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All religions have core truths in which their followers believe. In Islam, these are known as “Iman,” which means “faith.” Iman can be outlined as six articles of faith. They are:
Muslims believe in one unique God who created the whole universe. He has many attributes, 86 of which are mentioned in the holy book, the Qur’an. To name a few, He is all-powerful, all-merciful, all-compassionate, all-fair, all-wise, all-knowing, the all-creator, etc. He created the Prophet Adam as the first man and human, and then Eve as the first woman. All human beings are created through Adam and Eve.
Angels are created from light and they have no carnal self. They do not have free will like humans do, therefore they have absolute obedience to God. There are millions of angels. They do not have human needs like eating and drinking. They see us, but we do not see them unless God permits. They are not helpers of God, for God does not need help. God uses them as representatives of some orders in the eyes of humans. Four of the biggest known angels are Gabriel, the angel of revelation; Israfil, the angel responsible for signaling the coming of Judgment Day; Mikail, the angel responsible for distributing food among the creatures; and Azrael, the angel of death.
The Qur’an was revealed by God to the Prophet Mohammed verse by verse by the angel Gabriel and memorized verbatim by Mohammed’s companions. It was then compiled by the third Caliph Uthman into the version still in use to this day, which has been memorized cover to cover by hundreds of thousands of Muslims. Muslims also believe the Torah was revealed to Moses, the Psalm was revealed to David and the Bible was revealed to Jesus (peace be upon them all).
When humans went astray, God sent thousands of prophets (we only know the names of 25 from the Qur’an) to direct them to the straight path. Muslims believe Mohammed (peace be upon him) is the last prophet and mentioned in the gospel. Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Job, Solomon, Joseph and David (peace be upon them) are all great prophets. The Virgin Mary is honored in the Qur’an and one of the chapters of the Qur’an is named after her. In Islam, it is believed that Jesus was the son of Mary and that he had no father. It is also believed that Jesus was not crucified, but elevated to the heavens by God at the end of his worldly life. Some Muslim scholars believe that on the cusp of Earth’s demise, he will return as the Messiah. Muslims have great respect for Jesus and the Virgin Mary, and they cannot be considered Muslims if they do not believe in their existence.
The Day of Judgment is the day when all the bodies are resurrected through the sound of the trumpet of Israfil. On this day, all will provide an account of their lives, revealing both good and bad deeds. Then, God will decide who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. Only God can make this final judgment. He can forgive all sins – except claiming anyone or anything other than God is a deity. Heaven and hell are eternal, but it is possible through God’s mercy that those in hell can later be moved to heaven.
Muslims believe God sees everything, hears everything and knows everything regardless of time and place. He gave free will to humans, and through the revelations in the Qur’an, as well as the Torah and Bible, showed mankind how to live a righteous life (the straight path) and warned against its opposite, the path that leads one astray.
God orders humans to stay away from sins and to comply with the rules and regulations provided in the text of the Qur’an. However, humans are free to do whatever they want with the condition that each person will have to give accounts of his or her life on the Day of Judgment.
Since God knows the past and the future, He has already written everything that has and will happen in advance. He knows who will go to hell and who will go to heaven. But this does not keep humans from doing whatever they want. Muslims also believe that God sometimes helps and regulates what humans do as He wants through His encompassing will. This is the most complicated issue in Islam and is difficult sometimes for people to grasp it fully.
Good or bad, Muslims believe everything is created by God, but humans are asked to do only good and to stay away from the bad.