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"It is to believe in Allah, His angels,
His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny,
both the good and the evil thereof."
Iman is the state in which the heart accepts the Truth and lives by it. It is to believe in its six 'pillars' such that, the lips and tongue make the profession of the truth, and the limbs execute what is required of them by the truth. It is important to recognise that the first of the Prophet Muhammad's titles - his 'titles of Glory' - is not 'Messenger' or 'Prophet' but 'slave' (abd). For man must be a slave to the truth before he can be its messenger, and the slave is, by definition, one who submits body and soul to his master, claiming no rights, asking no questions and owning nothing that he can call his own. It is for the master, if he will, to raise him to a higher status.
A great deal of misunderstanding has surrounded these images of submission. Partly from prejudice, but partly also from the genuine difficulty that one culture has in grasping the deepest motivations of another, the West has often pictured the Muslim as cringing before a tyrant Lord and submitting as a beast submits to its incomprehensible fate. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Muslim fears God because he is a realist; he knows that there are things to be feared and that all things - the bitter and the sweet - have but one Creator. He submits because he believes that there exists a divine pattern or scheme of things which is both intelligent and beautiful, and he wishes to find his place in this pattern and conform to it; he knows that he cannot do so without instructions - which must be followed meticulously in view of their sacred origin. He does not simply resign himself to the Divine Will; he seeks it eagerly and, when he finds it, delights in it.
"Say: 'He Allah, is One! Allah,
the eternally Besought! He has not begotten, nor been begotten, and equal to
Him there is none."
In order to have Iman the Muslim has to believe in:
1. Allah, the One and Only God
2. His Angels
"Say: [O Muslims]: 'We believe
in Allah and that which is sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham,
Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes; what was given to Moses and Jesus and
what was given to the Prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction between
any of them, and to Him we have surrendered ourselves.'"
3. His revealed books
The Quran is the last scripture of guidance revealed to man and sent down for all humanity. For the Muslim, God's Book is much more than a source of liturgical and social rules; indeed, such topics occupy less than one tenth of the Quranic text; and it is more even than a revelatory declaration of man's origin and his fate, an exposition of the truths of man's spiritual nature and of judgement. The Quran is-oft recited, at the most profound possible level, because it is of God. Its text reveals God's will for His creation, but it is also a revelation of Himself. It is uncreated, timeless, a dimension of God's pre-existent attribute of speech, communication: it is the Logos, which is the interface between the Absolute and the contingent realms. Unlike all other scriptures sent before, it is Divinely protected against corruption and is thus the only authentic and complete book of Allah which has remained unchanged since its was revelation to the Prophet (pbuh) through the angel Gabriel. It was revealed over a period of 23 years. It contains 114 Surahs (chapters) and over 6000 verses.
4. His Messengers
"When the sun is darkened, and
when the stars fall, and when the mountains are moved... and when the records
of men's deeds are laid open, and when the sky is torn away, and when the hell
is set blazing, and when the Garden is brought near, then every soul shall know
what it has brought."
5. The Day of Judgement
If some good deeds are seen not to get full appreciation and credit in this life, they will receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on the Day of Judgement. If some people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, seem superficially successful and prosperous in this life, absolute justice will be done to them on the Day of Judgement. The time of the Day of Judgement is only known to Allah and Allah alone.
"No soul dies without the permission of Allah, and at a
term appointed. He who desires the reward of this world We shall give it to
him; and he who desires the reward of the Hereafter We shall give it to him.
We will surely reward the thankful."
6. Destiny, its good and evil
(Source: Gai Eaton, Islam & the Destiny of Man; http: www.islamic-guide.com)