The Six Articles of Faith

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What is six articles of faith? What are the 6 articles of faith?

The six articles of faith mentioned in the Hadith of Gabriel are divided into three categories. The first category is tawḥīd (meaning the oneness and uniqueness of God), which specifically refers to the first article of faith i.e. belief in Allah; it also refers to the last article of faith i.e. the divine decree. The second category is known as risāla or nubuwwa (meaning the message or prophecy); it consists of three of the articles of faith i.e. the belief in the angels, the prophets and messengers and the revealed scriptures of God. The third and last category is variously referred to as al-Ākhira, al-Qiyāma or al-Maʿād (the Hereafter, the Judgment Day and the Return); it includes the belief in Paradise, Hell and Judgment Day. These six articles of faith are known in Arabic as, ‘al-Imān al-Mufassal’ (detailed expression of faith) which states, “I believe in God, in His angels, in His scriptures, in His messengers, in the Last Day (Day of Judgment) and in the resurrection after death, and the firm believe that whatever happens of good or bad is decided by God Almighty.”

In many texts the basic beliefs are stated as six, just as it is in this book, where belief in the ‘Day of Judgment’ is included in the belief concerning ‘Resurrection after Death’. It is important at this juncture for the new Muslim to know that the six articles of faith simply represent the main foundations of belief in Islam, which divide into many further branches. This can be compared to the five pillars of Islam, which are not the only obligatory actions in Islam, but rather they are a representation of the main foundations of Islam’s obligatory acts of worship. Let us now proceed further to each one of the articles of faith.[1]

[1].      For further detailed study on the Muslim Creed see Amjad M. Hussain, The Muslim Creed: A Contemporary Study of Theology, Cambridge: Islamic Text Society, 2016 and Abu Jafar al-Tahawi, The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi, Hamza Yusuf (tr.), New York: Zaytuna Institute, 2007.

Source: Islam For New Muslims An Educational Guide,Assoc. Prof. Amjad M. Hussain, Erkam Publications

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