What is faith? And what is the level of faith that is called true or pure imaan?
When we talk about faith or imaan, the first thing we should know, is that it is the most precious act. Unfortunately, we have never even considered faith to be an act in itself. Because we have just inherited our belief without even thinking about it. So all our life we consider faith to be just a way of thinking and not something to be learned or diagnosed or contemplated. That is why we fail to realize that out of all the actions that we do, having a conscious faith in Allah is the most precious act.
So how do we attain pure and conscious faith?
This is a combination of recognizing Allah through His names and attributes, plus the knowledge and understanding of His book.
Only then we can have the taste of true faith in which there will be no doubt or confusion.
Such a faith will be like a strong seed planted in the heart, which will lead a person to develop a pure and beautiful character.
When the Prophet (s.a.w.) was asked, “what is the highest level of faith?” He answered; “Having an excellent character”
This means that your habits and attitude is the true measure of your faith.
Our character cannot be genuinely good and pure, if we do not have true faith. Because it is only the fear of displeasing Allah which keeps a person unconditionally good to everyone. This fear of Allah’s disapproval is called Taqwa, and taqwa is the natural consequence of true faith.
Otherwise we see that just having a label of faith, does not produce any Allah consciousness, and thus people commit all sorts of injustices while claiming to be believers. Or they will behave nicely only when they have some personal gain. Or when they want to impress people.
If they had Allah on their minds, then they would never do anything that might be displeasing to Him. Although as humans we forget and we slip… but this will be followed with true repentance, not with blaming others or making all sorts of excuses and self justifications.
We all claim that we believe in Allah and we fear His displeasure, but how do we know whether it is true or not?
The truth is that if we really fear Allah’s disapproval then we will not be so much concerned about people’s opinions about us. Because the fear of Allah is such a powerful emotion that it pushes away all other fears from the heart. Truly this is the supreme success in both this world and the hereafter.
What a life it would be if our only concern was to please Allah and to avoid his anger only. What a relief it would be to stop thinking about what will people say… and just do the right thing which will benefit us both in this world and the next.
This seems like an impossible thing to achieve but surely there must be some way we could reach this level of faith?
The first thing to do is to make it our top most goal… that we have to attain true faith with conscious efforts and duas.
Next make it a habit to confide all your worries and concerns to Allah. Think about His powers and attributes. Imagine His love and compassion for all of us. Remember His blessings. Give thanks for each and everything. Understand the purpose of this life by understanding the Quran and the teachings our Prophet (s.a.w). Understand the purpose and benefits of the five time prayers. This is our meeting with Allah so it will renew our faith if we focus on the reality of standing before Allah. Spend some time daily in pondering on Allah’s creations. Make a habit of doing Zikr a lot. Ask Allah for all your needs and wants before expressing them to anyone else.
But all of this can be done only when we realize that our whole life depends on our faith.
The fact is that there is no success without pleasing Allah, and we cannot please Allah without believing in Him. And if we believe in Him then how can we ignore what He has said to us? How can we not take out time to understand His message? His Quran? How can we ignore His Messenger (s.a.w.)? How can we go on living our lives without knowing the life and teachings of our Prophet (s.a.w.)? If we really have faith that He is the Ultimate role model of success… then how can we not have any concern or desire to follow his footsteps? And how can we follow without knowing?
So let’s wake up our hearts and fill ourselves with the energy of true faith… in-sha-Allah