Islam consists of Usool-e-Deen (Roots of Faith) which are 5 in number
Tawheed = Monotheism
Adil = Justice
Imamate = Viceregency
Qayamaat = Resurrection
In the Holy Quran (112) we read: Say: He is Allah(swt) the One Allah(swt) the Needless He begets not, nor is He begotten And there are none comparable to Him.
Belief in Allah(swt) and in His absolute perfection is the source of Islam. Allah(swt) was not and cannot have been created Himself, and He created all other things without any model to base His creation on. Allah(swt) always was, always has been and always will be. All else will perish and die whilst Allah(swt) cannot ever die. Everything is perfectly formed and shaped by Allah(swt) with perfect wisdom, and without any raw materials He created out of nothing as only He can. Allah(swt) does not have a body and is a being that can never be seen. To put any kind of limit on Allah(swt) is to think incorrectly of Him. A Section from Sermon 1 of Nahjul Balagha:
Praise is due to Allah (swt) whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and who recognises His like regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognises parts for Him; and who recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and who mistook Him pointed at Him; and who pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and who admitted limitations for Him numbered Him.Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained; and whoever said on what is He held He is not on something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
In the Holy Quran (4:40) we read: Surely Allah(swt) does not do Injustice to the weight of an atom, and if it is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward. Allah(swt) is perfectly just to all creatures and His justice is always temporal with mercy. When we commit sins, Allah(swt) allows us time to repent and to reform our lives away from those sins. In fact the Mercy of Allah(swt) is such, that even if we were drowning in our own sins, then we changed and repented with sincerity, we can still get forgiven Insha’Allah(swt). Some people believe that all the actions that we do are from Allah(swt). If this had been the case then this is a great injustice that, Allah(swt) firstly makes us commit a sin and then punishes us for that same thing! (astaghferullah). This is completely incorrect and is not at all in keeping with the justice of Allah(swt). It may appear sometimes that injustice is being done to us, but this is not the case as it is we who are the cause. In the Holy Quran (9:70) we read: Has not the news of those before them reached them; Of the people of Nuh (a.s.) and Aad and Samood, and the people of Ibraheem (a.s.) and the dwellers of Madyan and the overthrown cities; Their Apostles came to them with clear arguments; So it was not Allah(swt) who should do them Injustice, but they were unjust to themselves.
In the Holy Quran (4:165) we read: We sent Apostles as givers of good news and as warners, so that people should not have a plea against Allah(swt), The appointment to Prophethood is a matter assigned by Allah(swt). He selects from amongst his righteous slaves, the slaves who are perfect in their humanity and can therefore guide others. A Prophet is a link between the people and Allah(swt), for the sake of guiding the people towards the correct way of life. All the Prophets(a.s) were sinless (masoom) and did not ever commit sins. Even before a Prophet had been told to declare his prophethood he did not commit any sins. The Prophet will give the people the system of living their lives in accordance with the wishes of Allah(swt). All the Prophets(a.s) preached correctly and from the same root, the reason for the many different religions that we have in the world is due to the misunderstandings, neglect or open rebellion that the people had towards hearing the truth from the Prophets(a.s). According to the narrations there have been 124,000 Prophets (as).
In the Holy Quran(2:124) we read: “And when his Lord tried Ibraheem(a.s.) with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said ‘Surely I will make you an Imam of men.’ Ibraheem(a.s.) said ‘And of my offspring?’ My covenant does not include the unjust”. As with Prophethood, the station of Imamate is a matter that Allah(swt), and not the people, can choose. In life some people call others to goodness and others call to sin and all that is evil. Therefore the ones chosen by Allah(swt) as Imams always guide to the truth, whereas a person chosen by the people at large may in fact lead to the wrong path. After the death of Prophet Muhammed(saaw), there are 12 Imams(a.s) who are all from Ahlul-Bayt (people of the household of the Prophet(saaw)), please see the page http://www.al-islam.org/library/12-imams ‘The Imams(a.s) as with the Prophets(a.s) are all free from sins(masoom). No new laws are introduced by the Imams(a.s) and nor do they innovate from their own selves. The obedience to the Imam is a direct order from Allah(swt) and therefore one of the roots of the religion. The Holy Quran (4:59) reads: “O you who believe, Obey Allah(swt), Obey the Apostle (saaw) and Obey those in authority from among you.” Another verse (76:24) informs us not to obey sinners, it reads: ” Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord; and obey not from among them a sinner or an ungrateful one”. The above two ayats answer many questions about Imamate.
Qayamaat = Resurrection
In the Holy Quran (1:4) we read: “Master of the day of Judgement” The day of Judgement is the day when all human beings shall be judged according to their deeds. Men and Women will appear on that day as they were on the earth i.e. in the human bodily form. People will either be rewarded or punished as a result of their actions on earth. What is actually going to happen on the Day of Judgement is only known to Allah(swt). The reality for us is that it is a day that will happen for sure, and the best thing we can do is to try and live the best life we can in obedience to Allah(swt) and hence we pray that the day will be a happy one for us. In the Holy Quran (10:109) we read: And follow what is revealed to you and be patient til Allah(swt) should give judgment, and He is the best of the judges.
Islam consists of the Branches of Faith (Furu’ ad-Deen) these are 10 in number
Salaat = Prayers
Sawm = Fasting
Hajj = Pilgrimage to Makka
Zakaat = Islamic Tax
Khums = Islamic Tax
Jihad = Struggle in the way of Allah(swt)
Amr bil-Maroof = To Promote the doing of Good
Nuhay anil-Munkar = To Promote the staying away from Evil
Tawalla = To love the Ahlul-bayt(a.s)
Tabarra = To keep aloof from the enemies of Ahlul-Bayt(a.s)
This saying of Lady Fatimah (as) explains Islam beautifully:
Allah (swt) has made faith [the means] to purify one from polytheism; and [made] prayer to guard one from arrogance; and [prescribed] alms to chasten one’s self and increase one’s sustenance; and [prescribed] the fast to strengthen sincere devotion [to Allah (swt)]; and [prescribed] the pilgrimage to elevate the religion; and [enjoined] justice to harmonize the hearts; and [enjoined] obedience to us(Ahlul bayt) to organize the Islamic community; and our Leadership(Imamah) as a trust to avoid disunity; and [prescribed] struggle to honour Islam and denounce the unbelievers and hypocrites; and the bidding of good and forbidding of evil for the benefit of the people in general; and kindness to parents as a shield against the anger [of Allah (swt)]; and strengthening one’s ties with near kin to prolong [one’s] life;… and the forbiddance of alcoholic drink to guard oneself from filth; and Allah (swt) has prohibited polytheism for the sincere devotion to His Divinity; so [O you who believe!] fear Allah (swt) as you should, and [see that] you die not but as Muslims.