March 05, 2006

The Importance of Faith

Khutbah from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS)
3 March 2006 / 3 Safar 1427

Masyiral Muslimin wa zumratal Mukminin Rahimakumullah,

I call upon myself and my brothers here to fear Allah s.w.t. truly, by doing all that He commands, and leaving all that He forbids.

For us to reach the level of taqwa, which is demanded, we must strengthen our faith in Allah s.w.t. Because taqwa is the reflection of faith in the heart, faith can rise and fall, increase and decrease.

A person’s faith decreases when he commits a sin. And it is because, when he commits the sin, he is not aware or forgets his faith, the sacred faith in the oneness of Allah. Whereas his faith grows when he strengthens his belief in the oneness of Allah s.w.t.

Therefore, faith is something which is of the utmost importance for Muslims. Its importance exceeds all the other aspects of religious obligations. There is no point if a Muslim prays and does ibadah day and night, if his faith is flawed. Allah s.w.t says in Surah Az-Zumar, verse 65:

"And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: 'If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.'"

My brothers in Islam,

The religious scholars of the past had placed a very clear principle for us. The principle is:

"The first thing in learning Islam is by learning about Allah first."

We must know Allah, our God. This is the condition to be known as Muslims. We need to know, what are our principles? What is our faith? When a person does not know Allah, there will be many deviations in beliefs and teachings which may involve performing ibadah like a Muslim but is not.

How do we know Allah?

We are not like believers of other religions who can depict their gods. We cannot depict Allah, because our minds will never be able to comprehend that. So the way to know Allah is through His Attributes, and the meanings of His Glorious Names. Not from His Essence.

Our religious scholars have taught us an easy way to know the Attributes of Allah. Just by learning and understanding the obligatory 20 attributes. These attributes are based on Al-Quran and Hadith. Attributes such as Wujud, Qidam, Baqa’, Mukhalafatuhu lil hawadith, and others.

All these are part of the legacy of our religious knowledge. It is very important to be learnt and taught to the Muslim community at this age, especially to our new generation. Because being ignorant of these obligatory Attributes of Allah will expose one to the dangers of associating partners to Allah s.w.t., which will finally nullify his faith.

Whereas the 99 names of Allah have been stated by Rasulullah s.a.w. in his hadith. We are required not only to memorize them, but to learn and understand them.

Maasyiral Muslimin rahimakumullah,

Observing all His creations around us can further strengthen the faith, which is embedded in our hearts through our understanding of the attributes, and His Glorious Names. All that we can see are evidence for the existence of Allah, and His Glory. Allah s.w.t. says in Surah As-Fussilat, verse 53:

"We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur'an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?"

In the Al-Qur'an itself, there are so many verses urging us to observe the creations of Allah s.w.t., so we may understand the Greatness and Glory of Allah s.w.t. Just look at the familiar verses recited in the Friday prayer, in Surah Al-Ghaasyiyah, verse 17-20:

"Do they not look at the camels, how they are created? And at the heaven, how it is raised? And at the mountains how they are rooted? And at the earth how it is outspread?"

In these verses, Allah s.w.t. brings forth an example of an animal with such miraculous creation, the camel; the only large mammal which can live for a long time at a very dry place without food or water. This is where there is evidence pointing towards Allah’s All-Encompassing Knowledge, Who designs each creation in accordance with its living habitat. A principle which scientists call ‘Adaptation.’

And then Allah s.w.t. brings our attention to an object larger than the camel. Which is the sky above us. So wide the sky is, it contains thousands of millions of stars and galaxies.

When a person is able to understand the vastness of this universe, he will see how insignificant and unimportant the earth is, it is like a speck of dust in the middle of a vast desert of no value at all. But, the wealth and richness of the earth is what makes man fight and compete, until he forgets that Allah is always watching him, and that what he gets will fade away when he dies.

Do realize this, my brothers. Seek wealth. Work for wealth. But let it be according to the laws laid by Allah s.w.t. And do not ever let this world stay in our hearts, until we forget our real purpose living in this world.

Blessed Friday congregation,

We want to be an excellent ummah. Well-respected. Khaira Ummah, the best ummah. But, we will never achieve all this without strengthening our faith and our children’s faith. Faith is the pulse of life in Muslims. There is no compromise in faith.

So, let us step up our faith and our children’s faith. Learn to know Allah through His attributes, His Names. Increase our iman by continuing our pursuits in learning, studying and observing the creations of Allah. It is only with a strong unshakable faith that we can be successful Muslims in this world and the hereafter.

1 comment:

Islamic point said...

assalam o alaikum good blog ,,, very informative ... jazakALLAH... i have a blog too its under progress please visit and give me your suggestion or comment , jazakALLAH KHAIR