Announcement: I (admin) will be on leave from today to next Monday so posting will only continue then. Jazak Allah Khairan for being with us :)
In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.
All praise is for Allah, the Most High, the Lord of the Worlds. And May Peace be upon His Prophets and His Angels. May Allah's blessings be upon our Holy Prophet, Muhammad (sallallaho 'alaihi wasallam).
"Certainty - Yaqeen"
"Only he whom Allah guides is rightly guided; and whom He confounds will become the losers. Certainly, We have destined many Jinns and human beings for hell; those are the ones who have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, they have ears with which they do not hear. They are like animals - or even worse than them , because they are those who are heedless." al-Quran [7:178-179]
Assalamu 'alalikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
May Allah's special blessings be upon those who accepted Islam after studying it. Many of us were fortunate enough to have heard the Adhan soon after the birth, that is, we were born in a Muslim house. However, a person cannot inherit Faith (Imaan) as it has to be earned by an individual. A son of Prophet Noah alaihi salam was destroyed because of his unrighteousness. One of the sons of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was pious whereas the other son became jealous and killed his brother. We should become a Muslim by studying Islam and accepting it by heart, not just by tongue & not because "my parents were Muslims so am I".
A Muslim performs Salah because his parents do this, another Muslim performs Salah because he Believes in Allah (but does not know enough about Allah) and yet another Muslim performs Salah with humility & with the Certainty that he is standing in front of Ar-Rahmaan, The Lord of this vast universe; will they all be the same in ranks? "... In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Forgiving.[35:28]"
Sayyidina Abu Bark (radi Allahu 'anhu) said: "Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile." This is a very important statement which we need to realize. Unfortunately, many of us Muslims have limited ourselves to just the bare minimum of Islam (just the five pillars of Islam). We should learn more about our Deen so we could try to move higher above the baseline. A very famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam) elegantly describes the few ranks that a Muslim should have:
Narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) & recorded by Sheikh Al-Bukhari (may Allah have Mercy on him) that:
One day while the Prophet (SAW) was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, "What is faith (Imaan)?" Allah's Apostle replied, ' Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection." Then he further asked, "What is Islam?" Allah's Apostle replied, "To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." Then he further asked, "What is Ihsan (perfection)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you." Then he further asked, "When will the Hour be established?" Allah's Apostle replied, "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner..... Then that man (Gabriel) left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, "That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion." Abu 'Abdullah said: He (the Prophet) considered all that as a part of faith.
-=[ IMAAN and IHSAAN (Yaqeen) ]=-
Imaan is the Faith and it should be in the heart; "Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection". But we have not seen Allah, His Angels, His Prophets... we have not even seen Muhammadur Rasool-Allah (sallallaho alaihi wa sallam), so how should one have Faith in unseen?
What is the Gravity and what is the Time? We don't see the Gravity nor the Time but why do we "believe" in gravity and time? We have not seen Newton but we know his famous story: "An apple fell down from the tree, Newton noticed it and realized the effects of gravity and finally came up with some very useful theories." Galileo observed chandelier's motion and discovered the pendulum's properties, then used pendulum to count time (use as a clock). Although, Galileo and Newton did not see time and gravity, they were able to 'realize' the presence of time and gravity through their observations. Even though we don't see Galileo and Newton today, their theories are still used by the physicists. If someone says "I believe there is 'Time' because my father told me and that my father never lied to me about anything", this is his Faith (Imaan); but if a person goes ahead and starts to observe 'the Time' then that person will reach to the 'Certainty - Yaqeen' about the Time.
Allah says in the very beginning of the Qur'an: "This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the unseen and .... " [2:2-3] . Those who believe in the unseen are the ones who use their logic to see/experience things. In order to increase our Faith in the unseen (Allah, His Angels etc), this book (Quran) is the guidance. Faith/Belief is one of the initial steps that lead to the discoveries (Truth, facts). If a person says "I don't believe in Time & Gravity", that person will not be able to study physics or perhaps much of the science.
Al-Qur'an [ al-Bakarah -- 2:164 ]:
ان في خلق السماوات والارض واختلاف الليل والنهار والفلك التي تجري في البحر بما ينفع الناس وماانزل الله من السماء من ماء فاحيا به الارض بعد موتها وبث فيها من كل دابة وتصريف الرياح والسحاب المسخر بين السماء والارض لايات لقوم يعقلون
- Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of the night and the day, in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind, in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, with which He revives the earth after its death and spreads in it all kinds of animals, in the change of the winds and the clouds between the sky and the earth that are made subservient, there are signs for rational people (liqawmin yaAAqiloona).
Al-Qur'an [ Yunus -- 10:82 ]:
ويحق الله الحق بكلماته ولو كره المجرمون
- By His Words Allah vindicates the truth, much as the criminals may dislike it!
We shall now see that the Faith (Imaan) increases (with guidance) and decreases (with doubts), as Allah says:
Al-Qur'an [ at-Taubah -- 9:124-125 ]:
واذا ماانزلت سورة فمنهم من يقول ايكم زادته هذه ايمانا فاما الذين امنوا فزادتهم ايمانا وهم يستبشرون
واما الذين في قلوبهم مرض فزادتهم رجسا الى رجسهم وماتوا وهم كافرون
- Whenever a Surah is revealed, some of them ask: "Whose faith from among you has increased by this?" Certainly the faith of the believers is increased and they do rejoice.
- As for those whose hearts contain malice, it will add filth to their existing filth, and they will die while they are still disbelievers.
Al-Qur'an [ al-Anfal -- 8:2 ]:
انما المؤمنون الذين اذا ذكر الله وجلت قلوبهم واذا تليت عليهم اياته زادتهم ايمانا وعلى ربهم يتوكلون
- The true believers are those whose hearts tremble with fear, when the name of Allah is mentioned, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations and they put their trust in their Lord,
The Faith (Imaan) increases and decreases, however, when one reaches to a certain level of Certainty (Yaqeen) then there cannot be any doubt afterward. For example, if one escapes the GRAVITY of this Earth, that person wouldn't fall down (like the satellites don't fall down).
Al-Qur'an [ al-An'aam -- 6:82 ]:
الذين امنوا ولم يلبسوا ايمانهم بظلم اولئك لهم الامن وهم مهتدون
- Those who believe and obscure not their belief by wrongdoing, theirs is safety; and they are rightly guided.
A very interesting event took place at the times of Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam), which is very much related to our topic. The following Ayaat tell about that event of challenge between Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh (with his Magicians).
Al-Qur'an [ Ta-ha -- 20:65-73 ]:They said:"O Moosa (Moses)! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw?"(Moosa (Moses)) said: "Nay, throw you (first)!" Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.So Moosa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself.We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magicians trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter whatever amount (of skill) he may attain."
So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: "We believe in the Lord of Haroon (Aaron) and Moosa (Moses)." (Firaun (Pharaoh)) said: "Believe you in him (Moosa (Moses)) before I give you permission? Verily! He is your chief who taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms, and you shall surely know which of us (I (Firaun Pharaoh) or the Lord of Moosa (Moses) (Allah)) can give the severe and more lasting torment."
They said: "We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world. Verily! We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your (Firauns (Pharaoh)) reward, and more lasting (as regards punishment in comparison to your punishment)."
Those Magicians were against Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) but soon became believers in his Lord! They did not see the Lord of Prophet Musa 'alaihi salam, how did they become so much CERTAIN that they did not fear Pharaoh! Their Faith (Imaan) reached to Certainty (Yaqeen), so strong that they did not fear Pharaoh when he said: "I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms...". Those magicians joined the challenge for the purpose of reward from the Pharaoh but at the end, they believed in the Lord of Musa & Harun (peace be upon them) and did not even care about their own lives! Certainly, Allah is the one who guides.
Al-Qur'an [ al-Fatir -- 35:27-30 ]:
الم تر ان الله انزل من السماء ماء فاخرجنا به ثمرات مختلفا الوانها ومن الجبال جدد بيض وحمر مختلف الوانها وغرابيب سود
ومن الناس والدواب والانعام مختلف الوانه كذلك انما يخشى الله من عباده العلماء ان الله عزيز غفور
ان الذين يتلون كتاب الله واقاموا الصلاة وانفقوا مما رزقناهم سرا وعلانية يرجون تجارة لن تبور
ليوفيهم اجورهم ويزيدهم من فضله انه غفور شكور
- Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky with which We bring forth fruits of various colors? Similarly, in the mountains there are streaks of various shades including white, red, jet-black rocks.
- Likewise men, beasts and cattle have their different colors. In fact, only those among His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah; surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Forgiving.
- Surely those who recite the Book of Allah, establish Salah, spend out of what We have given them, secretly and openly, may hope for imperishable gain.
- That He may pay them back their full reward and give them even more out of His grace; surely He is Forgiving and Appreciative of His devotees.
-=[ Levels of Certainty ]=-
Scholars have categorised the Certainty (Yaqeen) in the following three levels (which I am writing in my own words according to our context) -
- 'Ilm al-Yaqeen (Knowledge based Certainty) - Belief / Faith
- 'Eyn al-Yaqeen (Sight (senses) based Certainty) - Observation (becoming witness)
- Haqq al-Yaqeen (Absolute Truth/Certainty) - Full Experience
Let's see an example, a person presents a cup of coffee to his friend and says: "I made some delicious coffee for you".
- In the first stage, his friend believes in him that the coffee is delicious, without even looking or smelling the coffee.
- In the second stage, his friend looks at the cup and smells then becomes more certain that since it looks good and smells nice therefore it must be delicious (although he has not tasted it yet).
- In the third stage, his friend sips some coffee and then becomes absolutely certain that the coffee is delicious and becomes certain that his friend did not lie to him. This is the final stage, after this there is doubt.
-=[ CONCLUSION ]=-
When we study the lives of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet), we realize their high degree of Faith. Companions like Sayyidina Bilal, Khabbab, Ammar (peace be upon them) and many more suffered persecutions but still they were prepared to give up their lives for the Truth, much like those Magicians who believed in Prophet Musa ('alaihi salam) and his Lord (Allah). Why were they prepared to risk their lives for the Truth? Well, they recognized the other world, the world which is unseen to us, the world which is coming soon to us (our death is approaching). They prepared themselves for the other unseen world, for Paradise. What have we prepared for our future world? We cannot take our double-storey houses, latest cars, all these material things... We can only take our Faith (Imaan) and our Deeds (A'maal).
We need to observe and experience the truth. Observation and experience cannot be done without practice. Therefore, we need to practice Islam as much as possible and as sincerely as possible. The more one practices Islam (with sincerity), the higher the level of Faith (Imaan) becomes [Islam->Imaan->Ihsaan->?]. Sayyidina Abu Bark (radi Allahu 'anhu) said: "Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile. "
Al-Qur'an [ al-Hujurat -- 49:14-15 ]:
قالت الاعراب امنا قل لم تؤمنوا ولكن قولوا اسلمنا ولما يدخل الايمان في قلوبكم وان تطيعوا الله ورسوله لايلتكم من اعمالكم شيئا ان الله غفور رحيم
انما المؤمنون الذين امنوا بالله ورسوله ثم لم يرتابوا وجاهدوا باموالهم وانفسهم في سبيل الله اولئك هم الصادقون
- The Bedouin Arabs say: "We have believed." Tell them: "You have not believed; rather say 'We have become Muslims;' for faith has not yet found its way into your hearts. If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deny you the reward of your deeds; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
- The true believers are those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then never doubt; and make Jihad (exert their efforts) with their wealth and their persons in the cause of Allah. Such are the ones who are truthful in their claim to be the believers.
Al-Qur'an [ az-Zariyat -- 51:20-21 ]:
وفي الارض ايات للموقنين
وفي انفسكم افلا تبصرون
- In the earth, there are signs for the firm believers (Moqineen),
- and also in your own selves; can you not see?
"Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honor, He is free from what they ascribe to Him!
Peace be on the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds." Al-Quran [37:180-182]
wa Assalamu 'alaikum.
'Abdullah, a servant of Allah.