‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, there is that he said, “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, one day a man came up to us whose clothes were extremely white, whose hair was extremely black, upon whom traces of travelling could not be seen, and whom none of us knew, until he sat down close to the Prophet, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, so that he rested his knees upon his knees and placed his two hands upon his thighs and said, ‘Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, said, ‘Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it.’ He said, ‘You have told the truth,’ and we were amazed at him asking him and [then] telling him that he told the truth. He said, ‘Tell me about iman.’ He said, ‘That you affirm Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you affirm the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’ He said, ‘You have told the truth.’ He said, ‘Tell me about ihsan.’ He said, ‘That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about the Hour.’ He said, ‘The one asked about it knows no more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Then tell me about its tokens.’ He said, ‘That the female slave should give birth to her mistress, and you see poor, naked, barefoot shepherds of sheep and goats competing in making tall buildings.’ He went away, and I remained some time. Then he asked, ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘He was Jibril who came to you to teach you your deen’.” Muslim
In the above hadith the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, defines Al-Islam, i.e. the five pillars, as the outward actions of the limbs, Al-Iman as being associated with belief – the inner actions of the heart, and Al-Ihsan as the highest level to attain.
The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, mentions at the end of this hadith that the deen consists of these three things.
If the Iman is weak it will affect Al-Islam (good deeds/actions). According to al-Imam Abu Hanifa: Even though Al-Iman and Al-Islam are different, Al-Iman necessitates the actions (Al- Islam).
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, explained Islam as the outward actions of the limbs such as words and deeds, the first of which is witnessing [shahadah] that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, which is an action of the tongue.
Then there is establishing the prayer, paying zakat, fasting Ramadan and hajj of the House for whoever is able to take a way to it.
These divide into physical actions such as prayer and fasting, actions involving wealth, which is the production of the zakat, and one compounded of both of them such as the hajj with respect to those who are far away from Makkah [since it involves spending a great deal of money and physical worship]. In the narration of Ibn Hibban he added to that the performance of ‘umrah, ghusl from sexual intercourse or emission, and completing wudu, which draws our attention to the fact that all of the outward duties comprise that which is named Islam. But the five mentioned in the hadith are the principle actions on which Islam is based.
Allah (SWT) has given us this tree that is planted in our hearts, called
“shajarat-ul-Iman” (Tree of Iman).
Allah (swt) describes that tree in Quran:
“Have you not seen how Allah coined a similitude (of parable) a good word
like a good tree, the root of that tree is firmly established in the
ground and the branches reach the heavens.”
At another place in Quran Allah (swt) said:
“(this particular tree by the permission of its Lord), gives fruits (all kinds of fruits) anytime Allah (swt) wants it to give fruits.
Allah (swt) also said:
“Allah coin similitude for the human beings (for you and I), so that perhaps we may reflect (we may think).”
Most Important Tree in this World:
The most important tree in this dunya (world) is the Tree of Iman
The tree that Allah (swt) has planted in our hearts. The tree that we all
should be worrying about day and night. We all must know what that tree
of Iman is made of so that we can take good care of it.
What Does the Tree of Iman Have:
Almost all the trees that Allah (swt) has created/originated, almost all
of them have three very basic things:
1. Root (O’rooq)
The roots of the most important tree on this earth are:
a) Knowledge (I’lm)
b) Certainty (Yaqeen)
The tree of Iman is the basic belief of Islam
“La ilaha illal lah”
So the root for us of the Tree of Iman, is the KNOWLEDGE of the meaning
of “la ilaha illallah”. It covers every single aspect of our life. When
we know that there is no God other then Allah (swt), we totally surrender
to Him alone and we take everything that He gave us through the Quran and
the Sunnah of Rasul of Allah (saw).
The other half of the root of this tree is the certainty, meaning the
certainty of everything what “la ilaha illallah” brings.
When implementing Islam in our lives, or when accepting a matter which we
were not aware of before, we should do it with firm belief and certainty,
as long as it is from the Quran and the authentic Sunnah of Rasul and his
2) Trunk: (Saaq)
The tree of Iman, like the other trees, also has a trunk, which is
Purity of Intention: (al-Ikhlas)
We must have the purity of intention for our tree to be firm and
unshakable and immovable.
3) Branches & Fruits:
This tree should also has branches and fruits. And these are:
a) Righteous deeds
b) Honorable/Noble Character
At several places in Quran, Allah (SWT) has distinguished the people of jannah from the people of Hell as
“Indeed those who believed and did righteous deeds.”
at several places in Quran
Every righteous deed consists of two parts. First part is the purity of intention (for the sake of Allah only!). Second half of the righteous deed is that the action has to be in conformed with Shariah (Quran and Sunnah of Rasul (SAW) and the Companions(May Allah be pleased with them)). If the action is not conformed with Shariah, it is not considered a righteous deed!
When a tree has firm roots and healthy trunk and branches, it automatically produces good fruits. Similarly, when we establish firm roots of Iman in our heart and keep healthy trunk and branches of the tree the fruits will prosper. If we have the knowledge of our deen and certainty of whatever knowledge we have, and we do righteous deeds with pure intentions, we will automatically develop an honorable and noble character.
Things that will Make Our Tree Die:
If we allow kufr to come into our tree, it will destroy the tree.
If we allow shirk to come into our tree, it will also destroy the tree.
If we allow Bid’ah (innovations) of all types to come into our tree, it will demolish our tree. Our tree will become yellow, our tree will become dry and our tree will eventually die!
Iman is a belief in our hearts. It is to have a firm belief of “la illah illallah” in our hearts and all the thing that it brings. Every thing that we find from Quran and Sunnah, we must have a sincere and firmbelief on that without having any doubts.
Iman is a statement by our tongue. We must state “la illaha illallah” by our tongues. Meaning what ever believes we have, we cannot just keep them in our hearts, but we must say them out.
Iman is to carry out our believes and our statements by our bodily limbs.After believing in “la illaha illallah” and stating it, we must imply itin our actions. And the way we imply “la illaha illallah” in our actions is by modifying our every action and deed according to the Quran and Sunnah of Rasul and our pious predecessors.
A general example of the above could be wearing hijab. If one has a firm belief in Allah (swt) and whatever He revealed, will definitely believe that wearing hijab is a command of Allah and it is mandatory. Then only believing is not enough, we must have to admit by stating by our tongues the fact that hijab is necessary and inform other people about it in a nice pleasing way (not in a displeasing or complaining manner). But still our Iman is not completed until we start wearing it ourselves.
To think that Iman is in our hearts only, is one of the tricks of Iblis(satan). We shouldn’t be fooled by the shaytans (satan) of the waswas in (Humans and Jinns) by thinking that Iman is in our chests only and aslong as we have a firm belief, our Iman is completed. Rather we HAVE to show our believes by our statements and by our actions.