Principal Beliefs Aqidah - Islamic Doctrine
Articles of Faith for Islam • The term "Aqida" is an Arabic word meaning creed. However, there is no single formulation that has been agreed upon by all Muslims. • Despite the absence of any single authoritative creed there are, nevertheless five basic articles of beliefwhich are clearly set out in the Qur'an. These beliefs are known as the Aqida. These are belief in Allah, belief in the prophets, belief in angels, belief in the scripture and belief in the day of judgment.
Tawhid • The first of the beliefs of the Aqida is known as Tawhid which refers to the belief about Allah. • Muslims believe that Allah is immanent and transcendent, close to each individual yet outside of creation itself.
Oneness and Absoluteness of Allah • The term Tawhid means "the alone" which refers to the oneness and absoluteness of Allah. • Muslims believe that by accepting that there is one true God they are also making statements about the absolute power and authority of this one God. Nothing can rival Allah, nor can there exist anything that is even remotely like Allah.
Oneness and Absoluteness of Allah • "He is Allah, the One, Allah is Eternal and Absolute. None is born of Him, He is unborn. There is none like unto Him" (surah 112).
Outside of Creation • The Muslim belief in the greatness of Allah means that Allah is understood as existing separately from creation in a transcendent way. • Allah created all things but is outside of this creation. Allah is all knowing and all powerful. Allah is also eternal.These attributes of Allah mean that the exact nature of Allah will always be beyond human understanding.
Outside of creation • "no vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision; He is above all comprehension yet is acquainted with all things" (surah 6:103).
Immanence • Despite the awesome character of Allah, Allah is also understood as being close to the heart of every person and knows even their innermost thoughts.The notion of Tawhid has a number of important implications for Muslims.
Pride and Arrogance • Firstly, it is incompatible with pride or arrogance. • Tawhid acknowledges that every talent, skill, ability or attribute of a human being is directly attributed to the gift of Allah in creating that person. • To claim any of this as one's own is to deny that these talents are gifts of Allah.
Possessions • Secondly, Tawhid does not allow a person to regard possessions as their own. They are in essence on loan from Allah and are to be regarded as transitory.
Purpose • Thirdly, Tawhid acknowledges that all things happen for a purpose and that it is not appropriate for a person to complain about or seek to change their situation in life. • This is what Allah has allowed and though they may not understand the reason for this circumstance a person is meant to accept it, trusting in the great love and compassion of Allah.
Motives • Fourthly, a lack of integrity in actions is tantamount to believing that Allah can be fooled. Allah knows all things, even the motives of every individual person and each particular action. • Therefore it goes against Tawhid to act with impure motives which in effect seek to deceive others and deceive Allah.
Personal Holiness • Fifthly, a false sense of personal holiness is an example of hypocrisy which offends Allah and is therefore not compatible with Tawhid. • Allah knows the weaknesses and lack of faith of all people and is not fooled by appearances.
Ignorance • Finally, Tawhid is incompatible with ignorance of Allah's will. • A person is required to know of Allah and know the ways of Allah.
Shirk When a person denies the basis of Tawhid in any way this is known as "shirk". The concept of shirk is particularly applied to any idea which does not accept the essential character of Allah. Any belief that diminishes this faith in the oneness and absoluteness of Allah is referred to as shirk.r
Surrender • For Muslims, the belief in Tawhid provides a number of important dimensions to their lives. • Tawhid leads to a greater surrender to the will of Allah, the ultimate goal of Islam. It gives Muslims confidence and assurance and means that they do not need to rely on or submit to other authorities.
Surrender • Tawhid means that Muslims know that they are accountable for their actions and for their use of worldly possessions. • With this is mind Tawhid leads to a great sense of responsibility among Muslims. It also means that they hold a sense of trust in Allah which allows them to accept difficult circumstances without losing hope.
Surrender • Finally it provides them with a sense of purpose and determination. • They are dedicated to the will of Allah. It is a challenging but ultimately rewarding vocation.