Quarterly: Issue No 97
Muharram 1442 – August 2020
Scholars have discussed the difference between Imaan and Islam in many books of
In Islamic terminology, if one of these two terms is
mentioned on its own, then it generally implies the entire religion of Islam,
in which case there is no difference between Islam and Imaan.
if these two terms are mentioned together, then the following applies:
is the inward deeds, which are actions of the heart, such as belief in Allah
(may He be glorified and exalted), loving Him, fearing Him, putting one’s hope
and trust in Him, and being sincere in worshipping Him alone. Imaan is actually
a pact one has with ALLAH in His obedience; and the carrying out of good
actions is the expression and manifestation of this pact. There is no possibility
of increase or decrease in this pact.
Islam is the
outward actions that must be accompanied by Imaan (firm Faith in the
heart). If the outward actions are not
accompanied by Imaan, then the doer is either a Muslim whose Imaan is weak, or
the doer is a hypocrite being looked upon as a Muslim outwardly, but a
Disbeliever inwardly with regards to the heart.
sometimes mentioned on its own - not in conjunction with the words Islam or
righteous deeds. And sometimes it is mentioned in conjunction with the word Islam,
as in the Hadith of Jibreel (AS), in which Jibreel asked our beloved Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “What is Islam?... What is Imaan?”
etc.; and in the many similar verses in which Allah (may He be exalted), says:
“Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing
men and believing women, …”
“The Bedouins say, "We have believed." Say,
"You have not (yet) believed; but say (instead), 'We have submitted,' for
Imaan has not yet entered your hearts.” (Surah al-Hujuraat:
Imaan is mentioned in conjunction with Islam:
to outward deeds, such as uttering the two testimony of Imaan (shahaadah), establishing salaah,
giving zakaah, fasting and performing the Hajj.
to what is in the heart i.e. the belief in Allah, His angels, His Books, His
Messengers, the Last Day, Predestination (taqdeer)
and Resurrection after death.
(Faith) is mentioned on its own, it includes Islam and righteous deeds, as
in the Hadith about the branches of Imaan: “Faith has seventy-odd branches,
the highest of which is saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god except Allah) and the
least of which is removing a harmful thing from the road.”. There are many
other Ahadith which also describe righteous deeds as being part of Imaan.
is to be understood as referring to inward submission, which is affirmation in
the heart and deeds of the heart, which only comes from one who is a true
Believer, as Allah (may He be exalted) says:
believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become
fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in Imaan;
and upon their Lord they rely – those who establish salaah,
and spend from what We have provided them.
Those are the Believers, Truly” (Surah al-Anfaal:
sense, Imaan is higher in status, so every Believer (Mu’min) is a Muslim, but
the opposite is not true. This fact is confirmed by the verse just quoted
above. It is also confirmed with regard
to the description of the family of Prophet Loot (AS), as they are described
once as Believers and once as Muslims. What is meant by Islam
here is outward Islam, and what is meant by Imaan is true faith in the heart.
When Allah (may He be exalted) referred to the people of Prophet Loot’s family
as a whole, He described them as being Muslims, because the wife of
Prophet Loot (AS) was one of his family.
She was outwardly a Muslim, but in fact she was a Disbeliever. When
Allah (may He be exalted) referred to those of the family who were brought out
and were saved, He described them as Believers:
“So, We brought out whoever was
in the cities of the Believers.
And We found not within them other than a (single) house
of Muslims.” (Surah adh-Dhaariyaat:
people think that these two verses above imply that the words Imaan and Islam
are one and the same thing. But this is
not the case. The second verse is in
harmony with the first verse, because Allah tells us that He brought out
whoever in the city was a Believer. And He also tells us that He did not find
any except one family of Muslims, because the wife of Prophet Loot (AS) was
among the members of that one family.
But she was not among those who were brought out and saved. Rather she was among those who were left
behind and were punished. Outwardly she
followed her husband’s religion, but inwardly she adhered to her own people’s
religion, and betrayed her husband, telling her people about his guests, as
Allah (may He be exalted), tells us about her:
“Allah presents an example of those who disbelieved: the
wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous servants
but betrayed them”
Allah differentiated here between the Believers and the Muslims, because the
family that was in the city was outwardly a Muslim family, as it included the
wife of Prophet Loot (AS), who betrayed him by disbelieving, and she was a
disbeliever. As for those who were brought out from the city and saved, they
were true Believers, for Imaan had entered their hearts.
PURIFY OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY
us purify ourselves spiritually. How is that done? Do not think of evil things.
Did not say evil things. Do not look at evil things. Once we have purified
ourselves of these things, we will find within us a light, the enjoyment of
which will surpass the cheap thrills of evil.
people constantly complain about being plagued with lustful thoughts and sexual
fantasies. The solution to their problem is very simple: Go to the root of the
problem. Stop looking at images that incite your lust and you will not get
those many lustful thoughts.
eyes are the gateway to the heart. When the heart is constantly being bombarded
with pornographic and lust-inciting images, what else would we expect the mind
to dwell on?
the eyes are purified, the heart will be purified. When the heart is purified,
then the limbs follow in suit. The
Prophet (SAW) said,
“Lustful glances are the fornication of the eyes...” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
FIVE THINGS WITH WHICH ALLAH WILL
Abdullah bin Umar (Radiyallu Anhu) said:
“The Messenger of Allah
(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) turned to us and said:
there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with
Allah lest you live to see them:
never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but
plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread
do not cheat in weights and measures, but they will be stricken with famine,
severe calamity and the oppression of their rulers.
do not withhold the Zakaah of their wealth, but rain
will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would
fall on them.
do not break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, but Allah will enable
their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands.
their leaders rule according to the Book of Allah and seek all good from that
which Allah has revealed, Allah will cause them to fight one another.’”
Hadith from Sunan Ibn Majah)
Our beloved Prophet (SAW) used
to pray: “O
Allah! grant to my soul (Nafs) the sense of
righteousness and purify it, for You alone are the Best Purifier of my soul.
You are the Protecting Friend (Waliy) of it and the
Guardian (Mawlaa) of it as well. O Allah! I seek refuge in You from the knowledge which
does not benefit, from the heart that does not fear (You), from the soul that
does not feel satisfied and from a DU’AA that is not answered.” (Muslim)
Allah! Your Forgiveness is far greater than my sins and I have more hope in
Your Mercy than in my own deeds.
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir