Fourteen Stars

Pillars of islam

Islam stands on the basis of five pillars that outline the fundamentals of belief. They are “Tawhid” which is the Monotheism of Allah, Adil which is the Divine Justice of Allah, Prophethood, Imamate which is Succession to the Prophet Muhammad, and Qiyama which is the Day of Judegment.
Tawhid-Monotheism of Allah: Monotheism, which is the very essence of Islam, stands on the affirmation that there is only one God (“Allah” in Arabic) and that he has no partner, parts, spouse, children, or anything that pays any type of added spirit to Allah. For the most part, the theme of the Quran in its entirety revolves around a theme of monotheism. Thus, Allah is the center of a Muslims belief. It is interesting to note that the biggest sin in the eyes of God is what is known as “shirk” or attributing partners to Allah the Almighty. The Quran itself speaks of the oneness of God:
Allah has borne witness that there is no Allah but Him, and the angels, and those with knowledge also witness this. He is always standing firm on justice. There is no Allah but Him, the Mighty, the Wise (3:18).
The oneness of God is not only a philosophical argument, but also an affirmation in which all human beings once declared the oneness of God before their souls entered the body:

[Remember] when your Lord brought forth the children of Adam from their loins and made them testify over themselves, saying, “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, “Verily, we were unaware of this” (7:172).

An interesting point to note is the 99 names of Allah which give a glimpse into his divine attributes. Some of these include:
  1. The Beneficent
  2. Ar-Rahman
  3. The Merciful
  4. Ar-Rahim
  5. The Sovereign
  6. Al-Malik
  7. The Holy
  8. Al-Quddus
  9. The Peace
  10. As-Salaam
  11. The Protector
  12. Al-Muhaymin
2. Adil-Divine Justice: Anyone who believes in Islamic Monotheism must also believe in the divine justice of God. God is just and never wrongs. Moreover, He does not have a cause for injustice toward His creatures, for an injustice is an immoral action; and God is incapable of evil. God is omniscient and never neglects any matter. God is self-sufficient, and He is not in need of the help of people. God is the possessor of everything, and His wisdom transcends the universe. For example, the Quran states:

“He is always standing firm on justice. There is no Allah but Him, the Mighty, the Wise” (3:18)

“And your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone” (18:49)

“We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves” (16:118)

God’s justice embraces the entire universe, from the human to the animal, from the earth to the sky, from plants to micro-scopic organisms. God requires humankind to follow the ways of justice as well. For example, the Quran states: “Say: ‘My Lord has enjoined upon me justice’“ (7:29).

3. Nubuwwa-Prophethood:
Prophets were people who received divine revelation and guidance towards righteousness and God. Since the inception of history, God sent 125,000 Prophet who were spilt into two categories: regional or universal. While the local prophets were sent with specific messages to specific groups of people, the universal prophets were sent with messages and books for mankind. There were only five universal prophets: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.
A fundamental characteristic of all the prophets and messengers is that they were infallible which means they committed no sins. To demonstrate the validity of this concept, one must consider that humanity needed prophets and messengers to set an exemplary structured lifestyle to follow. If they had committed errors, then people might be obliged to exemplify and excuse their errors, thus making the prophets and messengers untrustworthy.
Furthermore, infallibility means protection from error in teaching doctrine and morals. Infallibility is defined as the spiritual grace of God that enables a person to abstain from sins by his own free will. This power of infallibility and sinless-ness does not make a person incapable of committing mistakes; rather, he or she refrains from transgression by his or her own power.
Imamate- Succession to the Prophet Muhammad:
The universal messengers of God had successors in order to carry on the true path of religion after their demise. God appointed his messengers to guide humankind, and thus, appoints his successors to the Prophets as a matter of necessity.
Prophet Abraham was succeeded by two of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Prophet Moses during his lifetime and afterwards was succeeded by his brother, Aaron.

Even Prophet Jesus had successors. Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad was succeeded by twelve distinguished successors, one after another. These successors are called imams and were appointed by God, not by humankind. The right to ordain imams belongs to God, and the Quran makes this point in many verses, “And remember when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Verily I am going to place a successor [khalifa]’” (2:30).

“And remember when the Lord of Abraham tried him with certain commands which he fulfilled; Allah said to him, ‘Verily I am going to make you a leader [imam] of mankind’“ (2:124).

God addressed Prophet David as such, “O David! Verily We have placed you as a successor on earth” (38:26).

God also attributes the right of appointing leaders to Himself; “We made from among them leaders, giving guidance under Our command” (32:24). During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, he mentioned specifically the names of the leaders [imams] that would come after him. The Prophet said that there would be twelve leaders, and that all of them would be descendents of Quraysh.
The 12 Imams of the Prophet Muhammad are:
  1. Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib
  2. Imam Hassan ibn Ali
  3. Imam Hussein ibn Ali
  4. Imam Ali ibn Hussein
  5. Imam Muhammad ibn Hussein
  6. Imam Jaafar ibn Muhammad
  7. Imam Musa ibn Jaafar
  8. Imam Ali ibn Musa
  9. Imam Mohammad ibn Ali
  10. Imam Ali ibn Muhammad
  11. Imam Hassan ibn Ali
  12. Imam Mohammad Al-Mahdi
Qiyama-The Day of Judgement: The day of resurrection will be the time when all of humankind will be brought back to their original physical form. There will be a time on earth when everything that God created will cease. Every human being, from the past to the present, will be resurrected and examined by their deeds. This day is called the “Day of Judgment.” The holy Quran states:

O mankind! If you are in doubt concerning the resurrection, then, verily, We created you from dust, then from a drop, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh [both] shaped and shapeless, that We make it clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterwards We bring you forth as infants: then you attain your full strength.

And among you there is he who dies [young] and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life so that, after knowledge, he knows nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water on it, it thrills and swells and puts forth every lovely kind [of growth].

That is because Allah is Reality, and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who has power over all things, and because the Hour [of Judgment] will come concerning which there is no doubt, and because Allah will raise those who are in the graves. (22:5-7)

Regarding the Day of Judgment God states:

Verily We shall give life to the dead, and We record all that they send before and that they leave behind, and We have taken account of all things in a clear Book [of evidence]. (36:12)

And to every soul will be paid in full of its deeds, and He knows best all that they do. (39:70)

The number of verses in the Quran that deal with life after death and the Day of Resurrection is close to 1,200. This is in addition to a vast number of traditions related from the Prophet Muhammad and the twelve imams. This number reveals the importance and significance of life after death and emphasizes that the life of a human being does not end at death, but, in fact, continues afterward towards a new life. The Quran calls this life the “true life”.