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The Role of Dynamic Faith in an Islamic Society

Definition

Man's efforts and activities, which are the very reasons of his existence, have a starting point and a platform called faith. Faith means to accept and to believe in what man is trying for, in the way that leads him to that aim and, ultimately, in his very efforts and activities.

Without faith every activity or effort is evanescent and fruitless. Without faith, searchers become discouraged ad mirthless and, as a result, dumb, stagnant and motionless. Taking this reality into consideration, the Holy Qur'an emphasizes on faith and the faithful and introduces this characteristic as the supreme value which stands at the peak of all human characteristics.

Now let us consider the list of the most important Islamic values and on the dignity of faith, which enjoys the highest rank among them, in the following verse:
It is not righteous that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in the time of conflicts -- these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).﴿ (2:177)

Thus, in response to the believers of the Bible, who regard Judaism or Christianity as the only way of salvation, the Holy Qur'an lays emphasis on the vast Islamic faith as the cause of man's salvation:

Say you: We believe in Allah, and in that which had been revealed to us, and in that which was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Ya'qoob and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa and Isa, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him do we surrender. if then they believe as you believe in Him, they are indeed on the right course ….﴿ (2:135-136)

Conscious Faith

In this regard, the following subjects are to be seen in the Holy Qur'an:

1- Having faith in the principles and foundations of the religion is one of the outstanding characteristics of the Prophet and his true followers. It is so outstanding that the Holy Qur'an has specifically emphasized it, saying:

The messenger believes in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in Allah and His angels, and His Books and His messengers; We make no difference between any of His messengers; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Thy forgiveness (do we crave), and to Thee is the eventual course.﴿ (2:285)

2- Faith arises from understanding, intellect and knowledge; it is not a blindfold and imitative belief. This very characteristic distinguishes faith from other wrong devotions which are often absurd. Fading and devoid of any action.. In the following verses an evident indication of this kind of understanding can be observed:

Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alteration of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand. Those who remember Allah (while they are) standing and sitting and on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: 'Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us from the chastisement of the Fire. Our Lord! Surely whomsoever Thou makest enter the Fire, him Thou has indeed brought to disgrace, and there shall be no helpers for the unjust: Our Lord! surely we have heard a caller calling to the faith, saying: Believe in your Lord, so we did believe.﴿ (3:190-193)

3- Only an enlightened mind perceive this knowledge and understanding; otherwise, faith would turn into a petrified and foolish bigotry and the way to truth and salvation would be blocked for man. This why the Holy Qur'an seriously condemns the bigoted and imitative faith of pagans. Let us consider the rebuking and meaningful tone of the following verse:

And when it is said to them, Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger, they say: that on which we found our fathers is sufficient for us. What! even though their fathers knew nothing and did not follow the right way.﴿ (5:104)

Dynamic Faith along with Action

Does faith mean just an abstract belief or thought? Is faith worthy of consideration as far as it is dynamic and decisive in shaping our life? The Holy Qur'an always associates faith with action and regards it a motivation for crossing the way to the desired destination. In many verses of the Holy Qur'an rewards in this world and the next world are referred to as depending on the faith enjoined with action. Ponder on the following verse:

O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord , and do good that so you may succeed. And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving as is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims aforetime and in this, that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witnesses to the people; therefore, keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper.﴿ (22:77-78)

In the above verses, the most important peculiarities of religious belief, which are victory, success, superiority, leadership of human beings and, finally, the support of God, are dependent upon the dynamic faith together with action. The following verse reminds us of actions resulting from faith and specifies the role of dynamic faith in an Islamic society.

Those who believed and fled their homes and struggled hard in Allah's way with their property and their souls, and those who gave shelter and helped -- guardians of each other; and (as for) those who believed but did not fly, not yours is their guardianship until they fly﴿ (8:72)

Faith and its Responsibilities

According to the aforementioned verse, true faith is inseparable from action. Profiteers do not consider the responsibilities of faith as an obligatory promise. They accept these responsibilities as far as they are in harmony with their personal interests. Otherwise, they would not carry out these responsibilities at all.

In the Qur'anic terminology, these people, who may have some sincere faith in their hearts, stored for the days of distress, are called faithless and disbeliever. The Qur'an promises salvation, prosperity, victory, superiority, to the faithful who shoulder responsibilities of faith under all conditions. The following verses clearly is clearly indicative of the point:

Certainly, We have revealed clear communications, and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right way. And they say: We believe in Allah and in the apostle and we obey; then a party of them turn back after this, and these are not believers. And when they are called to Allah and His apostle that he may judge between them, lo! A party of them turn aside. And if the truth be on their side, they come to him quickly, obedient. Is there in their hearts a disease, or are they in doubt, or do they fear that Allah and His apostle will act wrongfully towards them? Nay! They themselves are the unjust. The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah and His Apostle that He may judge between them, is only to say: We hear and we obey, and these it is that are the successful. And he who obeys Allah and His Apostle, and fears Allah, and is careful or (his duty to) Him, these it is that are the achievers.﴿ (24:46-52)

And finally, in the following two verses, the true believers whose deeds are decent and tied with faith are promised the establishing of the Divine government and ideal Islamic society in the world:

Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as he made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me﴿ (24:55)

Promise 1:

What does man need in order to obtain perfect prosperity?


1- He needs to know the aim and the right path to achieve it (guidance).
2- The veil of ignorance, ambition, fancy and anything that hinders man's vision and his power to think should be removed. Instead, the light of truth should penetrate his heart {light}.
3- In his long way towards prosperity he should get rid of .confusion and anxiety, which are internal hindrances and are much more difficult than external ones to overcome {tranquility and security}.
4- He should consider his struggle fruitful and hope for an agreeable conclusion.
5- His faults and guilt should be forgivable and be compensated for {forgiveness and piety}.
6- At any time he should enjoy a reliable and firm hold.
7- When confronting the enemies, he should enjoy the fruits of being supported by a power superior to human power.
8- He should be superior to the opposite rank.
9- He should overcome the enemies who are obstacles on his way to achieve the goal.
10- He should get rid of all the difficulties, hindrances, bondage in order to accomplish his aim (success and prosperity).
11- In every situation he should enjoy what has been ready for man in this world. At last, after the exhaustion of the span of life and finishing all the struggles, she should face a decent reward and response in the convenient heaven.

Now let us consider the verses of the Holy Qur'an which include all these promises to those believers whose faith is accompanied with responsibility and action.
Guidance:

Surely (as for) those who believe and do good, their lord will guide them by their faith; there shall flow from beneath them rivers in gardens of bliss.﴿ (10:9)

O people! Surely there has come to you manifest proof from your Lord and We have sent to you clear light. Then, as for those who believe in Allah and hold fast by Him, He will surely causes them to enter into His mercy and grace and guide them to Himself on a right path.﴿ (4: 174-175)

Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light; and (as to) those who disbelieve, their guardians are Shaitans (Satan) who take them out of the light into the darkness; they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide
.﴿ (2:257)

O you who believe! Remember Allah, remembering frequently, and glorify Him morning and evening. He is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels, that he may bring you forth out of utter darkness into the light; and He is Merciful to the believers.﴿ (33: 41-43)

O you who believe! Be careful of (your duty to) Allah and believe in His Apostle: He will give you two portions of His mercy, and make for you a light with which you will walk﴿ (57:28)

Promise 2:

Tranquility and Security:

To get rid of confusion and anxiety is one of the most important characteristics of the faithful. The Holy Qur'an promises to provide the faithful with this valuable spiritual state.

Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest. (As for) those who believe and do good, a good final state shall be theirs and a goodly return.﴿ (13:28-29)

Ibrahim explained this reality to the wandering pagans of his time who did not enjoy internal tranquility and peace due to the lack of any definite and logical ideology. He spoke about his inner ease and security, the origin of which was his solid faith.

And his people disputed with him. He said: Do you dispute with me respecting Allah? And he has guided me indeed; and I do not fear in any way those that you set up with Him, unless my Lord pleases; my Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge; will you not then mind? And how should I fear what you have set up (with Him), while you do not fear that you have set up with Allah that for which He has not sent down to you any authority; which then of the two parties is surer of security, if you know? Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.

Fruitfulness

The faithful person knows that each step he takes makes him nearer to his aim. He knows that his efforts and activities are generally fruitful and none will be in veil.

and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Apostle from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitful; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.﴿ (2:143)

Therefore whoever shall do of good deeds and he is a believer, there shall be no denying of his exertion, and surely We will write (it) down for him.﴿ (21:94)


* Ayatullah al-Uzma Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The Paramount Leader of Islamic Revolution.

991 View | 11-03-2011 | 02:04


 
 

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