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Differences Between Islam and Iman

Differences Between Islam and Iman



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Published by Saleem Bhimji
The differences between 'Submission' - Islam and 'True Belief' - Imaan.
The differences between 'Submission' - Islam and 'True Belief' - Imaan.

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Published by: Saleem Bhimji on Mar 17, 2008
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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In the name of All°h, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
‘Isl°m’ and ‘´m°n’ from the Point of View of the Qur˜°n
Extracted from the Tafs¢r of S£rah al-`A•r [Volume 3 ] Written ByAyatull°h al-`U®m° al-Ø°jj ash-Shaykh Ya`sub ad-D¢n Rastg°r J£eb°r¢Translated (with additions) by Saleem Bhimji – www.al-mubin.org – al-mubin@al-mubin.org
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The Desert `Arabs (come to you O’ Mu¶ammad) and say ‘We have true belief!’ Say to them (O’Mu¶ammad) that, ’You are not true believers, rather (say that) you have submitted (to All°h) since true faithhas not yet entered into your hearts. However if you were to obey All°h and His Messenger (Mu¶ammad)then nothing would be reduced from your good deeds. Surely All°h is the all-Forgiving, all-Merciful.’Without doubt the true believers are only those who have faith in All°h and His Messenger (Mu¶ammad)and then do not change their belief into doubt and (the believers are those) who struggle with their wealthand their lives in the way of All°h. Surely it is these people alone who are the truthful ones.
efore we can discuss the differences between Isl°m and ´m°n or being a Muslim and being a Mo’min, we mustfirst define these two words in the Isl°mic context so as to get a better picture of our discussion and fromthere, look at the differences that have been mentioned in both the Qur˜°n – the Divine source of wisdom fromAll°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) to humanity and the a¶°d¢th – the noble words and deeds of the Prophet of Isl°m Mu¶ammad (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family) and his twelve immediate successors who wereexpressly appointed by him through the commandment of All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him) in many a¶°d¢th.
Isl°m = Submission in the presence of All°h (Glorified and Exalted is He). Isl°m is the “simple” verbaldeclaration that is accomplished by the Shahadatain
(I bear witness that there is no creature or entity worthy of worship except for All°h and I bear witness that Mu¶ammad is His slave and messenger) 
.By a personsaying these two short lines, his entire presence is made pure and any relationship or formal agreement thatis permitted between two people who are Muslims (such as marriage, eating the meat slaughtered by such aperson, etc…) are all made lawful for other Muslims.
´m°n = Voluntary submission and complete obedience to All°h (Glorified and Exalted is He) and thosethings which are connected to Him such as the prophetic mission of the Prophet, the Day of Judgment, theHeavenly books and other (such) things. Not only does the person testify to the oneness of All°h (Glory and
Greatness be to Him) and the prophethood of His final emissary, Mu¶ammad ibn `Abdull°h (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family) – rather, he does this out of his own free will and not through any force orcoercion. In addition, he also acts according to all of the injunctions that All°h (Glory and Greatness be toHim) has commanded him to observe – whether he likes them or not. This, in a nutshell, is the definition of the true believer – a Mo’min.It should be noted that although there is a specific meaning and definition for both Isl°m and ´m°n, however theyalso have a general meaning and thus, we must keep this in mind before we proceed to mention the differences between these two levels.Sometimes these words can and are used interchangeably both in the Qur˜°n and the noble a¶°d¢th and even in dayto day talk and this is permissible, however it should be noted that they also have their own specific meaning andthis should not be confused with the common day to day meaning that is in place.It should also be noted that the differences and contrasts between the Muslim and Mo˜min that we discuss here arenot limited to these eighteen examples – there are much more than these however to keep this discussion brief and toopen the hearts of the readers to do more research on this topic, we suffice with the points mentioned below.
Eighteen Differences Between Isl°m and ´m°n
The first difference between Isl°m and ´m°n is that “Isl°m” is simply the “outer” submission and does notnecessarily entail action (according to ones’ beliefs) nor having a firm conviction deep down inside the heart(no internal submission). By this, we mean that a person who is a Muslim openly submits to the will of All°h (Gloryand Greatness be to Him), however that is all – nothing more – his heart is still empty of true submission to the Oneand he may simply be accepting “Isl°m” for convenience or for material benefit in this world. However “´m°n”covers both the internal and external submission to all the commandments of All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him)through the heart, tongue and actions that a person performs he shows that he has truly submitted to All°h (Gloryand Greatness be to Him).In a Øad¢th narrated from the Prophet of All°h (Glory and Greatness be to Him), he has said that:
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“Al-Isl°m is the apparent (declaration) and al-Im°n is the hidden (belief).” 
As a continuation of the first difference, we see that the contrast between Isl°m and ´m°n is that “Isl°m” isaccomplished by saying the Shah°data¢n. By a person saying,
“I bear witness that there is no creature or entity worthy of worship except for All°h and I bear witness that Mu¶ammad is the (final) Messenger of All°h.” 
 However “´m°n”, in addition to the testimony to the Oneness of All°h and the Propethood of Mu¶ammad ibn`Abdull°h (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family) also entails true belief in the heart and action
according to belief and accepting and following the Wil°yah of the twelve immediate and direct successors of the ProphetMu¶ammad (blessings of All°h be upon him and his family) which he himself named on many occasions in manya¶°d¢th that have come to us.In a Øad¢th narrated from either Im°m Mu¶ammad ibn `Al¢ al-B°qir (prayers be upon him) or Im°m Ja`far ibnMu¶ammad as-Æ°diq (prayers be upon him) it is narrated that:
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“´m°n is the confession (by the tongue) and acting (according to one’s responsibility) and Isl°m is confession (by the tongue) without acting.” 
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“´m°n (means) to recognize and believe in this issue (Wil°yah of us, the Ahl al-Ba¢t) and if he testifies to this and does not recognize this issue (the Wil°yah of the Ahl al-Ba¢t), then he is a Muslim and he is misguided.” 
The third difference between Isl°m and ´m°n is that “Isl°m” is related to actions between the creation andother human beings such as marriage, animals that are slaughtered for food, etc… meaning that through
Bi¶°r al-Anw°r, Volume 68, Page 246
Us£l al-K°f¢, Volume 2, Page 24

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