Would you briefly mention the pillars of faith?
Faith has six pillars: To have faith in God, in the Hereafter, in angels, in Holy Books, in prophets, in Qadar (Predestination and Decree). In order for somebody to be a Believer, he needs to have faith in all of these six pillars. A person who has no faith even in one of them cannot be a Believer because the pillars of faith are related with each other.
1- Faith in God:
The first of the pillars of faith is to have faith in God. A Muslim, first, believes that God does exist and is One; this universe is a work of His. He has no partner or match either in His Person, or in His attributes, and His actions. His attributes do not resemble those of the creatures.
All beings have the signs of the existence of God and of His Oneness.
He is pre and post-eternal, and is free of time, space, change, neediness, inability, and defect. There can be no beings having these qualities.
All of God’s attributes cover everything. Everything rests on His will. Just as He has names such as ar-Rahman (the Merciful), ar-Rahim (the Compassionate), al-Ghafur (the Forgiver), He also has names such as al-Qahhar (the Subduer), al-Jabbar (the Most Powerful), and al-Muntaqim (the Avenger). He treats those who have faith in Him with His grace. And He inflicts torture upon the people of unbelief and rebellion.
Only God can be worshipped. The worldly and eternal bliss of people come true only by obeying His commands and prohibitions. This is a divine law; there can be no alteration in this.
Human mind cannot grasp the person, essence and truth of God properly for the mind is a creature and limited. The person and attributes of God Almighty are infinite. That the one that is limited cannot cover the one that is infinite is a clear truth. In other words, whatever you think of God is not actually Him.
God has no partner in His Person; He has no partner in His actions, either. He is the only Creator, Possessor, and Ruler. Just as it is He who creates the causes, it is again Him who creates the results from the causes; just as it is Him who creates the tree, it is again Him who creates the fruit as well.
Praise and worship, thanks and extolling must be offered to Him. Just as believers only worship Him, they also ask for assistance from Him,
“You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek help.” (al-Fatiha, 1:5)
When they commit a sin, they directly ask Him for forgiveness, for nothing but God (SWT) can pardon the sins men commit against Him.
2- Faith in Angels:
Another pillar of faith is to have faith in angels. God Almighty has incorporeal beings called angels. These beings glorify Allah Almighty; besides, they perform other duties consigned to them. These beings, who never rebel against Allah, are not subject to testing; their natures are pure, they are sinless and their places (before Allah) are stable.
Allah Almighty, Who has made a number of feelings occur in human body, the microcosm of this material world, such as love, fear, curiosity, has not left this wonderful universe empty; He has let angels surround it.
3- Faith in Books:
One of the pillars of faith is to have faith in Divine Books. Although man knows the existence and Oneness of Allah Almighty through reason, he cannot know what His orders and prohibitions are, how he can perform his duty of worship for Him, in short, what God Almighty is pleased with, and not. For this reason, Allah Almighty sent down the Divine Books. One hundred of the Divine Books came in the form of scriptures while the four came in the form of books. These four Divine Books, in sequence, are the Psalms of David, the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran.
A Muslim is obliged to believe in those pillars completely. With the advent of the Quran, the other Divine Books have been removed from the field of practice. Having come to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Holy Quran has come to our age without changing even a single letter. Thus, God Almighty’s undertaking, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (al-Hijr, 15:9) has proven true.
4- Faith in Prophets:
Another pillar of faith is to have faith in prophets. That God Almighty warns people with a prophet, who is himself a human being, is a divine law.
The prophethood is an enormous necessity and a great gift for man. God Almighty showed man the ways of guidance through these guiders and leaders.
The duty of prophets is to announce the commands that they receive through revelation and inspiration to the humankind and to show them the ways of both worldly and eternal bliss. These persons have two aspects; servitude, and messengership. In terms of servitude, they obey the commands and prohibitions of God Almighty perfectly; in this respect, they set a model for humanity. In terms of messengership, they announce the truth to people.
Prophets are creatures and servants of God. Muslims are expected to believe all of the prophets. Once they deny the prophethood of any of them, they step out of the field of Islam. For example, a person cannot be a believer unless he believes in the prophethood of Moses (PBUH) and of Jesus (PBUH) etc. Their prophethood is clear in the Quran. To have faith in them is a requirement of faith in Books and prophets.
The first of prophets is Adam (PBUH) and the final one is Muhammad (PBUH). The institution of prophethood has ended with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In this respect, the Prophet Muhammad is called the Seal of Prophets.
As the verse, “We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men” (Saba, 34:28) states, the Prophet Muhammad was sent not to a tribe but to the whole of the universe.
As the verse, “We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures” (al-Anbiya, 107) declares, Muhammad (PBUH) has always been a bounty and an eternal mercy for all beings.
5- Faith in the Hereafter:
One of the most important pillars of faith is to have faith in resurrection after death and in the life in the Hereafter. God Almighty, who bestows both material and heavenly bounties upon them in this worldly life, will be bestowing again both material and heavenly infinite bounties upon His servants who passed the test on earth.
God, who resuscitates all dead plants in the spring, certainly will resuscitate dead people in the Hereafter. This is the requirement of his mercy and justice.
6- Faith in Predestination and Decree:
One of the pillars of faith is to have faith in Qadar (Predestination and Decree). Qadar is examined in two ways. The first; the ordaining and creation of all beings in the knowledge of God in terms of person, shape, and all features. This field is out of testing.
As for the second, it is related to man’s will power. God creates whatever man prefers and does, be it good or evil, with his will power,. The man is accountable for this second part. Paradise and Hell are the fruits of this right of preference granted to man.
- Hayreddin Karaman (Prof.Dr.)
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