Many times, Muslim use “faith” interchangeably with “Iman.” But what is Iman in Islam? Iman is heartily accepting all of Islam’s essential and foundational beliefs. So are there any foundational principles of Iman? Yes, there are strong pillars of Iman.
What are Pillars in Iman In islam?
“The Pillars of Iman” or “Arkan Al-iman” refer to the fundamentals of 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). Belief in the Oneness of Allah (SWT), Existence of Angels, Belief in The Books of Allah (SWT), Belief in All of Allah’s (SWT) Messengers, Day of Judgment & Hereafter, and Belief in the Qadhaa’ & Qadr (Doom & Divine Decree)
What are the 6 pillars of Iman?
1. Belief in the Oneness of Allah (SWT)
Among the 6 Arkan Al-iman, Belief in Allah (SWT) is the first and most important element that the Islamic faith is established on. It also means to acknowledge Allah’s existence, His Attributes, His Kingship, and His right to be worshiped alone. To fulfill this pillar of Faith, one must accept the oneness of Allah, The Authoritative. The Quran and Sunnah are the primary sources of information about Allah.
Undoubtedly, 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 His 99 names.
2. Belief in the 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.
Angels are Allah’s creations who worship Him. They are another creation of Allah who does not possess free will. They obey Allah on His one command and always exalt our Lord’s Greatness and Mercy. Belief in Angels encompasses a belief in their existence, qualities, and the deeds they accomplish which we are taught through the Quran and Sunnah.
Unlike humans who are created from clayand jinn who are created from smokeless fire, Angels are created from light. They were created before humans for the purpose of worshipping Allah Almighty and obeying 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)
Believing in all the books of Allah is the third of six types of iman. As Muslims, we must believe that Allah has sent down holy books.
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 Gospel.” The 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 was 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 regard, 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 were either sent to Paradise or Hell.
Every Muslim should believe in the 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 the 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]
Indeed, the pillar of faith is the base for all of us as we understood in Iman definition. Hence it is our duty that we should not only know about it but keep ourselves and others reminded about it too.
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 perfectly aware of everything that is going on, and His Knowledge includes everything.
- In the surviving tablet, Allah has pre-assigned parts of everything.
- Nothing happens in the sky or on Earth without Allah’s will and wish. Anything Allah wills occurs, and whatever he does not will not occur.
- All things were created by Allah. Other than him, there is no other creator.
Indeed, the 6 pillars of Iman in order strengthen us mentally and help us in being on the right path. When we believe in:
- The Oneness of Allah, we save ourselves from committing Shirk
- Believe in the existence of Angels, we develop a strong faith that it is only and only Allah who is worthy of worship
- Believe in the Books of Allah, we know that Allah is Merciful and has sent much guidance for all of us
- Believe in Allah’s Messengers, we get to know the depth of our beautiful religion
- Believe in the Day of Judgement and Hereafter, we evaluate every action of ours carefully. We fear the wrong that we may do. Also, every good deed gives us the rejoicing of Paradise
- Belief in the Qadhaa’ & Qadr, we feel content about what we have. Knowing that Allah is the best Planner and He is the Possessor of All Power.
Quranic Verse About 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]
So learn the 6 pillars of Iman in Arabic today and inculcate a strong foundation for yourself!
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