Islamic theology: Wikis

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Islamic theology (Arabic: عقيدة Aqidah, plural عقائد ʿaqā'id‎) is a branch of Islamic studies regarding the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction.

Contents

Introduction

Muslims enumerate their creed to include the Six articles of belief. There is a consensus on the elements of this creed across all spectrums as they are clearly articulated in the qurʾān. Sectarian differences between Shias and Sunnis are often expressed in differences in branches or elaboration of creedal beliefs as opposed to the core creed (aqidah). For example, Muslims may have different ideas regarding the attributes of God or about the purpose of angels. However there is no dispute on the existence of God, that he has sent his revelation via messengers nor that man will be held to account and rewarded or punished with heaven or hell.

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Six articles of belief

In a hadith collected in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the Islamic prophet Muḥammad explains, "Faith is to affirm your faith in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day, and to believe in the Divine Destiny whether it be good or bad."

The six Sunni articles of belief are:

  1. Belief in God (Allah), the one and only one worthy of all worship (tawhid).
  2. Belief in all the Prophets (nabi) and Messengers (rusul) sent by God
  3. Belief in the Angels (mala'ika).
  4. Belief in the Books (kutub) sent by God[1] (including the Qurʾān).
  5. Belief in the Day of Judgment (qiyama) and in the Resurrection (life after death).
  6. Belief in Destiny (Fate) (qadar).

The first five are based on several Qurʾānic creeds:

Whoever disbelieveth in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily wandered far stray (4:136)
Who is an enemy of God, His Angels, His Messengers, Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! God is an enemy to the disbelievers (2:98)
…righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the scripture and the prophets (2:177)
…believer believe in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers (2:285)

The sixth point made it into the creed because of the first theological controversy in Islām. Although not connected with the sunni-shiʿi controversy about the succession, the majority of Twelfer Shiʿites do not stress God's limitless power (qadar), but rather is boundless justice ʿadl as the sixth point of believe – this does not mean that Sunnis deny his justice, or Shiʿites negate his power, just the emphasis is different.

In Sunni and Shia view, having Iman literally means to have belief in Six articles. However the importance of Iman relies heavily upon reasons. Islam explicitly asserts that belief should be maintained in that which can be proven using faculties of perception and conception.

Proof Aspect

One is required to examine the evidences Islam provides to be convinced to the point of having no doubt. This is indicated in the Arabic word for verse (i.e. verses of Koran) which translates to mean the following: sign, miracle, proof, etc. After all, this lays the foundation for acting on the secondary matters which would be the rights and regulations of Islam. So a believer is not supposed to be in the position of relying only on faith as there are verses of the Koran that condemn blind following, questioning it integrity.

Types of theology

Muslim theology is the theology that derived from the Qur'an and Hadith. The contents of Muslim theology can be divided into theology proper such as theodicy, eschatology, anthropology, apophatic theology, and comparative religion.

Kalam

Kalam is the Islamic philosophy of seeking theological principles through dialectic. In Arabic, the word literally means "speech". A scholar of kalam is referred to as a mutakallim (Muslim theologian; plural mutakallimiin).

Eschatology

Eschatology is literally understood as the last things or ultimate things and in Muslim theology, eschatology refers to the end of this world and what will happen in the next world or hereafter. Eschatology covers the death of human beings, their souls after their bodily death, the total destruction of this world, the resurrection of human souls, the final judgments of human deeds by Allah after the resurrection, and the rewards and punishments for the believers and non-believers respectively. The places for the believers in the hereafter are known as Paradise and for the non-believers as Hell.

Comparative religion

Comparative religion in Muslim theology is about the differences and similarities between Muslim theology and other theologies such as Christian, Jewish theologies as explained in the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions.

Differences between various Muslim groups

In the history of Muslim theology, there have been theological schools among Muslims displaying both similarities and differences with each other in regard to beliefs.

Sunni view

Sunni Muslims hold that there are six articles of belief: belief in Allah, in angels, in divinely revealed scripture, in prophets, in the "Last Day" or end times, and in destiny.

Shi'a beliefs and practices

Shi`ite Muslims hold that there are five articles of belief: the Divine Oneness and Justice, the Prophethood, the Imamate, and eschatology. The Shi'ite do not believe in complete predestination, or complete free will. They believe that human life is a mixture of free will and predestination.

Roots of Religion (Usūl al-Dīn)

  1. Tawhīd (Oneness): The Oneness of Allah.
  2. Qiyamah (The Day of Judgment): Allah will raise mankind for Judgment
  3. Nubuwwah (Prophethood): Allah has appointed perfect and infallible prophets and messengers to teach mankind the religion (i.e. a perfect system on how to live in "peace".)
  4. Adalah (Justice): The Justice of Allah.
  5. Imamah (Leadership): God has appointed specific leaders to lead and guide mankind — a prophet appoints a custodian of the religion before his demise.

Branches of Religion (Furū al-Dīn)

  1. Salat (Worship) - The 5 daily prayers.
  2. Sawm (Fast) - Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
  3. Hajj (Pilgrimage) - Undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca.
  4. Zakaat (Poor-rate) - Paying the poor-due.
  5. Khums (One-fifth) - Paying a tax of 20%, which is levied on un-taxed, annual profit.
  6. Jihad (Struggle/Striving) - Struggling to earn the favor of God. The greater jihad, "al-Jihad al-Akbar", is the struggle against the evil within one's own soul. The lesser jihad, "al-Jihad al-Asghar", is where one fights on the battlefield in defence of his religion when attacked.
  7. Amr-Bil-Ma'rūf (Promotion) - Encouraging people to perform good deeds.
  8. Nahi-Anil-Munkar (Dissuasion) - Discouraging people from performing sin.
  9. Tawalla (Re-affirmation) - To love Ahl al-Bayt.
  10. Tabarra (disassociation from the enemies of Islam) - To disassociate oneself from the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt.

Ismaili beliefs

The branch of Islam known as the Ismāˤīlī is the second largest Shiˤa community. They observe the following pillars of Islam:

  1. Tawhīd
  2. Imāmah
  3. Nubuwwah
  4. Qiyāmah
  5. Ṣalāt

Mu`tazilite view

In terms of the relationship between human beings and their creator, Mu`tazilites emphasize human free will over predestination and God's justice over God's omnipotence. Mu'tazilites also believe in the use of logic to deduct the true meanings of the Qur'an. This, combined with the principal of Ijtihad, led to their belief in Dynamic Fiqh.

Literature pertaining to creed

Many Muslim scholars have attempted to explain Islamic creed in general, or specific aspects of aqidah. The following list contains some of the most well-known literature.

Sunni Literature

Shia Literature

See also

References

External links


Simple English

Part of a series of articles on

Islam

History of Islam

Beliefs and practices

Oneness of God
Profession of Faith
PrayerFasting
PilgrimageCharity

Important people

Muhammad
Abu BakrUmar
Uthman ibn AffanAli
Household of Muhammad
Companions of Muhammad
Prophets of Islam

Texts & Laws

Qur'anSunnahHadith
Jurisprudence • Theology
Biographies of Muhammad
Sharia

Types of Islam

SunniShi'aKharijite

Muslim culture

AcademicsHistory
Philosophy • Science
Art • Architecture • Cities
CalendarHolidays
Women • … in the Qu'ran
Leaders • Politics
Islamism • Liberalism • Sufism

See also

Vocabulary of Islam • Islamophobia

Islamic theology deals with the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith.

Contents

Types of theology

Islamic theology is the theology that comes from the Qur'an, Hadith, and the story of Muhammad's life (Sirah Rasul Allah).

Kalam

Kalam is the Islamic philosophy of seeking theological principles through dialectic. In Arabic, the word literally means "speech". A scholar of kalam is referred to as a mutakallim (Muslim theologian; plural mutakallimiin).

Eschatology

Eschatology is literally understood as the last things or ultimate things and in Muslim theology, eschatology refers to the end of this world and what will happen in the next world. Eschatology covers the death of human beings, their souls after their bodily death, the total destruction of this world, the resurrection of human souls, the final judgments of human deeds by Allah after the resurrection, and the rewards and punishments for the believers and non-believers. The places for the believers are known as Paradise and for the non-believers as Hell.

Comparative religion

Comparative religion in Muslim theology is about the differences and similarities between Muslim theology and other theologies such as Christian, Jewish theologies as explained in the Qur'an and the Prophetic traditions.

Differences between various Muslim groups

In the history of Muslim theology, there have been theological schools among Muslims with both similarities and differences with each other in regard to beliefs.

Sunni view

Sunni Muslims hold that there are six articles of belief: belief in Allah, in angels, in divinely revealed scripture] like Qur'an, in prophets, in the "Last Day" or end times, and in predestination.

Shia view

Shi`ite Muslims hold that there are five articles of belief: the Divine Oneness and Justice, the Prophethood, the Imamate, and eschatology.

Mu`tazilite view

In terms of the relationship between human beings and their creator, Mu`tazilites emphasize human free will over predestination and God's justice over God's omnipotence. Mu'tazilites also believe in the use of logic to deduct the true meanings of the Qur'an. This, combined with the principal of Ijtihad, led to their belief in dynamic Fiqh.


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