Question: What Are The Main Beliefs of Muslims?
The following sections cover some of the most important beliefs of the Islamic faith.
Monotheism: The main message of Islam is monotheism. Belief in monotheism is the cornerstone of the Islamic faith. Muslims believe that all the Prophets sent by God to humanity shared the same central message, and that was the message of monotheism. Monotheism is a term used to refer to the belief in the existence of only one diety (God). Muslims believe that there is only one God who created the universe and everything within it. This one God created the heavens, the earth, the stars, the mountains, the oceans, humans, animals, plants and everything else in existence. Muslims also believe that this one God sustains us by His mercy by continuing to bless us with the essentials of life.
For example, we plant seeds and water them and simply watch the plants as they grow. When the time comes, we harvest the crops and eat from them. Who created these seeds for us? How do they continue to bloom year after year providing us with the food we need to survive? Who created the process of growth for these seeds that allow them to work the way they do? Who put in place the laws of nature that make all of this possible? It is God, the one God who is sustaining us by His mercy. If all seeds stop growing one day, would humans be able to manufacture a seed from nothing and make it grow and provide food? This is not possible. Humans are able to improve seeds, cross breed plants and invent ways to make plants grow faster, but we cannot create anything new from nothingness. We work from the materials which God provided for us. Without these basic materials, we would not be able to invent, create or manufacture anything.
Muslims believe that since there is only one God who created us and who continues to sustain us, then it follows logically that only this one God is worthy of worship. If we want to thank someone for the blessings we have, it should be this one God. If we want to ask someone for more blessings, it should be this one God. Only this one God is able to truly help or harm us. Therefore, we must dedicate our true and pure love only to this one God, and we must reserve our true fear only of this one God. Of course, we are asked to love our family, friends and all humans. However, our love for God should be at a higher level, since it is God who created our family, friends and everyone else around us. Similarly, since only God can truely harm us, then we should only fear God and not fear anyone or anything else more than we fear God. Of course, it is natural for a human to fear fire, in fact this fear is a blessing from God. God created this fear in us to protect us, because without it many humans would stumble upon fire and burn themselves without realizing what they are doing. However, our fear of God should be a higher level since God not only controls our life in this world, but He will judge us in the afterlife. Therefore, Muslims believe that all acts of worship should be directed to the one God.
Muslims also believe that all the best qualities and attributes are reserved for God. For example, God is the most merciful. A human being may be merciful, but the mercy of God is many times greater. The mercy of God is the most perfect and complete mercy. The same applies to any other good quality or attribute. God is the most just, most powerful, most wise, most honest and so on.
Belief in the Angels: Muslims believe that just as God created human beings, He has also created angels. However, humans were given free will, whereas angels are always obediet to the will of God. Angels are not able to disobey God, and they carry out all the tasks entrusted to them by God. Muslims do not delve into useless details of how angels were created or where and how they exist. This is knowledge that is beyond our understanding as human beings. We were created within this universe, and everything we observe around us is a creation of God. God created the laws of physics that govern our existence. Even though these laws apply to the entire universe as we know it, they do not apply to God because He is the one who created them in the first place. It is impossible for us to understand something that falls outside the normal laws of physics that we know. All knowledge we have of angels was revealed to us by God through the Prophets and Messengers He sent to humanity. For example, we have been told that angels were created before humans, and that they were created from light. We have also been told about specific angels and their tasks. For example, the angel Gabriel is responsible for transmitting the revelations from God to the Prophets and Messengers.
Belief in the Prophets and Messengers: Muslims believe that God created humans and that He wanted us to be able to live a good life. He does not want us to be misguided or to live miserable lives. He also does not want us to harm other humans or to do other morally evil actions. Therefore, God will hold every human being accountable for every action they have done in their life. In order to teach humanity what is right and what is wrong, God has sent Prophets and Messengers to guide us. These Prophets and Messengers are human beings just like the rest of us. But they were selected to take on the role of receiving guidance and revelations from God through the angel Gabriel and to spread the message among the rest of humanity.
So what is the difference between a Prophet and a Messenger? Messengers are those individuals to whom God sent new revelations constituting a new message for humanity. For example, Moses was a Messenger whose message was the Torah. Jesus was a Messenger whose message was the Bible. Mohammad was a Messenger whose message was the Quran. On the other hand, Prophets were assigned the task of calling people to an existing message. For example, Prophets David and Solomon did not come with a new message, but were calling their people to abide by the existing message of their people.
As you could probably already tell from the previous paragraph, Muslims do believe in Moses, Jesus and many of the same Prophets mentioned in the Bible. However, Muslims believe that all of these Prophets, including Jesus, were normal human beings. Jesus was not the son of God, he was simply a Messenger from God. God gave many of the Prophets and Messengers signs to prove to their people that they are truly Prophets. For example, Jesus was given the ability to heal the sick and even to revive the dead by the will of God. Muslims believe that Jesus never claimed to be a God or the son of God.
Belief in the Holy Books: As mentioned in the previous section on Prophets and Messengers, Muslims believe that God revealed certain messages to guide humanity and to teach them right from wrong. The goal of all of these messages was to guide people to worship God only, and to liberate humanity from the oppression of worshipping false Gods such as idols or kings. Also, the messages were sent to help humans establish a set of laws that would enable them to minimize injustice and evil actions and to make them live happy and fruitful lives. These messages are known as the Holy Books. They include the Torah, Bible and the Quran.
Belief in the Day of Judgement: Muslims believe that God will hold every human being accountable for each of their actions no matter how small. Since God is the most just, He will not allow someone who lived their entire life stealing, cheating and hurting others to escape with no punishment. God is able to punish these people in their life here on earth, and can punish them even more severely on the Day of Judgement. Also, God will reward those who were patient and who prevented themselves from hurting others for their own personal gain. Although they could have joined others in stealing and cheating to increase their wealth and material possessions during their life, they instead were kind to others and volunteered to help the less fortunate. How can these people and the first group have the same fate in the end? Indeed, when the time comes, the world will end and the Day of Judgement will arrive. Every human being will be held accountable for every action they did, even if it is an atom weight of goodness or evil, they will be rewarded or punished for it.
Belief in Predestination: Muslims believe that God is all knowing. He knows what actions we will take before we take them. In fact, God knew before we were created how we will live our lives and every action that we will do. This does not mean that God controls us. Humans were given free will and they have full control over their actions. However, God simply knows all events that have occured in the past or will occur in the future. As mentioned earlier, the laws of physics, and the laws of space and time as we know them do not apply to God. In fact, God created those laws. Therefore, even though it is very difficult for us to understand, God is all knowing. Even though we have free will, God is aware of what we will do. Muslims believe that if God wanted to stop something from happening or force something to happen, he is certainly able to do so. Therefore, everything that happens occurs because God has allowed it to happen.
Because this is a difficult concept to deal with, many people have gone astray by going to one of two extremes. The first extreme is to believe that God actually has control over the actions of every person and that people have no control over what they do. This reduces humans to simply being live pieces in a game of chess with no control over their fate. Some people use this logic to justify why they are committing sins or doing evil acts. They say that it is God who predestined them to be this way and it is out of their control. This is clearly illogical. If this was true, then why would God hold us accountable for our actions? If we have no control over our actions, it would indeed be very unfair for us to be held accountable for them.
The other extreme is to believe that God is not aware of our actions before they occur. Because they were not able to understand the concept of the ability of God to know all events, past and future, this group disbelieved in the attribute of God that he is all knowing. This is also a false and illogical argument. The Muslim belief falls in between these two extremes. God knows all our actions before they occur, but we are free to do any action we want to do.
The preceding paragraphs provide a brief summary of the main beliefs of Muslims.