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Dear sir, I have found that Muslims in South Asia, especially Pakistan and Bangladesh but including India, all memorize two phrases called "al-iman al-mujmal" and "al-iman al-mufassal" as well as the "six kalimahs." The first Iman is: امَنْتُ بِاللهِ كَمَا هُوَ بِاَسْمَائِه وَصِفَاتِه وَقَبِلْتُ جَمِيْعَ اَحْكَامِه وَاَرْكَانِه the second is: امَنْتُ بِاللهِ وَمَلئِكَتِه وَكُتُبِه وَرَسُوْلِه وَالْيَوْمِ الْاخِرِ وَالْقَدْرِ خَيْرِه وَشَرِّه مِنَ اللهِ تَعَالى وَالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَالْمَوْتِ and the kalimahs are kalima-e tayyiba, kalima-e shahada, kalima-e radd kufr, kalima-e tamjid, kalima-e tawhid, and a sixth that I forget.

My question is: why are these popular in South Asia only? I know they are fundamental beliefs of Islam (belief in angels, the Prohpet (SAWS), tawhid, etc., but they occur together only in that geographical area. I am researching a book written in the 1500s based on these phrases, and I am wondering if there is a Sufi background for them since the Mughal empire was a time when Sufi groups flourished. Is there any textual evidence for the origin of these? Every Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim I have asked has said that yes, they do memorize them, but that they do not know when that practice started.

Thank you wa jazak allah khayr.

Jahongir M

asked 20116 tursun's gravatar image
edited May 30 '13 at 05:09 Muhammad Abdul Ahad ♦ 1.8k2315 Muhammad%20Abdul%20Ahad's gravatar image

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Your guess was right. Southeast Asia knows Islam trough Sufism and Persian interpretation, as they were cut off from the Sunni style and Persia was the first to colonize them, exporting religion as one of the first things. Sufism is also seen as the driving factor in the popularising of Islam in North Africa, but they were not cut off from the other sects.

answered 614 pargali's gravatar image

Thanks for the answer. So do you think these statements have their origin in Shi`i Islam?

answered 20116 tursun's gravatar image

No the 6 khalimas are from the Sunni sect. The Shii have it different. The Shii khalimas are 5 or 7: Tevhid, Adalet, Nübüvvet, İmamet, Mead, Melaikah, Kitab.

Both Shii and Sunni follow the khalimas of Islam. These are:

1- Khalima-i Shadat 2- Namaz 3- Zakat 4- Fasting 5- Hajj

answered 614 pargali's gravatar image

Allah yusallimu iydayk. Let me see if I understand this. So there are: a) the Kalimas of Islam (Shadat, Namaz, Zakat. Fasting, Hajj) which both Sunnis and Shiis follow; b) the 6 Kalimas of the Sunnis (kalima-e tayyiba, shahadat, tamjid, tawhid, istighfar, and radd kufr); and c) the five or seven kalimas of the Shiis (Tevhid, Adalet, Nübüvvet, İmamet, Mead, Melaikah, Kitab).

Is that right? I thought that the five which both follow are called the Arkan al-Islam (pillars of Islam - Shadat, Namaz, Zakat. Fasting, Hajj).

So do you know how I could find out when and where these distinctions came from, or any suggestions for where to look to understand why in India they use the six kalimas (with the iman mujmal and iman mufassal) which are not used in Iran, Arabia, or Turkestan? Sorry to keep asking but I think it's important to know the origins of the various worldwide practices of Islam to understand them in their historical context.

Jazak allah khayran wa allahu a3lam

answered 20116 tursun's gravatar image

the simplest answer is that the Kalimas were compiled together for children to memorise and learn the basic fundamentals of a Muslim's beliefs.

(Mar 09 '13 at 09:24) believer ♦ believer's gravatar image

If you ask about Origin, then the origin is Hadiths of Holy Prophet (S.A.W). Because These have been compiled from various Sahih Hadiths (S.A.W).

The 6 (six) Kalimas are recorded in various books of knowledge, and are recited (and remembered) by people across the globe. These kalimas were compiled together for children to memorise and learn the basic fundamentals of a Muslim's beliefs. They are not found altogether complete in any one hadith or narration from the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, some of them can be found individually in the narrations.

The Kalimahs came into existence to facilitate the easy memorising and learning of Aqeedah (beliefs).

answered 1.2k16 believer's gravatar image
edited Mar 09 '13 at 09:23

Thank you. Of course the ultimate origin for the concepts of these statements is in the Quran and the Sunnah. I am looking for specific information about when, where, and why these specific six ones are recited together with the iman-e mujmal and iman-e mufassal. They appear to be specific to South Asia, at earliest dated to the reign of Akbar the Mughal, and why that is the case is what I am trying to find out. I mean, does any book of hadith record "amantu bi-l-lahi kama huwa bi-asma'ihi wa-sifaatihi wa qabiltu jamiia ahkaamihi wa-arkaanihi" and describe it as al-imaan mujammalan, paired with "amantu bi-l-laahi wa-malaa'ikatihi wa-kutubihi wa-rusulihi wa-l-yawm al-aakhir khayrihi wa-sharrihi min allahi taaala wa-l-bathi bada al-mawt" described as al-imaan mufassalan? I really think we should try to get to the bottom of this for the sake of better understanding the history of Islam.

Allah yubaarik fiik.

wa allahu a`lam.

answered 20116 tursun's gravatar image

@tursub they are provided in one place but one doesn't have to recite them all together, as I have previously said it is to memorise and learn the basic fundamentals of a Muslim's beliefs. Because these are a part of curriculum in schools and to teach children they are provided in one place.


Iman-e-Mufassil (or the Detailed declaration of faith)

I have faith in Allah and His Angels, His Books and His Messengers, and the Day of Judgement and that all good and evil and fate is from Almighty Allah and it is sure that there will be resurrection after death.


Iman-e-Mujmal (or the Summary declaration of faith)

I have faith in Allah as He is known by His Names and attributes and I accept all His commands.

Actually, Iman-e-Mufassil (or the Detailed declaration of faith) is the part of a verse of Holy Qurán, which is as follows

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. [Holy Qur'an 2:177]

answered 1.2k16 believer's gravatar image

Thank you.

What do you mean by "they are provided in one place"? Does that just mean they are all given together? Also, yes, one doesn't have to recite them together, but people (mostly in south Asia) do, and I am trying to find out why.


answered 20116 tursun's gravatar image

No it doesn't mean they are all given together in any one Hadith (S.A.W) but what I mean by saying provided in one place like in small islamic books (Compiled in one place by Muslims). Usually they are provided in books for Namaz, in Arabic Qaidah and at the end of few islamic books. You can find in the translation of all the six kalimas "There is none worthy of worship except Allah"

Again my answer is same, people recite them one after the other because they are provided in islamic books one after the other i.e. 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. So, people also recite them one after the other. And one thing more they recite all together because they actually memorize them and in Madarsas as well the Qari also teach the children 6 Kalimas and ask the children to memorize them and that's why 6 kalimas are provided in many islamic books.

answered 1.2k16 believer's gravatar image
edited Mar 09 '13 at 12:39

Ok. Thank you for your contributions. If someone has any insight into how the six kalimahs and the two imaans together came to be part of the basic curriculum in South Asia, I would be grateful to hear it. I would also be grateful for any suggestions (books of aqidah, talim, or imaan from Mughal India, etc) of where to look for this information. Even if someone just wants to acknowledge the fact that the reason is unknown, and that that is strange or remarkable, would be appreciated as well. (By "reason" I mean the way they came to exist together, not the fact that they do exist together.) I mean, really, they are just memorized by Muslims in South Asia and the origin of that practice is unknown? Seems odd. -Tursun

answered 20116 tursun's gravatar image
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Asked: Mar 07 '13 at 15:03

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