6 Articles of Faith

There are six main articles of faith that the Holy Qur’an enjoins Muslims to believe in. These beliefs define the core of the Islamic faith. Although these are deeply broad concepts, a brief introduction to them is provided here.

“Say, ‘He is Allah, the One’ ” (112:2)

A simple concept at first glance, the Oneness of God has deep implications upon the human psyche. This belief orients one’s mind and heart toward a singular Source of all beneficence, and liberates them from all desires and fears that do not originate from Him.

The Islamic concept of the Oneness of God also inculcates in man the realization of the oneness of mankind. Thus, this belief shatters all notions of divisions along racial, ethnic, or economic lines.

“And the angels say: ‘And there is not one of us but has an appointed station’ ” (37:165)

The Holy Qur’an clarifies intricate subjects such as the concept of angels, that may have mythical associations in various cultures of the world today.

Although many believe that angels are associated with a material existence, having shapes or bodies, the Qur’an rejects this idea. The Qur’an explains that angels are beings of a spiritual nature, existing beyond the limits of the material dimensions that we can perceive.

The Qur’an states that these beings are tasked with the maintenance of the laws of the entire material and spiritual universe. Thus, the laws of physics that govern celestial bodies, or the biochemical mechanisms of ecosystems, are manifested by spiritual beings that are called angels. They are also responsible for delivering revelation from God to human beings.

“O ye who believe! believe in Allah and His Messenger, and in the Book which He has revealed to His Messenger, and the Book which He revealed before it. And whoso disbelieves in Allah and His angels, and His Books, and His Messengers, and the Last Day, has surely strayed far away.” (4:137)

The Qur’an claims that it is simply the continuity of the revelation that God bestowed upon mankind in the past. Thus, Muslims are required to believe in the revelation that was vouchsafed to prophets of the past, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.

It is essential in Islam to believe that God is the Provider for all needs of mankind. Thus, He has always looked after the spiritual needs of mankind throughout history, by revealing religious teachings to prophets.

“There is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent.” (35:25)

The Qur’an teaches that throughout history, there have always been certain individuals who have possessed pure character and lived with perfect morality. God bestowed upon them the mantle of prophethood, imbuing their nature with a special light that attracted the hearts of those around them. Through following the teachings of these prophets, people have found true nearness to God.

Thus, Islam recognizes men such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Confucius, and Socrates, all as true prophets of God. This beautiful teaching is unique to Islam, and is essential for the establishment of true interfaith harmony. This belief fosters respect in Muslims for all the revered prophets and saints whose mention is found in various religions across the globe.

“Every soul shall taste of death. And you shall be paid in full your rewards only on the Day of Resurrection. So whosoever is removed away from the Fire and is made to enter Heaven has indeed attained his goal. And the life of this world is nothing but an illusory enjoyment.” (3:186)

This belief inculcates the principle that humans are accountable for all that they do. The Holy Qur’an teaches that life does not end with the death of the body, as the soul progresses to the next phase of existence. The commonly held understanding of the afterlife is often quite elementary, with people believing hell and heaven to simply be physical places.

The Qur’an however provides insight into the true reality of the afterlife. It explains, in essence, that heaven and hell are states of existence. These states, to a limited extent, are also manifested in this very world. Good deeds and bad deeds continuously develop and shape the soul of a person. Doing acts that further one’s love for God and humanity, gradually and subtly create a heavenly light in one’s soul.

Heaven, in the afterlife, will simply be the full manifestation of this state. The Qur’an teaches that if one acquires the love of God in this life, this love will grow and flourish into a full state of existence in the afterlife, which will be called heaven. On the other hand, if one leads an evil existence, they will be put through a temporary state of hell in the afterlife. This punishment will be like a reformatory for their soul. However, the Qur’an states that hell is not eternal, and even such people will ultimately come under God’s mercy.

“And when He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!,’ and it is.” (40:69)

The last article of faith means to believe that God is the Supreme Cause of all causes. Everything in existence is manifested through His will alone. The Holy Qur’an expounds upon the concept of destiny in a comprehensive way, however the subject is too complex and vast to be summarized here.

Although the Qur’an highlights that supreme power only belongs to God, it very clearly explains the power of free will bestowed upon humans:

 “ And that man will have nothing but what he strives for” (53:40)

It is often found that, unfortunately, some religious people falsely attribute their shortcomings or circumstances to God, stating the excuse that it must have been His plan for them to fail. Islam forbids this and presents a concept of destiny that is far beyond allowing such attitudes of complacency and resignation.

Thus, the Holy Qur’an encourages humans to use all their faculties to serve God and His creation, while constantly recognizing Him as the true source of all strength.