It is a common attitude among the Muslims that they believe themselves to be Muslims and having faith/Emaan, but still they consider un-islamic systems (under which they are living their collective life) as having no bearing on their Emaan/Islam. Let us have a critical look into this attitude.
First, we look into relation between “Emaan” and Islam. “Emaan” is to believe in Islam, and Islam is to practice “Emaan”. Islam and “Emaan” in terms of Quran are two sides of the same coin. “Deen” is nothing more than practicing certain beliefs. Islam is reflection of “Emaan”. When belief aspect of “Deen” needs to be emphasized, word “Emaan” is used; when deeds aspect of “Deen” requires to be stressed upon, word “Islam” is used. That is why both actions and beliefs are enjoined in Quran to people having faith; whenever these people having faith are addressed, duties are assigned to them both in the form of actions and beliefs. It means “ahl-e-emaan” are supposed to perform enjoined actions and entertain enjoined beliefs simultaneously in order to be labeled as “ahl-e-emaan”. According to the Holy Messenger (saw), “Emaan” enhances with good deeds, and decreases with bad deeds; this saying also manifests the fact that “Emaan” is to believe in Islam, and Islam is to practice “Emaan”; Islam is “Emaan” in the form of actions. In other words, “Emaan” is included in Isalm; and Islam is included in “Emaan.”. However, on the basis of Hujurat-14, Islam and “Emaan” have been described by some scholars as different things. This verse (Hujurat-14) states “The bedouins say, "We have believed." Say, "You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], 'We have submitted,' for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." The scholars who describe Islam and “Emaan” as different things on the basis of this verse, they give to word “aslamou” the meaning of “embracing Islam”. But actually word “aslamou” in this ayah means “ to be submissive ( to Islamic state); it does not mean “embracing Islam”. It means in this ayah mention has not been made about the Muslims, rather it is about rural Arabs which had not embraced Islam by that time, but which had become subservient to Islamic state. Hence, we can conclude that, for a Muslim, Islam and “Emaan” are not exclusively different things rather they are included into one another in Quranic terminology. However if a non-Muslim adopts Islamic system, he can do it without embracing 'Eman'; but in order to become a Muslim, a person has to adopt both 'Eman' and Islam as two things included into one another. But it does not mean every Muslim has equal level of 'Eman' in his/her Islam; every Muslim has distinct 'Eman' which is different from that of other Muslims.
After ascertaining that Islam and “Emaan” are included into one another, we now dwell on what Islam or “Emaan” is. Briefly speaking, Islam is what has been ordained to do or not to do in the Quran. Our Nabi (saw) has stated five organs of Islam - to witness that there is no worthy of being worshipped except Allah; to offer prayers; to pay zakat; to have fasting in the month of Ramadhan; and to perform Hajj. To profess that no one is worthy of being worshipped except Allah means all injunctions and commandments ordained in the Quran have to be complied with. In other words, in order to become Muslims or ahl-e-emaan, we have to comply with commandments/duties ordained in Quran. There is no denying fact that Quran enjoins personal as well as collective duties. In fact every duty assigned in Quran has two facets- personal and collective. On the one hand, person is required to comply with the duty assigned; on the other hand, persons are required to establish system so that the assigned duty may be performed collectively. The collective portion of every duty can be performed only through establishment of systems. In other words, Islam/Emaan and establishment of Islamic systems are the same thing.
The Quran says “he who obeys the Messenger (saw), obeys Allah (Nisa-80). In this verse, the way of obedience to Allah has been described. In other words, Islam is nothing more and nothing less than our Nabi’s Sunnah which is the best interpretation of the holy Quran, and a Muslim is he who believes in and act upon our Nabi’s Sunnah. More does a person follow our Nabi’s Sunnah, the greater Muslim he/she becomes. The holy Quran says “those who have faith, enter in Islam fully (Baqra-208). It means all Muslims do not follow our Nabi (saw) fully; every person is the Muslim to the extent he follows Sunnah of our Messenger (saw). There is no second opinion that Muhammad (saw) set up Islamic state by establishing systems. The more we establish Islamic systems, the greater we will become Muslims or ahl-e- “emaan”. Islam/Emaan is establishment of Islamic systems, and establishment of Islamic systems is second name of Islam/Emaan.