What a Muslim must believe {Islam}

Posted on January 30, 2016 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal

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What constitutes the basic beliefs of Islam – the things which are necessary to be part of the faith of all Muslims whereby denying any one of them would make a person a non-Muslim? Actually, I have not been able to find a comprehensive list of such things. I know the following are a mandatory part of a Muslim’s belief: believe in One God, belief in all the prophets, belief in the angels, believe in life after death, and believe in all the Books. But I suspect there are more to it, like belief that Mohammad (peace be upon him) was the final prophet. Similarly, any concept which is declared ‘mutawatir’ is to be believed. I think the emergence of the Mehdi is one such thing. Can you tell me if there is any comprehensive list which states all these points?


The basic belief which embodies the Muslim belief system is to have a general faith in everything brought to us by Allah and His Messenger. This is the meaning conveyed by that most basic pillar of Islam: to bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

The remaining four pillars of the Islamic faith – belief in the angels, the Books, the Day of Judgment and Divine Decree – are also included in this.

When a person increases his knowledge, his belief will increase according to what he knows of belief in detail.

For example, we all believe in all of Allah’s name and attributes. However, few Muslims only who know all names of Allah as mentioned in the Qur’ân and Sunnah.

Regardless, when one of us knows a name or an attribute of Allah and becomes familiar with its meaning, there will be a consequent increase in his belief. The same can be said about becoming more familiar with Allah’s word and with the statements of His Messenger (peace be upon him).

The basic beliefs are the six pillars. Declaring others to be unbelievers is a complicated matter. There is major difference between declaring some ideological stance as disbelief and declaring an actual person an unbeliever.

We can say that whoever knowingly denies something from Allah’s Book or something that is established with certainty from the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him), then he will be an unbeliever by the consensus of the Muslims.

However, things become far more complicated when it comes to declaring someone in particular to be an unbeliever. A person can be exempted from the ruling of unbelief for a considerable number of reasons. He could be excused for being ignorant, for having a misconception, or if he is a new Muslim.

What is needed is for people to occupy themselves with calling others to Allah, spreading beneficial knowledge, and removing people’s misconceptions rather than declaring people to be unbelievers. Determining the unbelief of people on an individual basis is an endeavor that is carried out only by the most specialized people of knowledge. It is not something to be engaged in by everyone.

In those cases, the issue needs to be thoroughly studied by considering all reasons for making such a claim and all possible factors that could prevent us from doing so.

With respect to what the questioner asks about believing in the Mahdî, I would say it is not one of the basic beliefs in Islam.

The person who denies this will not go out of the fold of Islam if he denies it because he does not regard it as authentic. The matter would be different if someone denies it in spite of his knowing and accepting that it is authentically related from the Prophet (peace be upon him).

The scholars have disagreed in the authenticity of the hadîth regarding the Mahdî, not to mention their being mutawâtir.

Some later researchers have concluded that the Mahdî is authentically established in the hadîth and some aspects of the meaning of those hadîth are mutawâtir.

And Allah knows best.


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