Faith is more than how you deal with certain promises. It is a continual interaction with the spiritual realm. In the Bible, God said; “My righteous one will live by faith” (Heb. 10:38). Faith is not a feeling you are required to stir up. Faith is not a static attendance to a set of theological beliefs. Faith is not something you get out and dust off when you want something from God. Faith is a way of living; righteous living. Until it becomes a way of living, it will not have its full effect. Faith is obeying the present-tense voice of God. Faith is not believing something: Faith is believing Someone. GOD!
Everything other than God is called the creation, the universe, which is called “nature” now. All creatures were nonexistent. God is the One who has created them all. They all came into existence out of nonexistence and came into being out of nothing: Every being, from atom to stars, has been created with some calculations and laws.
Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth). (Quran 2:22)
Further proofs of Allah’s goodness to you are given in this verse. Your whole life, physical and spiritual, depends upon Him. The spiritual is figured by the Canopy of Heaven. The truth has been brought plainly before you. Will you still resist it and go after false gods, the creation of your own fancy? The false gods may be idols, superstitions, self, or even great or glorious things like Poetry, Art, or Science, when set up as rivals to Allah. They may be pride of race, pride of birth, pride of wealth or position, pride of power, pride of learning, or even spiritual pride.
Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: “What means Allah by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those that forsake (the path). (Quran 2:26)
Those who break Allah’s Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves. (Quran 2:27)
To Allah all His creation has some special meaning appropriate to itself; and some of what we consider the lowest creatures have wonderful aptitudes, e.g.. the spider or the fly. Parables like these may be an occasion of stumbling to those “who forsake the path”; in other words, those who deliberately shut their eyes to Allah’s Signs, and their Penalty is attributed to Allah. But lest there should be misunderstanding, it is immediately added that the stumbling and offence only occur as the result of the sinner’s own choice of the wrong course. “Forsaking the path” is defined in Sura 2:27; viz., breaking solemn covenants which the sinner’s own soul had ratified, causing division among mankind, who were meant to be one brotherhood, and doing as much mischief as possible in the life on this earth for the life beyond will be on another plane, where no rope will be given to evil.
All the prophets of God, irrespective of their greatness and veneration were born of woman, they all developed from the stage of embryo into creatures with head, arms and limbs and of course, human faculties. They all went through the human metamorphosis of childhood to adulthood; from creatures without speech to talking beings. For all intent and purposes, they were not different from all God’s creation which we know as human beings. None had two heads and neither did any have one eye. This is God’s creation at work and it is one of the groundswell of Faith. Why are we all alike? Why are we different from the Chimps and other primates? Why is a lizard different from a crocodile? No matter how long a hen lives and eats, it will never achieve the status of an Ostrich. Each and every created must follow the laws of creation: Each to its own kind.
The regularity in the known laws of physics, chemistry, astronomy and biology bewilders the human mind: Another groundswell of faith. This is a bedrock of contemplation and an origin of faith. Even atheists will acknowledge the existence of a higher power that ordered these regulations governing our existence and the universe. Even Darwin had to say that when he thought of the order and delicacy in the structure of the eye, he felt as if he would go crazy.
Air is a mixture of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and noble (inert) gases (1%). It is a mixture, not a compound. If the oxygen were more than 21 percent, it would burn our lungs. Were it less than 21 percent it would be unable to burn the nutrients in blood. It would be impossible for human beings and animals to live. This percentage, 21, never changes, nowhere, not even during rains. And this, in its turn, is a great blessing. Who did this wondrous construct?
Construction of the eye is nothing when compared to this wonder. Is it possible that He who has created all the laws, delicate calculations and formulas taught as scientific knowledge be defective? Moreover, we see the above attributes of perfection also in creatures. The Creator of all these worlds of beings ought to possess all the attributes of perfection and superiority and none of the attributes of deficiency, for, someone who is defective cannot be creative. Aside from these reasonable evidences, Sura Mulk, Ayat 3 and Sura Taha, Ayat 50 explain clearly that Allah has the Attributes of perfection. Therefore, it is not permissible to doubt it; as Doubt causes disbelief: And this is the origin of atheism.
He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: Seest thou any flaw? (Quran 67:3)
The heavens as they appear to our sight seem to be arranged in layers one above another, and ancient astronomy accounted for the motions of the heavenly bodies in an elaborate scheme of spheres. What we are concerned with here is the order and beauty of the vast spaces and the marvelous bodies that follow regular laws of motion in those enormous spaces in the visible world. From these we are to form some conception of the vastly greater invisible world, for which we want special spiritual vision.
He said: “Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further, gave (it) guidance.” (Quran 20:50)
This answer of Moses to Pharaoh is straightforward, dignified, and illuminating. He will not dispute about “my Lord” or “your Lord,” the God of Israel, or the God of Egypt. He and his brother were proud to serve “our Lord,” but He was the universal Lord and Cherisher, the One and Only God, Who had created all beings and all things. It was from Him that each created thing derived its form and nature, including such free-will and power as man had got. He, Pharaoh, was subject to the same condition. In order that the free-will should be rightly exercised, Allah had given guidance through His Messengers, and His Signs. Moses and Aaron stood as such Messengers, with such Signs. Will Pharaoh now understand and do right?
O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgement, hath gone far, far astray. (Quran 4:136)
If your belief is by habit or birth or the example of those you love or respect or admire, make that belief more specific and personal to yourself. We must not only have faith, but realize that faith in our inmost being. The chief objects of our Faith are Allah; His Messenger, and His Revelations. To all these we must give a home in our hearts. The angels we do not see and realize as we realize Allah, who is nearer to us than the vehicle of our life-blood, and the Day of Judgment is for our future experience, but we must not deny them, or we cut off a part of our religious view.
Those who believe, then reject Faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject Faith, and go on increasing in Unbelief, –Allah will not forgive them nor guide them on the Way. (Quran 4:137)
Those who go on changing sides again and again can have no real Faith at any time. Their motives are mere worldly double-dealing. How can they expect Allah’s grace or forgiveness? Here is a clear warning against those who make their religion a mere matter of worldly convenience. True religion goes far deeper. It transforms the very nature of man. After that transformation it is as impossible for him to change as it is for light to become darkness.
Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion–the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: `They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.’ If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked. (Quran 24:55)
Three things are promised here, to those who have Faith and obey Allah’s Law: (1) that they will inherit power and authority in the land, not for any selfish purposes of theirs nor by way of favoritism, but in order that they may maintain Allah’s Law; (2) that the Religion of Right, which Allah has chosen for them, will be openly established, and will suppress all wrong and oppression; (3) that the righteous will live in peace and security, instead of having to suffer persecution, or leave their hearths and homes for the cause of Allah, or practice the rites of their Faith in secret.
This verse was revealed about the time of the Battle of the Ditch (Khandaq), also called the Battle of the Confederates (Ahzab), A.H. 4-5, we can imagine the comfort it gave to the Muslims who were besieged in Madinah by a force ten times their number. The Muslims then lived in a state of great suspense and danger, and under arms for days on end. The security and authority they were promised came to them subsequently in abundant measures.
Today, we are living under similar circumstances; insecurity of life, property and economic livelihood and a life bereft of hope due to a deficit in leadership. We are a people under siege. But Allah has promised in the Ayat above that He will grant the righteous ones among us a bountiful inheritance.
Barka Juma’at and happy weekend