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The Beliefs of Islam

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What I believe

Followers of Islam, known as Muslims, believe that God (or, in Arabic, Allāh; also in Aramaic Alaha) revealed his direct word for mankind to Muhammad (c. 570632) and other prophets, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last or the seal of the Prophets. Thus, his preachings for humankind will last until qiyamah (The Day of the Resurrection). Muslims assert that the main written record of revelation to humankind is the Qur'an (see below), which they believe to be flawless, immutable, and the final revelation of God to humanity. Muslims believe that parts of the Gospels, Torah and Jewish prophetic books (though originally divine in their nature) have been forgotten, misinterpreted, incorrectly edited by humans, or distorted by their followers and thus their original message has been corrupted over time. With that perspective, Muslims view the Qur'an as a correction of Jewish and Christian scriptures, and a final revelation.

Muslims hold that Islam is essentially the same belief as that of all the messengers sent by God to mankind since Adam, with the Qur'ān (the one definitive text of the Muslim faith) codifying the final revelation of God. Islamic texts depict Judaism and Christianity as derivations of the teachings of the prophet Abraham and thus acknowledges their Abrahamic roots, whilst the Qur'an calls Jews and Christians (and sometimes people of other faiths) "People of the Book". Islam has two primary branches of belief, based largely on a historical disagreement over the succession of authority after Muhammad's death; these are known as Sunni and Shi'ite. Islām is described as a dīn, meaning "way of life" and/or "guidance."

The basis of Islamic belief is found in the shahādatān ("two testimonies", Arabic: لا إله إلا الله ومحمد رسول الله ): lā ilāhā illā-llāhu; muhammadur-rasūlu-llāhi—"There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God." In order to become a Muslim, one needs to recite and believe in these statements.

A view of  the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,  a holy site in Islam
A view of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a holy site in Islam

Six articles of belief

There are six basic beliefs shared by all Muslims:

1. Belief in God, the one and only one worthy of all worship.

2. Belief in all the Prophets (nabi) and Messengers (rusul) sent by God. It is believed that there were around 240,000 Prophets of which 313 are Messengers. Out of the 313 Messengers, 25 are held to be of high esteem (ulul azmi) and are mentioned by name in the Quran. The difference between Prophets and Messengers are that although all received revelation (wahyu) from God, the Messengers are required to spread their message to their people by preaching (da'wah).

3. Belief in the Books (kutub) sent by God (including the Qur'an)(the Psalm Scriptures (or zabur) sent to David, the Torah sent to Moses, the Bible sent to Jesus or Isa and the Qur'an sent to Muhammad).

4. Belief in the Angels (mala'ika) of which 10 are held of high esteem and are named in the Quran and the Sunnah.

5. Belief in the Day of Judgement (qiyama) and in the life after death (heaven and hell).

6. Belief in Destiny (Fate) (‘qodho’ and kadar). There are two types of Destiny or qadar namely that which is immutable (qadar mubram) and that which can be changed to a certain degree by one's resolve (qadar mu'allaq). Immutable destiny includes the provision one receives upon this earth (rezki), the time and date of one's death (ajal) and whether one is to enter Heaven (jannah) or Hell (jahannam) and is written by an angel 40 days after one's conception in the mother's womb. Changeable destiny (or qadar mu'allaq) may be changed by one's resolve. For example, a hardworking person may be richer or be more knowledgeable than someone who is lazy. However, this does not mean one is predetermined to act or live a certain life. God has given the free will to do and make decisions.

The Muslim creed in English:

"I believe in God; and in His Angels; and in His Scriptures; and in His Messengers; and in The Final Day; and in Fate, that Good and Evil are from God, and Resurrection after death be Truth.
"I testify that there is no god but God; and I testify that Muhammad is His Messenger."

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