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What is Islam and Iman? Is there any difference, Please clarify.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


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Dear brother,

What is Islam and Iman? Is there any difference, Please clarify.

Jazak Allah Khair


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What is Islam Imaan

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 6.300 Narrated by Abu Huraira

One day while Allah's Messenger (saws) was sitting with the people, a man came to him walking and asked, "O Allah's Messenger (saws), what is ‘Imaan’ (faith or belief)?" The Prophet (saws) replied: "’Imaan’ is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Resurrection, and the ‘Qadr’ (divine pre-ordainment)." The man further asked, "O Allah's Messenger (saws), what is ‘Islam’?" The Prophet (saws) replied, "Islam is to worship Allah Alone and not worship anything besides Him, to offer prayers perfectly, to pay the (compulsory) charity, i.e. Zakat, and to fast the month of Ramadan." The man again asked, "O Allah's Messenger (saws), what is ‘Ihsaan’ (i.e. perfection or benevolence)?" The Prophet (saws) said, "’Ihsaan’ is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then (take it for granted that) Allah sees you." The man further asked, "O Allah's Messenger (saws), when will the Hour be established?" The Prophet (saws) replied, "The one who is asked about it does not know more than the questioner does, but I will describe to you its portents. When the lady slave gives birth to her mistress, that will be (one) of its portents; when the bare-footed naked people become the chiefs of the people, that will be (one) of its portents. The Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah. (Then the Prophet (saws) recited the Verse of the Quran 31:34) ‘Verily, the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs." Then the man left. The Prophet (saws) said to his companions, "Call him back to me." They went to call him back but could not see him. The Prophet said, "That was Jibrael (a.s.) who came to teach the people their religion."


Your Question: What is Islam and Iman?

In light of the Guidance of the Glorious Quran and the authentic and established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), here follows the description of ‘Imaan’ and ‘Islam’…..


‘Imaan’ literally means faith and belief; and when used in Islamic terminology ‘Imaan’ would mean sincere and unconditional belief in the below listed six categories or articles of faith:

  1. To sincerely believe in the Absolute and Unique Oneness of Allah Subhanah.
  2. To sincerely believe in ALL the Angels of Allah Subhanah.
  3. To sincerely believe in ALL the appointed Prophets of Allah Subhanah.
  4. To sincerely believe in ALL the revealed Scriptures of Allah Subhanah
  5. To sincerely believe in the concept of the Hereafter: ie. Resurrection, Day of Judgment, Paradise, and Hell.
  6. To believe in the ‘Qadr’ or Divine Pre-Ordainment.


If one disbelieves or doubts regarding one or even a part of one of the above listed six articles of ‘Imaan’ or faith, then one would have deemed to have no faith in the Sight of Allah Subhanah!


‘Islam’ literally means ‘peace through the submission of one’s will to the Will of their Lord Creator’; and is based on the following:

  1. To verbally profess belief that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah Subhanah Alone and that Prophet Mohamed (saws) is His Last and Final Messenger.
  2. To observe the five obligatory prayers at the appointed times of the day and night.
  3. To observe the obligatory fasts of Ramadan.
  4. To pay the obligatory annual ‘zakah’.
  5. To perform the Hajj pilgrimage once in their lifetime.


Thus brother, in conclusion…. ‘Imaan’ is the faith or belief one holds in one’s heart; and ‘Islam’ is the extension in words and deeds which emancipate from one’s ‘Imaan’ or faith held in their hearts.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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