>> Saturday, September 27, 2008
I am now continuing the signs of the learned men of the hereafter. Alhamdulliah I got a new scanner and inshAllah it'll work better than my last and hence there will be less typos inshAllah. Also everyone please make du'a for my knee.
In The Words of Imam Ghazzali
Eighth sign. Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he is sincere and upright for making his faith firm and strong as firm faith is the root of religion. The Prophet said: Sure faith is belief in its entirety of perfect faith. So it is necessary to learn the learning of faith, after which the path of the heart will be opened. For this reason the Prophet said: Learn sure faith. In other words, keep company with those who have firm faith, hear from them the learning of sure faith, follow them always, so that your faith may become firm as their faith became firm. A little sure faith is better than many actions. When two persons, one of whose sure faith was good but whose sins more and another whose actions were more and faith little, were mentioned to the Prophet, he said: There is no man without sin. One whose intellect is short and faith sure cannot be injured by sin, because whenever he commits sin, he repents and seeks forgiveness. Thus his sins are expiated and his virtues remain intact and he enters paradise. For this reason, the Prophet said: Among the things you have been given, the least is firm faith and determination for patience. Whoever is given a special share of these two, has got faith even if he misses prayer at night and fasting by day. Luqman advised his son: 0 dear son, action is not possible except through firm faith in religion. A man cannot act except in proportion to his sure faith and his action does nut decrease except when his sure faith decreases. lhya Ibn Mu'az said: Tauhid (monotheism) has got light and Shirk (polytheism) fire. The light of Tauhid for the sins of monotheism is more warm than the fire of polytheists for their virtues. Here light means sure faith. God referred to those who have sure faith several times in the Quran and pointed out also that through faith they receive His blessings. The reply to the question - What is meant by Yeqin or sure faith is as follows. The philosophers and the scholastic theologians say that its meaning is faith in objects beyond doubt. There are four states of a person when he is eager to know the truth of a thing Firstly, when truth and falsehood are equal in the mind of a person Such a state is called doubt. Secondly, if mind inclines more to a thing out of the two states and if mind knows that it may be otherwise, the first state will be stronger. For instance, if you are asked about a man who is in your sight pious and God-fearing, whether he will be punished or not, your mind inclines more to his not being punished as there are outward signs of his piety. Nevertheless you admit the possibility that something which requires punishment has been concealed in his secret life. This admission is mixed with your first inclination and creates in your mind conjecture. The third state is that the mind is strongly inclined to a thing and opinion adverse to it cannot come to it. This is called I'tiqad or belief approaching certainty. This is the conjecture of the general public about religious matters.
The fourth state is sure or certain faith in a matter without the least doubt in it. This is called `Yeqin'. For instance, when a wise man is asked: "Is there anything eternal in existence" he cannot suddenly reply to it as the eternal thing is not subject to conjecture or perceived by the senses and it is not like the sun and the moon of which the truth can be perceived by eyes. So the existence of an eternal thing cannot suddenly be said to be true without thought. The truth of an eternal thing is not such as the truth that two is greater than one or as the truth that nothing can occur without a cause. Knowledge of these things come out spontaneously without the necessity of any thought. So true belief in the truth of an eternal thing does not come spontaneously in the mind. Those who have knowledge of an eternal thing tell the people of it and the people believe it and stand on it. This is called I'tiqad or faith. This is the state of all common people. But there are such men who establish the truth of an eternal matter by such proof as follows. If there be no existence of an eternal thing, then all things are originated or created. If all the things are created, they come without cause or some of them come to existence without cause. This is impossible and that which leads to impossibility is itself impossible. Therefore the mind is compelled to believe in the existence of something eternal. All fall under one of the three categories. (1) All existing things
thing are eternal (2) or all existing things are originated or created. (3) or somethings are eternal and somethings are originated. If all things are eternal, the object is attained as the truth of eternal things has been established by proof. But if all things are created, it becomes impossible as the existence of a thing becomes without a cause. In that case, either the first or the third position is established. The knowledge thus obtained through reasoning such as above or through the mind instinctively as the impossibility of any created thing coming into existence without a cause or through traditions as the knowledge that there is existence of Mecca, or through experimentation such as our knowledge that cooked scammony is purgative, or through some evidences as we have already stated, is called Yeqin or certain faith. 'The ordinary meaning of Yeqin is belief without doubt.
The second meaning of Yeqin is that of the jurists, sufis and most of the Darned men. It is not to look at a thing with conjecture or doubt. For instance, it is said that so and so has got weak faith about death, although there is no doubt in it. Another instance is that so and so has firm faith in earning wealth, although a time comes when he cannot even earn his livelihood. Thus whenever anything prevails over the mind and enjoins one to do and prohibits him not to do is called Yeqin or certain faith. All people believe firmly about death and it is free from doubt, but there are men who do not turn their attention to it and there are men who engage all their thoughts towards preparation for death. Such men are called men of strong faith. For this reason, some one said: I have seen nothing so certain and at the same time completely unheeded as death. According to this, faith may be described either with strength or with weakness. What I wish to impress is that the object of the learned man of the hereafter is to make his faith strong, certain and firm as it is a medicine of doubt, so that it becomes so strong in his mind that it can rule over him. Thus it is clear from what has been described above that Yeqin can be described in three meanings-as to strength and weakness, increase and decrease and clearness and vagueness. What the Prophets said from the first to the last is a subject of certain faith. Yeqin is a work of special Marfat. These matters appertain to Shariat and I am mentioning some of these matters which are the roots of certain faith.
(1) Tauhid. This is to believe firmly that all things come from the Cause of all causes, with no attention to the secondary causes-but to the First Cause. It is not to look to the means or intermediaries but to the original and primary cause. It is that all causes come from Him and that everything is within His control and power. It is that everything is subject to His will and nothing has got any will of its own. If one has got sure faith in this Tauhid, his wrath on others, hatred for others and jealousy for others vanish away and His will remains supreme in his mind. Then to him, the means or intermediaries become like hand and pen. He does not express gratefulness to hand and pen as he considers them as weapons and means. This certain faith is highest in rank. Then he understands that Lie sun, moon, stars, animals, plants and all creatures are subject to His order, that the pen moves under the control of the writer who moves them. (2) From this, his faith that God provides every man with subsistences grows strong. God says: There is no moving animal in the earth whose provision is not upon God - 9 : 8 . He believes that what has been preordained for him must come to pass. The result of this certain faith is that he will not regret for anything he loses. (3) Then he believes firmly in the following: Whoever does an atom weight of good will find it and whoever does an atom weight of evil will find it -99 : 7. That is a faith of reward and punishment. As there is connection of bread with satisfaction of stomach and punishment with sins or poison with loss of life, so he finds connection of good deeds with rewards and of evil deeds with punishment. As there is greed to satisfy hunger whether its quantity is large or small, so he strives to do all acts of worship, whether few or many. Just as a man avoids poison regardless of quantity, so a man avoids sins, major or minor. Belief in its first meaning is found among all believers, while certain belief of the second meaning is found only in the favourites of God. The stronger the faith, the stronger is carefulness and the more are the religious actions.
Fourthly, he believes that God watches him in all circumstances and sees his currents of thoughts in mind and machinations of the devil. This certain faith is in accordance with the first interpretation. The object is noble according to the second interpretation as it is the faith of a Siddiq. In this case, he observes all the etiquettes in loneliness as he observes them before an emperor. For this reason, he makes his heart more pure and clean than his body. In this condition, shame, fear, humility, peace, modesty and all other praiseworthy qualities appear in him. So certain faith is the root and its branches are many.