Tuesday, May 20, 2008



...............continued from part(4)

The Foundations of Islam

Islam is built on three basic foundations, the 'Aqidah (beliefs), the Syari'at (Islamic laws) and the Akhlaq(code of behaviour). The 'Aqidah is also known as Iman (faith), while the Syari'at and the Akhlaq together are known as 'amal (deeds). If the iman is unsupported by the amal, it is in fact fruitless, unauthentic and unreliable (Rahman, 1980) and sinful, while the reverse is meaningless and illogical.
'Aqidah is the fundamental set of beliefs in Islam. The core of the 'aqidah is the Kalimat at Tauhid:
لا إله إلا الله
Transliterarion: La ila ha illal lah
Translation: There is no other ila but Allah
The term ila or godship, which will again be referred in parts to come, is anything which one takes as being an all-embracing, omnipotent entity which one submits to. Ila has a connotation of something that is worshipped. All forms of ila are rejected in Islam except Allah. Only Allah is THE ila. This therefore becomes the very essence of Islam, that is Tauhid, or Oneness or Unity of God.
The other constituent element of the 'Aqidah is the Kalimat ar Risalah:
محمد رسول الله
Transliteration: Muhammadur Rasullullah
Translation: Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
In this part of the 'Aqidah, one testifies that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah.
So to be a Muslim, one has to have the 'Aqidah, that is to testify before Allah that there is no other ila but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. To utter the verses of testimony in their unabridged form, the suffix أشهد أن (I bear winess to) is usally added to stamp its officility.
Once a person takes this testimony willingly and conciously and knowing fully what rights and responsilities are vested in the verses, then one becomes a Muslim.
أشهد أنلا إله إلا الله
أشهد أنمحمد رسول الله
I bear witness that there is no other ila but Allah
(and) I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
This is called the syahadah, and since it consists of two phrases, it is known as syahadatain. So the 'Aqidah is made up oof the syahadatain.
To assume validity, the 'Aqidah must be built on three pillars. They are: (1) tasdiq: to submit in the heart (2) iqrar bi al-lisan: to utter it in words (3) 'amal soleh: to translate it into pious devotion. When the three pillars are present in a person, then he is said to have iman (faith).
The position of a Muslim in the sight of Allah is based on his/her iman.
..................to be continued