The foundations of religion form the basis from which everything else follows. The tenets of Shi’a Islam can be broken down into two categories:
1. The Principles of Religion (Usul al-Din) which outline the essential beliefs in accordance with the Qur’an and the teachings of the Twelve Imams
2. The Branches of Religion (Furoo al-Din) which cover acts of worship and actions required by all believers.
The Principles of the Religion according to Twelver Shi’a Islam are:
- Belief in Oneness and Unity of God: Al-Tawhid
- Belief in Divine Justice: Al-Adl
- Belief in Prophethood: Al-Nubuwah
- Belief in Imams: Al-Imamah
- Belief in Day of Resurrection: Al-Ma’ad
The Oneness and Unity of God: Our belief is that God is the Creator of the universe; He is One and does not have partners.
Divine Justice: Our belief is that God does not oppress anybody and He is just.
Prophethood: Our belief is that God sent messengers and prophets to guide humankind to the right path and that the last prophet sent to mankind was Prophet Muhammad (s.a,w).
Imamate: The Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w) was commanded by God to appoint twelve successors, or Imams, after him. The Imams are are Infallible (like the Prophet) i.e. they do not make errors.
The Imams are:
- Imam Ali (a.s)
- Imam Hasan (a.s)
- Imam Husayn (a.s)
- Imam Ali Zayn Al-Abidin (a.s)
- Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (a.s)
- Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq (a.s)
- Imam Musa Al-Kadhim (a.s)
- Imam Ali Al-Ridha (a.s)
- Imam Muhammad Al-Jawad (also al-Taqi) (a.s)
10. Imam Ali Al-Hadi (also Al-Naqi) (a.s)
11. Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a.s)
12. Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi (a.s). Imam Al-Mahdi (a.s) is the living but concealed Imam.
Day of Resurrection: Our belief is that there will be a day of judgement where all will be judged according to their actions and this will determine who enters heaven and who goes to hell.