What is the difference between Emaan and Islam?
Allah has blessed us with Islam and with emaan. It is a blessing which we often take for granted, especially those who are born Muslims where Islam becomes a habit and you are used to doing it, your family does it and you do not really think about it. It is just a part of your life and mostly cultural.
However, the faith and the blessing of Islam when mentioned separately means the same thing. When they are mentioned together as Islam and emaan, then emaan refers to one of the pillars of Islam but in general, Islam and emaan are synonymous. It is impossible to be a Muslim without emaan, just culturally tied to Islam. We only see him on Fridays or we only see her in Ramadhan – the Friday Muslim, Ramadhan Muslim. We have accepted it today as an expression of Islam but in fact, it's an expression of the weakness of one’s Islam because if Islam is only Ramadhan or Friday, then it means that it is not a living faith but a fossilized, frozen set of cultural habits that we follow as required by the cultural norms. It has nothing to do with real life. We only do it in special occasions, gatherings, marriages, funerals, the birth of children, aqeeqah, etc. That's when we express the cultural feelings, habits and customs.
If Islam remains like that, it's certain that it will not benefit us in the life to come because without true understanding, there cannot be sincerity and without sincerity, the religion that we practice is not what was commanded by Allah. Allah said,
“And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.”
You are only commanded by Allah to worship Him with sincerity in compliance with His commandments. This is the essence. Without sincerity, we talk about an empty shelf, a cloak to take off when it is not convenient and put it on when the occasion requires it. That true Islam commanded by Allah is one which we have to live 24/7. There is no holiday from that Islam.
“So when you have finished [your duties], then stand up [for worship].”
 [Qur’an 98:5]
 [Qur’an 94:7]< Back to Questions