• The meaning of >Islaam= according to the dictionary is to obey and follow. It also means to hand oneself over to another by way of words. According to the Shariah, Islaam means to obey and conform to the Commandments of the Allaah Ta`ala in the way shown to us by Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam). Islaam is not to follow Allaah Ta`ala according to one=s own understanding. If a person follows and obeys the laws of the king and the government, it will be acceptable and taken into consideration, whereas if one does not regard the laws of the government as binding upon him he will be regarded as a rebel. In the same way when a person follows and accepts the way of the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam), who are in reality the ministers and representatives of Allaah Ta`ala, then it will be said that this obedience is Islaam, otherwise we regard it as kufr.

      Important Note:

      Although Imaan is to accept with the heart, nevertheless, an integral part of Imaan is to accept Islaam, that is to follow and obey the commands of the Shariah. In the Shariah, only that Islaam (obedience of the laws of Shariah) is acceptable, which is coupled with Imaan (acceptance in the heart).

      Otherwise, mere outward expression of good actions without acceptance with the heart is of absolute no consequence and worth. Such a person, according to the Shariah is not termed a Muslim, but a Munaafiq (hypocrite). In the Shariah, only such a person is called a Muslim who fully accepts with his heart and follows with his outward actions the Commandments of Allaah Ta`ala, and thereby follows the Deen.

      Aqeeda # 1 In the Sight of Allaah Ta`ala, only that Imaan is accepted and worthy of cognisance which is on the unseen, that is, to accept and believe in those things enumerated by the Ambiyaa, without any objection or objection.

      In the opening of the Qur`aan in Surah Baqarah, Allaah Ta`ala had described the true believers, as those who ABelieve in the unseen..@

      Guidance and success has been promised based on believing in the unseen,

      They are the one who are on Guidance from their Rabb, and they are the ones who are Successful.

      Hence, that person who at the time of his death, when he sees the Angels of Death, brings Imaan, then such Imaan is not worthy of consideration. As Allaah Ta`ala says:

      There is no (acceptance of) Tawbah for those who do evil actions until (the time when) death approaches any one of them, (then) they say: >Indeed I repent now.

      Allaah Ta`ala says:

      There Imaan will not benefit them, when they see Our Punishment.

      Imaan at this crucial juncture is worthless.

      Aqeeda # 2

      A believer does not leave the fold of Islaam by committing sins. Even if he commits major sins.

      Because the crux of Imaan is the acceptance by the heart, and the execution of good deeds is not the essence of Imaan. Hence, by committing sins a person=s Imaan does not leave him. Yes, his Imaan definitely becomes defective.

      Aqeeda # 3

      The basis and final consideration of Imaan or kufr is at the time of death.

      The basis and final consideration of Imaan or kufr is at the time of death. Sometimes it happens that a person=s entire life is spent in Imaan or kufr and at the time of death that condition of his changes and he is judged according to his ending. O Our Rabb! Do not turn our hearts after You have guided us, and grant us Mercy from Yourself, Indeed You are the Granter. AMEEN!

      Aqeeda # 4

      Imaam A`zam (rahmatullahi alaih) states that a Muslim should say: AI am a true Mu`min!@ Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullahi alaih) states that a Muslim should say: AI am a Mu`min, Insha-Allaah!@

      In actual fact, this difference is merely in words. Imaam Saheb=s statement refers to the present state of Imaan and Imaam Shaafi=s statement refers to the future state of one=s Imaan. No one knows the condition of his final end or retribution.

      Imaam Saheb (rahmatullahi alaih) regards it to be better to say that one is a Mu`min instead of using the expression of exception (Insha-Allaah), because this exception appears as a doubt that one has. According to him, one should be precautionary and remove any vestige of doubt from one=s proclamation of one=s Imaan. Secondly, when a person is asked about his Imaan it is in connection with his present state of affairs and not about his future condition, hence there is no reason for adding any statement of exception in the reply. Thirdly, if one replies, keeping in consideration that he will have an evil ending, then what differentiation will remain between a Muslim and a Kaafir, in that one will not be able to differentiate between a Muslim and a kaafir, with any absolute certainty. Fourthly, in matters of Deen consideration is given only to present state and not to the future. Fifthly, if a person is unable to give his present state of affairs, then how can he give any information regarding his future condition. Sixthly, Allaah Ta`ala speaks about the believers without any conditions and exceptions. Seventhly, the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiAllaahu anhum) used to regard themselves as Mu`mins. However, when the fear for the Hereafter became manifest in them, then they would add the statement of exception, which was wholly due to the condition of fear that overcame them. This was done so the listeners do not become complacent in their Imaan and have no fear for the Hereafter, and they should always have the fear of an evil ending and make du`aa unto Allaah Ta`ala that He grant a death on Imaan. O One Who Controls the hearts! Fortify our hearts upon Your Deen. AMEEN!

    • The dictionary meaning of Imaan is to verify (Tasdeeq). That is, to accept as true the words of a speaker, to believe therein, to accept it and to acknowledge it.

      According to the Shariah, Imaan means to believe as true and to fully accept all the requisites of the Shariah. It is also a requirement of Imaan that it be confessed with the tongue, however in a state of helplessness (duress), one is excused from this. The paradigm of Imaan is the acceptance by the heart, and the confession by the tongue is the exposition thereof. Therefore, if the acceptance by the heart and the confession of the tongue are combined, then it (Imaan) is acceptable. Otherwise, mere profession by the tongue and no acceptance by the heart is merely deception and a lie.

      The Condition of Imaan

      A condition of Imaan is to display displeasure and to alienate oneself from kufr and >kufree= (being a kafir). For example, if a person was an idol-worshipper or a Christian and then he accepts all the requisites of the Deen of Muhammad (sallAllaahu alaihi wasalam), but he does not express his dislike and displeasure at Shirk or Christianity, then it seems apparent that such a person accepts both religions. This is a mark of kufr and a sign of deception. Such a person would be regarded as a Munaafiq (hypocrite).

      Neither (are they inclined) towards this group nor that group.

      Hence it is necessary for the acceptance of Imaan to show dislike for kufr. To alienate oneself from kufr is absolutely necessary. The least form of expressing one=s dislike is to have it in the heart and the highset form is to dislike it with one=s heart, body, tongue and soul. The object of this dislike is to regard as an enemy the enemies of Allaah. One=s love and affection for ALLAH Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) will only be fully established when a Mu`min regards as an enemy the enemies of ALLAH Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam). If a person claims to be a lover of ALLAH Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), and then he still harbours no animosity towards the enemies of ALLAH Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), then indeed this confession of love is not rationally acceptable or sensible.

      In the Qur`aan Shareef, ALLAH Ta'ala regards as a perfect example of Imaan, Hadhrat Ebrahim (alaihi salaam) who had a dislike towards the enemies of ALLAH Ta'ala:

      Indeed for you is a perfect example, in Ebrahim and those with him, when they said to their nation: >Indeed we are free from you and that which you worship, besides Allaah. We are separate from you (we are believers and you are kaafir. Enmity and abhorrence has become manifest between us and you, forever, until you believe in ALLAH Ta'ala Alone.

      There is a difference of opinion between the Ulama regarding Imaan increasing and decreasing. Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullahi alaih) says that Imaan does not increase or decrease, whereas Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullahi alaih) says that Imaan does increase and decrease.

      The essence of Imaam Saheb=s statement is that, that Imaan which is held by all believers, which is the basis of brotherhood in Islaam, which is the reason and catalyst that makes all believers brothers, as mentioned in the Qur`aan Majeed Indeed the Mu`mineen are brothers, is the one that does not increase or decrease. However, as far as a believer being obedient and disobedient, Imaan will increase or decrease. As one=s obedience and Ibaadaat increase so too will his Imaan increase proportionately. Hence, the Imaan of the average believers is not and will never be the same as the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam). The Imaan of the Ambiyaa was perfect, complete and immaculate. It was at a level unattainable by the average believers. Although the essence of the Imaan is the same, but the level enjoyed by the Ambiyaa is inaccessible to the average believers, and it has reached such high level that there remains no true vestige that denotes the Imaan being of the same constitution, and it is almost as though the Imaans of the two (Nabis and average believer) are worlds apart.

      Although the Ambiyaa and the normal humans are the same in physical and bodily structures, but the Ambiyaa have been blessed with such a distinguished rank, that they appear to be different in their constituency. The partnership held between normal man and Ambiyaa in their being human, is limited merely to word and expression. The Ambiyaa are of a much higher level. There remains no real comparison or partnership, the true human beings are the Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam), and the normal human being are like >jungle men= (uncivilised).

      If a person looks at two mirrors and says that as far being a mirror, these two qualify, that is both are mirrors, but the one is dirty and its reflection is vague, whereas the other is crystal clear and one can see clear reflections with it. So in actual fact, one cannot dispute that the one mirror (dirty one) is not a mirror. Both these mirrors are classified as mirrors, and they are common in being mirrors, but the one is better and more effective in its desired purpose of being used as a mirror, it cannot be said that one is more of a mirror than the other. In the very same way, the Imaan of all believers is classified as the same. The essence and basic >construction= of all is the same, but the difference comes in when the good actions and Ibaadaat of one person supercedes the other, then this person=s Imaan shines out more and shows a brilliance as compared to the Imaan of the person who is not prone to good actions and deeds. In like manner, Ambiyaa are better specimens of humans than the average human, whereas both are classified as humans.

      This is the crux of the explanation given by Imaam Rabbaani Mujaddid Alfa Thaani(rahmatullahi alaih). However, Hadhrat Ustaaz Moulana Sayed Anwar Shah Kashmeeri (rahmatullahi alaih), used to say that Imaan is actually a pact one has with ALLAH Ta'ala in His obedience and the carrying out good actions is the expression and manifestation of this pact. There is no possibility of increase and decrease in this pact. In the Qur`aan Kareem, the word >Imaan= is sometimes substituted with the word >A`hdullaah= (Pact with Allaah).

      The Difference between Imaan and Islam

      The word >Imaan= is derived from the words >Aman= and >Amaanat=. According to the Shariah, Imaan means to verify and accept the veracity of that information, which one has not seen or witnessed with one=s own eyes, one has accepted and verified it purely on the basis of trust and relance upon the informer. One can say ASadaqna@ or AAslamna@ (Awe accept@), for verifying the rising of the sun, but one cannot use the word AAaman Na@ (We bring Imaan in it@), because the rising of the sun is a thing that one can see with the eye and feel the effects thereof. The word AImaan@ can only be used, according to the dictionary classification, for those things which are absent from sight and cannot be sensed. The word >Tasdeeq= can be used for easily visible and sensed things, but not the word >Imaan=.

      According to the Shariah, Imaan is to accept and verify the information given by the Ambiyaa, on the basis of having full trust and reliability upon them, when they inform us regarding the Commandments of ALLAH Ta'ala, Who is hidden from our sight, and they inform us about such things that are not visible. For example, Imaan means to accept as true the existence of the angels, although one has never seen them. Imaan is not to believe in the existence of angels at the time of death, when the Angels of Death manifest themselves before one. This acceptance then, will be due to one=s own seeing, and not owing to one=s trust in Nabi=s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) information in this regard.

    • It is stated in a Hadith: AImaan has more than 70 branches. The best of them is the proclamation of Laa Ilaha Il Allaahu and the lowest is to remove an obstructive object from the road.@

      Now we will briefly mention these 70 branches of Imaan for the benefit of the readers.

      The Branch of Imaan related to the Heart

      There are at least 30 branches of Imaan that are related to the heart:

      1.Imaan in ALLAH Tala, that is, to bring Imaan in ALLAH Tala that He is the True Deity. 2. To believe that everything, besides ALLAH Tala is new, and all are His creations.
      3. To bring Imaan in the angels.
      4. To bring Imaan in all the Kitaabs and Scriptures that were revealed upon the various Ambiyaa (alaihimus salaam).
      5. To bring Imaan upon the various Nabis (alaihimus salaam).
      6 To bring Imaan upon this fact that all destiny, good and evil, is from ALLAH Tala.
      7. To bring Imaan upon the Last Day (Qiyaamah).
      8. To have certainty upon the Promise of Jannat and its being everlasting.
      9. To have certainly upon the Promise of Jahannum and its punishment.
      10. To have love and affection for ALLAH Tala.
      11. To have love and hatred (for others) for the Pleasure and sake of ALLAH Tala.
      12. To have love for Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam).
      13. Sincerity.
      14. Tawbah and Istighfaar (repent and to seek forgiveness).
      15. Fear for the Awe and Majesty of ALLAH Tala.
      16. To have hope in the Mercy of ALLAH Tala.
      17. Modesty.
      18. Shukr (show thanks).
      19. Fulfilling promises.
      20. Patience.
      21. Humility, i.e. to regard oneself as being the lowest and to profess this with the tongue. To have respect and honour for the seniors is also a part of humility.
      22. Mercy and compassion, that is to show mercy on the creation of ALLAH Tala.
      23. To be pleased and content with the Will of ALLAH Tala.
      24. Trust (in ALLAH Tala).
      25. To abandon vanity.
      26. To abandon jealousy.
      27. To abandon hatred and malice.
      28. To abandon anger.
      29. To abandon evil thoughts.
      30. Abstinence, i.e. to abandon the love for worldly things, and to abstain from name and fame.

      Now, we will mention at least seven branches of Imaan that are related to the tongue:

      The Branches of Imaan related to the Tongue

      1. To express the Kalima-e-Tauheed and to profess the Risaalat (Nabihood of Nabi - sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam).
      2. Recitation of the Quraan-e-Kareem.
      3. Learning knowledge of Deen.
      4. Teaching knowledge of Deen.
      5. To make du`aa.
      6. To make Zikr, in which repenting is also included.
      7. To save oneself from useless talk and pastimes.

      These 7 branches were connected to the tongue, and now we will mention those braches that are related to the limbs and organs. They are about 40, of which 16 are related to the person himself, 6 are in relation to his family and servants and the balance (18) are in relation to the general Muslims:

      The Branches of Imaan related to the Limbs

      1. Tahaarat (cleanliness), which includes purity of the body, clothing, place, wudhu, ghusal etc.
      2. To establish Salaat, which includes Fardh, Nafl and Qadha.
      3. Zakaat, which includes Sadaqah-e-Fitra and hosting the guest.
      4. Roza, whether Fardh or Nafl.
      5. Hajj, which includes Umrah as well.
      6. I`tikaaf, which includes seeking for the night of Qadr.
      7. To migrate from a place of fitnah in order to save one's Deen.
      8. To fulfill one's Nazar (Oath).
      9. To fulfill one's promises.
      10. Fulfill one's Kafaara (compensation).
      11. Cover one's private parts.
      12. Make Qurbani.
      13. To make preparations for a fellow Muslims burial.
      14. To pay one's debts.
      15. To be honest and truthful in one's dealings.
      16. To testify to the truth, and not to conceal the same due to some worldly harm or benefit.
      These above-mentioned 16 branches are related to one's self. The following six are in relation to one's family and subordinates:

      1. To make Nikah so that the chastity and modesty remains.
      2. To fulfill the rights of one's family and subordinates.
      3. To have excellent dealings with one's parents and to serve them.
      4. To nurture and give good Islaamic upbringing to one's children.
      5. To maintain good family relations.
      6. To obey one's master (this refers to a slave).
      The following 18 branches are in relation to one's dealings with general Muslims: 1. To be just and fair in matters pertaining to ruling and leadership, if one is in that position.
      2. To follow the Jamaat of true believers.
      3. To follow the law of the rulers, provided that it does not conflict with the Law of ALLAH Tala.
      4. To rectify the people. This will include a Muslim government killing rebels and to remove the mischief caused by mischief-makers.
      5. To assist in matters of good and benefit.
      6. To enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. 7. To establish the Laws of ALLAH Tala.
      8. To make Jihaad with the kuffaar.
      9. To fulfill a trust.
      10. To give a loan to a needy person.
      11. To find out about the general condition of one's neighbours and assist where possible.
      12. To have good relations and dealings.
      13. To spend money and wealth in the correct time and avenues, i.e. to abstain from waste. 14. To reply to a salaam of another.
      15. To reply to the >Alhamdulillah' of one who sneezes, by saying >Yarhamukallaah=.
      16. Not to cause trouble and hardship to others.
      17. To save oneself from futile play and amusements.
      18. To remove any harmful thing from the road, for example, if one sees a thorn, nail or log, etc. on the road, to remove it.

      These are 77 things that are mentioned in Aumdatul Qaari@, which is a commentary of ASaheeh Bukhari@, under the chapter of AUmoorul Imaan@. If one requires a detailed explanation of all this, then one may refer to the Kitaab pertaining to this subject written by Hadhrat Hakeemul Ummat, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahmatulahi alaih).