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Islam & Belief

Once Hadrat Jibril (Alaihis Salam), asked the Messenger of Allah, (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about Islam. He replied, that Islam means that you testify, that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad, is the Messenger of Allah; that you maintain salat; that you fast during the month of Ramadan; and that, if possible, you perform Hajj [pilgrimage to Makkah]. Then Hadrat Jibril (Alaihis Salam) asked him about Imaan [belief]. He replied, that belief means that you believe in Allah; in His angels; in His Books; in His Messengers; in the Last Day; and in predetermination (Muslim).

«سأل جبريل عليه السلام رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – عن الإسلام فقال: «الْإِسْلَامُ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَتُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَتُؤْتِيَ الزَّكَاةَ، وَتَصُومَ رَمَضَانَ، وَتَحُجَّ الْبَيْتَ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا» ، قَالَ: صَدَقْتَ، قَالَ: فَعَجِبْنَا لَهُ يَسْأَلُهُ، وَيُصَدِّقُهُ، قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْإِيمَانِ، قَالَ: «أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللهِ، وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ، وَكُتُبِهِ، وَرُسُلِهِ، وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ، وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ»

Likewise, once a delegation of the tribe of Abdul Qais visited Madinah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) welcomed them and invited them to embrace the faith. Then he asked them:

«أَتَدْرُونَ مَا الإِيمَانُ بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ» قَالُوا: اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ، قَالَ: «شَهَادَةُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، وَإِقَامُ الصَّلاَةِ، وَإِيتَاءُ الزَّكَاةِ، وَصِيَامُ رَمَضَانَ، وَأَنْ تُعْطُوا مِنَ المَغْنَمِ الخُمُسَ»

“Do you know what is meant by belief in Allah alone?” They said, “Allah and his messenger know better.” He said, to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger; to maintain salat; to pay zakat; to fast during Ramadan; and to pay the fifth of booty (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). In this tradition the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), has explained, “belief as a parallel of Islam.” In other words, when Islam is defined as a parallel of belief it means, the performance of the outward acts of worship, for instance: performing salat, fasting during Ramadan, payment of zakat and undertaking pilgrimage to Makkah. Concurrently, belief means the solemn belief in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, and in His messengers, etc.” But when the term belief, is used singularly it is automatically, inclusive of Islam. “Similarly, when the term Islam is used singularly it is automatically inclusive of belief. Both are integral parts of the faith. Belief and practice are interrelated. Both supplement and complement each other. It is in this sense that the following statement has been made in the holy Quran:

فَأَخْرَجْنَا مَنْ كَانَ فِيهَا مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (35) فَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهَا غَيْرَ بَيْتٍ مِنْ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (36) (الذاريات : 35، 36)

(Translation of meaning) [“So we took out all the believers from there and did not find but one home of the Muslims there” (Az-Zariyat: 35, 36)]

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