What is Imaan in Islam?
Rasoolullah (s.a.w) has stated that Imaan has more than 70 (according to some references it is 77) different branches, of which the most important is the recitation of “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah” and the least one is to remove some obstacle (stone, wood, thorn, etc) from the way; and modesty also is a special requisite of Imaan. “
Faith in Islam
If you are searching for meaning of Imaan or emaan, it can be translated as ‘Faith’ in to the English language. So the Hadeeth above refers to idea that the highest measure of faith for a believer is to utter the ‘Kalma Tayyibah’, which is ‘Laa Ilaaha Illallah’ which translates into English as ‘No one is worthy of worship except Allah’.
Importance of Kalma Tayyibah
Or in simple words it states that a person’s first and most crucial step of entering into the folds of Islam is when they declare that henceforth they will worship ONLY Allah and nothing or nobody else except Allah.
Why is the Declaration of Monotheism So Important?
The mere acknowledgement of Allah as the sole entity worthy of your worship helps everything else fall into place automatically.
When you acknowledge the Sovereignty of Allah, it helps to accept all the other criteria necessary to fulfill your Imaan and it actually facilitates a smooth transition into the folds of Islam.
For instance, when you arrive in a country that is under the rule of a monarch, you are liable to follow the rules of the King from the moment you step into the soil of his kingdom. It is he who makes all the rules and you have no right to question or oppose. If in case you do so, the King’s guards will tie your hands and present you in the King’s court and he will then decide what he wants to do in your case. He may either choose to forgive you or punish you.
Also, the King takes care of his subjects and is responsible for every good / bad that befalls his kingdom.
Islam Imaan and a Lifelong Journey
Faith in Islam is not just about accepting the Monotheism of Allah; that is just the beginning of a life-long journey. I believe that once you set out on your journey by declaring the Kalma Tayyibah, then your life is an endeavor where you must strive to complete the remaining criteria of Islamic faith or Imaan.
Not all of us may be fortunate enough to achieve all 70/ 77 qualifications of Imaan in a lifetime, but there is nothing to lose heart about.
Allah not only rewards your achievements but ALSO your struggles in the path of achieving better Imaan.
We may have to say goodbye to life in this world and encounter death while we are at different stages in our journey of Imaan, but Allah knows best who has struggled to perfect their Imaan. Once you reach the Akhirah or the Hereafter, each of your struggles will be exchanged for bounties beyond your imagination.
So no matter where you are NOW in the journey of faith in Islam, please do not be disheartened, please do not give up hope on watching others who have achieved higher levels of Imaan. Just remember what you read here today and use that knowledge to motivate yourself and work harder and more determinedly towards your Jannah.
May Allah make all of our Imaans stronger and better in a way that pleases Him, aameen!