Faith, or Iman, in Islam, has six pillars which are also known as the articles of faith or Arkan al-Iman. These pillars form the foundation of the most important requirement for a person to be called Muslim. If one fails to believe in any of them as much as is needed, his being a Muslim may be considered doubtful. These six pillars have been mentioned in an authentic hadith:
“Faith means to believe in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree, both good and bad.” (agreed upon)
1. Belief in Allah: Every Muslim must have a firm belief in the existence, power, and immortality of Allah. He must believe that He is the creator, has no partner, and is omnipresent and omniscient. Allah is the Lord of the entire universe and everything beyond it. Life and death of every living creature are in His hands. He is flawless. He is the only one who deserves to be worshiped.
2. Belief in Angels (mala’ika): Angels are Allah’s creations. He created them out of light (noor). Nobody knows the actual count of angels but the Creator Himself. They are not His offspring as is the belief in some religions. All the angels have been assigned certain duties such as conveying His messages, recording deeds of humans, guarding, taking souls of those who die and many others. Believing in their existence is crucial.
3. Belief in Books of Allah: Another pillar of faith is the belief in all the scriptures Allah has revealed to this world through His prophets. The books we know of are Torah, Zabur, Injeel, and Qur’an. Muslims must believe that all the books have been true words of Allah but the earlier ones were sent for specific nations and time periods. Also, with the passage of time, humans altered them. The last book of Allah, Qur’an, is meant to be a guidance for the entire world for all the times to come. Allah has promised to protect this last book from all kinds of alterations.
4. Belief in Prophets: For the proper guidance of humanity, Allah sent about 124,000 prophets in this world. These prophets were responsible for showing the right path to everyone by being the role models themselves. Muslims are required to believe in all the prophets but are obliged to follow the teachings of only the last prophet, Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H).
5. Belief in the life after death and the Day of Judgment: We have to have faith in the fact that we will be resurrected after death and will have to give an account of all our deeds. We will be judged and sent to heaven or hell according to our deeds in this life.
6. Belief in Fate (Al Qadr): Allah is the wisest and knows best. We have been given freewill but we are not in control of everything. He has predestined some things for us like our time in this world, the favours and facilities we will get, etc. We have to trust Him and believe that everything happens by His will.