Up until now, I always believed, without actually being curious about its evidence or source, that the pillars of faith in Islam is six: Having faith (imaan) in Allah, the Day of Resurrection, the Angels, the Scripture, the Prophets, and Qadar (faith, predestination).

Recently, I was listening to a scholar, whom I am familiar with, and he claimed that the sixth—so called—pillar is highly dubious. I found his arguments quite convincing. His argument was that this concept appears in Quran three times, and in each one only five of them are mentioned:

It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allah, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masakin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and gives the Zakat, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al­Muttaqun [2:177, Translation: Mohsin Khan]

To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in your ownselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things. (284) The Messenger [Muhammad SAW] believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers" - and they say, "We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).” [2:284-285, Translation: Mohsin Khan]

O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and the Book (the Quran) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him), and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away. [4:136, Translation: Mohsin Khan]

He further mentioned that, this concept appears in hadith literature as what is known as the Jibreel hadith. But, he says, in Buhari, the concept of qadar is not mentioned; in Muslim, there are three versions, and, again, two of them do not mention qadar.

To make himself clear, the scholar repeatedly emphasized that the concept of qadar is, of course, mentioned the Quran, and one is obliged to believe in it. (That everything happens with the Will of Allah, and Allah knows everything is every sense: past, future, etc.) But, he also mentioned that the concept of Quranic qadar is never in the sense of predestination, but in the sense of “Allah doing things with His boundless wisdom and measure (or, not doing anything randomly).”

[This is a personal note: I think one of the points of the scholar is that is six-package is without evidence: Quran mentions five of them, the texts are not consistent with each other and not consistent with the Quran. And if we are to enumerate the things that we are obliged to have faith in, one can come with several others: The Perfect Attributes of Allah, etc.]

The scholar also quoted from the Quran that predestination was the “excuse” of some of the unbelievers: “We are unbelievers because Allah willed so ...”


Are there, apart from the Jibreel hadith, evidence that the pillars of imaan is six? (Repeat: I am not asking whether we should believe in qadar or not.)

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