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 Lesson Three The Pillars of Iman (Faith) Introduction, and Definition

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PostSubject: Lesson Three The Pillars of Iman (Faith) Introduction, and Definition   Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:44 pm

As Salamu Alaikum


Lesson Three
The Pillars of Iman

There are six pillars of Faith:

To believe in:

1) Allah.

2) His Angels.

3) His Books.

4) His Messengers.

5) The Last Day.

6) Divine Preordainment, and that the good and bad of it are from Allah Almighty.

Before discussing the different pillars of faith, we begin with the following introduction:

1) The Difference Between Islam and Iman (Faith)

Islam and Iman are terms that include the entire religion. When they are mentioned together in one place - then Islam means the outwardly performed deeds, while Iman refers to the affairs of the inside, such as belief. Allah Almighty says:

The Bedouins say: "We believe." Say: "You believe not but you only say, 'We have surrendered (in Islam)."
(Surah Al-Hujurat 49: 14)

In the famous Hadith of Jibril (Alayhi Salam), Umar, (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said, "One day, as we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) a man appeared before us: he had on him a garment that was pure white and his hair was pure black; though no sign of travel was upon him, not one of us knew him. He sat directly in front of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) making his knees touch those of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam), and placing his hands on the Prophet's thighs. He said, '0 Muhammad! Inform me about Islam.' The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said,

'Islam is to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; to establish the prayer; to give Zakat; to fast Ramadhan; to perform Al-Haij to the House (Ka'bah), for whoever is able to do so.'
The man said, 'You have spoken the truth.' We were amazed at him because he first asked a question and then affirmed the truthfulness of the answer. He then said, 'Inform me about Iman.' The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said,

'To believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in Divine Preordainment, the good of it and the bad of it. '

The man said, 'You have spoken the truth.' He then said, 'And inform me about Ihsan.' He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) answered,

'To worship Allah as if you see Him, although you don't see Him, yet He indeed sees you.'

He said, 'And inform me about the Hour.' The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) answered,

'The one who is asked knows not more about it than the questioner.'

He said, 'Then inform me of its signs.' He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said,

'That a slave woman will give birth to her female master and you will see the barefooted, naked, poor, guardians of sheep competing in constructing buildings.'

The man then left, and I stayed for a long period of time, after which the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said to me,

'0 Umar! Do you know who the questioner was?'

I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said,

'Indeed he was Jibril, coming to teach you your religion'." (Recorded by Muslim)

If the two words - Islam and Iman - appear separately, then each of them carries the meaning of the other. Allah Almighty says:

Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. (Surah Aal-Imran 3:19)

Here, Allah Almighty described Islam as being the religion, with both its outward and inward legislation. And the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam explained Iman to the delegation of 'Abdul-Qais with the same meaning that Islam is given in the above-mentioned Hadith of Jibril (Alayhi Salam) Ibn 'Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhuma), narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) ordered them to have faith in Allah alone, after which he said,

"Do you know what Iman in Allah alone is?"

They answered, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said,

"To bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer, to give Zakat, to fast Ramadhan ... "

We also can appreciate the fact that they have the same meaning when mentioned alone from the Hadith that discusses the branches of faith; in it, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

The highest of them is the saying, 'none has the right to be worshipped but Allah', and the lowest of them is to remove something harmful from the road.

The different branches of faith that are between the highest and lowest one necessarily include both outward and inward deeds.

It should also be known that outward deeds are not called Islam unless basic belief and faith are first present. If the basic faith is not first present in someone, then even with his deeds, he becomes a hypocrite. Both outwardly manifest deeds, and belief with conviction in the heart are obligatory - one cannot be separated from the other.

One cannot complete the Islam and faith that are obligatory unless he obeys Allah's commands and avoids His prohibitions; if one truly wishes completeness - which implies that there are degrees to deeds and belief - then he must increase his faith and perform many voluntary deeds.

To continue Insha Allah

Last edited by Zaza on Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lesson Three The Pillars of Iman (Faith) Introduction, and Definition   Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:56 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

2) The Definition of Iman

First, its meaning in the Arabic Language: Belief that necessitates both acceptance and submission.

The meaning of Iman in the Shari'ah: Belief in the heart, acknowledgement with the tongue, and action with the limbs - it increases through obedience and decreases with sin.

Actions are included in the term Iman

Actions are included in the term Iman, a fact that is supported by the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the earlier generations of Muslims. Allah Almighty says:

And Allah would never make your Iman (prayers) to be lost (i.e., your prayers offered towards Jerusalem)
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 143)

Here, the term Iman is referring to prayer, so Allah is in effect saying to them: Your prayers that you prayed while you faced Jerusalem before you were ordered to turn toward the Ka'bah are not lost.

The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Iman consists of more then seventy (or more then sixty) branches, the best of them is the saying, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, " and the lowest of them is removing something harmful from the road (or path); and modesty (shyness) is one of the branches of Iman. (Recorded by Muslim)

Imam Ash-Shafi'i related that there was a consensus among the Companions and their followers regarding this issue.

3) Faith Increases And Decreases

Faith increases and decreases. It increases with obedience and decreases with sin. There are many proofs which show that faith increases and decreases, and among them are the following:

1) Allah Almighty says:

And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire, and We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers, in order that the People of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and the believers may increase in faith. (Suah Al-Muddaththir 74:31)

2) Allah Almighty says:

The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His verses (this Qur'an) are recited to them, they (i.e., the verses) increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (alone); Who perform As¬Salat and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise) . (Surah Al-Anfal 8: 2-4)

3) Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (Radhi Allahu Anhu), related that he heard the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) say:

Whosoever from you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; if he is not able, then with his tongue; and if he is not able, then with his heart; and that is the weakest level of faith.

This Hadith not only indicates the different levels of changing evil, but it also indicates that changing evil is part of faith. The weakest level of faith is to change evil with one's heart; the other two ways of changing evil indicate a stronger level of faith. And Allah knows best.

4) In early Hadith regarding the branches of faith, we learn that faith includes a number of branches - each is distinguished in status. Regarding some of those actions, faith disappears when they disappear, such as the two testimonies of faith. With other actions faith doesn't disappear when they disappear, such as removing something harmful from the road. The more branches of faith one follows and applies, the higher will be the level of his faith.

After establishing the reality that faith increases and decreases, we must consequently appreciate that the people of faith are at different levels: some have a complete faith while others are at lower levels; one may even be a believer because of his faith and at the same time an evil-doer because of a great sin he perpetrated - therefore his faith is deficient due to his sin.

Because some wrongfully take deeds outside of the category of faith, they consequently believe that faith neither increases nor decreases and that people are equal in the level of their faith. They equate the most wicked person's faith with that of one of the Prophet's Companions (Radhi Allahu Anhum). This notion is categorically false, for it goes against the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and sound reasoning - there are so many contradictions within the idea that deeds are not a part of faith, that the idea itself becomes invalid .

As for faith in Allah, it is a certainty of belief that Allah is the Lord and Sovereign of all that exists, that He is the Creator and Planner and Sustainer of the entire universe, that He alone - and without a partner - deserves to be worshipped, that all that is worshipped other than Him is worshipped in vain, that Allah has the most exalted and perfect attributes, and that He is far above from having any fault or defect.

To continue Insha Allah
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PostSubject: Re: Lesson Three The Pillars of Iman (Faith) Introduction, and Definition   Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:35 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

4) The Effects of Disobedience on Faith

Disobedience is the opposite of obedience to Allah, and the term embraces both leaving a command and perpetrating that which is prohibited. We have already learned that faith is slightly more than seventy branches, the highest of which is the saying, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah," and the lowest of which is to removing something harmful from the path. So the branches of faith are not of one level in terms of size and significance, and the same can be said for disobedience. Some sins nullify faith itself, as in the following verse:

But [Fir'awn (Pharaoh)] belied and disobeyed…(Surah An-Nazi’at 79:21

Some sins are at a lower level: the perpetrator does not exit from a state of faith, but his faith is definitely diminished by committing those sins. When one commits a major sin, such as fornication, drinking alcohol, or stealing, and when he at the same time doesn't believe that those actions are permissible, piety, righteousness, and illumination leave his heart, even though the basic level of acceptance or belief in Allah may remain in his heart. If he repents to Allah and does good deeds, light and piety return to his heart. But if he persists in perpetrating sins, the covering on his heart will increase and grow, until it will completely cover his heart - we seek protection in Allah - at which time he will not know good from evil.

In a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad, Abu Hurairah, (Radhi Allahu Anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:

Verily, when a believer sins, a black dot appears on his heart; if he repents, desists, and asks (Allah) forgiveness, then his heart will be polished. But if he increases (in his sins) then the spot increases and grows until his heart will be covered by the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) that Allah mentioned in the Qur'an:

Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn. (Surah Al-Mutaffifin 83:14)

5) Actions That Nullify One's Faith And Islam

Here we are referring to those actions that nullify one's faith after one has already entered into a state of faith; here are some of those actions:

1) If one rejects the belief in Allah's Lordship, or anything that comes under that belief, one's faith becomes void:

And they say: "There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live and nothing destroys us except Ad-Dahr (the time)."
And they have no knowledge of it, they only conjecture. (Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:24)

2) Being too proud and haughty to worship Allah. Allah Almighty says:

The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave to Allah, nor the angels who are near. And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself. So, as for those who believed and did deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards, and more out of His bounty. but as for those who refuse His worship and were proud, He will punish them with a painful torment. And they will not find for themselves besides Allah any protector or helper. (Surah An-Nisa’ 4: 172-173)

3) Associating partners with Allah in worship, either by dedicating some acts of worship to other than Allah or by taking intercessors or intermediaries, asking them instead of Allah, relying on them, or asking them for intercession. Allah Almighty says:

And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: "These are our intercessors with Allah." Say: "Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?" Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners with Him! (Surah Yunus 10:18)

In another verse, Allah Almighty says:

For Him is the Word of Truth. And those whom they invoke, answer them no more than one who stretches forth his hand (at the edge of a deep well) for water to reach his mouth, but it reaches him not, and the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but an error. (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:14)

4) Rejecting anything that Allah has affirmed for Himself or that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has affirmed for Him. Also, ascribing to someone from creation some of those qualities that are specific to Allah, such as knowledge of the unseen. And finally, affirming some¬thing that Allah has negated about Himself or that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has negated about Him. Addressing the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam), Allah Almighty says:

Say: "He is Allah, (the) One Allahus-Samad (Allah-the Self¬-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks). He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him. (Surah Al-Ikhlas 112:1-4)

And Allah Almighty says:

And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do. (Surah Al-A’raf 7:180)

Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him (Alone) and be constant and patient in His worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him? (Surah Maryam 19:65)

5) Disbelieving in anything that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) came with; Allah Almighty says:

And if they deny you, those before them also denied. Their Messengers came to them with clear signs, and with the Scriptures, and the Book giving light. Then I took hold of those who disbelieved, and how terrible was My denial (punishment)! (Surah Fatir 35:25-26)

6) Believing that the Prophet's guidance is incomplete, disbelieving some of Allah's Commands that were revealed to him, believing that another system of laws is better and more suitable to mankind, believing that any other law or system of laws is equal to Allah and His Messenger's laws, or believing that it is permissible to rule by other than what Allah has revealed. Allah Almighty says:

Have you seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taghut (false judges, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaitan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray. (Surah An-Nisa’ 4: 60)

But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (0 Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. (Surah An-Nisa’ 4: 65)

And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the Kafirun (i.e., disbelievers - of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allah's Laws). (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:44)

7) One's faith is also nullified by not deeming the polytheists and disbelievers to actually be disbelievers, or even to doubt whether they are disbelievers, because that is to have doubt in what the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) came with. Allah Almighty says:

And said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent, and we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us.,, (Surah Ibrahim 14:9)

8) Mocking or making fun of Allah, of the Qur'an, the religion, Islamic rewards and punishments, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) some of the Prophets, and so on, regardless of whether one is mocking jokingly or seriously. Allah Almighty says:

If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say: "Was it at Allah, and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) And His Messenger that you were mocking?" Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. (Surah At-Taubah 9: 65-66)

9) Helping and backing the disbelievers against the Muslims; Allah Almighty says:

And if any among you takes them as Awliya' , then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are wrongdoers. (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:51)

10) Believing that it is permissible for a certain person to not follow the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam), Allah Almighty says:

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (Surah Al-Imran3:75)

11) Turning away, either completely from Allah's religion, or turning away from those actions that are necessary to the correctness of one's Islam – neither learning nor applying those actions. Allah Almighty says:

And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then he turns aside there from? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the criminals. (Surah As-Sajdah 32:22)

l2) Hating anything that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) came with, even if one practices that which he hates. Allah Almighty says:

That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down, so He has made their deeds fruitless.
(Surah Muhammad 47:9)

13) Practicing magic or being pleased by magic. Allah Almighty says:

But neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, "We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us)." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 102)

These are the most common actions or beliefs that nullify one's faith; however, there are many others, even though most of them return to rejecting the Qur'an or a part of the Qur'an, doubting in the fact that it is a miracle, debasing the Qur' an or a part of it, deeming something lawful when there is a consensus that it is unlawful ¬such as fornication or drinking alcohol, finding fault in the religion or cursing it, or abandoning the prayer - and we seek refuge in Allah from misguidance. And Allah Almighty knows best.

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Lesson Three The Pillars of Iman (Faith) Introduction, and Definition
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