By Sulaiman Osho
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
The disparity between the word of testimony of man to true faith and his actions is perhaps rooted in the absence of divine faith in the first instance. The inequalities in the attestation to true faith by man and his actions are perhaps rooted in the lack of divine light to cast his breast in the beginning. The contradictions between human faith and his behaviours, attitudes, and the applications of power of knowledge, wisdom, wealth, fame, position, and strength endowed him is perhaps rooted in the rejection of signs of God around him. The negating interferences in the application of faith and power by man are perhaps due to indifference, to be committed to the worship of God at the umpteenth times.
After all, Almighty Allah declares in Holy Qur’an 51:47-58: “With power and skill did We construct the firmament: For it is We Who create the vastness of space. And We have spread out the (spacious) earth: How excellently We do spread out! And of everything We have created pairs: that ye may receive instruction. Hasten ye then (at once) to God: I am from Him a warner to you, clear and open! And make not another an object of worship with God: I am from Him a Warner to you, clear and open! Similarly, no apostle came to the peoples before them, but they said (of him) in like manner, a sorcerer, or one possessed! Is this the legacy they have transmitted, one to another? Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds! So, turn away from them: not thine is the blame. But teach (thy Message): for teaching benefits the believers. I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For God is He Who gives (all) sustenance, Lord of power, steadfast (forever)”.
At least, despite the fact that our leaders attest to the true faith by swearing by the Holy Books to fulfill promises and do good, they still renege on their electoral promises to be up and doing, and deliver dividends of democracy to the people through welfare and security. Despite the fact that our leaders took oath of office by the Holy Books to use their political powers for the good of all, they still discharge their duties with selfish point of views, operating by nepotism, self-aggrandisement, favouritism, partiality, preferences, and discrimination. Despite the fact that majority of us claim to be believers, the twin-engine of the machinery of bribery and corruption still pervades the land. Despite the fact that majority of us claim to worship God out of true faith by trooping in millions to places of worship, we still dissipate our energies in ethnic clashes, wars, violence and other forces of hostility. Despite the fact that the greater percentage of us attest to true faith, we still misapply our God gifted knowledge to scheme, plot and execute evil on the land.
Yet, God Almighty admonishes on justice at all times, even if the judgment is against us: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both” [Quran, 4:135]. Yet, the believers are tasked at upholding Justice, “O you who believe, be upright for God, and be bearers of witness with justice!” [Quran, 5:8]. Yet, Justice is a Divine Command, “God commands justice and fair dealing…” [Quran, 16:90]. Yet, Justice is a tool to maintain balance, “And the heaven He raised and imposed the balance. That you not transgress the balance. And establish weight in justice and do not make deficient the balance.” [Quran, 55:7-9]. Yet, Almighty Allah sees and hears all, as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Lord, “Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.” [Quran, 4:58].
Yet, God says in Qur’an 17:34-36: “Come not nigh to the orphan’s property Except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfill (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). Give full measure when ye Measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination. And pursue not that of which thou hast No knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning)”. Yet, God Almighty asks rhetorically in Qur’an 61:2-3 on promise: “O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not? Grievously odious is it in the sight of God that ye say that which ye do not”. Yet, Almighty Allah has ordered us to fulfill all the promises we have made, because there is no forgiveness of promise until the person whom you have made promise forgives you. After all, Qur’an 23:1-8 says: “The believers must (eventually) win through those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenantsa.” More so, “Nay those that keep their plighted faith and act aright verily God loves those who act aright. As for those who sell the faith they owe to God and their own plighted word for a small price they shall have no portion in the hereafter: nor will God (deign to) speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgment nor will He cleanse them (of sin); they shall have a grievous penalty” (Qur’an 3:76-77). One should be careful while making promises. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says: “The person who has no covenant has no faith” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim).
Therefore, if true faith is in the heart which may be Qalb, the illumination of the breast towards God is crucial. That light is the key to the greater knowledge and of course true faith.
No doubt, whoever thinks that the understanding or things divine rests upon strict proofs has in his thought narrowed down the wideness of God’s mercy. Almighty Allah says in Suratul-An’am, chapter 6 verse 125: “Those whom God (in his plan) willeth to guide, He openeth their breast to Islam: those whom He willeth to leave straying, He maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies. Thus, doth God (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe”.
However, when the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was asked about enlarging (search) and its meaning in this verse, (Q. 6:125), he said: “It is a light which God Most High casts into the heart.”. And when asked what the sign of it is, he said: “Withdrawal from the mansion of deception and return to the mansion of eternity”.
The Prophet (SAW) talked further about the illumination of the mind towards true faith. According to him, God created the creatures in darkness, and sprinkled upon them some of His light. From that, light must be bright and intuitive understanding of things divine. That light at certain times gushes from the spring of divine generosity, and for it one must watch and wait -as Prophet Muhammed said: “In the days of your age, your Lord has gusts of favour then place yourselves in the way of them” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim).
Truly, God’s universal plan both in the physical and spiritual worlds is so much misunderstood. We know that the laws guiding the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the day, the night, the wet season, the dry season, the man, the woman and others are constant.
So also, the laws guiding the nature of man to believe, to worship, to do good or do evil. The laws are in fact just merciful, graceful and have penalties.
Then, if man refuses to have true faith, he becomes a rebel. Even Prophet Isa (Jesus) expressed this truth about man’s nature choosing from good or bad paradoxically: “He that faith, to him shall be given; but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.” (Mark 4:25). He adds that “No man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my father i.e., Almighty God.” (John 6:65).
Meanwhile, just as the desert Arabs claimed to be believers in saying but not truly in the heart, the believers of today are claiming to have faith only with contradicting deeds (Qur’an 49:14). But the true believers are those who believe in God and His Apostle, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the cause of God. Such are the sincere believers. (Q.49.15-16). Qur’an 49:14-18 explains: “The desert Arabs say, ‘We believe’. Say, “Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say, ‘We have submitted our wills to God,’ for not yet has faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey God and His Apostle, He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”. Only those are believers who have believed in God and His Apostle, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons In the cause of God: Such are the sincere ones. Say: “What will ye instruct God about your religion? But God knows all that is in the heavens and on earth. He has full knowledge of all things. They impress on thee as a favour that they have embraced Islam. Say, “Count not your Islam as a favour upon me: Nay, God has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if ye be true and sincere. “Verily God knows the secrets of the heavens and the earth: and God Sees well all that ye do.”
May Almighty Allah continue to guide us aright and to strengthen our faith and powers to serve His purpose, Ameen.
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