Main Articles of Islamic Faith
A true, faithful Muslim believes in the following main articles of faith:
1. He believes in One God, Supreme and Eternal, Infinite and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate, Creator and Provider. This belief, in order to be effective, requires complete trust and hope in God, submission to His Will and reliance on His aid. It secures man's dignity and saves him from fear and despair, from guilt and confusion. The reader is invited to see the meaning of Islam as explained above.
2. He believes in all the messengers of God without any discrimination among them. Every known nation had a warner or messenger from God. These messengers were great teachers of the good and true champions of the right. They were chosen by God to teach mankind and deliver His Divine message. They were sent at different times of history and every known nation had one messenger or more. During certain periods two or more messengers were sent by God at the same time to the same nation. The Holy Qur'an mentions the names of twenty-five of them, and the Muslim believes in them all and accepts them as authorized messengers of God. They were, with the exception of Muhammad, known as "national" or local messengers. But their message, their religion, was basically the same and was called ISLAM, because it came from One and the Same Source, namely, God, to serve one and the same purpose, and that is to guide humanity to the Straight Path of God. All the messengers with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelation, and appointed by God to perform certain tasks. Among them Muhammad stands as the Last Messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of prophethood. This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor is it just a convenient belief. Like all the other Islamic beliefs, it is an authentic and logical truth. Also, it may be useful to mention here the names of some of the great messengers like Noah and Abraham, Ishmael and Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon them all. The Qur’an commands the Muslims thus:
Prophet's Utmost Trust in Allah
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I went in an expedition along with the Prophet (PBUH) in the direction of Najd. When Messenger of Allah (PBUH) returned, I also returned with him. Then the mid-day sleep overtook us in a valley full of prickly shrubs. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) got down and the people scattered around seeking shade under the trees. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) hang up his sword on the branch of a tree. We were enjoying a sleep when Messenger of Allah (PBUH) called us, and lo! There was a desert Arab bedouin near him. He (PBUH) said, "This man brandished my sword over me while I was asleep. I woke up and saw it in his hand unsheathed. He asked: `Who will protect you from me?' I replied: 'Allah' - thrice". He did not punish him and sat down.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
When the Qur'an began to be revealed, the first word of the first verse was iqra, 'read.' (96:1) When we reflect on this verse, we find the starting point of Islamic action. It is to start from where there is no fear of violent reaction, from the point where it is possible to continue one's movement along peaceful lines.
At the time when the command of iqra was revealed in the Qur'an, several options existed in Makkah regarding the starting point for the Islamic movement. One option was to begin by launching a movement to clear the Kabah of the 360 idols, which had been placed in it. This option would certainly have provoked a violent reaction on the part of the Quraysh. Another option was to find a seat in Dar Al Nadwah (Makkah's parliament). The third option was to launch a movement to free Muslims from the domination of the Roman and Sassanid empires. This starting point again would have provoked a violent reaction on the part of these forces.
Leaving aside all these courses of action, the option followed was that of studying the Qur'an, about which it was certain that it could be continued peacefully, and that it would not provoke any violent reaction.
The Prophet of Islam adopted this principle throughout his life. His policy was to adopt a non-violent method rather than a violent method. It is this policy, which was referred to by his wife, Aisha: "Whenever the Prophet had to opt for one of two things, he always chose the easier one."