Q 2: What
are the fundamental `Aqidah (articles of faith) a Muslim is required to believe in?
The fundamental `Aqidah include believing in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and believing in Predestination; either good or bad in the same manner clarified in the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This should be accompanied by observance of the five pillars of Islam. These pillars involve testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Salah (Prayer), paying Zakah, observing the Sawm (Fasting) of Ramadan, and performing Hajj to the Sacred House in Makkah. It is also mandatory to believe in Allah as the only One worthy of worship. This is the meaning implied in the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) which states that there is no true deity but Allah. Allah (Exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Hajj:
...and what they (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is Bâtil (falsehood).
It is also a fundamental article of faith to believe in the sublime Names and lofty Attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur'an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). These Names and Attributes should be explained (Part No. 3; Page No. 250) in a manner that befits Allah. Allah (Glorified be He) says:
There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.