Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Fundamentals of Islamic Faith

The Fundamentals of Islamic Faith

Shaikh Mohammed Saleh Al-Uthaymeen

In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, May Allāh peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His Help and forgiveness; we repent to Him and seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our own and from our wicked deeds. Whosoever has been guided by Allah, non can misguided and whosoever has been misguided by Allaah non can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy or being worshipped except Allah alone, without a partner or associate. I further bare witness that Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam [1]) is Allah true slave and Messenger; may Allah bestow His peace and Blessings on Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), upon his good and pure family, and upon his noble companions and those who follow their path.

It proceeds then: that the knowledge about Tawhid [2] constitutes the most noble and necessitated knowledge, because it represents the knowledge about Allah, His right upon His bondsmen. This knowledge is the key for the way to Allah, and it is the foundation for His legislation. That is why there is a consensus amongst all the messengers to invite people to Tawhid. Allah SWT [3] says:

And we did not send any Messenger before you (O Mohammed) but We inspired him (saying: Lailaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but Me (Allah)], so worship Me (alone and no one else). (Al-Anbiya’, 21:25)

Alah bears witness on His Wahdaniyyah: being the only true God that deserves to be worshipped alone and who has no coequal in Himself as well as in His Names and Attributes. The angles and people of knowledge also testify for His Wahdaniyyah:

Allah bears witness that La illah illa Huwah (none has Wright to worshiped but He,) and the angles, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice. La illah illa Huwa, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Ali-Imran, 3:18)

Given this acknowledgement of the rank of Tawhid, it is therefore incumbent upon every Muslim to give proper consideration to this matter through learning, understanding, education, and conviction, in order for him to establish his Deen [4] on a sound foundation, confidence and submission that would give him the good fortune of sharing its fruits and results.

The Deen of Islam

Islam is the Deen, which Allah has sent Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) with ; Allah made it the last of religions and perfected it for His creation; He made it a completion of His Favors upon them , and chose it to be their Deen ; No other religion is accepted from anyone except the Deen of Islam . Allah SWT says:

Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah, and the last (end) of the prophets. (Al-Ahzab: 33:40)

He also says:

This day [5], I have perfected your religion for you, and completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your Deen. (Al-Maidah: 5:30)

Truly, The Deen before Allah is Al-Islam [6] (Ali-Imran: 19)

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never accept of him, and the Hereafter he will be one of the loser. (Ali-Imran 3:85)

Allah SWT ordained that mankind must submit to Him in Islam .He said addressing His Messenger (Mohammed)

Say (O Mohammed) ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to who belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La illah illa Huwa (none has the Wright to be worshipped but He.); It is He who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His messenger (Mohammed) , the prophet who can neither read nor write , who believes in Allah and His words [7] , and follow him so that you may be guided .(Qura’an 7:158)

It is reported in Sahih Muslim [8] on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that Allah’s Messenger Said:

“By Him (Allah ) in Whose Hand Mohammed soul’s is, there is none from amongst the Jews and Christians ( of these present nations) who hears about me and dies without believing in the message with which I have been sent (i.e Tawhid) , but he will be from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire” [10]

The belief in the prophet Mohammed is the attestation with full acceptance and submission, not just mere attestation, that what he brought forth is the truth. That is why Abu Talib (the uncle of the prophet) did not become a believer in the messenger, despite his attestation to what the prophet forth and his witness that it is the best of religions.

The Deen of Islam embraces all of the human welfare that is comprised in the previous religions; it is distinguished above all the religions in its suitability for all times, places, and nations, Allah SWT addresses His Messenger Mohammed saying:

And We have sent down to you (O Mohammed) the Book (this Qur’an) in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it and Muhaiminan (trustworthy in highness and witness) over it (Old Scripture). (Al-Maidah, 5:48)

The suitability of the Deen means that adhering to Islam does not contradict the welfare of the Ummah (Muslim community at large) in any place or in any time. Indeed it is its betterment. This does not mean, however, that the Deen is subjugating to every time, place and Ummah as some people like it to be.

The Deen of Islam is the Deen of Truth, whoever truly adheres to it, Allaah guarantee him victory and makes him prevail on everyone else who doesn’t. Allah SWT Says:

He it is Who sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with the guidance and Deen of the Truth to make it prevail over all (other) religions even though the Mushrikeen hate (it). (Al-Saf, 61:9)

Allah has promised, to those among you who believe, and do righteous deeds, that he will certainly grant them succession to ( the present rulers) in the land , as He granted it to those before them ; and he will grant them the authority to practice their religion , that which He has chosen for them ( i.e Islam) . And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedience to Allah). (An-Nur, 21:55)

The Deen of Islam is Aqidah (Creed) and Shari’ah (Legislation) and it is perfect in both. Islam commands:

1. The Tawhid and forbids Shirik (setting associate with Allah).

2. Truthfulness, and forbids lying.

3. Justice [10], and forbids oppression.

4. Trustworthiness, and forbids treachery.

5. Faithfulness, and forbids betrayal

6. To be good and dutiful to one’s parents, and forbids being disrespectful to them.

7. Keep ties with relatives of kinship, and forbids severing ties with them.

To have good relation to one’s neighborhood, and forbids all forms of ill-treatment to the neighbors.

Generally speaking, Islam commands all noble morals, and forbids all ill and despicable manners; it also commands righteousness and forbids wrong. Allah SWT says:

Verily, Allah enjoins Al-‘Adel (i.e justice and worshipping none but Allah) and Al-Ihsan [11], and giving help to kith and kin [12], and forbids Al-Fahsha [13], Al-Munkar [14], and Al-Baghy [15]. (Qur’an 16:90)

Arkan-ul-Islam (The Pillars of Islam)

Arkan-ul-Islam are its basic foundations upon which it is established; they are five, mentioned in the narration by Ibn Umar in Which the prophet said:

“Islam is raised on five (pillars): To establish His Tawhid [and in other narration “The Shahadah (testimony) that La illaha illa Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and that Mohammed is Allah’s salve and Messenger], establishment of prayers, payment of Zakat, the fast of Ramadan, and pilgrimage to (to Makkah). A person said (to the narrator) (which of the two precedes the other) Pilgrimage or the fast of Ramadan? Upon this (the narrator) replied: No (it is not the pilgrimage first) but the fast of Ramadan precede the pilgrimage, this is how I have heard it from Allah’s Messenger” [16]

FIRST: The Shahadah of: La ilaaha illal lah, Mohammed Rasulullah

Is the deceived belief expressed on the tongue as though one sees with his own eyes the certainty of his firm conviction? The fact that Shahadah has been made as single pillar despite the multiplicity in what is being attested, because of either of the following (reasons):

• The Messenger is a bearer (of News) about Allah SWT. Attesting therefore, that he, the messenger is a true slave of Allah and bearer of the message (of Islam) is integral part of the meaning of Shahadah (La illaha illal lah), or

• That the two testimonies la illa illal lah , and Mohammed Rassulallah are ( the required) bases for the rightness of deeds and their acceptances , since both , the validity and acceptance of deeds , cannot be achieved without Al-Ikhlas to Allah ( sincere devotion of intention to Allah alone) and Moutaba’ah ( following) of Rassulallah. It is through Al-Ikhlas that the Shahadah of la illah illa illah is realized, while through Al-Moutaba’ah of Rassulal lah, the Shahadah that Mohammed is Allah’s slave and Messenger is manifested.

Some of the benefits attained by the declaration of the great Shahadah include the liberation of the heart and soul from slavery to the created, and from following paths other than the Messenger’s path.

SECOND: Regarding the establishing of Prayers: it is worshipping Allah by performing it in the right and perfect manner [17] and its prescribed times. Some of its benefits include the openness of the chest, contentment joys and detrainment from committing sins and wrong-doing.

THIRD: The Giving of Zakat: is devoting worship to Allah by offering the obligatory prescribed amount charity deducted from the wealth upon which Zakat is due. Some of its benefits are: purifying the self from immoral characteristics like misery, and fulfilling the needs of Islam and Muslims.

FOURTH: Fasting: It is devoting worship to Allah by refraining from any everything known to nullify the fast during the days of the month of Ramadan. Fasting coaches the self to endure the relinquishment of what it likes seeking to gain the pleasure of Allah.

FIFTH: The Hajj to the House of Allah: is worshipping Allah by going to the sacred House (Al-Ka’bah) to execute the rites of Hajj.

Some of the benefits includes: the training of the self to expend the physical and financial sacrifices in obedience to Allah. This is the reason why Hajj is considered as one kind of Jihad in the cause of Allah SWT.

The benefits that we have mentioned above regarding the basic of Islam , and others which we have not mentioned ,makes of this Ummah a virtues and purified Islamic Nation adhering to Allaah through the Deen of Truth , and treats the created with justice and truthfulness . This (conclusion) holds true because the right adherence to the rest of the Islamic laws depends upon the proper practicability of the above basic.

The status of the Ummah will thrive and prosper as long as it properly adheres to the matters of its Deen. The degree of its prosperity that may escape is proportional to the degree of abandonment of good adherence to matters of its Deen. Whoever seeks san evidence for this let him read the saying of Allah SWT.

And if the people of the town had believed and had the Taqwa (piety fear of Allah) certainly, We should have opened for them the blessing from the heaven and the earth, but belied (the Messenger). So we took (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crime,etc) Did the people of the towns then feel secure against that coming of our Punishment by night while they are asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming our Punishment in the afternoon while they play? Did they feel secure against the plan of Allah? None feels secure from the plan of Allaah except the people who are lost. (Al-Araf, 7:96-99)

Let also examine the history of those who preceded because history is a lesson for people of thought, and an insight for anyone free from any obstructing to barrier his heart. And it is Allah alone who’s Help can be sought.

The Foundation of Islamic Creed

The Deen of Islam, as it is discussed above, is a Deen that comprises ‘Aqidah (matters of faith) and Shari’ah (laws, Legislation and judicial aspects). We indicated some of its Laws and mentioned it Arkan, which are considered the basis of its legislation. As to the ‘Aqidah Al-Islamiyah (the Islamic Creed), its basis are:

The belief in Allah, His Angles, His Books, His Messengers, the last day and Al-Qadar [18], it’s good and bad.

These basis are verified by evidences from the book of Allah (i.e The Qur’an) and from the Sunah of Allah’s Messenger. In His Book Allah says:

It is not Al-Birr (piety , righteousness , and each and every obedience to Allah , etc ) that you turn your faces towards east and ( or) west ( in prayers); but Al-Birr is the (quality of) the one who believes in Allah , the last day , the angles , the Book , the prophets. (Al-Baqarah, 2: 177)

He SWT says about Al-Qadar:

Verily, We have created all things with Qadar, and our commandment is but one, as the twinkling of an eye (Al-Qamar, 54:49-50)

In the Sunah of Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet (pbuh) said in his reply to Jibril (Gabriel) when the latter asked him about Eman (Faith):

“Eman is to believe in Allah , His angles, His Books, His Messengers , and the last day , and to believer in Al-Qadar , its good and its bad”.[19]


1. Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam: The Salah and Salam of Allah be upon his prophet Mohammed. The Salah of Allah upon his prophet Mohammed is His praise of the prophet to the angles who are close to (but below) to Allah , the most high , who arose abode His ‘Arsh ( Throne) which is above the seven skies. The angles also praise him” Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam” The Salam is Allah’s safeguard and of the prophet from the deficiencies and kind of evils. When the Muslim says” Solla Allah Alaihi Wasallam”, they invoke Allah to grant His praise and security to the prophet Mohammed .See Ibnul Al-Qaiyaim’s Jala ‘ul Afham, p.128. Published by Daar Ibn Kathir, Damascus, and Maktabat Daat At-Turath, Al-Madinah, 1409H/1988.

2. Tawhid is maintaining the belief that Allah is the only true God worthy of worship and that He is the true and only Rabb of everything and that He is unique in His Divine Names, Attributes and Actions.

3. Subhanahu wa Ta’ala: Supremely Exalted id He. He is Exalted in His That (Essence) and in His Attributes. 

4. Deen: Is more comprehensive in its meaning than the western concept of “religion”. Every aspect of life subscribes to the revelation from Allah. Therefore, Deen covers life in all of its various stages and complexities.

5. This Ayah (Verse) was sent down during Hajjatul Wada’ (Farewell Pilgrimage) of the prophet, on the day of Arafah which was a Friday.

6. Which means that Islam is the only Deen that Allah will accept form His slaves? See the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir for the above Ayah.

7. Allah’s Words includes all the Messages to the prophets: The Qura’an, The Torah the Gospel (in their original text), Az-Zabur, and Psalms. Also it includes, Allah Words kun (be) – and he was i.e Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon him. See M.M. Khan and M.T Al-Hilallee’s Interpretation of the meaning of the noble Qura’an, Surat 7, Ayah 158.

8. It is a collection of authentic hadith narrations compiled by Imam Muslim: Abul Hussain Muslim ibn al –Hajjaj ibn Muslim al Quraishi an Naisaburi (202(6)-216 Hj /817(821) –875) CE). {TN}

9. Sahih Muslim, V.1, Hadith # 284

10. Justice is establishing equality between similar things and differentiating between different things. Justice is not absolute equality as generalized by some of the people when they say” The Deen of Islam is the Deen of Quality.” Establishing equality between different things is injustice that is not brought forth by Islam, and the person who does that is not to be praised.” – A footnote by the author Shaikh Muhammed bin Saleh Al-Uthaimin.

11. Al-Ihsan: In This Ayah it means to patient in performing one’s duties to Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunah of the prophet Mohammed.

12. Degree of Kinship: First of all, your parents then your paternal uncles and aunts (from the mother’s side), then other relative.

13. Al-Fahsha: All evil deeds e.g.; illegal sexual intercourse, disobedience to parents, to tell lies. to steal.

14. Al-Munkar: All that is prohibited by Islamic law: Polytheists, disbelief, and every kind of evil deeds.

15. Al-Baghy: All kind of Oppression

16. Agreed upon hadith: The text is that from Sahih Muslim

17. As detailed by the prophet Mohammed in his authentic Sunah. See for example an excellent collection of the narrations describing the prophet prayer in Shaikh Nassir-ud-Deen Al-Alnanee’s book “The Prophet’s prayer” translated into English by Suhaib Hassan .England

18. Al-Qadar is the ability of Allah, where He knew, wrote, willed and created all things in predestined proportions and precise measures. See the book “Al-Qada ‘Wal Qadar” by this translator

19.Riwayat By Imam Muslim

[Excerpted from Al-Islam]

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