Translated by: Manal Samhat
Perhaps we might use some Islamic terms in a naïve manner, and such naive usage might lead to a naïve conception, which makes us experience these concepts, terms or titles [superficially], without going deeply into their truth, lines, horizons and extension in the movement of Islam.
The concept of faith in the Quran
Among these terms is “the believer”, whereby the naïve perception links this term strictly to performing the acts of worship and abstaining from what is forbidden, in a way or another; whereas the general horizons and the realistic deep lines in which faith moves within man’s soul remain unnoticed and thus far from reality.
We do not want to cover this matter wholly; rather, we will point out some relevant Quranic Ayahs and Hadiths that would perhaps lead us to other Ayahs and Hadiths through recognizing, in all these words, that the concept of faith is deeper than we think and it encompasses all of Islam in the doctrine and its horizons, in the Shariah and its lines and in the dynamic Islamic values and their details.
We find in the Quran the Ayah: “Those only are believers whose hearts become full of fear when Allah is mentioned, and when His communications are recited to them they increase them in faith, and in their Lord do they trust” (08:02). Those are the believers, and the use of “only” reflects that he who does not enjoy these characteristics is not a believer in the profound sense of faith. To truly believe in Allah is to have the greatness of Allah reflected on yourself; to truly believe in Allah is to open your thought, heart and feelings to the blessings bestowed by Allah to feel the connection of your presence to Him in all His characteristics, being the Provider of the blessings bestowed upon you.
Therefore, true belief is not to remember Allah when you mention Him or hear the mentioning of Allah when you hear it, just as when you mention the name of any person or anything or when you hear the mentioning of any name and your heart does not tremble and your mind and entity do not feel submissive, knowing that Allah says: “Those only are believers whose hearts become full of fear when Allah is mentioned”. It is the same as when the heart trembles upon hearing the mentioning of someone great, and this is what we notice towards the people who enjoy positions of strength in reality, where we feel scared and frightened and tremble upon mentioning them. Do people not say that so-and-so make people tremble upon mentioning his name due to his tyranny, strength and ability?
We have completely consumed the mentioning of Allah that many have become unaffected by it; a situation which Allah describes in His saying: “And they have not honored Allah with the honor that is due to Him; and the whole earth shall be in His grip on the day of resurrection and the heavens rolled up in His right hand” (39:67). Imam Ali (a.s.) described the believers who experience fear from God by feeling His greatness in his saying: “They consider the Creator to be Great for themselves and everything else seems little in their eyes”, whereby God’s greatness filled their souls that they see nothing great besides Allah and everything else seems so trivial.
If Allah restricts the true believers to this category, then we should, dear loved ones, implant and nurture God’s greatness in our souls by thinking thoroughly of the sources of His greatness and blessings and feeling the absolute need for Him, without Him needing anyone, and we have to practice that in our minds, actions and so on.
Knowing increases faith
“And when His communications are recited to them they increase them in faith” (08:02); if the universal signs and Quranic Ayahs were revealed to them, their faith will develop and increase as their knowledge increases. The more you know God through His Ayahs, the better you will recognize His greatness by understanding these Ayahs, which is evident in His saying: “And [those who] reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth – and reach the irrefutable outcome – Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! – from which we deduce Your greatness and Your worship – Glory be to You; save us then from the chastisement of the fire” (03:191).
Therefore, “and when His communications are recited to them”, meaning the Ayahs of the Holy Quran from which the light shines, “indeed, there has come to you light” (05:15), “He brings them out of the darkness into the light” (02:257), for He is the guidance that when His Ayahs are revealed to them, they will increase in faith, for they will increase their knowledge on God, their love to Him and their fear from Him.
Therefore, dear loved ones, both the Quran and the Noble Sunnah urge the people to read the Quran: “Do they not then reflect on the Quran, or on the hearts there are locks”. There are also Hadiths that reflect the rewards of reading the Quran, for the doctrine is based on the concept of professing God’s oneness, and the Quran came to deepen this oneness in people’s conscience.
Professing oneness (unification)
If we read the Quran from cover to cover, we will note the big title that governs each Surah and each Ayah; the unification of Allah, either directly or indirectly. The value of the Quran lies in that it opens up our minds to Allah, through the lessons, awareness, openness and dynamism the Quran entails, which drives one to reflect upon Allah in the open wide horizons.
So, dear loved ones, this should be what drives us to read the Quran in order to acquire its knowledge and to develop our own culture in terms of unification in how we perceive Allah’s oneness and our own culture in terms of faith in how we perceive all the lines of faith in Him and in how we perceive our cultural, social, political and dynamic responsibility in all the positions of life, for the Quran sums up all what it brought along, and what it brought along is “life”: “O you who believe! Answer (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life” (08:24), meaning to that which gives life to our hearts, minds and movement in life. As such, what the Quran brought along is the “call for life”; i.e. to love our life, for Allah does not want us to neglect our life, but to live it the way He wants us to live it, to build it, to move it, to enrich it, to guide it and to open it up wholly to Allah, so that it would be wholly dedicated to the mentioning of Allah both intellectually and practically.
*Ash-Sham weekly seminar, Fikr Wa Thaqafah, By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)