What are the 6 Pillars?
Faith in Islam stands on six pillars and this was taught to the Muslims in a famous narration of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He said:
Faith means to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree, both good and bad.Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
1. Belief in Allah
The scholars of Islam have written extensively about this topic as it is the most important thing for a Muslim to know. Belief in Allah is the foundation for which a Muslim’s faith is built upon.
It is to believe that Allah is the only Creator, Sustainer, King, and Planner of everything in existence.
O mankind! Remember the Grace of Allah upon you! Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you from the sky (rain) and the earth? None has the right to be worshipped but He. How then are you turning away (from Him)?
Qur'an Chapter 35, Verse 3
Muslims believe that all of mankind was created to dedicate worship for Allah alone. Muslims believe everything else that is worshiped other than Him is falsely worshiped.
Set not up with Allah any other god, (O man)!, or you will sit down reproved, forsaken. Qur'an Chapter 17, Verse 22
This means to believe in Allah and in His Attributes in the way that is taught within the Qur’an and the Sunnah (teachings of Prophet Muhammad). A Muslim believes that Allah possesses Names and Attributes that only belong to Him. There is nothing in existence that is similar to Him.
There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.Qur’an Chapter 42, Verse 11
4. Belief in the Messengers
It is upon the Muslim to believe in all the messengers that were sent. Among the messengers that were sent are those that have been told to us, ones we know by name, and those that were not mentioned.
And [We sent] messengers about whom We have related [their stories] to you before and messengers about whom We have not mentioned to you. And to Musa (Moses) Allah spoke directly.Qur'an - Chapter 4, Verse 164
There are 25 messengers who have been mentioned by name in the Qur’an. They include: Adam, Idrees, Nooh (Noah), Hood, Salih, Ibrahim (Abraham), Lut (Lot), Ismail, Ishaq (Isaac), Ya’qoob (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Shu’ayb, Ayoob (Job), Dhu’l-Kifl, Moosa (Moses), Haroon (Aaron), Dawood (David), Sulaymaan (Solomon), Ilyaas (Elias), al-Yasa’, Yunus (Jonah), Zakaria, Yahya, ‘Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad – blessings and peace be upon them all.
Prophets and messengers were chosen by Allah, and were sent to every nation throughout the history of mankind.
Muslims believe they were commanded to call the people to worship only one God – Allah, without associating any partners with Him. They were also commanded to warn those who disbelieved about the punishment of Hell, and to give glad tidings to those who believed about the reward of Paradise.
And verily, We have sent into every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) all false deities. Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied.Qur'an Chapter 16, Verse 36
Some of the prophets and messengers have been given a higher status than the others. Five messengers in particular were given the special title of the Messengers of Strong Will.
They were the best messengers of Allah sent throughout history. They are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad who was the best of all messengers (peace be upon them all). Every messenger before him was sent to a specific nation. As for Muhammad (peace be upon him), he was the final Prophet and was sent to all of mankind.
Allah chose the prophets and messengers as the best of examples to their nations. Allah bestowed upon them knowledge, understanding, guidance, miracles, protection from falling into sin, and honour.
They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.Qur'an - Chapter 6, Verse 90
As for Muhammad (peace be upon him) he was given more blessings than the prophets and messengers who came before him. The biggest blessing was to be given the final scripture (Qur’an) and be the last messenger sent to mankind.
5. Belief in the Last Day
The Day of Judgment is the day when Allah judges mankind for their deeds. Every human being will be resurrected from their graves and will be given their book of deeds – both good and bad. They will regret the sins they committed as well as the good deeds they had missed.
(Then) a person will know what he has sent forward and (what he has) left behind (of good or bad deeds).Qur'an - Chapter 82, Verse 5
Believing in the Last Day includes the belief of the punishment and bliss of the grave, belief in the resurrection, belief in the judgment of the scales which will balance your deeds, and belief in Paradise and Hell.
The concept of resurrection may seem far-fetched to some. The Qur’an addresses this issue in many of its verses. Here is one of these passages:
6. Belief in Divine Decree (Al-Qadar)
Al-Qadar is what Allah decrees for every single creation based on what has preceded in terms of His Knowledge and in accordance with His Wisdom. Belief in this pillar is to believe that everything that happens, good or bad, happens only according to Allah’s divine decree.
Zaid ibn Thabit, a Companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), once said:
‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “If Allah were to punish the inhabitants of His heavens and of His earth, he would do so and He would not be unjust towards them. And if He were to have mercy on them, His mercy would be better for them than their own deeds. If you had the equivalent of Mount Uhud (a mountain near Madinah) which you spent in the cause of Allah, that would not be accepted from you until you believed in the Divine Decree and you know that whatever has befallen you, could not have passed you by; and whatever has passed you by, could not have befallen you; and that if you were to die believing anything other than this, you would enter Hell.”
Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.
Qur'an - Chapter 4, Verse 79