This is a public beta website and is a work in progress.

What is Imaan (faith)

Date published: 7 December 2021
Topic: Imaan


In Hadith e Jibreel, Prophet Muhammadsaid: ‘Imaan is that you believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, Resurrection-the last day, and that you believe in fate (qadr) i.e. good and bad fortune’.

Islamic scholars have decreed that only by utterance of the kalima, one does not become a perfect Muslim. Faith is not only utterance, but also attestation by the heart. A Mu’min is one who has complete submission to the will of Allah and has faith firmly established in the heart.



It is an underlying fact that the fundamental belief (aqeeda) of Islam is Kalima Tauheed. This kalima is honourable and divine. Kalima Taiyaba  “LAA ILAAHA ILLAL LAAH” is a denial (denial of deity) and a confident statement of belief (affirmance of the oneness and the sovereignty of Allah Ta’ala). ‘There is no deity except Allah Ta’ala’.

This kalima is also known as Kalima e Risalat. The complete kalima is “LAA ILAAHA ILLAL LAAH, MUHAMMADUR-RASOOLU-LLAAH”. This is one kalima, but has two parts. The first part “LAA ILAAHA ILLAL LAAH” is the denial of deity and the assertion-the confident statement of belief in Allah Ta’ala. The second part is the acknowledgement and acceptance of risalat i.e. the designation of Prophet Muhammadﷺ.   ‘Prophet Muhammadis His Messenger’. The first part is Kalima Tauheed and the second part is Kalima Risalat. Both, the Kalima Tauheed and Kalima Risalat are the basis of the belief (aqeeda) and faith (imaan). The belief in tauheed and the belief in risalat, both are the fundamental underlying facts of Islam. The amalgamation of both the beliefs (tauheed and risalat) is a must, and without one another, the kalima is unacceptable. Without the synthesis of both the beliefs, the kalima is meaningless and unlawful.

In accordance with the teachings of The Holy Quran, if one accepts only the Kalima Tauheed as the basis of his imaan, then he is a hypocrite or worse than a hypocrite. If a person does not accept the risalat of Prophet Muhammad, but only accepts the tauheed of Allah Ta’ala, then his claim of having imaan is fraud and deception.


Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“ Then O beloved (Muhammad) by your Lord, they shall not be Muslims until they make you judge in all their disputes. Then they find not any impediment in their hearts concerning whatever you decide, and accept from the core of their hearts.”

(Surah An-Nisa. verse 65)


Hence, without accepting the risalat of Prophet Muhammad, one cannot be a Mu’min.

This is the teaching of The Holy Quran. This is the secret of faith. Certainly, without the acceptance of the risalat of Prophet Muhammad, one will be extravagated in infidelity (kufr).

Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“Please declare: ‘If Allah had willed, then I would not have recited to you, nor would He have made it known to you. I have already lived amongst you before it. Have you then no wisdom’.”

(Surah Yunus. verse 16)


In this verse of The Holy Quran, Prophet Muhammadcalls to attention to forty years of his life living amongst the polytheists as a proof for the Kalima Tauheed. Prophetalways lived a flawless life.


The Holy Quran provides the proof for the second part of the Kalima Tauheed ‘Muhammadur-Rasoolu-llaah’.


Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of Truth that He may make it to prevail over all other religions. And Allah suffices as a witness”

(Surah Al-Fatha. verse 28)


This teaches us that Prophet Muhammadis the most sublime creation of Allah Ta’ala, and splendour of Allah Almighty becomes evident. Allah Ta’ala, who created such a stately and splendid Prophet is indeed the embodiment of splendour and sublimity. Similarly, “QUL HU ALLAHU AHAD”. ‘Allah is the one and The Only’. This is also an affirmance of the sovereignty of Allah Ta’ala.

Hence, without the synthesis of both the beliefs, the kalima is meaningless and illegitimate.


The understanding is that both “LAA ILAAHA ILLAL LAAH” and “MUHAMMADUR-RASOOLU-LLAAH” are Kalima Tauheed.

The difference is that in the first part, there is the tauheed e auhliyat of Allah Ta’ala-“WAHDAHU LA SHARIKA LAHU”. ‘He is one and He has no partner with Him’.

The second part is tauheed e risalat. There is none equal in the perfection and excellence to Prophet Muhammadﷺ.  So, Allah is one and Prophet Muhammad Mustafais also one.


Without having fervent or deep love for Prophet Muhammad, the claim of tauheed is meaningless.

Claiming to have a belief in the oneness of Allah Ta’ala, and at the same time showing a wilful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of Prophet Muhammadis ibleesi tauheed.

Claiming to have a belief in the oneness of Allah Ta’ala and having fervent respect, and giving honour to Prophet Muhammadis Jibreeli tauheed.



Any person simply uttering the kalima, but not having a deep understanding and attestation by the heart is not a Mu’min, but a Muslim.


Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“Oh those who declare faith verbally, declare your faith sincerely and whole-heartedly”

(Surah An-Nisa. verse 136)


It is out in the open that there are people in the Muslim community who recite the kalima, perform Namaaz, fast, pay Zakaat and perform Hajj, and live the life of a Muslim. But they do not have a deep understanding and attestation of tauheed by the heart. They go to and fro, back and forth propagandizing disrespect for Prophetand delivering sermons in which they try to lower the honour and the dignity of Prophet Muhammadﷺ.


Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“And of mankind are some who say, ‘we have believed in Allah and the Last Day, yet they are not believers’.”

(Surah Al-Baqara. verse 8)


One might ask why are these people not a Mu’min despite having believed in Allah Ta’ala. The answer is that they have uttered the kalima without having a deep understanding and attestation by the heart.


Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“ When the hypocrites come to you, they say: ‘We bear witness that you are certainly Allah’s Messenger, Allah indeed knows that you are certainly His Messenger’, but Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are certainly liars.”

(Surah Al-Munafiqoon. verse 01)


“In their hearts is a disease, so Allah has increased their disease and for them is a painful torment, because they falsify”

(Surah Al-Baqara. verse 10)


Such people have all the characteristics of a hypocrite. They are two-faced. One is infidelity (kufr) in their heart, and the other imaan on their lips.




In a Hadith narrated in Tirmidhi Shareef, Prophet Muhammadis reported to have said: ‘fear the keen eyes of a Mu’min, because a Mu’min sees through the divine light of Allah Ta’ala. Prophetdid not say fear the keen eyes of a Muslim. Because a Muslim is anyone who has uttered the kalima, but is still not a Mu’min.

Every Mu’min is a Muslim, but every Muslim is not a Mu’min.


In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammadhas mentioned the magnificence of a Mu’min. Prophetis reported to have said that a Muslim is one who has accepted Islam.

Now! What is Islam?

In Hadith e Jibreel, Prophet Muhammadhas said: ‘Islam is that you testify that there is no god, but Allah, and Muhammadis the Messenger of Allah. And to establish prayer (salaah), pay the compulsory charity (Zakaat), fast in the month of Ramadhan, and undertake pilgrimage (Hajj) to the house (of Allah) if you are capable of finding your way there-physically and financially’.


So, we come to know that a Muslim is he who testifies in the oneness of Allah Ta’ala, and in the risalat of Prophet Muhammedﷺ.  A Muslim is who establishes prayer, fasts in the month of Ramadhan, pays Zakaat, and performs Hajj. But, the splendour of a Mu’min is far greater than that of a Muslim.


It is narrated in Mishkat Shareef and in Buhkari Shareef that Prophet Muhammadis reported to have said that ‘None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, and his children’. In another narration Prophetis reported to have said that ‘he should be loved more than all mankind and ones own life’.

From this Hadith, we learn that without having intense love for Prophet Muhammad, accepting Islam is meaningless.


Hence, faith is incomplete without having the deep love for our beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafaﷺ. And without faith, none of the prayers, fasts, Zakaat, and Hajj are acceptable in the court of Allah Ta’ala. First imaan, and then, the deeds.


In many instances in The Holy Quran, Allah Ta’ala states:


“Undoubtedly, those who believed and did good deeds”


Imaan is mentioned ahead of obligatory responsibilities (farz) and good deeds.




Allah Ta’ala states in The Holy Quran:


“Whoever works good from male and female and he is a believer, then certainly We shall make him live a good life and necessarily We shall give them reward benefitting to their best work”

(Surah Nahal. verse 97)


Being a Muslim is only beneficial if one has strong faith and has deep love for our beloved Prophet Muhammad Mustafa.


In a Hadith, Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said:

 “innahu yanzuru min noorillah”.


‘A Mu’min sees through and will continue to see through the divine light of Allah Tabarak Wa Ta’ala’.




This article is an abridged English translation of Urdu sermons delivered by his eminence, Peer Syed Imroz Dean Saifi, Hanfi, Maturidi of Masjid Anwaar e Madina, Surrey BC Canada

If there is an inaccurate translation, please pardon it and not let it be a means to negatively reflect on the honoured presenter.