Home Insights and Teachings Faith in itself is awareness

Faith in itself is awareness

By: His Eminence, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

Edited by: Manal Samhat

Dear brothers and sisters, be good believers, for faith is awareness in the mind, a beat in the heart, a confession on the tongue and a step in reality. Dear loved ones, do not betray Allah, the Most Exalted, the Giver of your existence, Whom you just gave your covenant. Some people believe that they do not have a covenant with Allah, since they do not have a covenant with our Creator that has been made since we were born. It is through our mere existence that the covenant is issued: “when your Lord brought forth descendants from the loins of Adam’s children, and made them testify against themselves, (He said): Am I not your Lord? They replied: ‘We bear witness that you are’. This He did lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: We had no knowledge of that” (7:172).

We made Allah, the Most Exalted, a witness on us through ourselves and through our existence as well. We innately admit God’s oneness, in the same manner that we innately worship Him. He is the entity, while we are the shadows. In other words, He is the existence and we are the shadows. Obey and worship the only God, the Most Exalted. Do not ever worship another human: “Keep your covenant, and I will be true to My covenant” (2:40).

We all neglect love from one side, because we know that love is a passion expressed equally from and by people, so how do we ask for God’s love without repaying in kind His love! Our prophet, Muhammad (p.), comments by saying: “I will give the banner to a man who loves both Allah and His Prophet, and who in return is loved by both; Allah and His Prophet”. If you seek God’s love, love Him first, because God is always there loving you. But remember that loving God is neither mere mystical supplications nor mere spiritual or emotional melting: “Say: “If you love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins” (3:31), the argument is rather wider. If you love and obey Allah, love and obey His messengers. Your love, obedience and discipline will be the test of your faith. Avoid any temptation that might lead you astray from the right path; the path of Prophet Muhammad (p.) and say: “Say My prayers and my devotions, my life and death are all for Allah, Lord of the creation: He has no partner. Thus, I am commanded, being the first of the Muslims” (6:163). Observe that the Prophet has stated it before you: “I am commanded to be one of those who surrender themselves to Him” (10:72). Be faithful to your Islam, which is entrusted to you. Do not betray Allah, the Most Exalted, or the Prophet: “O believers, do not betray Allah and the Apostle, nor knowingly betray your trust” (8:27), for only in this way can we be saved.

Similarly, the societal life is built on certain social ranks and recommends that every member has the freedom of practicing his own rights provided that he takes into consideration the others’ rights too. Take, for instance, the rights of marriage in Islam. Islam considers and deals with marriage as a firm contract signed and agreed upon between the spouses: “For how can you take it back when you have lain with each other and entered into a firm contract?” (4:21). Each has certain rights and obligations towards the other. Accordingly, marriage is not regarded as any other relation, but rather it is a mutual agreement between two people held earnestly. It is a divine covenant, therefore, which you should abide by, since it is entrusted to you from heavens: “Women shall with justice have rights similar to those exercised against them, and men are a degree above women. Allah is mighty and wise” (2:228). Likewise, keeping secrets is much more important than keeping money, for we all know that some secrets become destructive once they are revealed. How ridiculous it is that you confide to someone your secret because you yourself cannot hold it and you want that someone to keep it hidden! How can it be?!

The worst of all is that in our East, people are accustomed to confide to others and those others would confide to others too until it becomes not a secret but an endless chronicle. Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (p.) and the Members of the House (a.s.) focus in their traditions on the illegality of not keeping other’s secrets as sacred issues. Thus, it is clearly understood that our meetings with others should be secretly held. For instance, it is reported that: “On the Day of Resurrection, the angels will come holding a bottle of blood and give it to a person whom they say he had participated in killing someone. This person would defend himself saying that he has never ever hurt even an ant throughout his life, and the angels will reply that he once heard the victim saying something and that he immediately stated it in front of the murderer who went ahead and performed his murder. Consequently, this person would have indirectly participated in murdering a man”. We infer that it is not necessary to shoot to kill; our words and our spying would do. As a result, much care should be given to what we hear or to what we say without forgetting that we are Muslims. A Muslim must not experience the feeling of individuality; a Muslim is a person responsible for all the members in his society.

All Muslims are like one body; once an organ is diseased, all the other parts or organs should bear the responsibility of caring for it. Thus, you are a part of a nation, and accordingly this part must interact with the others, in their ambitions and in their pains as well. A careless person is considered a lame part in this nation, and we all know that a lame part does not interact with other parts; it becomes dysfunctional and useless.

Dear loved ones, the Muslims’ solidarity is entrusted to us; it is regarded as the secret of our power, of our progress, of our vitality and of our honor as well. Therefore, the words, which you utter, must be convenient to this solidarity. You should be aware that your words must neither deform Muslims’ solidarity nor must they help in its destruction. We all know that when both the arrogant and the infidels attempt at either destroying or usurping Muslims’ resources and freedom, they do not usually differentiate between one sect and the other, or between one confession and the other; on the contrary, they direct all their power towards the strongest to weaken it, for they realize that once the strongest sect is conquered, all the others would be easily conquered too.

So, do not be overtaken by your sectarianism; it is equivalent to tribalism; let your sectarianism become an intellectual one. The intellectual sectarianism is so powerful that it enriches the concept of dialogue, the concept of understanding, the concept of openness, and the concept of knowledge as well: “O Believers, do not betray Allah and the apostle, nor knowingly betray your trust” (8:27). “Know that your children and your worldly goods are but a temptation” (8:28). They are not an honor to you as much as they are your greatest responsibility. “Do men think that once they say: We are believers, they will be left alone and not to be tried? We tested those who have gone before them?” (29:2).

This verse states that man is being tried, since the moment he is born. Allah, the Most Exalted, tests man in richness, in positions, in power and in all the challenges he faces. Man must realize that whatever his condition might be, it must be a state of trial.

That is why Allah gives us some examples about some men who were put under trial: “Did you suppose that you would go to paradise untouched by (the suffering) which was endured by those before you? Reflection and adversity befell them; and so battered were they that each apostle, and those who shared his faith, cried out: “When will the help of Allah come?” His help is ever near” (2: 214). The challenges are sometimes so great that man would have been a cause of despair and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness had not he had an innate belief and hope in Allah, and so: “His help is ever near”.

Dear loved ones: Both our wealth and our children are but a test through which Allah, the Most Exalted, wants to see how we are going to manage; how we are going to use our money, and how we are going to raise our children and to make them good and real believers in our Islamic society, because: “those who break Allah’s covenant after accepting it, who part what He has bidden to be united, and commit evil in the land, a curse shall be laid on them, and they shall have an evil abode in  Hell” (13:25). But if you are moderate in using your money and in raising your kids; if you follow the right path, then: “They shall enter the Gardens of Eden, together with the righteous among their fathers, their wives and their descendants. From every gate the angels will come to them, (saying) peace be to you for all that you have steadfastly endured. Blessed is the final reward (of paradise)” (13:23), and: “Know that your children and your worldly goods are but a temptation and that Allah’s reward is great” (8:28).

In the end, dear loved ones, if you fear Allah “He will give you discrimination, and clean you of your sins and forgive you. The bounty of Allah is great” (8:29). A good and real belief would strengthen the path of goodness against that of evil. A real belief would enlighten your hearts and your minds; a real belief is so effective that it eliminates all our sins: “Allah will love you and forgive your sins, Allah is forgiving and merciful” (3:31).

Let us love and worship Allah, the Most Exalted, the only Creator, for worshiping any other being is similar to worshiping the devil. Dear loved ones, love and follow God’s Messenger, followers, and believers and refrain from the enemies of God, the Most Exalted: “For this let all men emulously strive” (83: 28).