Translated by: Manal Samhat
Linking faith to full submission
Another Ayah that links faith to full submission is: But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with full submission (04:65). In this Ayah, Allah reflects that true faith demands from people to refer their disagreements, whether concerning the creed or the Shariah, or their conflict in any personal matter, either to the Messenger (p.), and this applies to the people who lived in his time, or to the individuals who undertake to pursue his message, being the entrusted inheritors of the prophets: The jurists are the trustees of the Messengers as long as they do not enter into the world (dunya). People asked: What is meant by their entering into the world? He said: Following the (tyrant) ruler; if they do this, then be wary of them when it comes to your religion, for they would sell their Hereafter for this world, and this is the love of this world. Scholars are the trustees of the messengers, and among the requirements of faith is to refer, when the Messenger of Allah (p.) is not present, to the trustworthy scholar who do not sell their afterlife for the current life when they sell their souls to the tyrants by justifying their oppression and following them in several matters.
In the same context, Allah says: But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) (04:65), so if a person tells you I will solve your problem according to what I see is best for you, tell him what Allah says: Then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger (04:59), and: And when they are called to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, lo! A party of them turns aside. And if the truth be on their side, they come to him quickly, obedient (29:49), for when some people face a problem with others, they refer their matter to a scholar seeking advice. If the scholar says that they are the rightful side, they will say that Islam is the best means for solutions and that they will not refer at other times to anyone or anything else, but if the scholar says that the right is with the others, they will say that they will not abide by the Shariah and that they will resort to the secular law, which is evident according to this Ayah: And if the truth be on their side, they come to him quickly, obedient. Is there in their hearts a disease, or are they in doubt, or do they fear that Allah and His Messenger will act wrongfully towards them? Nay! They themselves are the unjust (24:49-50) and: The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: We hear and we obey (24:51).
This is the true believer who when a disagreement over an intellectual, doctrinal, juristic, political or social issue happens, he refers it to Allah and His Messenger: when they are invited to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: We hear and we obey (24:51). The reason is that our commitment to Allah and His Messenger, through our commitment to Islam, imposes on us to obey Allah and His Messenger in what Allah says in His Book and what His Messenger says in his Sunnah. But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) (04:65), for no matter how much they pray, fast and perform pilgrimage, if they lose full submission to Allah and His Messenger concerning their subject of conflict, then they have no true faith, for true faith is reflected by a profound basis that overwhelms ones concern and not by superficial urgent issues that are trivial. So, what actually matters is that when there is a possibility that you lose the case and the sentence comes against you imposing on you to pay thousands or even millions, you should say I surrender my affair to Allah in full submission. But if you are a believer yet you do not want to lose anything in the process, for abidance by faith might cost you things due to your commitments to the others, then you might back down, as the poet Al-Mutanabbi says: When tears flow down the cheeks, it becomes clear who is actually crying and who is pretending to cry.
He who is seriously sad cannot hold his tears back and they will flow abundantly, whereas he who is not seriously sad will force his tears to flow down from his eyes and the sound of his weeping sound will exceed his tears. In the same sense, a true believer is known when he is put on trial when there is a case he might lose: But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them (04:65). So if they were wrongful, they should not be in distress; rather, they should accept the matter openly for this is Allahs ruling they should follow, especially when they have come to know where the right is and where it is not: And then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission (04:65); this is true Islam, this is true faith.
Allah also expresses that in another way: And it behoves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter (33:36). You might tell someone to do or not to do something, yet he refuses, saying that he has the freedom of choice, but when it comes to Allah, He says if you are a true believing woman or man, then you do not have the freedom of choice with regards to what Allah and His Messenger have decreed or settled. Someone might claim that he is a believer, yet he is not convinced of praying, and a woman might claim that she is a believer, yet she is not convinced of wearing the Hijab. However, in reality, conviction should emanate from Islam and its rulings, meaning that you should be convinced of the rulings of Islam once you comprehend them well, and if you do not comprehend them, refer the matter to Allah. Eventually, you have, as a believer, to obey Allah: The response of the believers, when they are invited to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is only to say: We hear and we obey (24:51).
Elements that fortify faith
Dear loved ones, let us work to find our faith in these Ayahs, in these lines and in these values. We have to take care of our faith and make it grow more than we do with our bodies, for we might find a cure for blood deficiency, but if deficiency in faith persists until the Judgment Day, what cure will do you any good then?! Therefore, we need a special kind of vitamins; vitamins inspired from faith, the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Imams to be able to deepen this faith to be able to say as we stand before God: Our Lord, we have believed in You to forgive us and so that He would not ask us where our faith was, as He looks into our souls and finds them void of faith, for it is our hearts that He looks into and not our faces.
It is narrated that one of the Imams (a.s.) when he started performing Talbiyah in pilgrimage, he would tremble as he recited: Here I am at Your service, O Lord, Here I am at Your service. He used to say it trembling and shaking out of fear and submission to Allah. When he was asked about the reason, as mentioned in the narration, he answered that he fears that Allah might not accept his submission and service. By that, he wanted to give us a lesson, for he wanted to say, as a human being and not as the infallible fully-devoted Imam to Allah he is, that we should fear that Allah might look into our hearts and notice if the Talbiyah is a mere expression we are reciting or do we truly feel it in our hearts, for what matters is to say it from our whole entity, our heart, mind and feelings, whereby we would be wholly dedicated to Allahs service. Only by doing so Allah will shower us with His mercy in this world and make our abode in His Heaven in the Hereafter: and for that let the aspirers aspire (83:26).
*Ash-Sham weekly seminar, Fikr Wa Thaqafah, By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)