On average, it is estimated that there are more than 1.9 billion Muslims worldwide. They are followers of a monotheistic faith, Islam. Muslim is a person who believes in only one God, Allah, who created the entire universe, and that Muhammad (PBUH) is his final messenger on earth.

Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

The central to Islam are the basics of the six Articles of Faith. These fundamental beliefs are derived from the Quran and Hadith. The daily life practices of every Muslim are surrounded by these basic foundations of faith described below:

· Belief in Allah

Muslims are firm believers that Allah is the sole creator and sustainer of the universe. The word Allah is the Arabic word for God and has no plural. Believing in Allah parallels His infinite wisdom, mercy, and justice for a Muslim.  Not just this, but this belief also signifies a Muslim’s firm acclamation on His Oneness, i.e., there is no god but He.

Subsequently, this belief in Allah’s Oneness develops a sense of absolute submission, trust, and love for Allah. It becomes not just the source of guidance but strength and hope, shaping every aspect of a believer’s life, from their daily actions to their deepest intentions. With a strong belief in Allah, believers also acknowledge His mercy and justice.

Allah says in the Quran: “SAY: “HE IS God, the one the most unique.” (Surah Al-Ikhlas). And also, in Surah Al-An’am, He says: Say: “Verily He is the only God, and I am clear of what you associate (with Him).”

· Belief in Angels

Belief in Angels is considered the second article of a Muslim’s faith. Angels are believed to be pure beings created from light without free will. They are tasked with duties ranging from delivering prophetic revelations to recording human deeds and taking the deceased’s soul away from the body at death.

Jibreel, Mikail, and Israfil perform various tasks according to Allah’s commands. Jibrael was responsible for bringing revelations to the prophets; Azrael, also known as Malakul Maut, is the angel of death.

It is also believed that the two Kiraman Katibin are two angels, Raqib and Atib, who are responsible for recording people’s actions in daily life. The holy Quran refers to Kiraman Katibin as ‘Noble Recorders’ in Surah Al-Infitar.

· Belief in the Holy Books

Belief in Holy Books is the 3rd article of faith in Islam. Muslims believe in the divine scriptures revealed to the prophets, including the Quran (revealed to Muhammad), the Torah (revealed to Musa), the Psalms (revealed to Dawood), Scrolls (revealed to Ibrahim), and the Gospel (revealed to Esa).

Muslims ought to believe that Allah reveals holy books to various Prophets from time to time.  All these books have taught the code and laws of Allah that are bound for the people of that time/era. Muslims believe the Holy Quran to be the final revelation of Allah’s verdict to mankind and a completion and confirmation of previous books.

Despite the supremacy that the Holy Quran has as God’s final word, Islam speaks of respecting all the books sent by Allah, and belief in all the revealed books is considered to be an essential part of Islamic belief.

This belief emphasizes the continuity of divine guidance and the importance of studying, understanding, and following these scriptures to attain spiritual enlightenment and moral guidance.

· Belief in the Prophets

The belief in the prophet is a core principle of Islam. Muslims believe that Allah’s message has been sent to mankind through special revelations and specially appointed messengers called Prophets.

They are known for their exemplary character, commitment to truth, and delivery of divine revelation to mankind for guidance. Belief in the Prophet underscores the continuity of Allah’s guidance and the importance of following their teaching to attain spiritual fulfillment and righteousness.

The lineage of prophethood started from Hazrat Adam (the first man on Earth), with 124,000 prophets coming over time, of which 25 prophets are mentioned in the Holy Quran. Muslims honor prophets from Adam to Muhammad, with Muhammad being the final seal of the prophets, whose teachings complete and perfect the divine message.

According to Islamic beliefs, it is mandatory for a believer to have faith in Muhammad (S.A.W) as Khatam an-Nabiyyin and that there shall be no prophet after him. Quran testifies this in Surah Al-Ahzab (33:40) in the following words:

“Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but a messenger of God, and the seal of the prophets. God has knowledge of everything.”

· Belief in the Day of Judgment

One of the cores of a Muslim belief is to believe in the Day of Judgment, when all individuals will be resurrected and held accountable for their deeds. This day marks the final assessment of one’s life, determining eternal reward or punishment based on their actions and faith.

The righteous will be rewarded with eternal paradise, while the unrighteous will face punishment in hellfire. Belief in the Day of Judgement reminds believers of this world’s transient nature and motivates them to lead righteous lives, seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness in preparation for the hereafter.

· Belief in Predestination (Qadar)

Within Islam, the belief in Predestination (Qadar) stands extremely crucial, affirming Allah’s wisdom and sovereignty over all events and outcomes. Muslims firmly believe that while humans possess free will, every occurrence is by Allah’s divine plan and will happen at times that are known to Him. This belief instills a sense of trust in Allah’s plan and encourages believers to strive for righteous lives, seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness and gratitude.

Conclusion

The Six Articles of Faith summarize a Muslim’s core beliefs. These beliefs shape Muslims’ lives in every way, from their affirmation of Allah’s oneness to their accountability for their actions in this world in the hereafter.

These fundamental beliefs form the Islamic theology, guiding Muslims in their faith, worship, and conduct. They underscore the importance of devotion to Allah, righteousness, and accountability, shaping every aspect of a believer’s life.

The lives of their Prophets are a perfect practical example for them to follow. They also have their holy books, which guide them throughout. A Muslim firmly believes that he/she belongs to Allah and will one day return to Him. Consequently, they strive to devote their lives to performing righteous acts and serving humanity to the best of their abilities.