Islam has pillars of actions, and the beliefs in the heart. The action pillars are the Testimony of Faith, Prescribed Ritual Devotion, Charity, Fasting, and the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Not everybody gets to do all five pillars of Islam during their lives.
The pillars of belief are not affected by how much money you have, or your level of health like the pillars of Islam. They are beliefs in the heart. Every Muslim has to have them.
Here are some of the Pillars of Faith, and how we as new Muslims can live them each day:
We believe in God
It’s not just the obvious: God exists. We call on God alone, and believe that nothing can help us, but Him. He is the only one that gives us what we need, and keeps us safe. Believing in Him and hoping for His help when we pray to Him is one way to demonstrate our faith in Him.
We believe that only He can truly describe Himself. He taught His beautiful Names, and His actions. We are showing our faith in God by calling on Him using these names.
He is absolutely perfect. He’s not like anything that He created, because He always existed. He looks after and maintains everything He made with perfection and justice. Nothing will come to us except what God has planned for us to have.
We learn about God from reading the Quran, and from understanding the traditions of Messenger Muhammad. If we spend just a little time each day learning something new about God, we are living this pillar of faith.
We believe in God’s Angels
We only believe what is true about angels, and we get our information about them from the Quran and Prophetic traditions.
We have guardian angels, and angels that write down every single deed, good and bad, that we do. And when our lives are over, we will be tested in the graves by angels. Angels spend their whole lives serving God by doing errands.
Some angels have specific jobs, such as Gabriel, who brings revelation from God, and Malik, who is the gatekeeper of Hellfire. They are not, contrary to some traditions, the daughters of God, or the pure souls of good people who have died on earth.
They are an entirely different creation of God, not male or female. They are made from light and have wings. Sometimes, as we read in the Quran, angels have taken the form of humans, because God has a special message to send to earth.
We do ourselves a service by remembering the writing angels in particular. Their job is to write down everything we do and say. Even when we don’t think anyone is listening or seeing what is happening, the angels are recording.
We believe in God’s Messengers
Notice the plural? Messengers. God sent a lot of Messengers throughout time. He wanted people to come back to worshipping Him and fix their lives. It happened to every nation on earth.
The Quran mentions only 25 by name, and we believe in all of them. Not only that, but we repeat their prayers, and take lessons from their lives, too. If we didn’t, God would not have placed their stories in the Quran and in the sayings of Messenger Muhammad!
They brought us lessons from God on how to worship Him. They never said to worship them. They always directed people to worship God alone.
This is especially important for us as new Muslims. We haven’t left belief in the Messenger of our people, we’re only continuing belief in them. Muhammad is the last in a long chain of Messengers of God.
We hold all the Messengers, including Jesus, Moses, David, Solomon and John the Baptist with the greatest respect and honor. They are all our Messengers, too. Their lives’ work is finalized by Muhammad, the last of all the Messengers. He called them his brothers.
We Believe in His Books
And the Messengers brought messages, the revealed books. Just like our belief in the Messengers, we believe in all the books that God sent.
We only know of the ones that are mentioned in the Quran, but there were many more. Each time God wanted to communicate to the people on earth, He sent a book. Jesus got the Gospel, Moses got the Torah, and Muhammad got the Quran.
While we believe that God sent all these books, the final word is the Quran. It is the only revealed book that God preserved to this day from being changed or corrupted at all. The messages inside it are universal and timeless, and the Quran confirms what is in the previous books.
Whatever truth you found in the book of revelation you might have known before Islam will be confirmed by the Quran. You may continue your faith in God’s messages as New Muslims.
We Believe in The Last Day
Remember how I mentioned the angels that write down everything? The Last Day is when all those books of deeds are going to be weighed. Whichever book, the good or the bad deeds, is heavier will decide our home after this life.
It’s really critical to the human being to believe that they will one day be held accountable. People will just not behave unless they think someone’s aware of what they’re doing. Security cameras, and even just the presence of others, deters many crimes worldwide.
It gives us hope that even if no one seems to be keeping track of the good we do, it’s going to be taken up on Judgement Day.
The Day of Judgement is when God will sort out the people of the earth. We don’t know when this day will come. Not even Messenger Muhammad knew.
The great lesson in believing in this day, is to focus on what we are preparing for it.
While for one reason or the other we might not make it to the Pilgrimage, or ever have enough money to give the regular Charity, we can hold all these beliefs in our hearts.
May God bless us with firm belief, and allows us to learn more so our hearts can become stronger with each day.