Pillars of Islam & Iman

Pillars of Islam & Iman

How well versed are we regarding the basic teachings of Islam? Do you know the basic foundations of Islam? The pillars of Islam and Iman?

pillars of Islam

Imam Muslim رحمه الله mentioned in his Sahih [Hadith No: 8] that Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه narrated: One day we were sitting in the company of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him. None amongst us recognized him. At last, he sat with the Prophet (PBUH). He knelt before him placed his palms on his thighs and said: O Muhammad! inform me about al-Islam. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:

الإِسْلاَمُ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَتُقِيمَ الصَّلاَةَ وَتُؤْتِيَ

الزَّكَاةَ وَتَصُومَ رَمَضَانَ وَتَحُجَّ الْبَيْتَ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً 

Al-Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and you establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the (House) if you are solvent enough (to bear the expense of) the journey.”

He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: It amazed us that he would put the question and then he would himself verify the truth. He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Holy Prophet (PBUH)) replied:

أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلاَئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ


“That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil.”

He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (the inquirer) again said: Inform me about al-Ihsan (performance of good deeds). He (the Holy Prophet) said:

أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاكَ

“That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you don’t see Him, He, verily, sees you.”

He (the enquirer) again said: Inform me about the hour (of the Doom). He (the Holy Prophet) remarked:

مَا الْمَسْئُولُ عَنْهَا بِأَعْلَمَ مِنَ السَّائِلِ

“One who is asked knows no more than the one who is inquiring (about it).”

He (the inquirer) said: Tell me some of its indications. He (the Holy Prophet) said:

أَنْ تَلِدَ الأَمَةُ رَبَّتَهَا وَأَنْ تَرَى الْحُفَاةَ الْعُرَاةَ الْعَالَةَ رِعَاءَ الشَّاءِ يَتَطَاوَلُونَ فِي الْبُنْيَانِ

“That the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress and master, that you will find barefooted, destitute goat-herds vying with one another in the construction of magnificent buildings.”

He (the narrator, Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: Then he (the inquirer) went on his way but I stayed with him (the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) for a long while. He then said to me: Umar! Do you know who this inquirer was? I replied: Allah and His Messenger know best. He (the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) remarked: He was Gabriel (the angel). He came to you in order to instruct you in matters of religion.

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Dear readers! This is our Deen which Allah has sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). These are the 11 pillars of Islam and Iman. No one can be a Muslim without a firm belief in these 11 pillars. If anyone rejects these pillars, there is no doubt that he does not belong to Islam. There is a consensus of all religious Muslims scholars on this issue. After believing in these eleven pillars, every act of worship of a Muslim would be acceptable by which he would be able to attain Paradise.

Read this blog on an Islamic guide for beginners.

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Consider carefully that Sayyadna Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) said: “O Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم))! Who will be the luckiest person, who will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?” Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) said:

لَقَدْ ظَنَنْتُ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ أَنْ لاَ يَسْأَلَنِي عَنْ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَحَدٌ أَوَّلُ مِنْكَ، لِمَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ حِرْصِكَ عَلَى الْحَدِيثِ، أَسْعَدُ النَّاسِ بِشَفَاعَتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مَنْ قَالَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، خَالِصًا مِنْ قَلْبِهِ أَوْ نَفْسِهِ

“O Abu Huraira! “I have thought that none will ask me about it before you as I know your longing for the (learning of) Hadiths. The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart لا إله  إلا الله “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”

(صحیح البخاري: 99)

There is another Hadith regarding this faith that Mu’adh (رضي الله عنه) was riding behind the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) on the saddle, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) said, “Mu’adh”! to which he replied, “At your service and at your pleasure, Messenger of Allah!” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) said, “Mu’adh”! to which he replied, “At your service and at your pleasure, Messenger of Allah.” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) said, “Mu’adh”! to which he replied, “At your service and at your pleasure, Messenger of Allah!” three times altogether. He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صِدْقًا مِنْ قَلْبِهِ إِلَّا حَرَّمَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّارِ

“If anyone testifies sincerely from his heart that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger, Allah will declare him immune from hell.”

hell fire

He asked, “Messenger of Allah, shall I not then inform people of it, so that they may be of good cheer?” He replied:

إِذا يتكلوا

“Then they would trust in it alone.”

Mu’adh told about it at the time of his death, to avoid sinning.

(صحیح البخاري: 128)

This is the real value of this faith described in these hadiths. It is the pillars of Islam and Iman that form the foundation of Islam. However, it’s important to note that a Muslim can not follows these basic pillars and commit sins at the same time. In such a case they may be thrown into the hellfire. It means that this issue is very necessary to explain and understand. The same is the case with the other pillars of Islam and Iman. This discussion can be summarized in these two verses:

عَامِلَةࣱ نَّاصِبَةࣱ تَصۡلَىٰ نَارًا حَامِیَةࣰ

“Labouring (hard in the worldly life) weary (in the Hereafter with humility and disgrace). They will enter into the hot blazing Fire.”

 The only thing which completes faith is to fulfil the rights of people. Therefore, due to the sensitivity of this issue, it was very important to separate this topic from others and compile it in a separate book for the guidance of the Muslim Ummah.

By the help of Allah, Sheikh Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno رحمه الله compiled these pillars of Islam and Iman in a book with the Arabic title “أركان الإسلام والإيمان في ضوء الكتاب والسنة” which was translated and published in English by Darussalam.

Pillars of Islam & Iman book

The author of this book Sheikh Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno رحمه الله was originally from Syria, but has been a teacher in the Dar-ul-Hadith Al-Khairiyah, Makkah Al-Mukarramah from a while. Besides being a great scholar, he is also the author and compiler of many other Islamic books.

The distinctive feature of this book “Pillars of Islam and Iman” is its simplicity. While writing, Sheikh Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno رحمه الله was concerned with reaching the common people. To prove any point, first of all, he presented the verses of the Noble Quran then he put all the related authentic Ahadith before the readers; afterwards, if he found it necessary, he cited a few instances from the early scholars and jurisprudents.

Pillars of Islam & Iman book

Because of his simple style, his books gained popularity in the Islamic world. He uses authentic sources while writing making them greatly appreciated among senior Islamic scholars. Generally in the Islamic world, and especially in the Arab world, the authenticity of a book is judged by its author’s name, and his name has acquired such a position that it is placed among the credible and esteemed authors.

In this book, Sheikh Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno رحمه الله has discussed the pillars of Islam and Iman in a lucid and impressive manner. The discussion regarding Faith and Belief in the first part is an added value to the book. A number of editions and innumerable copies of this book in Arabic have been published and printed up till now.

The qualities of this book can be summarized as:

  • It is a brief and comprehensive introduction to the 11 pillars of Islam and Iman with the related topics.
  • It is also in a very simple style of writing with the references of Quranic verses and Sahih Ahadith.
  • This book has been appreciated all over the world due to its importance and necessity.
  • This book is a full commentary and explanations of the real faith of Muslims.
  • Due to its compactness, comprehensive material and brief and straightforward statements, this book is a very good option from an educational point of view.

Let’s review the table of contents to get a better insight into the topics covered in this book.

  1. Publisher’s Note
  2. Introduction
  3. Thanks and acknowledgement
  4. Tauhid, and the factors which nullify Faith and Islam
  5. The pillars of Islam
  6. The Pillars of Iman ( Faith )
  7. The meanings of Islam , Imán and Ihsan
  8. The meaning of La ilaha illa – Allah
  9. The meaning of Muhammad – ur Rasulullah
  10. Where is Allah ? Allah is above the heavens
  11. Belief in Qadar , the good of it and the bad of it
  12. Some benefits of belief in Divine Preordainment
  13. Do not use fate as an excuse
  14. Factors which nullify Imân and Islam

*Complete table of contents is mentioned at the end of the blog.

We have also included some extracts from the book itself.

Extract 01: Read to learn the meaning of La Ilaha Illa Allah


“None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,” in it (i.e. the Testimony) is the negation of worship to other than Allah and its affirmation with regard to Allah alone.

1. Allah عز وجل said: “So know (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that La ilâha illa-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).” (V.47:19)

2. The Prophet ,صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

من قال لا إله إلا اللہ مخلصا دخل الجنة [رواہ البزار وصححه الألباني فی صحیح الجامع]

“Whoever says La ilaha illa-Allah sincerely will enter Paradise.” (Reported by Bazzar and declared authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jami ). 

The sincere person is the one who understands, acts according to its requirements, invites others to it, and gives it precedence over all other issues, because it is the concise formula of Tauhîd (Islâmic Monotheism) for which human beings and jinns were created.

Get your own copy of the book from Darussalam and let us know in the comments below what you think of the book. 

Interested in similar books? Take a look at our suggestions below.

*Complete table of Contents
Publisher’s Note
Thanks and acknowledgement
Tauhid, and the factors which nullify Faith and Islam
The pillars of Islam
The Pillars of Iman ( Faith )
The meanings of Islam , Imán and Ihsan
The meaning of La ilaha illa – Allah
The meaning of Muhammad – ur Rasulullah
Where is Allah ? Allah is above the heavens
Belief in Qadar , the good of it and the bad of it
Some benefits of belief in Divine Preordainment
Do not use fate as an excuse
Factors which nullify Imân and Islam
Denial of the existence of Rubb nullifies Iman
Shirk ( polytheism ) in worship nullifies Imân
Shirk in Allah’s Attributes nullifies Iman
Defamation of Prophets nullifies Iman
The Book of Taharah ( Purification )
The categories of water
Etiquette of going to the bathroom
How to perform Wudu ( ablution )
Factors which nullify Wudu
Things which do not nullify Wudu
Wiping over leather or cloth socks
Conditions for wiping over leather and cloth socks
The obligatory bath ( Ghusl ) , and the things which make it mandatory
Things forbidden to a Junub ( a person in need of a Ghusl )
The fundamental constituents ( Arkän ) of Ghusl
The Sunnah way of the Ghusl
Ghusl which are Mustahab ( desirable )
Some issues concerning Ghusl
Mash ( wiping ) over a bandage or cast
Tayammum and the cirumstances which make it permissible
The dust be used for Tayammum
How to perform Tayammum
Things permissible to one who performs Tayammum
Factors which nullify Tayammum
The Salat of a person having no access to water or dust
Haid ( menstruation ) and Nifas ( post – partum bleeding )
Things forbidden in menstruation or in post – partum bleeding
Some instructions for menstruating women and those in Nifas
Istihadah and the rules associated with it
The Book of Salât ( prayer )
The Adhan and Iqamah ( calls to prayer )
How to perform Salat – ul – Fajr ( the Dawn Prayer )
The first Rak’a
The second Raka
Table of number of Rak’at of each Salât
Some rules of Salât
Conditions for the validity of Salât
The basic elements ( Arkan ) of Salât .
Timcs in which Salât is forbidden
The times of obligatory Salât
How the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to pray
Salât Tatawwu ‘ ( optional prayers )
Those upon whom Salát is mandatory
Sujud As – Sahw ( prostrations to make up for forgetfulness
Attendance of women for congregational Salat in the Masjid
A woman’s dress in Salat
Who is most befitting to lead Salar ?
Those who are eligible to be Imam
The virtues of Salât , and waming against abandoning it .
Attending Friday Prayer and the daily Salät in congregation
The virtues of praying in congregation and the Friday Prayer
How to offer Friday Prayer with its etiquettes
Ahadith on the subject of Salat
The Salât of a traveller on land or sea or in an aeroplane
Salát is mandatory on the sick person
How a sick person can perform the acts of purification
How a sick person can perform Salat
Du á ( supplications ) at the beginning of Salat
Du’a at the end of Salat
How to perform Salat on a dead person ( Funeral Prayer )
The admonishment of death
Eid Prayers at Musalla ( Prayer Place )
Emphasis upon offering a sacrifice on the Eid – ul – Adha
Salât to supplicate for rain ( Istisqa )
Salat at the time of solar or lunar eclipse
Salat – ul – Istikharah ( Prayer to seek guidance for what is better )
Beware of passing in front of a praying person
The recitation of the Messenger صلی الله عليه وسلم
The Prophet’s worship of Allah
The Book of Zakat
Zakat and its importance in Islam
The wisdom in the legislation of Zakât
The kinds of wealth on which Zakat is required
The Nisab ( minimum property ) on which Zakat is due
Table of Zakat for free grazing livestock
How Zakat should be distributed
Some benefits of paying Zakat
Wamings to those who don’t pay Zakat
Some important information regarding Zakåt
The Book of Siyam ( Fastings )
Siyam ( fastings ) and its benefits
What you are required to do in Ramadan
Ahadith on the virtues of fasting
Voluntary fasting
Things which break the fast
Things which do not spoil the fast
I’tikaf ( seclusion in the Masjid ) is part of the religion
The Book of Hajj ( Pilgrimage )
The virtues of Hajj and Umrah
The actions of Umrah ( the lesser pilgrimage )
The actions of Hajj ( the pilgrimage to Makkah )
Some etiquettes of Hajj and Umrah
Some etiquettes of the Prophet’s Mosque
Upon whom is Hajj obligatory ?
Fundamental constituents ( Arkan ) of Hajj
Compulsory acts ( Wajibat ) of Hajj
Things forbidden to a person in the state of Ihram
Rules for perpetrators of the prohibitions of the state of Ihram
How the Prophet , performed Hajj
The sacrificial animals , their types and conditions
The conditions for the acceptability of the Hady
The proper time and place for slaughtering the Hady .
The Book of Mu’amalat ( Transactions and Mutual Relations )
The importance of mamage in Islam , and the laws of marriage
Hijab ( the veil ) is a means of honour and protection for women
Rules regarding Riba ( usury ) and its different forms .
The prohibition of means of usury .
Doing business with banks
The prohibition of usury for consumers and producers .
The prohibition on Riba ( usury ) in buying a house .
Means for getting rid of usury
Rules regarding the Luqtah ( lost and found articles ) .
Special rules regarding Luqtah in the Haram of Makkah
The Book of Morals and Manners
Some of the morals of the Noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
Good manners of the Messengers is an and his humbleness
The Prophet’s call to Islam and Jihad
Love of the Messenger and following him
Some Ahadith regarding the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم
Some Ahadith regarding the Muslim “
Act upon the Ahadith of the Messenger
Whatever the Messenger ( st , We gave you , take it “
Be slaves of Allah , brothers ( to each other )


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