Articles of Faith in Islam

Articles of Faith in Islam

Are you a believer?

You’ve taken the Shahada.

You fasted during Ramadan.

You make your five Islamic prayers a day.

You paid your zakah.

You have plans to make Hajj.

Great. Without a doubt you are certainly a Muslim. You have entered Islam. But have you become a true believer? Until you accept the six articles of faith in Islam, you’re not quite there yet.

Becoming a Muslim is relatively easy. You complete the five pillars of Islam, thereby signing your contract with Allah and entering the fold of Islam. But these acts are all mechanical. They involve little more than movements of the body and tongue. They mean very little if not strengthened by the sincerity of faith.

There are three levels of belief that Muslims should aspire to. They are:

  • Islam – The easiest level attained by simply taking Shahada and fulfilling the five pillars. This person is called a Muslim.
  • Imaan – The second level is when we sincerely and truly accept the articles of Islamic faith. This person is called a Mu’min.
  • Ihsaan – The most difficult level to achieve. This is when we actually worship Allah as if we see Him, knowing that although we can’t, He surely sees us. This person is called a Muhsin.

Read more about the different Levels of Faith.

These levels of Islamic belief were outlined in the famous Hadith of Jibreel (peace be upon him). In this narrative related by Umar Ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), the angel Gabriel visited Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and some of his companions.

Jibreel (peace be upon him) came to Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) disguised as a man wearing pure white clothes with dark, black hair. Jibreel (peace be upon him) then proceeded to ask Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) a series of questions.

“O Muhammad! Tell me about Islam.”
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God; and to perform the prayer; pay zakat; fast Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House if you are able.”
Jibreel (peace be upon him) verified Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) spoke the truth and then asked:
Then, he asked, “Tell me about Imaan.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to believe in Allah; His Angels; His Books; His Messengers; the Last Day; and in destiny—its good and bad.”

Once again Jibreel (peace be upon him) verified he spoke the truth and asked then asked:

“Now, tell me about Ihsaan.”

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to serve Allah as though you behold Him; and if you don’t behold him, (know that) He surely sees you.”

There’s much more to this hadith but it goes beyond the scope of this article. Inshallah, the rest of this narration will be covered later. For now, let’s focus on Imaan, or Islamic faith.
From the replies given by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) above, we can see that there are six parts, or articles, of Islamic faith. They are as follows:

There is no way I can do justice to each article of faith in just this one page. Each one of them rightly deserves their own page, and can take volumes to explain. But I will give very brief explanations, and you can then click on the links to visit the full articles as they are posted.

I highly recommend you bookmark this page as new information will be added frequently, Inshallah. Here are brief explanations of the six articles of faith in Islam.

  • Belief in Allah – This is covered fairly well in my article about Monotheistic Islam. In short, this belief requires us to have the correct understanding and belief towards the oneness of Allah. This concept is called Tawheed in Arabic. It’s much more than just believing Allah exists. It means believing that only He deserves to be worshiped  and believing in His Divine Attributes.
  • Belief in His Angels – The Islamic concept of angels is very different than other religions, including Christianity. There has been a lot of scholarly analysis on angels in Islam, and our belief in angels is much more realistic and mature than the cute, winged babies you see in popular myth. Angels are really magnificent, powerful creatures made of light that do nothing but Allah’s bidding.
  • Belief in His Books – Some people may try to argue that believing in Allah’s books entails believing in the scriptures of other faiths like the Jewish Torah or Christian Bible. Instead, we believe in the original scripture brought by Prophet Moses, Jesus, David, AND the Quran which was revealed through Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon them all).
  • Beliefs in His Messengers – The Jews accept Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and several other prophets of the Old Testament. But they reject Jesus and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The Christians accept the Jewish prophets and Jesus (though in a twisted manner as they think he is God) but they reject Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). As Muslims, we believe in ALL of Allah’s prophets and messengers and make no distinction between any of them.
  • Belief in the Last Day – This is really what it’s all about. The reason we devote ourselves to worshiping Allah and following His commandments is because one day, we know we will die. Even the atheist knows he will die one day. But Muslims know that we will all be raised up before Allah and will face His judgment. We all know that this life is limited, and the next life is eternal.
  • Belief in Divine Destiny – Truthfully, this is one of the most difficult concepts for most people, myself included. Here in the west, we are taught to take charge of our own destiny and make our way in the world. In reality, we have very little control over any of it. Accepting divine destiny, known as Qadar in Arabic, is the ultimate act of submission to Allah’s will. This belief means we accept and are patient with what Allah has decreed for us.

It’s easy to spot a Muslim. If you witness someone take Shahadah, if you see them pray, or see them make Hajj, you can be pretty sure that they’re Muslim.

But it’s impossible to spot a believer. We can’t see into someone’s heart. I can’t even be certain that I am a believer. I hope and pray to Allah that He makes me a true believer. But only He knows the true condition of my heart.

But I can guarantee you, without a doubt, I am Muslim.

Anyone can be a Muslim. Many people have accepted Islam with their tongues, but haven’t become believers in their hearts.

When a Muslim accepts these six articles of faith, then they have gone beyond just Islam. They have become Mu’min. Believers.

The next step, Inshallah, is Ihsaan. And, like we say here in the U.S., that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

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20 Responses to Articles of Faith in Islam

  1. thanks. i too am confused about destiny.

    if God knows what we are going to do , why doesnt He make us do good only? why bad? why do we have to go to hell if it was destined any way?? i love Allah but i am confused as to why the human has to be accountable IF it was destined ANYWAY.

    i suppose this is what you too have said in you post in a way.

    i think if we do beleive in it fully people would not have illnesses like depression. it is good to set your minset in a way where you beleive in it. my only confusion is then it is not fair to send people to Hell.

    thank you for letting give my views.

    • Hey Ellen,

      I’m not Islamic but I was researching the religion for a class paper and came across your comment.

      God does know our hearts and everything about us. He knows decisions we are likely to make based on our character. The reason why there is still bad is because 1) Satan has just as much power in the world as Christ…he can obtain followers too 2) God gives us free agency. Even though Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and do good he loves us enough to let us choose.

      I also have responses to the illnesses you brought up and about hell etc…if you’d like to discuss more let me know!

  2. Bis Mil Lah, Allahuma sali ala Muhammad, As sa laa mu alaikum,May Allah (swt) Bless you for your effort, however , you need to coreect your statement regarding Allah’s Messenger where you say “The Christians accept the Jewish prophets and Jesus (though in a twisted manner as they think he is God) ” THERE WERE NEVER ANY JEWISH PROPHETS. All The prophets were Muslims though their NATIONALITY AFTER JACOB WAS ISRAELI, Ishmael and Muhammad are the only two who are not Israeli. (pbuthem all) No where in the Quran does Allah(swt) say He sent a prophet or messenger to the Jews. Many people confuse Judiasm with Bnai Isael, Judiasm is a fabricated religion by the tribe of Judah,OUT OF REBELLION AND ANIMOSITY TOWARD ISLAM While Bni Israel is a nation descended from Prophet Isaac and Jacob (Al-Asbaat). Make no mistake about it and correct youself all 124,000 thousand prophets and 315 messenger are muslims. There is enough misleading information either by mistake or intentially, please don’t add to it.

    • Wa Alaikum Salaam, jazakallah Khair for your comments.

      I respectfully disagree.

      Christians purport that Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. I don’t necessarily accept that, but it isn’t important enough to debate about.

      Some of your information is not correct.

      Ismail and Muhammad were not the only non-Hebrew prophets. Salih, Hud, and Shuaib were also prophets who were not Hebrew.

      I also do not agree that ALL prophets besides the ones you mentioned were from Bani Israel. Allah said He sent a prophet to all nations so that is enough for me to accept that there were thousands of prophets of many different backgrounds before Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

      In the end, Allah knows best, and I’ll leave it at that.

  3. hi,
    maybe u hav incorrect answers,but,it has lots of infor wich we can learn.Anyway,thanx,it helpd me finish my assignment.


  4. Hi, this information was very helpful thank you! I am not muslim myself, but i do find the religion very interesting and appreciate its concepts. What I was wondering, if someone could please specifically state as to what the connection between the five pillars of islam and six articles of faith is?
    Thank you to anyone reading 🙂

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