All Muslims share a common set of fundamental beliefs that are described as “articles of faith.” These articles of faith form the foundation of Islam.
Belief in One God
The basis of Islam is the belief in One Almighty God. Muslims believe there is only One Supreme God who creates and controls the universe. God is the Creator, Sustainer, Ruler, and Judge. A person who believes in the Creator comes to love Him, trust in Him, hope for His forgiveness, and fears disappointing Him.
The most important teaching of Islam is that only God is to be served and worshipped. Also, the biggest sin in Islam is to worship other beings with God. In fact, this is the only sin that God will not forgive.
“Allah” is simply the Arabic word for God. Arab Christians and Jews use the word “Allah” to refer to God.
Muslims do not believe that God came to earth in the form of a man, and they reject placing intermediaries between humans and God.
Belief in Angels
God created unseen beings called angels. They work tirelessly to administer God’s kingdom. These spiritual creatures carry out God’s orders in full obedience. There is no concept in Islam of a “fallen angel.”
The angels surround us at all times. There are angels who record our words and deeds, and those who guard the gates of Heaven and Hell. A few angels who have special responsibilities are known to us by name:
- • Gabriel is responsible for communicating revelation to the prophets.
- • Michael is in charge of rainfall.
Belief in Prophets of God
God communicates His guidance to mankind through human prophets. It is through God’s grace that He sent prophets to every nation to guide people to the straight path.
All prophets were human beings who received divine revelations in order to be role models to their people. Each prophet was born in a different time, however, their message has always been the same: calling people to worship the One true God and to obey His commandments.
Muslim scripture mentions by name nearly thirty different biblical prophets, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Jonah, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, and Jesus. Each of the prophets communicated the essential message of Islam — that is, to worship One Almighty God and to follow His guidance. The word “Muslim” means “a person who submits to God.” Under this definition, all prophets were Muslims.
Belief in Revealed Books of God
Muslims believe that God sent human prophets in order to proclaim His teachings throughout time and to every people. Muslims believe in the revelation of these divine books:
- • Psalms revealed to David
- • Torah revealed to Moses
- • Gospel revealed to Jesus
Over time, however, the original teachings of these books became distorted or lost. That’s why God send another message to restore His original teachings. Islam’s position on the Bible in circulation today is that it does not accurately reflect the teachings of Jesus or the beliefs of his early followers.
Muslims believe the Quran is the final revelation God sent to mankind. The Quran is the exact, authentic, and unchangeable word of God as revealed to Prophet Muhammad, and it has been protected by God from any change or corruption. It supersedes previous revelations and is the only revealed text that Muslims turn to for guidance today.
Belief in the Day of Judgment
The life of this world and all that is in it will come to an end on one appointed day. At this time, every person will be raised for judgment by God. God will judge each person individually, according to his or her faith and his or her good and bad actions.
On the Day of Judgment, Allah will show mercy and fairness in His judgment. According to Islamic teachings, those who believe in God and perform good deeds will be eternally rewarded in Heaven. Wrongdoers and those who reject faith in God will be eternally punished in the fire of Hell.
Belief in Destiny and Divine Decree
The final article of faith is known by many names: destiny, divine decree, predestination, or fate. Muslims believe that since God is the Sustainer of all life, nothing happens except by His Will and with His full knowledge.
This belief does not contradict the idea that human beings have the free will to choose a course of action. God does not force us to do anything; we can choose to obey or disobey Him. However, our choice is known to God before we even do it, because His knowledge is complete. Everything that happens in life takes place according to God’s will. This recognition helps the believer through difficulties and hardships. There may be things in life we do not understand, but Muslims trust that Allah has wisdom in all things and that everything happens for a reason.