Iman is an Islamic term, literally meaning "to learn", "to fully observe one's faith" or "to learn one's faith", and lexically meaning affirmation and confirmation in the heart, as can be found in a verse of the Qur'an:
"Joseph's brothers said,
"Our father! Indeed, we went racing with one another, and we left Joseph with our belongings, and the wolf devoured him. But you will not believe us, even if we are truthful." [12:17]
In Sunni view, Iman consists of the Seven articles of belief.
Faith inIslamis called iman. It is a whole-person submission to The One God (Allah) which includes belief in the heart, profession by the tongue, and the body's performance of deeds consistent with our commission as vicegerent on Earth according to Allah's will. The spiritual heart is the seat or foundation of iman.
Belief in the heart has two aspects. First, it means recognizing and affirming that there is but one Creator of the universe and only to this Creator is our worship due. According to Islamic thought, this comes naturally because faith is an instinct of the human soul. This instinct is then trained via parents or guardians into specific religious or spiritual paths. Likewise, the instinct may not be guided at all.
Second, belief in the heart includes the willingness and commitment to submitting to the truth that Allah exists and to His prescriptions for living in accordance with vicegerency. The Quran (Koran) is the dictation of Allah's prescriptions through Prophet Muhammad and is understood to have updated and completed previous revelation Allah sent through earlier prophets.
Profession by the tongue in Islam means testifying that one believes in The One God - Allah - who has no partners, and indicating that one intends to be committed to adhering to the guidance and prescriptions from Allah through the Prophet Muhammad. The profession of faith must be accompanied with sincere efforts to follow the guidance and prescriptions from the Quran and the way of implementation shown by the Prophet Muhammad, called the sunnah.
Belief in the heart as defined above and testimony, if sincere, naturally results in actions that are consistent with vicegerency. The degree to which belief does not flow into appropriate deeds indicate what Muslim scholars call diseases of the heart, such as arrogance, envy, greed, pride, etc. Of all aspects of iman, belief in the heart is the most important because it provides the momentum for one to manifest faith into one's life.
The religion of Islam requires accepting seven articles of faith, out of which come what are called the five pillars of Islam (witnessing Allah; prayer; almsgiving; fasting; pilgrimage) with which people are more familiar.
Without recognizing, affirming, and accepting these articles of faith and committing to whatever comes through them, there is no context for the five pillars of Islam.
77 branches of faith
The 77 Branches of Faith is a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true faith (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.