“The Pillars of Iman” or “Arkan Al-iman” refer to the elements forming the Islamic faith that every Muslim should understand and believe in.
There are 6 pillars of Iman in Islam that are derived from the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The quranic verse about the 6 pillars of faith in Islam:
O believers! Have faith in Allah, His Messenger, the Book He has revealed to His Messenger, and the Scriptures He revealed before. Indeed, whoever denies Allah, His angels, His Books, His messengers, and the Last Day has clearly gone far astray.The Holy Quran [4:136]
Hadith about the six pillars of Iman:
O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). What is Belief?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Belief is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the meeting with Him, and to believe in the Resurrection.The Book of Hadith [Sahih al-Bukhari 4777]
1. Belief in Oneness of Allah (SWT)
Among the 6 Arkan Al-iman, Belief in Allah (SWT) is the first and most important element that Islamic faith is established on.
Every Muslim should believe that there is only one God worthy of worship, with no partner, or son. This notion is called “Tawhid”. Allah clearly explains Tawheed in Surah Ikhlas:
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “He is Allah—One ˹and Indivisible˺; Allah—the Sustainer ˹needed by all˺. He has never had offspring, nor was He born. And there is none comparable to Him.”The Holy Quran 
Moreover, every Muslim should believe in the way that Allah (SWT) is described in the Quran, Sunnah, and in His 99 names.
2. Belief in Existence of Angels
The second pillar of Iman is to believe in the Angels created by Allah (SWT). To believe their existence despite you can’t see them. To understand that they are not god’s children as some may think.
Unlike humans who are created from clay, the Angels are created from light. They were created before humans for the purpose of worshipping Allah Almighty and obey His commands only. They don’t sleep, eat or suffer from illnesses. Allah Almighty says in Quran about the obedient Angels:
And those nearest to Him are not too proud to worship Him, nor do they tire.The Holy Quran [21:19]
Belief in the Angels is crucial, as they keep a record of our deeds. They also blew the trumpet on judgment day, taking people’s souls (i.e. angel of death), and being the keepers of heaven and hell.
3. Belief in The Books of Allah (SWT)
The third pillar of faith in Islam is to believe in all the books of Allah (SWT). In this regard, Allah (SWT) says in Quran:
He has revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺ the Book in truth, confirming what came before it, as He revealed the Torah and the GospelThe Holy Quran [3:3]
There are 5 holy books that Allah Almighty has revealed to His messengers as guidance and proof for mankind:
- The Scrolls (Suhof) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him
- The Psalms (Zaboor) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Dawud (David), peace be upon him
- The Torah (Torah) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him
- The Gospel (Injeel) that Allah revealed to the Prophet Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him
- The Holy Quran which sent with the last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Every Muslim should believe in the 5 holy books as they are the words of Allah (SWT). Yet, they should only learn Quran and follow its commands because it’s the last revelation.
4. Belief in All of Allah’s (SWT) Messengers
Muslims should believe in all messengers sent by Allah (SWT) as same as they believe in the last messenger and prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The messengers are the humans that Allah (SWT) chose to guide the people towards believing in Him and abiding by His commands.
Most of the messengers of Allah were sent to a specific nation except Prophet Muhammad, who was sent to guide all of mankind. In this regards, Allah (SWT) says in Quran:
We have sent you ˹O Prophet˺ only as a mercy for the whole world.The Holy Quran [21:107]
5. Belief in the Day of Judgment & Hereafter
One of the most important pillars of Iman is to believe in the Day of Judgment and Hereafter.
“The Day of Judgment”, “The Last Judgment”, or “The Resurrection Day” is the day when humans will be resurrected from their graves and will be given their book of deeds to be judged by Allah (SWT). According to this judgment, they either send to Paradise or Hell.
Every Muslim should believe in Afterlife and understand that this life is not the end. It is just a stage when we should obey Allah (SWT) to get the reward in Afterlife. Otherwise, we’ll get the ultimate punishment.
Allah (SWT) described justice of the judgment day in the following Quranic verse:
We will set up the scales of justice on the Day of Judgment, so no soul will be wronged in the least. And ˹even˺ if a deed is the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as a ˹vigilant˺ Reckoner.The Holy Quran [21:47]
6. Belief in the Qadhaa’ & Qadr (Doom & Divine Decree)
The last of the pillars of Iman (faith) is to believe in the Doom & Divine Decree.
Doom (Qadhaa’) is the general decree of Allah (SWT) that every human shall die, whereas a Divine Decree (Qadr) is a particular decree of Allah Almighty or the execution of Qadhaa’, that a certain person is to die at a particular time and place.
Every Muslim should believe that everything that happens, good or bad, happens only according to Allah’s (SWT) Divine Decree.
The belief in Divine Predestination includes belief in 4 things:
- Allah is well acquainted with everything taking place, and His Knowledge encompasses everything.
- Allah has pre-assigned portions of everything in the preserved tablet.
- Nothing takes place in the heavens or on the earth without the will of Allah and his wish. Whatever Allah wills, takes place and whatever he does not, will do not take place.
- Allah is the creator of all things. There is no other creator besides him.