Six articles of faith (Sunni Islam)

A day in the life of Ezzy, a basketball player and Sunni Muslim

In Sunni Islam, there are six main articles of faith. These are based on statements in the Qur’an:

Oh you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.Surah 4:136
Eduqas-specific spelling in a visualisation of the six articles of Sunni Islam.
  1. Belief in one God (Tawhid) This means having absolute faith in the oneness of God. Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. It has no plural in Arabic, which shows that there is only one God. Muslims believe that no being is like Allah.
  2. Belief in angels (malaikah) Muslims believe that God’s greatness means he cannot communicate directly with humans. Instead, God passed messages, called risalah, to his prophets via the angels, called malaikah, who were his first creation and who always obey him.
  3. Belief in holy books (kutub) The holy books of Islam should be respected. This is especially true of the Qur’an, which is the unchanged word of Allah, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
  4. Belief in the prophets (nubuwwah) Allah is believed to have communicated with the prophets, called nubuwwah, through the angels. Muslims believe the prophets should be respected but never worshipped.
  5. Belief in the Day of Judgement and the afterlife (Akhirah) Muslims believe that life on Earth is a test and that, after they die, they will be judged by God and sent to either Paradise or Hell.
  6. Belief in predestination (Al-Qadr) This means that everything in the universe follows Allah’s masterplan – Muslims believe that Allah has decided everything that happens. This shows the importance of God’s will: In all things the master-planning is God’s (Surah 13:42). The Prophet Muhammad also told his followers: There is not one amongst you who has not been allotted his seat in Paradise or Hell (Sahih Muslim, Book 33, Hadith 6400). Muslims take this as further proof that every person’s life is already mapped out in Allah’s plan.

What is the fourth article of faith in Sunni Islam?

Nubuwwah is the fourth article of faith in Sunni Islam. It is the belief that God chose special people, called prophets, to communicate messages to humankind.