Learning Imaan Vol. 1 - Lessons on the Islamic Faith
In sha Allah [If Allah wills], what you are about to read is a polite treatise directed toward anyone who is either interested in learning about the Islamic faith or a person who has recently entered the fold of Islam. What is written is an adaptation of a personal exchange that the author had with an inquiring mind via email in July of 2020.
By the Mercy and Wisdom of Allah, the fruits of technology are at humanity’s feet. Despite there being various ways to educate ourselves on various subjects in the so-called “Age of Information”, much of what we consume through audio, visual and literary mediums are often of dubious nature. In this day and age, to pry into the fundamentals of any serious matter without the guidance of a learned accomplice is a tremendous risk. In sha Allah, this document will serve as a beneficial droplet from the ocean of knowledge, guidance and spiritual reformation that is the Islamic way of life.
May it be of great aid to the reader and serve as a tremendous reminder its author. Ameen.
Allah Ta′aalaa selects Muslims to be among those who He loves. He has given them the greatest bounty that any human being can be given, Imaan (faith). To be granted the status of a Believer is a lofty position but it carries great responsibility. You have mentioned some of the strife and struggle that you have already been able to identify in this world. Know that enemies of Islam have existed since the moment Shaytaan (Satan) was expelled from Jannah (Paradise) into Dunya (this worldly abode). However, the weapons needed to vanquish our enemies were given to humanity as soon as our father Adam alayhis salaam too was cast from Jannah. From this moment, mankind was split into two distinct groups – Believers and Disbelievers.
And Allah says in the Qur’aan,
It is He who has created you. However, (inspite of this) some among you are Kaafir (Disbelievers) and some among you are Mu’min (Believers).
To be among the followers of the final Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wasallam (may the peace and prayers of Allah be upon him), is a clear favor from Allah. Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, is that prophet and messenger who was sent with the Qur’aan, a revelation that contains no error or doubt and is a guidance for humanity toward a complete way of life. Likewise, the Sunnah (Traditions) of Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, consists of a living interpretation of the Qur’aan in the fashion of his blessed words and actions.
The righteous scholars of Islam write,
The Kaafir or unbeliever is the one who is ungrateful to Allah Ta′ala. His transgression is rebellion and treason against his Creator. For the Kuffaar , the punishment is severe.
The Mu’min or believer is the one who is grateful to Allah Ta`ala. He submits to the command of Allah Ta`ala. For the Mu’mineen, the reward is great. Lofty mansions, peace and perpetual happiness are in store for Believers. The Qur’aan Shareef says: “Those who have Imaan and practise righteousness, they will be in the Gardens of Paradise.”
Know that one will only be rewarded in the afterlife for the actions that they perform on this world so long as they leave this world with Imaan (correct Islamic beliefs). This is why it is so crucial to learn what Imaan is according to the Qu’raan and Sunnah. This means that Imaan must be realized in the exact format that it was conveyed by Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam to the Sahaabah and passed down to the later generations.
And the Allah says in the Qur’aan,
Those who have Imaan and practise righteousness, they will be in the Gardens of Paradise.
In order for one to have a clear and proper understanding of Imaan, he has to know what the Usul al Deen (Principles of Religion) are. These principles are of three:
Belief in Allah – That none is worthy of worship except Allah. That there is no Creator, Sustainer, or Provider but Allah. Everything is a created thing, except Allah. Allah was present before the beginning of time and when time as we know it comes to an end, only He will remain.
Belief in Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam – That the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, is Allah’s final Nabi (prophet) and Rasul (messenger). That he was sent with the mission of conveying the clear message of the Qur’aan. His position of Nubuwwat (prophethood) establishes what is true about all of the prophets and messengers who came before him, such as the prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Nuh (Noah), and ′Isaa (Jesus) [peace be upon all of them] and also corrects all errors of slander and misinformation that many people attribute to them (for example, that Jesus is the son of Allah, or worse even, is Allah.
Belief in the Aakhirah – That Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hellfire) are real, physical, eternal abodes that one will be sent to, depending on them having Imaan and whether or not they performed righteous deeds that invited the mercy of Allah. People will not be sent to Jannah or Jahannam until the Day of Judgement (Yawmul Qiyaamah). It will be marked by events that include, but are not limited to, the destruction of the entire world and all of creation, the resurrection of the dead from their graves, and the weighing of deeds on The Scales. The Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, educated humanity on the various minor and major signs that forecast the occurence of Yawmul Qiyaamah. However, the exact day is known only by Allah.
On the other the hand, a Kaafir who has spent their entire life wallowing in disbelief and rebellion of their Creator, is promised severe humiliation in the depths of Jahannum (Hellfire). This is assured irrespective of whatever righteous services they believed that they were rendering before the expiration of their life.
And Allah says in the Qur’aan,
Those who are Kaafir their (good) deeds are like glittering sand in a plain, which a thirsty person thinks to be water (i.e. like a mirage). But when he (the thirsty one) reaches it, he finds it to be nothing…
Emphasizing the importance of distinguishing Imaan from Kufr, the scholars write,
We realize from the Qur’aan Shareef and the Ahaadith that the most valuable treasure is Imaan and the greatest calamity is Kufr. Everlasting bliss is the result of Imaan while everlasting damnation is the consequence of Kufr.
In sha Allah, I hope that this is of benefit to you. Please let me know your take on what I’ve shared. If you feel inclined to continue with this dialogue I have more information to provide for you.
This life is adorned with material attractions that are mere tests for those who possess larger aspirations for themselves. Our objective is to shun the futility of this world and rush toward that which is beneficial in the afterlife. Again, to touch upon your concerns regarding the affairs of the world as of late, rest assured that the fortification of Imaan is our weapon, remedy and comfort. Be at peace knowing that there can be no deception or Shaytaanic influence that can bring a person into the fold of Imaan. Imaan is administered only by the decree of Allah Ta`aalaa and He alone selects who is to be among those who are promised a peaceful and noble life in this world and in the next. SubhanAllah (all Glory be to Allah).
But with this understood, critically reflect on what I have shared with you. Examine the contents of your heart and prepare to remove the snares of doubt that you made reference to. I have confidence that you will excel in this objective. A light has been placed in your heart! Do the best that you can to nurture it so that it may draw you closer to obeying Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Do your best to nurture it so that others may be drawn to it, fulfilling your duty as a Believer by calling the people toward the worship of One Allah and rendering service for His pleasure.