Some Basic Islamic Beliefs, First: Belief in God
Some of the most important beliefs of Muslims are the six pillars of faith: God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and Divine predestination. And this article will tell more about the belief in God.
At the heart of Islam lies belief in God.
The core of the Islamic creed is bearing witness to the phrase, La illaha illa Allah, “There is no true deity deserving worship but God.” The testimony to this belief, called tawhid, is the axis around which all Islam revolves. Moreover, it is the first of the two testimonies by which a person becomes a Muslim. Striving after the realization of that oneness, or tawhid, is the core of Islamic life.
Belief in God’s Existence
Muslims believe that God is the all-powerful Creator of a perfect, ordered universe. He is transcendent and not a part of his creation, and is most often referred to in terms and with names that emphasize his majesty and superiority. Among the Beautiful Names of God in the Qur'an are: the Creator, the Life-Giver, the Provider, the Opener, the Bestower, the Prevailer, the Reckoner, the Recorder, the King of Kingship and the Lord of the Worlds.
God’s existence does not require proof by scientific, mathematical, or philosophical arguments. His existence is not a ‘discovery’ to be made by the scientific method or a mathematical theorem to be proven. Simply said, mere common sense bears witness to God’s existence. From a ship one learns of the ship-builder, from the cosmos one learns of its Creator. God’s existence is also known by answers to prayers, miracles of prophets and the teaching in all revealed scriptures.
In Islam, a human being is not seen as sinful creature to which the message of Heaven is sent to heal the wound of original sin, but as a being that still carries his primordial nature (al-fitrah), an imprint on his soul that lies deeply buried under layers of negligence. Humans are not born sinful, but forgetful as God has said:
“…Am I not your Lord? They said: ‘Yes, we bear witness...’” (Qur'an 7:172)
In Muslim understanding, God is beyond our sight and understanding, yet at the same time "nearer to us than our jugular vein" (Qur'an 50:16). Muslims pray directly to God, with no intermediary, and seek guidance from Him alone, because "...Allah knows well the secrets of your hearts" (Qur'an 5:7)
In this verse, “they” refers to all human beings, male and female. The ‘yes’ confirms the affirmation of God’s oneness by us in our pre cosmic state. Islamic doctrine holds that men and women still carry the echo of this ‘yes’ deep down within their souls. The call of Islam is directed to this primordial nature, which uttered ‘yes’ even before they inhabited the earth. Knowledge that this universe has a Creator is something instinctive in Islam and therefore it requires no proof. Scientists, such as Andrew Newberg and Eugene D’Aquili, both affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and pioneers in the neurological research of religion, say “We are wired for God.”
The Holy Qur'an rhetorically asks:
“…Can there be any doubt about God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?” (Qur'an 14:10)
One might ask, ‘if belief in God is natural, then why do some people lack this belief?’ The answer is simple. Every human being has an innate belief in a Creator, but this belief is not a result of learning or personal deductive thinking. With the passage of time, outside influences effect this innate belief and confuse the person. So, one’s environment and upbringing veil the primordial nature from the truth. The Prophet of Islam may God praise all, said:
“Every child is born in a state of fitrah (a natural belief in God), and then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian.” (Saheeh Muslim)
Often these veils are lifted when a human being is faced with a spiritual crisis and left helpless and vulnerable.
By Fatma Dawod