The shahada, the two-part statement that “There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God” is often popularly called “the Islamic creed” and its utterance is one of the “five pillars“.
In Islamic theology, the term most closely corresponding to “creed” is ʿaqīdah (عقيدة) The first such creed was written as “a short answer to the pressing heresies of the time” is known as Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar and ascribed to Abū Ḥanīfa. Two well known creeds were the Fiqh Akbar II“representative” of the al-Ash’ari, and Fiqh Akbar III, “representative” of the Ash-Shafi’i.
Iman (الإيمان) in Islamic theology denotes a believer’s religious faith. Its most simple definition is the belief in the six articles of faith, known as arkān al-īmān.
- Belief in Allah’s Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes
- Belief in Angels
- Belief in Allah’s Books
- Belief in Messengers
- Belief in the Day of Judgment
- Belief in Fate and Divine Decree
Belief in Allah’s Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes
We believe in Allah‘s divinity; that is he is the Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Manager of all affairs.
We believe in Allah’s god ship; that is, He is the true God and every other so-called deity is false.
We believe in His names and attributes, that is He has the most magnificent names and the sublime perfect attributes.
We believe in His oneness in all of this, that is, He has no associate in His divinity, His God ship, His names, or His attributes. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“He is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth and all that is in between them, so worship Him and be patient in His worship; do you know any equal to Him?” (19:65).
We believe that He is
“Allah there is no God but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber does not seize Him, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the Earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass anything of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the Earth, the preservation of them does not burden Him; He is the High, the Great” (2:255).
We believe that
“He is Allah, there is no god but He, the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. He is Allah, there is no God but He, the King, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Almighty, the Subduer, the Sublime. Glory be to Allah above what they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. His are the most beautiful Names. All that is in the heavens and the Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the Wise” (59:22-4). ¥ We believe that to Him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth: “He creates what He pleases. He gives, to whom He wills, females, and He gives, to whom He wills, males, or He couples them, males and females; and He makes whom He wills barren. Surely, He is the Knowing, the Powerful” (42:49-50).
We believe that
“there is nothing whatever like unto Him, He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing. To Him belongs the keys of the Heavens and the Earth. He enlarges and restricts provisions to whom He wills. Surely He has knowledge of everything” (42:11-12).
We believe that
“there is no creature that moves on the Earth but its provision depends on Allah. He knows its dwelling and its resting place. All is recorded in a clear book” (11:6).
We believe that
“with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them but He. He knows what is in land and sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. Not a grain in the deep darkness of the Earth, not a thing green or dry but it is in a clear Book” (6 :5 9 ).
We believe that
“Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour, sends down rain, and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-aware” (31:34).
We believe that Allah speaks whatever He pleases whenever He pleases:
“And Allah spoke to Moses directly” (4:164); “And when Moses came at Our appointed place, and his Lord spoke to him” (7:143 ); “We called to him from the right side of the Mount (Sinai), and We brought him near in communion” (19:52).
We believe that
“if the ocean became ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be finished before the words of my Lord came to an end” (18:109); “And if all the trees that are in the earth were pens, and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans swelling it therefore, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise” (31 :27).
We believe that Allah’s words are the most truthful in conveying information, the most just in ruling, and the fairest in conversation. He said:
“The word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice” (6:115); “And who is more truthful in his word than Allah?” (4:87).
We believe that the Qur’an is Allah’s word. He literally spoke it to Gabriel, who conveyed it to the Prophet, peace be upon him:
“Say (O Muhammad) ‘the Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth”‘ (16:102); “Truly it is the revelation of the Lord of the world brought down upon your heart by the Faithful Spirit so that you may be one of the warners, in a clear Arabic tongue” (26:192-95).
We believe that Allah is well above His creatures in His Person and His Attributes, because He says:
“He is the High, the Great” (2:22); “He is Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the All-aware” (6:18).
We believe that He
“created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything” (10:3).
We believe that He is with His creatures while He is still on His throne. He knows their conditions, hears their sayings, sees their deeds, and manages their affairs. He provides for the poor and the broken.
He gives sovereignty to whom He pleases and takes away sovereignty from whom He pleases; He exalts whom He wills and He abases whom He wills. In His hand is all good and He is powerful over everything. Whoever possesses these qualities is literally with His creatures even if He is literally above them on His throne.
“There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him; He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing” (42: 11).
We do not say, as do the Incarnationists among the Jahomites and others, that Allah is living with His creatures on Earth. We consider whoever says this a non-believer or one who has strayed, for he attributed to Allah that which does not become Him of defects.
We believe in what His Messenger told us, that He descends to the near sky before the last third of every night and says:
“Who prays to Me and I will answer his prayers? Who asks Me and I will give him? Who asks My forgiveness and I will forgive him?” (Bukhari and Muslim).
We believe that He will come on the Day of Judgment to judge among His people because He said:
“No indeed! When the Earth is crushed to powder, and your Lord comes down with the angels in rows after rows, and Hell is brought out that day. On that day man will remember, but what will remembrance avail him?” (89:21-23).
We believe that he is the Doer of what He wills.
Belief in Angels
We believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are “honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they act only by His command” (21:26).
Allah created them, and they worship and obey Him. Those who are in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary” (21:19).
Belief in Allah’s Books
We believe that Allah revealed books to His messengers as proof against mankind and a guidance for the righteous workers. They purified and taught them wisdom by these books.
We believe that Allah sent down a book with every messenger, because He says:
“Indeed We sent down Our messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the book and the balance, so that people may uphold justice” (57:25).
Belief in Messengers
We believe that Allah has sent to His people messengers who were
“bringing good tidings and warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the Messengers. Allah is All-mighty, All-wise” (4: 165).
Belief in the Day of Judgment
We believe in the Final Day, which is the Day of Judgment, when people will be resurrected and then told to remain in the abode of enjoyment or in the abode of severe punishment.
Belief in Fate and Divine Decree
We believe in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah has measured and ordained for all creatures according to His previous knowledge and as deemed suitable by His wisdom.