The true, faithful Muslim believes in all the messengers of Allah without any discrimination among them. Every nation had a warner or messenger from Allah. These messengers were great teachers of the good and true champions of the right. They were chosen by Allah to teach mankind and deliver His Divine message. They were sent at different times of history and every known nation had one messenger or more. During certain periods two or more messengers were sent by Allah at the same time to the same nation. The Holy Qur’an mention the names of twenty five of them, and the Muslim believes in them all and accepts them as authorized messengers of Allah. They were, with the exception of Muhammad [s], known as “national” or local messengers. But their message, their religion, was basically the same and was called ISLAM, because it came from One and the Same Source, namely, Allah, to serve one and the same purpose, and that is to guide humanity to the Straight Path of Allah. All the messengers with no exception whatsoever were mortals, human beings, endowed with Divine revelations and appointed by Allah to perform certain tasks. Among them Muhammad [s] stands as the Last Messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of prophethood. This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor is it just a convenient belief. Like all the other Islamic beliefs, it is an authentic and logical truth.
The Qur’an commands the Muslims thus: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes; and that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and that which was given to all prophets from their Lord. We make no discrimination between one and another of them, and we bow to Allah” (2:136, cf. 3:84; 4:163- 165; 6:84-87).
The Muslim believes in the Last Day of Judgement. This world will come to an end some day, and the dead will rise to stand for their final and fair trial. Everything we do in this world, every intention we have, every move we make, every thought we entertain, and every word we say, all are counted and kept in accurate records. On the Day of Judgement they will be brought up. People with good records will be generously rewarded and warmly welcomed to the Heaven of Allah, and those with bad records will be punished and cast into Hell. The real nature of Heaven and Hell and the exact description of them are known to Allah only. There are descriptions of Heaven and Hell in the Qur’an and the Traditions of Muhammad [s] but they should not be taken literally. In Heaven, said Muhammad [s], there are things which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no mind has ever conceived. However, the Muslim believes that there definitely will be compensation and reward for the good deeds, and punishment for the evil ones. That is the Day of Justice and final settlement of all accounts. If some people think that they are shrewd enough and can get away with their wrong doings, just as they sometimes escape the penalty of the mundane laws, they are wrong; they will not be able to do so on the Day of Judgement. They will be caught right on the spot defenceless, without any lawyer or counsel to stand in their behalf.
All their deeds are visible to Allah and counted by His agents. Also, if some pious people do good deeds to please Allah and seem to get no appreciation or acknowledgement in this temporary world, they will eventually receive full compensation and be widely acknowledged on That Day. Absolute Justice will be done to all. Belief in the Day of Judgement is the final relieving answer to many complicated problems of our world. There are people who commit sins, neglect Allah and indulge in immoral activities, yet they seem to be “ superficially” successful in business and prosperous in life. And there are virtuous and Allah-minded people, yet they seem to be getting less rewards for their sincere efforts and more suffering in the present world. This is puzzling and incompatible with the Justice of Allah. If the guilty people can escape the mundane law unharmed and, in addition, be more prosperous, what is, then, left for the virtuous people? What will promote the cause of morality and goodness? There must be some way to reward goodness and arrest evil. If this is not done here on this earth – and we know that it is not done regularly or immediately – it has to be done some day, and that is the Day of Judgement. This is not to condone injustice or tolerate mischief in this world. It is not to sedate the deprived or comfort their exploiters. Rather, it is to warn the deviants from the Right Path and remind them that the Justice of Allah shall run its full course sooner or later. The Muslim believes in the timeless knowledge of Allah and in His power to plan and execute His plans. Allah is not indifferent to this world nor is He neutral to it. His knowledge and power are in action at all times to keep order in His vast domain and maintain full command over His creation. He is Wise and Loving, and whatever He does must have a good motive and a meaningful purpose. If this is established in our minds, we should accept with good Faith all that He does, although we may fail to understand it fully, or even think it is bad. We should have strong Faith in Him and accept whatever He does because our knowledge is limited and our thinking is based on individual or personal considerations, whereas His knowledge is limitless and He plans on a universal basis. This does not in any way make man fatalist or helpless. It simply draws the demarcation line between what is Allah’ s concern and what is man’ s responsibility.
Because we are by nature finite and limited, we have a finite and limited degree of power and freedom. We cannot do everything, and He graciously holds us responsible only for the things we do. The things which we cannot do, or things which He Himself does, are not in the realm of our responsibility. He is Just and has given us limited power to match our finite nature and limited responsibility. On the other hand, the timeless knowledge and power of Allah to execute His plans do not prevent us from making our own plans in our own limited sphere of power. On the contrary, He exhorts us to think, to plan and to make sound choices, but if things do not happen the way we wanted or planned them, we should not lose Faith or surrender ourselves to mental strains and shattering worries. We should try again and again, and if the results are not satisfactory, then we know that we have tried our best and cannot be held responsible for the results, because what is beyond our capacity and responsibility is the affair of Allah alone. Muslims call this article of Faith the belief in ‘Qadaa’ and ‘Qadar’ , which simply means, in other words, that the Timeless Knowledge of Allah anticipates events, and that events take place according to the exact knowledge of Allah (Qur’ an 18:29; 41:46; 53:33-62; 54:49; 65:3; 76:30-31).