Part I: Belief (Al-Emaan)

Chapter 02

Belief Elaborated

Types of Belief

         According to Muslim Jurists, belief (Emaan) is of two types: Short Belief (Emaan-ul-Mujammal) and Comprehensive Belief (Emaan-ul-Mufassal).

Short Belief:  It means admission of belief in few words or to profess belief briefly i.e. to profess belief in Allah with his Names and Attributes. Words prescribed for it are:

Aamantu Billahe kama huwa bi-ismaaihii wa sifatihi wa Qabiltu jamiaa ahkamihii.

I believe in Allah as He is with His Names and Attributes and I accept all His commandments.

Comprehensive Belief: It means admission of belief in detailed words, i.e., admission of belief in Allah, His angels, His messengers, His scriptures, Last Day and Destiny. Prescribed words for this are:

Amantu billahi wa malaaikatihii wa kutubihii wa rusulihii wal youmil aakhiri wal qadri khairihii wa shirrihii minallahi talaa wal baathi baadal mout.

I believe in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, last day, and good and evil of Destiny that it is all from Allah, and (I also believe) resurrection after death.

Formulas of Belief (Kalimahs)

         According to terminology of Islamic Shariah (Law), Kalimah (or Formula) stands for those words which are prescribed for admission and affirmation of one’s belief. The popularly known six Kalimahs (Formulas) of Islamic faith are as under:

1)            First Kalimah: It is known as Kalimah Tayyib which means ‘pure word’ i.e. Formula which purifies the utterer from dirt of disbelief. This Kalimah is as follows.

La Ilaha Illallahu Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah

There is no God (worthy of worship) but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s apostle.

2)            Second Kalimah: It is known as Kalimah Shahada’ which means word of Testimony. By uttering this Kalimah one affirms the truth of God’s oneness and Muhammad’s messengership. The prescribed Kalimah is as follows:

Ash-hadu al-la-Ilaha ill Allah wahadahu la sharika-lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Abduhu wa Rasuluhu.

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah Who is One and Who has no partner and I also bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Apostle.

3)            Third Kalimah: It is known as Kalimah Tamjeed which means word of Glorification. It is uttered to glorify Allah and is given below:

Subhan-Allah wal Hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha ill-Allahu wa-Allahu akbar wa la haula wa la quwwata illa billahil-aliy-yil-azeem.

Glorified is Allah and praise is due to Allah. There is no god but Allah and Allah is the most Great. There is no power and no ability (to do good or evil) except with help of Allah who is the most High and supreme.

4)            Fourth Kalimah:  It is called Kalimah Tauhid which means word of unity. By this Kalimah Allah’s Oneness is admitted and His power and glory and authority over everything is declared. It is as follows:

La Ilaha ill-Allahu Wahdahu lashareeka lahu lahul mulku wa lahul-hamdu yuhyi wa yumeetu wa huwa hayyau-ulla yamutu  abadan abada; Dhul Jalale wal Ikram; Biyadihil khair wa huwa alaa kulle shi in Qadeer.

There is no god but Allah. He is one having no partner. His is the sovereignty and all praise is for Him. He gives life and He gives death. And he is ever Alive who will never taste death. He is owner of Glory and Honour. In His hand is all good and He has power over everything.

5)            Fifth Kalimah: It is called Kalimah Istighfar, which means word of forgiveness. With this Kalimah, a believer who has committed some sin seeks forgiveness from Allah. The Kalimah is as follows:

Astaghfir-ul-Allah Rabbi min kulle zanbin aznabtuhu amadin auo khata-an sirran auo alaaniyatan wa atubu ilayhi min alzanb illazi aalamu wa min alzanbillazi la aalamu innaka anta allamul ghuyub wa sattarul ayyub wa ghaffarul zunub wa la haula wa la quwwata ila billah – il – aaleeyyil Azeem.

I seek forgiveness of Allah for every sin which I committed willfully or unwillfully, secretly or openly. And I turn to Him for the sin which I know and which I know not. (My Lord!) You certainly know the things unseen, You hide the sins and You are forgiver of sins. there is no power or ability (to do good or evil) except with help of Allah Who is the most High and Supreme.

6)            Sixth Kalimah: It is called Kalimah Radde Kufr, which means word for rejection of Disbelief. With this Kalimah, a believer gets rid of disbelief and polytheism. It is as follows:

Allahumma inni aazu bika min an ushrika bika shi’an wa ana allamu bihii wa astaghfiruka lema la aalamu bihii tubtu anhu wa tabarratu minul-kufri washirki wal-kizbi wal-ghiybati wal-bidaati wa-annamimati wal-fawahishi wal-buhtani wal-maa-siyi kulliha, wa aslamtu wa aamantu wa-aqulu la ilaha ill-Allah Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah.

O lord! I seek your refuge from that I should associate any partner to you intentionally and I seek forgiveness from a sin which I do not know. I turn from this in repentance. And I express disgust from disbelief and polytheism, and also from falsehood and backbiting and innovation and slander and from obscenity and from allegation and from disobedience, all such things. And I accept Islam and I believe and I declare that There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.

Belief and Action

         Belief and good actions (or righteous deeds) are complementary to each other. Both are essential for success and welfare. One without other is of no value or benefit.

         Belief without good deeds has no value. It is in this case a mere philosophy and an empty faith. For example a man claims that he believes in God, His messengers and His books but he neither acts upon the commandments of God nor complies with the teachings of God’s messengers and God’s books, then what is the worth of his claim of belief? Obviously, nil. Similarly a man declares with his tongue that he believes, but he neither keeps up prayer nor pays Zakat (Compulsory Charity) nor performs pilgrimage nor keeps fast nor abstains from sin nor does righteous deeds, then of course his claim of belief is false and devoid of any merit.

         Good deeds without belief are similarly of no avail. That is why Qur’an has always mentioned belief with good deeds. Without belief good deeds are not acceptable to God. For success in the Hereafter, belief is prerequisite for good deeds. Every deed, howsoever good it may be, is baseless and worthless without belief. In various verses of Surah (Chapter) Muhammad, the Holy Quran has again and again reminded that Allah would waste the good deeds of those who disbelieve and who prevent others from the way of Allah (See verses 1,8,9,28 and 32 of that Surah). In verse No. 18 of Surah Ibrahim, the Qur’an likens the deeds of disbelievers to ashes. It says: “A parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord is that their deeds are as ashes on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day. They have no control, not in the least, of that which they have earned. That is the straying far away (from the road to success)”. In verse No. 39 of Surah An-Nur, the Quran likens deeds of the disbelievers to a mirage and hence of no worth. It says: “As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty person considers it to be water till he comes to it and finds it nothing, instead he finds Allah near him Who settles his account. And Allah is Swift in settling accounts”.

Who will go to Paradise?

         From the above discussion it is clear that both belief and good deeds are required for success in the Hereafter, for getting into the good books of Allah and for admission in the Paradise. This fact has been established by many verses of the Qur’an, for example:

1-            And give glad tidings to those who believe and do good deeds that for them are gardens (Paradise or Al-Jannah) under which rivers flow…… – (Al-Baqarah 2:25).

2-            Lo! Those who believe (i.e. the Muslims) and those who are Jews and who are Christians and who are Sabaeans – whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous deeds – for them is reward with their Lord and there shall no fear come upon them nor shall they grieve……. – (Al-Baqarah 2:62).

3-            Undoubtedly, the religion with God is (only) Islam (complete submission to God)…… – (Al-e-Imran 3:19).

4-            And whosoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter….  – (Al-e-Imran 3:85).

5-            And whoso does good deeds, whether male or female and is a true believer, such will enter paradise and they will not be wronged even a little like a speck on a date-stone – (An-Nisa 4:124).

6-            Whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, and is a true believer, to him We will give good life (in this world) and (in the Hereafter) We will pay such people a reward in proportion to the best of that which they used to do…… – (An-Nahl 16:97).

7-            Verily, as for those who believe (i.e. the Muslims) and those who are Jews and the Sabaeans and the Christians and the Magians and those who associate partners (i.e. polytheists); surely, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Certainly Allah is witness over everything.  – (Al-Hajj 22:17).

8-            By the Time! Man is indeed in loss; except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and exhort each other to truth and exhort each other to patience…… – (Al-Asr 103:1-3).

         So only those people can be successful in getting into Paradise in the next world who believe and who do righteous deeds. Belief, as defined by the Qur’an (in  verses 136, 177 and 285 of Surah 2 and Verse 136 of Surah 4) means belief in Allah, His Angels, all of His messengers (from Adam to Muhammad), His Books (Like Torah, Psalms, Gospel and Qur’an), and the Last Day or the Hereafter. We have already discussed and explained these elements of belief in the preceding chapter. Belief in Allah means to believe and accept that Allah is the only one God of the whole of universe, there is no God except Him, He alone is eligible for worship and He has no partner. Good deeds mean those actions and deeds which are in accordance with the commandments of God, which are in accordance with the teachings of the Prophets and the Books sent by God for guidance of human beings, and which are in accordance with the principles of ethics and morality made by the human beings through wisdom and experience. Such deeds are well known and need no definition.

         Now let us see which of the contemporary religious communities of today deserve to enter Paradise in the next world on the basis of this criterion of belief and good deeds.

Disbelievers or non-believers: Those who are non-believers or disbelievers like pagans (Kafirs), atheists, agnosts, etc are not eligible for success in the Hereafter despite having good deeds obviously for the reason that they have no belief or faith in Allah and Allah’s messengers and in the Hereafter.

Polytheists: The polytheists and idolaters (e.g. Hindus) will not be successful in the Hereafter as they believe in many gods besides Allah and hold many living or non-living things as partners or associates of Allah. They will never be admitted into Paradise and will remain forever in the Hell despite that they may have bundles or tons of good deeds because God will not forgive the sin of Polytheism (verses 48 and 116 of Chapter 4 of the Qur’an) and because according to Jesus, God has forbidden Paradise to those who associate partners with Him (Verse 72 of Surah 5 of the Qur’an)

The Jews: The Jews claim that they believe in one God and God’s messengers and the Last Day and also in revealed book (The Torah) and they follow religion of Prophet Abraham and Moses. But despite that they have no chances of success in the Hereafter even if they do good deeds. Because their belief is not complete. In order to complete their belief, they must believe in Prophet Jesus (PBUH) and prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the books revealed by God to these Prophets i.e. the Gospel of Jesus and the Qur’an of Muhammad.

         Muhammad (PBUH), the Prophet of Islam, is reported to have said: “By Him in whose hand there lies the life of Muhammad, anybody amongst these people – the Jews and the Christians – who does not listen to me and then dies while he has not believed in what I have been sent with, will but become one of the inmates of Hellfire” (Hadith recorded in Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah). In another Hadith reported by Jabir and recorded in Masnad Ahmad, the Prophet (Muhammad) said: “Had Moses been alive, he would not have preferred but to follow me”. So the Jews who want Paradise must complete their belief and do good deeds.

The Christians:  Although the Christians have revealed religion and they believe in God and God’s messenger and the Last Day, yet they cannot go to Paradise even if they do good deeds. Because their belief is not right as they believe in three Gods (The Divine Trinity) instead of one God and they also believe that Jesus is son of God whereas Jesus is Servant and Prophet of God. Moreover their belief is not complete as they do not believe in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the last Prophet of God and in the Qur’an, the Last Book send by God. They need to correct their belief as well as to complete their belief and do good deeds, if they want to qualify for Paradise.

The Muslims: The Muslims qualify for Paradise because their belief is true and complete. However, they need to do good deeds if they want to attain success in Hereafter and enter in God’s Paradise.



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