Iman (concept)

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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]

It is most often associated with true and unadulterated faith in Allah as the one and only God, in Islam.

In Sunni view, Iman consists of the Seven articles of belief.

Faith in Islam is 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.

30 qualities are connected to the heart

  1. Belief in Allah

  2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.

  3. To believe in the existence of angels.

  4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.

  5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.

  6. To believe that Allah Most High as knowledge of everything from before-hand and that only that which He sanctions or wishes will occur.

  7. To believe that Resurrection will definitely occur.

  8. To believe in the existence of Heaven.

  9. To believe in the existence of Hell.

  10. To have love for Allah Most High.

  11. To have love for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace)

  12. To love or hate someone solely because of Allah.

  13. To execute all actions with the intention of religion alone.

  14. To regret and express remorse when a sin is committed.

  15. To fear Allah Most High.

  16. To hope for the mercy of Allah Most High.

  17. To be modest.

  18. 18.To express gratitude over a bounty or favour.

  19. To fulfill promises.

  20. To exercise patience.

  21. To consider yourself lower than others.

  22. To have mercy on the creation.

  23. To be pleased with whatever you experience from Allah Most High.

  24. To place your trust in Allah Most High.

  25. Not to boast or brag over any quality that you posses.

  26. Not to have malice or hatred towards anybody.

  27. Not to be envious of anyone.

  28. Not to become angry.

  29. Not to wish harm for anyone.

  30. Not to have love for the world.

7 qualities are connected to the tongue

  1. To recite the testimony of faith (kalimah) with the tongue.

  2. To recite the Quran.

  3. To acquire knowledge.

  4. To pass on Knowledge.

  5. To make dua.

  6. To make the zikr of Allah Most High.

  7. To abstain from the following: lies, backbiting, vulgar words, cursing, singing that is contrary to the Shariah.

40 qualities are connected to the entire body

  1. To make wudu, ghusl, and keep one's clothing clean.

  2. To be steadfast in offering salaat.

  3. To pay zakaat and sadaqatul fitr.

  4. To fast.

  5. To perform the Hajj.

  6. To make i'tikaaf.

  7. To move away or migrate from that place which is harmful for one's deen.

  8. To fulfill the vows that have been made to Allah.

  9. To fulfill the oaths that are not sinful.

  10. To pay the kaffarah for unfulfilled oaths.

  11. To cover those parts of the body that are fard to cover.

  12. To perform the ritual slaughter.

  13. To enshroud and bury the deceased.

  14. To fulfill your debts.

  15. To abstain from prohibited things when undertaking monetary transactions.

  16. Not to conceal something true which you may have witnessed.

  17. To get married when the nafs desires to do so.

  18. To fulfill the rights of those who are under you.

  19. To provide comfort to one's parents.

  20. To rear children in the proper manner.

  21. Not to sever relations with one's friends and relatives.

  22. To obey one's master.

  23. To be just.

  24. Not to initiate any way that is contrary to that of the generality of the Muslims.

  25. To obey the ruler, provided what he orders is not contrary to the Shariah.

  26. To make peace between two warring groups or individuals.

  27. To assist in noble tasks.

  28. To command the good and prohibit the evil.

  29. If it is the government. it should mete out punishments according to the Shariah.

  30. To fight the enemies of deen whenever such an occasion presents itself.

  31. To fulfill one's trusts (amana).

  32. To give loans to those who are in need .

  33. To see to the needs of one's neighbour.

  34. To ensure that one's income is pure.

  35. To spend according to the Shariah.

  36. To reply to one who has greeted you.

  37. To say Yarhamukallah (‘Allah have mercy on you’) when anyone says Alhamdulillah (‘All praise is Allah’s’) after sneezing.

  38. Not to cause harm to anyone unjustly.

  39. To abstain from games and amusements contrary to the Shariah.

  40. To remove pebbles, stones, thorns, sticks, and the like from the road.

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