The reality or essence of faith is the discovery of God. True faith is true when a person becomes aware of God’s existence and apprehends divine realities.

As a result of this faith, a person’s entire life becomes oriented towards the Hereafter. In all matters, his eyes are on the Hereafter. In this world, instead of temporary gains, he makes the gains of the Hereafter the centre of his attention. When there are two sides to any matter – the worldly side and the otherworldly side, he ignores the consideration of this world and chooses what would be of value in the life Hereafter.

For him, this faith becomes a source of limitless trust in God. At all times and in all events, he trusts God. Faith, in essence, is to have recognised the Lord when this recognition or discovery becomes part and parcel of a person’s heart and mind. Then his whole personality is transformed. He becomes a new human being.



Iman means reaching God while living in this world. Let me explain this through an example. The connection of an electric bulb with a powerhouse is no simple matter. It entails the connecting up of a non-lighting element with something which has the exceptional power to light things up. The immediate result of such an action is that an ostensibly “dead’ bulb becomes ‘alive’. Somewhat similar is man’s relation to God. Just as a dark bulb will pour forth a fountain of light as soon as it is connected with a power source, so will a man become radiant with divine energy as soon as he makes contact with God.

God is the greatest reality of our world. That is why finding God is not a particularly simple matter. But once a man has done so, it has the most profound effect upon his whole psyche. It is like a volcanic eruption which shakes up his whole existence, an outpouring of lava which engulfs his total personality. After the discovery of God, no one can remain the same as he was before. A believer in God, in the true sense of the word, is one whose life undergoes a complete transformation the moment he finds the Almighty.

The realization of God, which is called faith (iman) in the Shariah, is the greatest experience of a man’s entire life. To believe in God means that this belief has become the basis for his way of living. It is like a beam of light which illuminates his whole existence. It is the hue which colours every facet of his lifestyle.

Faith is another name for having realized the presence of God. It means losing oneself in the greatness of God, becoming totally immersed in knowledge of the divine. It so moves one that one’s feelings are transformed into a hymn to God, and one’s lips start spontaneously praising the Almighty. Iman, indeed, is an earthquake which is produced within a man through the realization of God. It is a flood which courses through man’s being, replenished as it is by the blessings and inspiration of God. If iman means to find God, then finding God means finding everything, what more is there left to find, once having found God?

Source: Al Risala March 1991

The Arabic word for belief is “Iman.” It literally means ‘to know,’ ‘to believe,’ ‘to put one’s trust in something or someone.’ In the Islamic Shariah, Iman means putting one’s trust in, or having complete faith in Allah, His Prophet and His message.

By accepting iman one enters the fold of Islam. But Iman is not simply a recitation of kalima (creed of Islam). According to the Quran, it is maarifah (5:83) that is, realization. Thus realization of truth is the door to Islam. When one discovers that Islam is truly God’s religion and that it is the same truth one has been seeking all along, one undergoes a unique experience of realization which is known in Islamic terminology as maarifah.’

Making any kind of discovery revolutionizes a person’s life but when this discovery is of the truth with a capital T, this intellectual revolution becomes synonymous with the emergence of a new life in the individual.

This kind of intellectual revolution is no simple event: it turns a man into a superman, and gives him the greatest mission of his life. It regulates his life in such a way that no part of it remains unaffected. He begins to see all of humanity as his family and the entire universe as his abode. Such a discoverer becomes a maker of history rather than a product of history.

This is iman. And it was this iman which enabled the Prophet and his companions to produce, as one historian remarked, “the most miraculous of all miracles.”

Source: Simple Guide to Islam

The shahadah consists of two parts: one, a negation, the other an affirmation. The first part— La ilaha illa Allah (there is no other God) negates the existence of each and every false God, and condemns false worship. The word ‘ilaah’ means ‘god’ or any object of worship; it could refer to any being, person, matter or concept, which is taken as an object of adoration or worship.

The second part of Shahaadah—illa Allah— stresses that only Allah, the one and only God, the Creator and Sustainer of all being, merits our reverence. No one else is to be worshipped or turned to for help or refuge. Neither angels, nor prophets nor saints, nor any other object share in His divinity. There is only One God, One Creator, One Sustainer— the Almighty Allah,

Source: Simple Guide to Islam

There are seven things which are essential for a Muslim to believe in. These come under the heading of Iman Mufassal, which requires a longer, more detailed declaration of faith. They are to believe in God, in His angels, in His revealed Book, in all of His messengers, in the Last Day (the Day of Judgement), in Taqdir, (the doctrine of predestination, which means that everything good or bad is decided by God), and in Life After Death.

Source: The Man Islam Builds


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