Faith and Life

The modern individual has been crumbled into pieces mentally and spiritually. What will bring that individual to a holistic perspective is a critically verified faith. Thus many things in his life will change.

Critically verified faith is attaining a sense of the Divine presence through the strength of certain, verified belief and through the lights proceeding from reflective thought about the creatures which leads to knowledge of the Maker; thinking that the Compassionate Creator is all-present and all-seeing; not seeking the attention of any other than He, and realizing that looking to others in His presence or seeking help from them is contrary to right conduct in His presence; in this way one may be saved from such hypocrisy and gain sincerity.

Attaining to the light of knowledge of Allah and looking upon it, and seeing its manifestations in the mirrors of signs and witnesses, and beholding its proofs and evidences, necessitates your not examining it with the fingers of criticism. Do not examine critically every light that passes over you or occurs to your heart or appears to your mind, nor criticize it with the hand of hesitation. Do not stretch out your hand to catch hold of a light that appears to you. Rather withdraw from the things that cause heedlessness, be turned to the light, and wait. For I have observed that the witnesses and proofs of knowledge of Allah are of three kinds:

O n e K i n d is like water. It is visible and palpable, but cannot be held with the fingers. For this kind, one has to detach oneself from illusions and submerge oneself in it as a whole. It cannot be spied on with the fingers of criticism; if it is, it flows away and is lost. The water of life cannot make the fingers its dwelling place!

T h e S e c o n d K i n d is like air. It may be perceived, but it is neither visible, nor may be held. You should turn towards it with your face, your mouth, your spirit, and hold yourself before that breeze of mercy. But do not stretch out the hand of criticism towards it, for you will be unable to hold it. Breathe it with your spirit. If you look on it with the eye of hesitation and lay hands on it by criticizing it, it will leave you and depart. It will not be content to make your hand its dwelling place!

As for T h e T h i r d K i n d, it is like light. It is visible, but is neither palpable nor may it be held. So you should hold yourself before it with the heart’s eye and spirit’s vision; you should direct your gaze towards it and wait. Perhaps it will come of its own accord. For light cannot be held in the hand nor hunted with the fingers; it can be hunted only with the light of insight and intuition. If you stretch out a grasping, physical hand and weigh it on material scales, even if it is not extinguished, it will hide itself. For just as such light will not be content to be imprisoned in matter, so too it may not be restricted, nor accept dense things as its lord and master.

When the human being isolates himself from fictitious lordship, ownership, power and knowledge, critically verified faith settles in his heart and its true effect is felt in his temporary and ephemeral life and he comprehends that the real nature of the ‘self’ is indicative; it shows the meaning of things other than itself. Its dominion is imaginary. Its existence is so weak and insubstantial that in itself it cannot bear or support anything at all. Rather, it is a sort of scale or measure, like a thermometer or barometer that indicates the degrees and amounts of things; it is a measure that makes known the absolute, all-encompassing and limitless attributes of the Necessary Being.

Thus, he who knows his own self in this way, and realizes and acts according to it, is included in the good news of, “Truly he succeeds who purifies it.” (Ash-Shams, 91:9)

He truly carries out the Trust, and through the telescope of his ‘I’, he sees what the universe is and what duties it is performing. And when he obtains information about the universe, he sees that his ‘I’ confirms it. This knowledge will remain as light and wisdom for him, and will not be transformed into darkness and futility. When the ‘I’ fulfils its duty in this way, it abandons its imaginary dominion and supposed ownership, which are the units of measurement, and it says: “His is the sovereignty and to Him is due all praise; His is the judgement and to Him will you all be brought back.” It achieves true worship. It attains the rank of ‘the Most Excellent of Patterns’.

We comprehend and make sure that all things say spiritually, “In the Name of Allah,” and bearing Allah’s bounties in Allah’s name, give them to us, we too should say, “In the Name of Allah.” We should give in the name of Allah, and take in the name of Allah. And we should not take from heedless people who neglect to give in Allah’s name.

We should know that the price the True Bestower of Bounties wants in return for those valuable bounties and goods is three things: one is remembrance (dhikr), one is thanks (shukr), and one is reflection (fikr). Saying, “In the Name of Allah” at the start is remembrance, and, “All praise be to Allah” at the end is thanks. And perceiving and thinking of those bounties, which are valuable wonders of art, being miracles of power of the Unique and Eternally Besought One and gifts of His mercy, is reflection.

The necessities of critically verified faith:

The man who attains to verified faith should isolate himself from being obsessed with his self. If his self is an evil-commanding soul, then he should have feelings of enmity towards it, and if it is mutma’inna, he should have compassion and mercy for it.

In the same way, only Allah (SWT) who has endless perfection deserves the love which people feel for this worldly life almost to the point of worshipping it.

This love necessitates worship of Allah (SWT). This worship is not done for the blessing which will be given in the future, but rather it is the result of the blessings and bounties which have been given already.

Without a doubt, Allah (SWT) has created humankind in a way which demands a lot of bounties and blessings.

Then, since He has given you Islam and belief, the highest level of humanity, which require infinite bounties and are nourished through countless fruits of mercy, He has opened up before you a table of bounties, pleasure, and happiness which includes the sphere of contingency together with the sphere of His sacred Names and attributes. Then, through giving you love, which is a light of belief, He has bestowed on you an endless table of bounties, happiness, and pleasure.

We need to have more love for the messenger of Allah than we have for ourselves, and we must consider his hadiths to be above everybody’s words and embrace his Sunnah completely. Whoever wants to perform limitless good deeds in his short life and wants one minute of his life to be eternal and fruitful and to turn his usual deeds into worship and his heedlessness into serenity should make the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) his way of life because when he act with the manners of the Sunnah, there emerges a kind of serenity and satisfaction in the heart, and his actions become a kind of worship and yield eternal and ethereal fruits.

“Say (O Muhammad): O mankind! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah to you all – (the messenger of) Him unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. There is no Allah save Him. He quickeneth and He giveth death. So believe in Allah and His messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believeth in Allah and in His Words, and follow him that haply ye may be led aright.” (A’raf, 7:158)

For that reason, what needs to be done is to feel antipathy towards the people of disbelief and rebellion towards Allah and dissipation and not to imitate them and not to be lured by their pompous beauties and their pleasures.

“Lo! Allah will cause those who believe and do good works to enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; while those who disbelieve take their comfort in this life and eat even as the cattle eat, and the Fire is their habitation.” (Muhammad, 47:12)

And the necessity for this: To obey the Qur’an and perform the salah and abandon the great sins so that it becomes a ticket and provision to the hereafter and a light for the grave in the journey to eternity.

The meaning of the prayers is the offering of glorification, praise, and thanks to Almighty Allah. That is to say, uttering ‘Glory be to Allah’ by word and action before Allah’s glory and sublimity is to hallow and worship Him. And declaring ‘Allah is Most Great’ through word and act before His sheer perfection is to exalt and magnify Him. And saying ‘All praise be to Allah’ with the heart, tongue, and body is to offer thanks before His utter beauty.

The fruits of verified faith:

Belief is both light and strength. Yes, one who obtains true belief may challenge the whole universe and be saved from the pressure of events in accordance with the strength of his belief. Saying, “I place my trust in Allah,” he travels through the mountainous waves of events in the ship of life in complete safety. He entrusts all his burdens to the hand of power of the Absolutely Powerful One, voyages through the world in ease, then takes his rest in the intermediate realm. Later he may fly up to Paradise in order to enter eternal happiness. Otherwise, if he does not rely on Allah, rather than flying, the burdens of the world will drag him down to the lowest of the low. That is to say, belief necessitates affirmation of Divine Unity, affirmation of Divine Unity necessitates submission to Allah, submission to Allah necessitates reliance on Allah, and reliance on Allah necessarily leads to happiness in this world and the next. But do not misunderstand this, reliance on Allah is not to reject causes altogether; it is rather to know that causes are a veil to the hand of power and have recourse to them. Knowing that attempting causes is a sort of active prayer, it is to seek the effects only from Allah (SWT), recognize that the results are from Him alone, and to be thankful to Him.

Belief makes man into man, indeed, it makes man into a king. Man is an honoured traveller in the hostel of this world. He is the guest of One so generous that infinite treasuries of mercy have been opened to him and innumerable unique beings and servants subjugated to him. And a sphere so large has been prepared for this guest’s recreation, amusement, and benefit that half its diameter is as long and broad as the imagination can reach. As for sincere worship, it is a line of union which turns his face from transience to permanence, from creation to Creator, from multiplicity to unity, and from the extremity to the source, or it is a point of union between the source and the extremity.

Critically verified faith makes the hereafter a goal and this world a field for it and the man who has critically verified faith makes a profitable and blessed transaction by selling his self and those properties which are entrusted to him and which belongs to Allah.

The man who has gained verified faith loves death and wants it to come because he gets rid of the prison of this world and goes to the Eden gardens of the Most Compassionate One. It is said in a hadith: ‘Whomever wants to reach Allah, he demands to reach to Allah and whomever does not want to reach Allah, he does not want Allah’.

Verified faith proves divine lordship which is the expression of absolute sovereignty and absolute independence and it shows us that even a low level officer does not tolerate the will of his son in his dominion. Since they thought their sons would interfere with their will, many sultans murdered their innocent sons and their beloved ones and this shows that this refusal of the interference of others into sovereignty is significant. Absolute sovereignty necessitates a refusal of interference and prevents others from intervention and participation in this sovereignty and action to protect his independence with stubbornness.

Due to this powerful feature, an absolute sovereignty, which is in the degree of absolute lordship, necessitates refusal of intervention and participation and partners in administration. The Qur’an also shows the unity and refuses shirk and ishtirak with harsh criticism.

Sustenance is directly in the hand of the All-Powerful One of Glory and comes from the treasury of His mercy. Since the sustenance of all living creatures is guaranteed by the Sustainer, it should be that none dies of hunger, whereas apparently many die of hunger and lack of food. This reality and mystery may be solved as follows:

The Sustainer’s guarantee is a reality; none die of hunger. For that All-Wise One of Glory stores up some of the sustenance He sends to the bodies of living creatures as fat, as reserves. In fact, He stores up a part of the sustenance He sends to each cell, in the cell, like a reserve stock to be spent when no sustenance comes from outside. They die before this store is finished. That is to say, such death is not from lack of sustenance; they rather die from a habit acquired through wrong choice and due to illness arising from desire for the wrong things and the giving-up of habit.

Rather, in accordance with the saying, “the abandoning of habit is one of those things which is fatal,” it occurs either from a bad habit or from illness resulting from the giving-up of habits. In which case it may be said that there is no death from hunger.

Indeed, it may be observed that sustenance is in inverse proportion to power and will. For example, when

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still in the womb before coming into the world, babies are completely deprived of power and will, yet are given sustenance to the extent they cannot move their mouths. Then when they come into the world, they still do not have power and will, but since they have some sort of ability and potential senses, needing only to fasten their mouths to the breast, given to their mouths from those fountains is the most perfect, nutritious and easily digestible sustenance, in the gentlest form and strangest way. Then as they acquire a small amount of power and will, that readily available, fine sustenance starts to be withdrawn from the infants. The fountains of the breasts dry up and their sustenance is sent from somewhere else. But since their power and will are insufficient to search for sustenance, the Munificent Provider sends their parents’ tenderness and compassion to assist them. Whenever their power and will are perfected, then their sustenance does not hasten to them and is not made to do so. The sustenance remains in its place, saying: “Come and search for me and take me!” That is to say, sustenance is in inverse proportion to power and will. We have indeed explained in many parts of the Risale-i Nur that animals most lacking in will and power are better nourished and live better than those with greater will and power.

Conclusion: It is possible for verified belief to settle in the heart only if you perform the following points:

. Man should isolate himself from the feelings of imaginary lordship, ownership and power.

. You should know that all creatures say [in the name of Allah] spiritually and since everything say [bismillah] spiritually, they bring the blessings of Allah on behalf of him.

. You should isolate yourself from everything which prevents you from the love of Allah.

. Know that worshipping Allah is not for a future reward, but is for given blessings.

. Love for the Messenger of Allah and embracing his Sunnah are beyond love for self, properties, children and parents.

. Feel antipathy towards the people of disbelief and sinning and rebellion and not imitate them and not be lured by unlawful pleasures.

. Listen to the Qur’an and obey its decrees, abandon the great sins and prepare for the meeting with Allah, hoping for death before it comes to you.

. Faith is both light and power. Yes, those who have verified faith can challenge the universe and can get rid of the pressure of events according to the power of his faith.

. Verified faith proves the absolute dominion of Allah and it refuses shirk.

. Faith necessitates taslim, taslim necessitates tawakkul, tawakkul necessitates the happiness of both worlds.

. Verified faith is a meeting point between the beginning and the final.

. Sustenance is inversely proportional to power and will.

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Hasan Awada Kashkash, Nilayn University – School of Literature, Academic Islamic Studies, Aqeedah, Instructor of Islamic Intellectual Structure and Modern Intellectual Schools

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