What do Muslims believe?
"Six Articles of Faith."
Muslims believe in the One, Unique, Incomparable, Merciful God- the
Sole Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher of the universe; in the Angels
created by Him; in the prophets through whom his revelations were
brought to humankind; in the Day of Judgment, and in individual
accountability for action; in God’s complete authority over destiny, be
it good or bad; and in life after death.
Muslims believe that God sent His messengers and prophets to all
people. Biblical prophets mentioned in the Quran include; Adam, Enoch,
Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael,
Isaac, Job, Ezekiel, Jacob, Joseph, Jonah, Jethro, Moses, Aaron,
Elijah, Elisha, David, Solomon, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus;
peace be upon them all.
God’s final message to humanity was revealed to the last prophet,
Muhammad(peace be upon him), through the Archangel Gabriel. It
confirmed and finalized all previous revelations that were to human
kind through God’s messengers.
One becomes a Muslim by believing and proclaiming that, “There is no
deity except God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God.” By this
declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all of God’s
messengers, and in the scriptures revealed to them.
1) Belief in Allah:
Who is Allah?
Islam is the complete submission and obedience to Allah (God).
The name Allah (God) in Islam never refers to Muhammad (pbuh), as many Christians may think; Allah is the personal name of God.
What do Muslims believe about Allah?
1. He is the one God, Who has no partner.
2. Nothing is like Him. He is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation.
3. He is All-Powerful, absolutely Just.
4. There is no other entity in the entire universe worthy of worship besides Him.
5. He is First, Last, and Everlasting; He was when nothing was, and will be when nothing else remains.
6. He is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful,the Supreme, the Sovereign.
7. It is only He Who is capable of granting life to anything.
8. He sent His Messengers (peace be upon them) to guide all of mankind.
9. He sent Muhammad (pbuh) as the last Prophet and Messenger for all mankind.
10. His book is the Holy Quran, the only authentic revealed book in the world that has been kept without change.
11. Allah knows what is in our hearts.
Allah is the proper Arabic name for God. Muslims believe in and worship the same One God the Jew and Christians worship.
Allah says in the Quran:
“And do not debate with the People of the Book, unless in the best of
manner, but not with those who are unjust, and say: ‘We believe in the
Revelation that ha come down to us and in that which came down to you;
Our God and your God is One; And to Him do we wholly give ourselves.’”
Allah is unique term with no plural and no gender. It predates Muhammad
and was also used in the form of El, Ilah or Elohim by David, Moses,
Jesus and other messengers of God, peace be upon them all.
“He is God, the One that there is no deity but He; the Knower of the
unseen and the apparent; He is the Source of All Mercy, the Merciful.
He is God, the One that there is no deity but He; the King, the Holy,
the Sourse of All Peace, the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver, The
Mighty, the Compeller, the Majestic; Glory to God, beyond their
association (of partners with Him)!
He is God; the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. To Him belong the
most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth
magnifies Him; He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (Quran 59:22-24).
2) Belief in Angels:
Muslims 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" (Quran 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" (Quran 21:19).
Angels are concealed from us, so we cannot see them. Allah may show
them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his
real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari
and Muslim). Gabriel took the form of a handsome human being who met
Mary and engaged in conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while
he was among his Companions in the appearance of an unknown man who did
not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes, and very
black hair. He sat facing the Prophet, his knees to the Prophet's
knees, peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and
talked with the Prophet. The Prophet later told his Companions that the
man they saw was Gabriel (Bukhari and Muslim).
Angels' Functions: We believe that the angels are assigned certain
functions. Among the angels is Gabriel, who is entrusted with
revelation. He brings it down from Allah to whomever He wishes among
His prophets and messengers.
Among them is Michael, who is in charge of rain and the growth of
plants; Israfil, who is in charge of blowing the horn at the time of
thunder-bolting and the resurrection; the Angel of Death, who takes
away people's souls at the time of death. Among the angels is the one
who is in charge of mountains; and Malik, the keeper of Hell.
Some angels are in charge of embryos in wombs, others are responsible
for protecting human beings, and others are busy recording men's deeds:
there are two angels for every person, "when the two angels receive
(his deeds), one sitting on the right and one on the left, not a word
he utters but by him is an observer ready" (Quran 50:18). Some other
angels are in charge of questioning the dead after he is placed in his
last abode. Two angels come to him and ask him about his Lord, his
religion, and his prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with
the firm saying, in the present life and the hereafter, and Allah leads
astray the evildoers and Allah does what He wills" (Quran 14:27).
Some angels are in charge of the dwellers of Paradise: "The angels
enter to them from every gate, saying: 'Peace be upon you for that you
were patient. How excellent is your final home"' (Quran 13:24).
The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that "seventy thousand angels
enter or pray in the populous house in heaven every day. They never
come back to it as long as they live" (because their turn will never
come) (Bukhari and Muslim).
3) Belief in the Revealed 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" (Quran 57:25).
Among the books that were revealed, we know:
I ) The Torah, which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is
the greatest among the Israelites' books: "Surely, We sent down the
Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been
judged by the prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the rabbis
and the doctors of law, because they were entrusted the protection of
Allah's book and were witnesses thereto" (Quran 5:44).
2) The Gospel, which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It is
a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it: "And we gave him
the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the Torah
before it, as a guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing" (Quran
5:46); "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were
forbidden to you" (Quran 3:50).
3) The Psalms, which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him.
4) The Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them.
5) The Glorious Quran, which was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, the
Seal of the Prophets. It is "a guidance to the people and clear signs
of guidance and the criterion between right and wrong" (Quran 2:185).
The Quran Is Protected from Change:
The Quran is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as
a guardian over it." Thus, by means of the Quran, Allah abrogated all
the previous revealed books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection
from any play or mischievous distortion: "Indeed, We sent down the
message and We will guard it" (Quran 15:9), for the Quran is a proof
against mankind till the Day of Judgment.
Previous Scriptures Changed:
The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period. Their use
ended with the revelation of the Quran, which abrogated them and
exposed their distortions and changes. That is why they were not
protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition, and
omission: "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings" (Quran
4:46); "So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then
say: 'This is from Allah,' that they may sell it for a little price. So
woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for
their earnings" (Quran 2:79); "Say, who sent down the Book that Moses
brought as a light and a guidance to people? You put it into sheets of
paper showing some of them and concealing much" (Quran 6:91); "And
there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book, that
you may think it is a part of the Book but it is not part of the Book.
And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they
tell a lie against Allah and they know it. It is not for any human
being to whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophet hood
to say to men 'Worship me instead of Allah"' (Quran 3:79); "People of
the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many
things you have been concealing of the Book and forgiving you of much.
A light has come to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He
will guide whoever follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings
them forth from darkness into the light by His will" (Quran 5:15-16).
4) Belief in the Prophets and Messengers of God:
Muslims believe in the prophets and messengers of God, starting with
Adam, including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus
(peace be upon them). But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation
of the eternal message, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad . Muslims
believe that Muhammad is the last prophet sent by God, as God has said:
Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the
Messenger of God and the last of the prophets... (Quran, 33:40)
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" (Quran 4: 165).
We believe that the best among the messengers is Muhammad, then
Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus, son of Mary. It is they who are meant
by the following Quranic verse: "And when We took a compact from the
prophets, and from you, and from Noah, and Abraham, then Moses, and
Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn compact" (Quran 33:7).
We believe that Muhammad's message, peace be upon him, includes all the
merits of the messages of those dignified messengers, because Allah
says: "He ordained for you what He enjoined on Noah and what He
revealed to you and what He enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus;
namely, establish this faith and be united in it" (Quran 42:13).
Messengers Are Human Beings:
We believe that all messengers are created human beings who have none
of the divine qualities of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, said about Noah,
who was the first among them: "I do not say to you, 'I possess the
treasures of Allah.' I do not know the unseen, and I do not say 'I am
an angel"' (Quran 11:31) Allah directed Muhammad, who is the last among
them, to say: "I do not say to you I possess the treasures of Allah,
nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say to you I am an angel" (Quran
6:50); and to say that "I have no power to bring profit or hurt for
myself, but only as Allah wills" (Quran 7:188); and: "I have no power
to hurt or benefit you. Say none can protect me from Allah, nor can I
find any refuge besides Him" (Quran 72:91-2).
We believe that the messengers are among Allah's servants. He blessed
them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of
praising and honoring them. He says about Noah, the first among them:
"You are the descendants of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a
truly thankful servant" (Quran 17:3).
Allah said about the last among them, Muhammad, peace be upon him:
"Blessed be He who sent down the Quran to His servant, that he may warn
mankind" (Quran 25:1). As for some other messengers, he said: "And
mention Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might and
vision" (Quran 38:45); "And remember Our servant David, who was a
mighty and penitent man" (Quran 38: 17); "And to David, We gave
Solomon, he was an excellent and penitent servant" (Quran 38:30).
Allah said about Jesus, son of Mary: "He is only a servant whom We
blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel" (Quran
We believe that Allah concluded all messages with the message of
Muhammad, peace be upon him, to all people, because He said: "Say, 'O
mankind, I am Allah's Messenger to you all. To him belongs the Kingdom
of the Heavens and the Earth; there is no God but He. He ordains life
and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered
Prophet who believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may
be rightly guided"' (Quran 7:158).
Islam: The Universal and Final Message:
We believe that the Shari'ah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon
him, is the religion of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants.
He does not accept any other religion from anyone, for He, the Exalted,
said: "Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam" (Quran
3:19), "Today I have perfected your religion for you and I have
completed My favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam to be your
religion" (Quran 5:3), and "Whoever desires a religion other than
Islam, it will never be accepted from Him, and in the Hereafter he will
be among the losers" (Quran 3:85).
It is our opinion that whoever claims that any religion other than
Islam is acceptable, such as Judaism, Christianity and so forth, is a
non believer. He should be asked to repent.
It is also our opinion that whoever rejects the universal message of
Muhammad, peace be upon him, rejects the message of all messengers,
even if he claims that he believes and follows His Messenger. Allah,
the Exalted, said: "Noah's people rejected the Messengers" (Quran
26:105). Thus, Allah considered them as rejecting all of the messengers
despite the fact that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also
clear from the following verses: "Those who disbelieve in Allah and His
Messengers, and wish to make division between Allah and His Messengers,
and say: 'We believe in some and disbelieve in others,' wishing to take
a midway course. Those indeed are the unbelievers, and We have prepared
for the unbelievers a humiliating punishment" (Quran 4:150-51).
We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah's Messenger,
peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophet hood after him, or believes
in anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever and one who rejects Allah, His
Messenger, and the Muslims' consensus.
5) Belief in the Day of Judgment:
Muslims believe in the Day of Judgment (the Day of Resurrection) when
all people will be resurrected for God’s judgment according to their
beliefs and deeds.
We believe in the resurrection, which is Allah's bringing to life all
those who have died, and when Israfil shall blow the horn for the
second time: "And the trumpet shall be blown, and all who are in the
heavens and who are in the Earth shall fall down fainting, except those
that Allah shall spare. Then, it shall be blown again and they shall
rise gazing around them" (Quran 39:68). People will arise from their
graves, answering the call of the Lord of the universe. They will be
barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised: "As We started the first
creation, so We shall bring it back again. This is a promise from Us,
so We shall assuredly fulfill it" (Quran 21: 104).
The Records and Scales:
We believe in the records of deeds that will be given to people in
their right hands or behind their backs, in the left hands: "As for him
who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an
easy reckoning and he will return to his family rejoicing. But as for
him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for
destruction on himself and will burn in a blazing fire" (Quran
84:7-12); "Every man's work We have fastened on his own neck, and on
the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a book which he will see
spread open, saying: 'Read your own book! Enough for you this day that
your own soul should call you to account"' (Quran 17:13-14).
We believe that scales of deeds will be set up on the Day of Judgment,
and that no soul shall be wronged: "Whoever has done an atom's weight
of good shall see it" (Quran 99:7-8); "Those whose scales are heavy,
they are the successful; but those whose scales are light, they are the
ones who have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever. The fire will
burn their faces, and there they will be gloomy with lips displaced"
(Quran 23: 102-4); and "He that does a good deed shall be rewarded ten
times the like of it, and he that does evil shall only be rewarded the
like of it, and they shall not be wronged" (Quran 6:160).
The Prophet's Intercession:
We believe in the special great intercession of the Prophet Muhammad,
peace be upon him. He will plead with Allah, after His permission and
on behalf of mankind, to judge among His servants when they suffer from
worries and troubles that they cannot bear. They will go to Adam, then
to Noah, then to Abraham, then to Moses, then to Jesus, and finally to
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
We believe in the intercession that concerns some believers who were to
be taken out from the fire. This mediation is granted to the Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to others among the prophets, the
believers, and the angels.
We believe also that Allah will save from hell some of the believers
without the intercession of any one, but by His grace and mercy.
6) Belief in Al-Qadar:FATE AND THE DIVINE DECREE
Muslims believe in Al-Qadar, which is Divine Predestination, but this
belief in Divine Predestination does not mean that human beings do not
have freewill. Rather, Muslims believe that God has given human beings
freewill. This means that they can choose right or wrong and that they
are responsible for their choices.
Belief in Fate has four levels:
1) Knowledge: We believe that Allah, may He be exalted, knows
everything. He knows what has happened and what will happen and how it
will happen. His knowledge is eternal. He does not acquire a new
knowledge nor does he forget what He knows.
2) Recording: We believe that Allah has recorded in the secured tablet
(al Lowh al Mahfuz) whatever is going to happen until the Day of
Judgment: "Did you not know that Allah knows all that is in heaven and
Earth? Surely that is in a book. Surely that for Allah is an easy
matter" (Quran 22:70).
3) Will: We believe that Allah has willed everything in heaven and
Earth. Nothing happens except by His will. Whatever He wills will take
place, and whatever He does not will not take place.
4) Creation: We believe that "Allah is the Creator of all things; He is
the Guardian over all things, and to Him belong the keys of the heavens
and the Earth" (Quran 39:62-3). This level includes whatever Allah
Himself does and whatever His creatures do. Thus each saying, deed, or
omission of the people is known to Allah, Who has recorded, willed, and
created them: "To those among you who will to be upright. But you shall
not will except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds" (Quran
81:2829); "And had Allah willed they would not have fought one against
the other; but Allah does whatever He desires" (Quran 2:253); "Had
Allah willed, they would not have done so, but leave them alone and
their false inventions" (Quran 6:137); and "And Allah created you and
what you do" (Quran 37:96). Man's Free Will:
We believe, however, that Allah has granted man a power and a free will
by which he performs his actions. That man's deeds are done by his
power and free will can be proven by the following points:
1) Allah says: "Had they desired to go forth, they would have made
some preparation for it" (9:46). In this vers, Allah affirmed for man
"a going forth" by his will and "a preparation" by his desire.
2) Directing man to do or not to do. If man has no free will and power,
these directions mean that Allah is asking man to do that which he
cannot do. This proposition is rejected by Allah's wisdom, mercy and
truthful statement: "Allah does not charge a soul beyond its capacity"
3) Praising the virtuous for his deeds and blaming the evildoer for his
actions and rewarding each of them with what he deserves. If the action
is not done by the individual's free will, then praising the virtuous
is a joke and punishing the evildoer is an injustice, and Allah is, of
course, far from joking and being unjust.
4) Allah has sent messengers who are "bearing good tidings, and
warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the
messengers" (Quran 4:165). If the individual's action is not performed
by his free will, his argument is not invalidated by the sending of
5) Every doer of actions feels that he does or does not do a thing
without any coercion. He stands up and sits, comes in and goes out,
travels and stays by his own free will without feeling anybody forcing
him to be any of these actions. In fact, he clearly distinguishes
between doing something of his own free will and someone else forcing
him to do that action. The Islamic law also wisely distinguishes
between these states of affairs. It does not punish a wrongdoer for an
action done under compulsion.