exalted, is flawless. His attributes are
without flaw and are unchanging. God does not resemble any of His (Note:
The word 'He' or 'His' when used in reference to Allah must
not be understood to represent gender. Allah created male
and female, and He does not resemble any of His creation.) creation. Intellectively,
if Allah resembled any of His creation, He would be susceptible
to the same things the creation are susceptible. If He were susceptible,
as the creations are, He would be weak and created--as they are--and this
is impossible. Allah is without shape, without form, and
without limitations. He does not resemble anything man sees in the universe
or anything he can imagine--since imagination is part of the creation.
Allah exists. Without comparing Allah to the
creation one can use mental evidences to prove the existence of the Creator.
When one sees a building, one knows there is a builder; when one sees a
painting, one knows there is a painter; when one sees the creation, one
knows there is a Creator. Allah is the Creator. Allah
exists without a place because He always existed and He created all the
places. Allah existed eternally and place did not, and Allah
exists now as He has been, i.e., without residing in a place, whether this
place is skies, Earth, Paradise, Hell, or any other place in the six directions.
Allah does not change. Change is a sign of need and need
is non-befitting to attribute to God. Allah is perfect. If
something changes for the bad, it is no longer perfect, and if it changes
for the good, it was not perfect to begin with. Therefore, Allah
does not change. He is not in Heaven. He is not in everyone. He is not
everywhere. He does not occupy a space now, He never did, and He never
will. Allah exists without a place.
Allah is one; He is indivisible, i.e., He is not a body.
Allah has no partner, no counterpart, no wife, no son. Intellectively,
this is understood because if there were two partners and one partner willed
for one thing to be and the other partner willed the opposite thing--we
know opposites do not happen simultaneously--so the one who willed what
did not occur is weak. Weakness is non-befitting to attribute to God; therefore,
there is only one God. For the same reason, the Devil does not have control
over God and evil occurs because Allah willed it. There is
a wisdom behind everything--even if we do not know the wisdom--Allah
Allah has no beginning to His existence. Anything that has
a beginning is creation. Allah created every creation, every
movement, every rest, every thought, every intention. To have a beginning
is a sign of need, and Allah is not in need. Allah
has no end to His existence. To have an end is weakness; the Creator is
Allah does not need any of His creation. To need something
means to be unable to perform without it, and this is weakness. The Creator
is not weak--it is impossible to be among His attributes. Allah
has the attribute of power by which He affects the creation. He makes them
exist and He annihilates them.
Allah has the attribute of Will. Whatever Allah
willed to be shall be and whatever Allah did not will to
be shall not be. Both good and evil happen according to God's will.
Allah has the attribute of knowledge. Allah
knows everything: what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen.
Allah hears all hearable things and Allah sees
all seeable things without organs and without limitations. Man needs ears
and air to transfer sound in order to hear and light in order to see. Allah
does not need any of the creation. Allah, with His eternal
kalam, orders the obligations, forbids the prohibitions,
promises the reward of Paradise, and threatens the punishment of Hellfire
without instruments, letters, languages, or sounds.
Allah has the attribute of life because he who is dead cannot
be attributed with knowledge, will, power, and consequently, cannot create.
Allah's life is not like ours. We need flesh, bones, blood,
and spirit. Allah created all these; His life is not in need
of any of them.
Allah blessed the people with theprophets and messengers
to guide them to obedience and warn themfrom disobedience. Muslims must
believe in all the prophets andmessengers because Allah blessed
themall with Revelation and they conveyed this to their people, butnow
Muslims must follow the rules of the last Prophet andMessenger, Prophet
Allah created all the creation, and this includes the Religion
of Islam--which is the only valid and true Religion. Islam
began among humans with the first man, Adam, who was
the first prophet and messenger, and Islam continued through
many prophets, some of which were also messengers. All the prophets and
messengers taught "No one is God except Allah" and to believe
in and follow the prophet and messenger of their time. All the Prophets
taught there is only one God, the aforementioned attributes of Allah,
and the attributes of the prophets. They called the people to Islam,
taught them how to worship Allah properly, and conveyed what
Allah ordered and what Allah forbid. The prophets
had miracles to support their claim of Prophethood and to prove to the
people what they were teaching was the truth. Some of the rules changed
from one messenger to another but the belief remained the same. The messengers
came with new laws. For example: at the time of Adam,
Muslims used to pray once per day. They were ordered to pray twice
per day at the time of Prophet ^Isa. Now, according
to the rules of the last Messenger--Prophet Muhammad--Muslims
pray five times per day. In previous laws of the messengers, Muslims were
ordered to pray in specific places. Now, in the rules revealed to Prophet
Muhammad, Muslims are not required to pray in specific places.
Allah ordered the Messengers toconvey the laws, and they
did. They taught by words and example.The prophets were attributed with
truthfulness, trustworthiness,and intelligence. Consequently, lying, dishonesty,
vileness,stupidity, and dullness were impossible to be among theirattributes.
They were also attributed with impeccability ofblasphemy (Blasphemy includes
any belief, action, or saying whichbelittles Allah, His Books,
HisMessengers, His Angels, His Rites, the Ma^alimof His Religion,
His Rules, His Promise, or His Threat.), thegreat sins (such as drinking
alcohol and unjustful killing), andabject small sins (such as stealing
Prophet Muhammad taught hisCompanions and those Companions
taught their followers and so onuntil the knowledge of Islam
reachedthe Muslims of the present day. The beliefs and teachings werepassed
from trustworthy Muslim('Trustworthy' as defined by Islammeans
the Muslim who does not commit great sins, small sins in away that they
will be more than this good deeds, and does notbehave in violation of the
behavior of those who have hisstatus.) to trustworthy Muslim with a chain
of reliable relatorsback to the Prophet. In Islam it is agreat
sin to judge without knowledge. If a Muslim does not knowan answer to an
Islamic inquiry he must not give his opinion orwhat he thinks the answer
might be. Instead, he seeks the answerfrom someone more knowledgeable in
the Religion who attained theknowledge in the aforementioned manner.
Since Allah created Adam,the first man,
from soil of different colors and differenttextures, and all people are
the descendants of Adam,this accounts for the various races
and temperaments of people.Muslim men and women around the world of all
ages, races, colors,nationalities, social backgrounds, economic status',
languages,and political affiliations are united by their belief that thereis
only one God, His name is Allah,and Muhammad
is His last Prophet andMessenger and by practicing the same rules of the
Islam is a belief system as wellas a way of life. Only
the Creator knows the limits, theweakness, and the vulnerability of all
His creation, and He hasprovided rules for them that are fair and just.
Allahknows what is good for His creation as well as what
is harmful;He knows what is beneficial and what is detrimental.