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The only thing they can be said to agree on is the relevance of the concept of Tawhid to their worldview. That is, Tawhid is one of the primary concerns in their worldview. The concept of Tawhid, no matter exactly how the concept may be understood, holds an important place in their worldview.

No matter how one interprets Tawhid, the concept of Tawhid is a response to the concerns arising from the language of Islam, and its interpretation is formulated in the language of Islam, the same language that is shared by all muslims, even if they use this language to interpret Tawhid in diagonally opposite ways.

Thus, what binds muslims together is not any ideology or interpretation of Islam that they share, but the language in which those ideologies are formulated. That is, muslim ummah is less like a community of liberals, a community with shared ideals of liberty and equality, and more analogous to academia, a community which may not agree on any single principle, but nevertheless constitutes a single community because it uses the same language or method of inquiry to delineate its positions.

To describe Avicenna merely as a philosopher without the prefix of Islamic conceals an important attribute of his philosophy, which is the language of his philosophy that consists of concepts, categories, and questions that are derived from Islamic scriptures. It is in this sense that Maimonides may be considered an Islamic philosopher, even though he was a Jew, as he engages with the concerns arising from Islamic scriptures and uses the concepts and categories derived from these scriptures.

When the ummah is conceived in this way — a community with a shared language — one wonders why should such an ummah lead to a sense of solidarity which it does, as is often exemplified in acts of political solidarity, for example. Such solidarity can be argued to arise for a number of reasons. First, it is unsurprising that a shared language of Islam should lead to a sense of solidarity, just as a shared natural language English, Urdu, Arabic , or a shared a language of inquiry scientific, philosophical, etcetera leads to a sense of solidarity and community.

Second, belief in a shared language can lead to shared goals, even if implicit. Believing in a language implies that one believes that the concepts and categories of that language are capable of formulating and answering the questions needed to discover some ultimate truths that one seeks otherwise why subscribe to such a language? For example, a belief in the language of Art and Mathematics pre-supposes a belief in the ability of our aesthetical and logical faculties, respectively, to discover and reveal truth.

It is also plausible that the language of Islam and the language of similarly broad worldviews may lead to a stronger sense of solidarity than other languages, say Arabic, due to the nature of the language. Key beliefs about God include:. Muslims believe that this life is merely preparation for the eternal life or Akhirah. Every act of good and bad that a Muslim does is recorded by Allah, so they must act in a way that benefits them in Akhirah.

Additional information

The nature of God The Qur'an For Muslims, the Qur'an is the most sacred text and contains ultimate guidance for all humankind. The foundation of the holy religion of Islam is built upon the belief in monotheism, to the extent that without its acceptance, one cannot be called Muslim at all. This fundamental axiom is basically defined as the fact that God exists and that He is the only one; in other words, one must not only testify to the existence of a creator, a divine source, and a higher power, but also to His absolute uniqueness and singularity.

The concept of a divine source is philosophical and abstract; therefore we cannot feel or imagine it tangibly and vividly, however, our mind can understand such concepts by a kind of rational investigation and scrutiny in a general way. According to Islamic teaching, all of us have some desires and characteristics with which we were born and that we unconsciously seek in our lives. Many psychologists have claimed the existence of a hidden self, called the unconscious, which contains the innate and unknown desires of human beings; the desires that control their actions and influence their decisions.

The force in the search of God, also, can be traced in this part of the human mind. If we consider the universe as an enormous system with complex functions and a web of relations, we could easily notice its sophisticated order and discipline. Every element in this world is built with a kind of inner structure that enables it to do its job on a regular basis. For sure, this regularity has not happened accidentally. Based on this argument, this world and all other creatures had not existed before and came to be at a specific point in time. Consequently, since they have occurred and started to exist, they need a creator for their occurrence.

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When we look around, we find ourselves surrounded by things whose existence is depended on something else, they go through changes — for better or worse-, and they are described concerning other things — i. We may first try to justify each incident by another one; however, ultimately we will realize that the summit of this chain must be a higher force who is unique and untainted by any flaw and inconsistency. Furthermore, everything in this universe —including the universe itself- has initiated and will be terminated at a specific time; in other words, nothing in this world is infinite, and everything is born from its own kind — e.

Thus the universe cannot be created spontaneously and out of itself or from a pile of dust, an animal or a tree, since the origin of every living creature is always another living creature. If we suppose that every kind of creature gains its existence from single or multiple origins, or consider the initial origin of them an ameba, then again we are faced with this question that how this ameba has been created. Here we arrive at this conclusion that there is a single, omnipotent, divine source who has caused the life on earth [i].

Based on this argument, the creatures in this world, after being perfectly created, are guided by a mysterious insight and intelligent force through their course of actions. However, the path that they follow in their deeds is the result of an external cause, rather than their own built-in features. This sophisticated outer force is no one other than God, the one and only. This principle states that there is a cause for everything. In other words, every single thing that happens and every single effect, or existence, has a cause.

But there must be a start to this series of events. It is believed that the beginning of this chain is a power, which is beyond all other powers and can cause everything to exist.

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This kind of reasoning, which is totally rational and philosophical, is based on the study of the existence and the existent. First of all, as we said before, the creator of this world should be infinite and eternal. Accordingly, we cannot consider a like for an infinite being, since He is dominant over everything and no time or place is empty of Him.

Furthermore, plurality necessitates a difference; that is two beings are separate if one has something that the other lacks, so they cannot be considered perfect. Secondly, since God is an absolute and pure being, then we cannot find any incongruity in Him, and thus there is no need for another being to make amends for His inconsistencies.

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Consequently, the existence of a third being becomes crucial, and this process goes on endlessly. Finally, the unity of the universe and its oneness and the fact that there exists no inconsistency and malfunction in the elements of this world, lead us to look for a single and unique being as its creator. To conclude, monotheism Tawhid as the main entry to the religion of Islam which needs to be understood rationally and then fully accepted, rejects any dualistic, Trinitarian or polytheistic beliefs.

This axiom is not only the cornerstone of the other Islamic axioms but also a necessity for practicing the practical principles of the religion. Even though individual investigation and understanding will bring faith in monotheism, this belief will not be complete without total acceptance of prophethood Nubuwwah , and this takes us to the next axiom.

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There are two sorts of existent entities: those that exist but could have failed to exist, and those that could not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are contingent beings; entities of the second sort are necessary beings [1]. So stepping into the stage of this faith depends on the submission that is gained through preliminary investigation of its axioms.

Additionally, faith is not accepted in Islam unless these doctrines are freely investigated and understood by every individual either commonsensically or intellectually, so Imitation is not permitted at this stage. Consequently, the basic principles or doctrines of Islam are defined as axioms that have to be testified on the verge of converting to Islam. One might wonder what these axioms are. It declares the unity and uniqueness of God as the only creator and sustainer of the universe.

The realization of this concept the existence and oneness of God is before the other two prophethood and afterlife , that is its acceptance leads to the affirmation of them rationally. Prophethood is God's blessing and favor that is bestowed on an individual chosen by Him to convey His message.

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Thus the revealed message is always the same in essence and purpose, and it cannot deviate from prior or future revelations. Prophets are needed for conveying God's instructions and guidance to humankind. Without this knowledge, we would be unable to answer the fundamental questions of our existence either here in this world or the world that is to come. Information about the afterlife, as the third fundamental axiom in Islamic teaching, is provided by the prophets whose truth we have testified.

They have told us to have faith in the continued existence of human being after death and that there will be a day of judgment when all humans will be held accountable for their actions and divided between the eternal destinations of Paradise and Hell. Imams are religious experts who are consciously and willingly infallible and perfect leaders who provide believers with Islamic teachings and laws to help them reach prosperity and perfection.

The followings are the differences between Imams and prophets :. In other words, prophets show us the right way towards the divine source, i. However, whatever roles the prophets had, have been all transferred to Imams. As mentioned above, not every prophet was Imam, nor did every one of them have the opportunity to expand and interpret the commandments they received from God.

The Trinity Defined

What the Quran says about Abraham is that he was tried by God with certain commandments which he fulfilled His final test was to slay his son - Ishmael- who was born to him when he had reached his old age.