Taken from ‘The Book of Beliefs’ by Raashid Uthmani-Deoband.(Allah Bukhsh Barkhurdaria Trust)
Beliefs Concerning Imaan
Imaan-The First Article
Tauheed-the Doctrine of Allah’s unity
La ilaha illallah
There is no Deity but Allah
In shariah, Tauheed means to accept with the heart and declare with the tongue the unity of Allah ta ala.
Risaalat- the doctrine of believing in a Nabi
Muhammadan rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam
Muhamamd salalahu alayhi wa salam is the Rasool of Allah.
Risaalat means to accept with the heart and declare with the tongue that Muhammad salalahu alayhi wa salam is the true messenger of Allah Ta’ala and to whole heartedly accept, without the slightest reservation and doubt, everything brought by Muhammad salalahu alayhi wa salam as true.
Definition of Imaan and its types
Imaan is to accept with the heart that which has beendelivered to the Ummah by Muhammad sallahau alayhi wa salam from Allah Ta’ala, and to utter this belief with the tongue.
Imaan in Brief
I believe in Allah as He is with all His Names and Attributes and I accept all His commands.
Belief in Allah is not confined to belief in the mere existence of a creator. This belief necessitates the affirmation of Allah Ta’ala with all His attributes in the manner they are expounded and explained in the Quraan and Hadeeth. (The inerpretation of the pious predecessors will be accepted.)
Imaan in Detail
I believe in Allah, in His Malaaikah (angels), in his books, in his messengers, in the akhirat (day of judgement) and in the fact that everything good or bad is from Allah (i.e. in predestination) and in life after death.
Allah Ta’ala describes these cardinals of Imaan in the following verses of the Quraan:
“O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His Rasool(salalahu alayhi wa salam) and the Kitaab which He has revealed before. Whoever disbelieves in Allah and His Malaaikah (alayhum salam) and His Kitaabs and His Rasool and the Last day, he has wandered far astray.” (4:136)
The first article of Islam is belief in the concept of Tauheed and Risaalat, which has been explained above. The other articles of Islam are Salaah, Zakaat, hajj, and fasting in Ramadan.
Rasulullah salalahu alayhi wa salam, in the above hadith, has compared Islam to a canopy resting on five supports. Belief in the concept of Tauheed and Risaalat is the central pillar and the other four are vital supports in the completion of one’s deen.
Without the central pillar the canopy cannot possibly stand. Similarly, if one negates the belief of Tauheed and Risaalat he cannot possibly be a believer. And, if any one of the corner supports are missing, a collapse will result in the defective corner of the canopy. Thus, if any one of the remaining articles of Islam is neglected, a weakness int he Imaan will result.
Imaam Abu Hanifa rahimahullah is of the opinion that Imaan is the “affirmation of the heart” and Amal (practice) is not a pre-condition for the validity of Imaan although it is conditional for its developement and perfection. The execution of amal gives validity and noor to Imaan. Hence, the commiting of major sins does not expel one from Islam.
“And if two parties of believers fight, then make peace between them.” (49:9)
Islam regards fighting to be a major sin. In this verse Allah says, “if two parties of believers fight.” Note that He has called both these parties believers.
According to Imaam Malik rahimahullah and Imam shafi’ee rahimahullah amal is an integral part of Imaan. Without it, one does not remain a perfect believer.
Two Deviant Sects
Contrary to the concensus of the Ulama and Muhaditheen, the mutazilis were of the view that by commiting a major sin, one no more remained a believer. In our times,Maududi and his followers also hold the same views.
Definition of a Major Sin
A major sin is that which is declared unlawful in Islamic law and for which there is reproach and warning int he Quran and hadith.
It is the belief of the AHlus Sunnah wal Jama’at that by committing a major sin, one does not leave the fold of Islam, but if one commits Shirk (polytheism) then one no more remains in the fold of Islam. Hence, when major sins are generally reffered to, it will mean those excluding kufr and shirk.