Belief: Six Pillars
Muslims believe in only One God, the same God that Jews and Christians believe in, but some of the ideas about the nature of God are different.
First, let us clarify that “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for God, just as “Dios” or “Dieu” are the words for God in Spanish and French, respectively. “Allah” is His name, and it is also the word used by Arabic-speaking Christians. So it is wrong to say that Muslims believe in a different god than the Christians and Jews believe in.
God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the seen and unseen. God has no wife or consort, no son or daughter, no partner at all in His divinity. He is Eternal, having no beginning or end. He is Absolute, existing without food, drink, sleep, or any other needs. He does not indwell in any of His creatures and they do not indwell in Him.
God is unique and perfect in all of His attributes. He is Ever-Living, Self-Subsisting, the Sustainer. He is All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Hearing, All-Wise. He knows the state of things prior to and during their occurrence. He is All-Merciful, Ever-Merciful, and His mercy encompasses all things.
God has a face, a hand, a shank, a foot, but they are not like ours. None of the attributes of His essence resemble those of human beings. He cannot be imagined or imaged. Muslims do not — indeed, cannot — draw a picture or carve a statue of God because He is unlike any of His creatures.
No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated, prayed to, or shown any act of worship, but God alone.
God is far removed from injustice and tyranny. He is All-Wise in all of His actions and decrees. If someone wants something from God, he or she can ask God directly without asking anyone else to intercede with God for him or her.
Muslims also believe in the existence of the angels and that they are honored creatures whom God created from light The angels worship God alone, obey Him, and act only by His command. Among the angels is Gabriel, who brought down the Qur’an to Muhammad.
Among their duties are to deliver Revelation to the Prophets and Messengers, give courage and firmness to the believers when they are fighting the enemies, guard and ward off hazards from those whom Allah wishes to protect, collect souls at the time of death, breathe life into the fetus, direct clouds, and other duties.
Muslims believe that God revealed books to His messengers as proof for mankind and as guidance for them. Among these books is the Qur’an, which God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. God has guaranteed the Qur’an’s protection from any corruption or distortion.
Muslims believe in the prophets and messengers of God, starting with Adam, including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them). But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last prophet sent by God. But only the Book revealed to Muhammad, the Qur’an, has remained as it was revealed. The others have been corrupted by people over the centuries, with some parts added, some deleted, and some changed.
Muslims believe that all the prophets and messengers were created human beings who had none of the divine qualities of God.
Muslims believe in the Day of Judgment (the Day of Resurrection) when all people will be resurrected for God’s judgment according to their beliefs and deeds. On the Day of Judgment the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) will be granted the General Intercession for mankind. God will also permit him to intercede for a number of believers that they might enter Paradise.
Paradise (Jannah) and Hell are two created places that already exist. The righteous will be rewarded with eternal life in Paradise, where they will live in joy and bliss that are sensual realities, not merely spiritual joy. The sinful will be punished in Hell, where they will be tortured and tormented. These, too, will be sensual realities, not merely spiritual torment. Ultimately, God will remove from Hell those believers whose sins were not forgiven nor atoned for by good deeds in their lifetimes, and they will then enter Paradise. The remaining inhabitants of Hell will stay there eternally.
The dead in their graves will be shown their place, either in Paradise or Hell. Those who will be of the people of Paradise will be at peace in their graves, while those who will be of the people of Hell will be tortured in their graves.
Muslims must also believe in the Divine Decree (Qadar). This means that God created everything in due proportion and determined the nature of things. Nothing occurs or takes shape within the heavens or earth but with His knowledge and by His order. He is All-Knowing of everything, past, present and future. Man has the power to act and choose only within the limits set by the will of Allah.
In His infinite wisdom and mercy, God gave humans limited power and great freedoms, including the freedom of choice. It is because of this autonomy that every human being will be held accountable for his/her individual deeds.