What Is Iman?


Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 17th letter of the third volume of his Maktubat:

Iman (faith) is to believe through the heart the things that are known as being of the religion, and to express one's iman with one's tongue. The things that must be believed in are:

To believe in the existence of Allahu ta'ala, His oneness, His books and pages, and His prophets and angels. To believe in the Hashr (Allahu ta'ala's causing people to rise and assemble for judgement) and Nashr (dispersal after judgement) of the next world, the eternal blessings in Paradise, the eternal torments in Hell, the cracking of the skies, the dispersing of the stars, and the breaking of the earth into pieces.

To believe that it is fard to perform the prayer of salat [2] five times daily, to believe in the numbers of rak'ats in these prayers, to believe that it is fard (obligatory) to give the zakat [3] of one's property, to fast everyday in the month of Ramadan and, for those who qualify, to go to the city of Mecca and perform the hajj [4].

It is necessary to believe that it is haram (prohibited) to drink wine, to eat pork, to kill a person unjustly, to disobey one's parents, to steal, to commit adultery, to appropriate an orphan's property, to charge or pay interest when lending or borrowing money, [for women to go out without covering themselves properly, and to gamble].

If a person with iman [5] commits a grave sin, his iman does not go away, nor does he become a kafir (disbeliever). He, who says halal (permissible) about a sin, that is, about a haram, becomes a kafir. He who commits a haram becomes a fasiq (sinner). One should say, "I am certainly a Mu'min." One should say that one has iman. One should not say inshaallah (if Allah wills) while saying that one is a Believer. It may imply doubt. Yes, it may be permissible to say inshaallah about one's last breath, yet it is better not to say so.

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] salat: i) prayer; (with salam)= salawat; ii) ritual prayer of at least two rak'as; "namaz", in Persian; salat janaza: funeral prayer.
[3] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser. See chapter 1 in Endless Bliss V.
[4] hajj: fard pilgrimage to Mecca.
[5] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.