Faith, Certainty and Steadfastness on Religion
Sheikh Saalih aal Taalib
February 15, 2013 ~ Rabee ath Thaani 5, 1434
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All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. O Allah with Your name do we begin, and with Your guidance we are guided, and in You O Helper, we seek guidance and help. We ask You to colour, with the light of truth, our eyes; and to make, towards Your pleasure, our journeying. We thank You for setting straight our footsteps earnestly on the religion, and (for) making our feet firm on the path of truth. And we send salutations and peace on our prophet Muhammad, the one who called to You with sure knowledge, and who depended on You (Allah), so You were his Protector and Helper, and on his family who followed his Sunnah, and his companions who explained his laws.
O Allah, O the Protector of the believers, protect us; and take us by our forelocks to the truth; and make for us in every disaster of sedition, a robe of serenity; and in every shock of hardship, and armour of patience; and in every gloom of doubt, knowledge of certainty; and in every calamity of anxiety, a shield of steadfastness; and in every spring of misguidance, a light of guidance; and with every urge of desires, a deterrent of piety; and in every display of doubt, a rule of proof, and in every ignorance of falsehood, abundant knowledge of truth and certainty.
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. He is Unique in creating and judging. Whatever He wills occurs and what He does not will does not occur. Not an atom moves except with His Permission, and the creation are subdued under His Grip. There is no heart except that it is between two of His fingers, if He wishes he guides it and if He wishes He deviates it, for He is the One Who grants the souls of the believers their piety, and He is the One Who guides them and purifies them, and He shows the souls of the misguided their wickedness and He makes them miserable.
He guides Who He wishes through His Grace and Mercy, and He misguides Who He wishes through His Justice and Wisdom. This is His Grace and Bounties, and the Grace of the Generous cannot be thanked. And this is His Justice and Decree. He is not questioned about what He does, but they (servants) will be questioned.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His messenger. He conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust and advised the Ummah. And he left us on clarity, like (the clarity of) the night from the day. No one is misguided from it except that he is destroyed. May Allah’s salutations, peace and blessings be upon him, and on his family, companions, those who follow them, and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgement.
Thereafter: So fear Allah – the Exalted – and fear Him, and obey His command and do not disobey Him. “O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.” [Surah Tawbah: 119]
O Muslims: When Allah wished well for mankind, He sent prophet Muhammad ﷺ to them, and He revealed the Quraan to him: so he guided with it from misguidance, made visible by it from blindness, and he took people out from the darkness to the light, so they established civilizations, ruled nations and raised populations, and that was not completed – after the ability granted by Allah – except with fuel that strengthened strengths and an incentive that nourished courage and strengthened intentions. Verily it is the fuel of faith, and the incentive of belief.
Faith created a generation whose like was not known by the world; and a civilization whose like was not greeted by the world. Work, striving and building; good character, refined (morals) and mercy; and striving and opening of the hearts and insights, and justice throughout the world, and with all of that, determination that crushes the mountains, and steadfastness that matches up to the firm mountains, and victory, honour and esteem. Verily it is faith, that which creates miracles.
Beliefs and concepts, and faith and certainty are weapons that no army on earth has power over, and ammunition that no strength of fighters can face. And surely it came in the perfect revelation: “If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred.” [Surah Anfaal: 65], and it is known that overpowering them is due to something certain in the heart, that cannot be overcome by equipment or numbers.
O Muslims: True faith is the best (thing) that a human can internalize and the most virtuous (thing) that he can externalize, and faith is not just a word that is said, but it is, with that, a perception of the majesty of Allah, submission to His Greatness and compliance with His commands, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith.” [Surah Anfaal: 2]
Faith is noble sensations, honourable characteristics, a straight mind, an alive conscience and a cure from every illness and disease of the souls. Faith is attestation and deeds, “But Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance and disobedience.” [Surah Hujuraat: 7]
Faith is certainty that calms the hearts. And the recognition of Allah has a sweet taste; imprinting the souls with nobility and sublimation, and it (faith) purifies the souls from their grief. Verily it (faith) is yearning for Allah, and rushing to His Pleasure.
Faith fragrances the heart with light, and fills the bosoms with pleasure. And which faith is above serenity with Allah and dependence on Him, and filling the heart with none besides Him alone?
It corrects the hearts and submits them; steadies them and refines them; clarifies them, strengthens them and softens them for the one who takes Allah alone as a God and the Worshipped, and (who) makes sincere his heart for none besides Him, “And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good” [Surah Nisaa: 125]
And submitting the self to Allah is the total approaching of the servant to Allah and ignoring everyone besides Him; and submitting to His Wishes; and humility to His Greatness and His Glory, and faith in His Unity and His Law, and with this (comes) the perfection of faith and its completion.
Faith made the prophet of Allah Hood say to his nation: “So plot against me all together; then do not give me respite. Indeed, I have relied upon Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” [Surah Hood: 55-56]
And when Moosa (‘Alayhi Salaam) stood in front of the sea, while Fir’awn and his army were behind him, and the two companies saw one another, “the companions of Musa said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” [Musa] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.”” [Surah Shu’araa: 61-62]
Faith is what made the prophet ﷺ say while he was in the range of vision of the polytheists: “O Abu Bakr! What do you think about two, the third of whom is Allah.”
Ibn Qayyim (Rahimahullah) said: “And when certainty reaches the heart, it is filled with light and brightness, and it is cleansed of every doubt and uncertainty, and (of) anger, worry and anxiety, so it is filled with the love of Allah, fear of Him, pleasure with Him, gratitude to Him, dependence on Him and returning to Him.”
And in the saying of Allah the Exalted: “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.” [Surah Nisaa: 65], he (Rahimahullah) said: “Submission is saviour from doubts that contradict the belief in the conveyed, or desires that contradict the commands of Allah, or anger that contradicts pre-destination and pre-ordainment.”
O Muslims: Faith creates stances just as it creates (real) men. Faith is the fuel of courage just as it is the soul of nations. And by it the companions (Radiallahu Anhum) reached through Islam that (status) which they reached, and their biographies and journeys fragranced the atoms of the world. Allah described the steadfastness of the believers at the time of hardship saying: “Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”” [Surah Aal Imraan: 173]
And He described their submission to the laws of Sharee’ah saying: “The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah, to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise).” [Surah Noor: 51]
Surely faith and certainty reached with the companions to an extent that it made history, in their knowledge and understanding, striving and worship, their love and dealings, and their sacrificing their lives for Allah, firmly believing in the saying of Allah – Glorified and Majestic -: “Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise.” [Surah Tawbah: 111]
Faith reached with them (to the extent) that Anas bin Nadhr (Radiallahu Anhu) said: “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul; verily I sense the fragrance of Paradise near Uhud.” Anas bin Malik – the narrator of the Hadeeth – said: And this verse was revealed: “Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah.” [Surah Ahzaab 23] He said: “And we used to say: ‘This verse was revealed regarding him and his companions.” [Narrated by Muslim].
And this is Umair bin Himaam – may Allah be pleased with him – saying: “Oh! Oh! There is nothing between myself and Paradise except for these (enemies) to kill me. If I remain until I eat these dates that will be a long life.” Then he threw what (weapon) was in his hand and fought until he was killed.
This is the certainty of the companions (Radiallahu Anhum) for they saw the unseen world before them as if it was the seen world.
And when the polytheists came to know about the news of the Night Journey and Ascension, they taunted the prophet ﷺ. They taunted a matter that their minds could not comprehend. So the people of the Quraysh came to Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) and said: “What do you think of your companion? He claims that he came to Baitul Muqaddas (Jerusalem) then returned to Makkah in one night!” So Abu Bakr said: “Did he say that?” They said: “Yes.” He said: “Then I bear witness that if he said that, then he has spoken the truth.” They said: “So do you believe that he went to Shaam (Levant) and returned to Makkah before the morning?” He said: “Yes, I believe him in things further than that. I believe him in the news of the heavens.”
Abu Salama said: “It was due to this that Abu Bakr was called As Siddeeq (the truthful).”
Servants of Allah: And throughout the past centuries majesty was not recorded for the Arabs except with their religion, and they did not have honour except with their faith. And it is as if Allah wished for the spiritual leadership of humans to be in their possession. And when they omitted this spirit, and left this level, their condition relapsed, and they did not rise up after the era of recession, because they turned away from faith, consoling the rest of the nations, and they did not preserve the religion, neither did they gain this world. They knocked at the ways of nationalism, communism and secularism, then their paths divided, and their majesty became a phantom.
O believers: Surely the enemies of Islam realise the reality and effect of faith on the life of the Muslims, and what the first Muslims achieved by it, and how the first Muslims achieved by it. And they know that it is the soul of the Ummah and the secret of its strength. So they targeted the belief of the Ummah in a large-scale war, and they employed every means of doubts and desires, via books and channels, programmes and systematic plans, until the vegetation of deviation and atheism was planted, hypocrisy set in, and to create doubt leaders and schools which undermined monotheism appeared, and certainty was shaken, and the hearts were changed to chaff, eaten up by fire from the first spark.
And every day you see or hear an atheist sly or a satanic idea, in monotony which makes you realise that the matter is not an individual mistake but an intentional enmity. And surely it was impossible to hear this deviation yesterday. However the enemies opposed the Ummah for many years, and promoted crises, and busied it (the Ummah) with amusement and entertainment, and panting to make a living and for the ruins of this world. And a miserable generation was created, abstaining from their religion, respecting all religions but not respecting its beliefs.
Verily atheism is a psychological ailment and not an academic doubt. Verily Allah commands that beliefs should unite the society, but (some) nations seek to distance it and permit racist and nationalist disputes. And verily Allah commands to modesty, shyness and virtue, but those who love to spread indecency seek the aid of equality and desire in productivity even if it may be against virtue. And religion entered into a dreadful calamity, until the protectors of Islam stood at the last of the borders of defense.
And when a party of the Ummah realised some of that which it aspired to regarding faith, and chose that which reformed its religion and worldly affair, its detesters rushed to plant sedition and turmoil, and they prevented the Ummah from returning to the secret of its strength and the spirit of its rising, and they suppressed the truth by every means even if it may be military incursions, in quick, eye-catching initiatives , violating treaties and agreements, and laws and promises and norms with total disregard, citing freedom of choice, in a strange contradiction of the situation.
And here you see the oppressed people of Syria moaning since two years under oppression, subjugation and killing. And the world does not desire to end this oppression, neither does it want to, because it has its selfish accounts, and its evil objectives, and character and values have no weight with them except as decoration, propaganda and throwing dust in the eyes.
Verily the inaction to aid the weak in Syria, despite the rapid intervention in other places is surely blatant racism, international injustice and an uncovered conspiracy, and this fosters hatred and enmity, and destroys the efforts of mutual closeness, co-existence and peace.
Verily it is upon the truthful ones to extinguish the fire of sedition, and to move quickly towards serious actions which liven the hearts and cleanse them, purify the souls and beautify them and return honour and grace to the Ummah.
I seek protection in Allah from the accursed Satan. “Neither those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) nor polytheists like that there should be sent down unto you any good from your Lord. But Allah chooses for His Mercy whom He wills. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.” [Surah Baqarah: 105]
May Allah bless me and you in the Quraan and Sunnah, and benefit us with what is in them of verses and wisdom. I say these words of mine and I seek forgiveness from Allah the Exalted for me and you.
All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. The Beneficent, the Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgement. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. The King, the Clear Truth. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the truthful, the trustworthy. May Allah’s salutations, peace and blessings be upon him, and upon his good pure family, and his companions, the fortunate personalities, and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgement.
O Muslims: Verily the cure by which this Ummah will rise, is revealed by the One Who is All-Wise, All-Aware to the heart of the seal of the prophets – peace be upon him – so there is no antidote after it and no solution besides it.
Verily depriving the self of faith is a religious and a worldly crisis and surely religion is not a guarantee for the Hereafter only, but it is a guarantee for existence. And verily removing faith from the souls, and leaving the hearts deprived of religion is surely a fatal, destructive blow, and whoever aids his enemy in fulfilling that is a betrayer against Allah, his prophet and his Ummah.
And surely some Muslims have become involved in actualizing some of the desires of the enemy, either ignorantly or unconsciously and due to a deficiency in religion and the preferring of this world over the Hereafter. And some of them employ that which Allah granted them of wealth, writing and media to downplay religion in the souls of the Muslims and (to) open the doors of desires and doubts, until we sleep fearing over ourselves before (fearing over) our children.
Alas fear Allah – O Muslims – and beware of revering the mind and following desires and being impressed with opinions.
Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) said: “Whoever makes it a habit to contradict the law (of Islam) with (his) opinion, faith will not be firmly established in his heart.”
And the current situation bears witness, just as in the confusion of the contemporaries, they have stirred up trouble against the laws (of Allah). Beware of exposing the self to doubts, and drawing from the troubled waters or accompanying its people, or being exposed to the hotbeds (of evil): of channels, books, narratives or rotten sites, for verily the hearts are weak, and the doubts are seizing, and Allah – the Exalted – says: “And when you (Muhammad ﷺ) see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Satan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the wrong-doers.” [Surah An’aam: 68], and He – Glorified is He – said: “And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell” [Surah Nisaa: 140]
Faith is a treasure which should be kept away from obstructions and ailments. How many (a time) it has been taken away from scholars and escaped from worshippers. “And recite (O Muhammad ﷺ) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat, but he threw them away, so Satan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray.” [A’raaf; Verse 175]
And if the prophet ﷺ used to fear sedition for Al Farooq (Radiallahu Anhu) when he brought a book given to him from some of the people of the Book and he read it to him, then the prophet ﷺ became angry and said: “Are you confused regarding it O son of Khattaab?!” – i.e. Are you confused regarding Islam; not knowing your religion such that you take it from the Jews and Christians?! – “By the One is Whose Hand is my soul, verily I have come with it (Islam) to you clear and pure.”
So who can be safe from sedition after Umar?! And parables have been sent before us, and advices have been conveyed to us. So it is upon the believer to refrain from doubts and places of sedition. And how much have the neglectful been complacent in their involvement in defending preferences or seeking recognition, especially when the path of attaining them has become easy. So the feet slipped, and the minds changed and the bad actions of some of them were beautified so they saw them as good.
And surely, the messenger of faith ﷺ used to supplicate abundantly (saying): “O Turner of hearts, make steadfast my heart on Your religion.”
And in the abundance of good deeds, recitation of the Quraan, keeping the company of the good and pious and holding onto Dua, there is saviour – by the permission of Allah – from desires and doubts.
It is imperative to raise the aspiration of the scholars and reformers to stand a strong opposition against the habits of atheism, and the wind of doubt, in the preserving of religion, and its protection from normalizing it (atheism) and its people; as a fulfilling of a compulsion, and a mercy to mankind, and a protection for unity of rank, and unison of speech, and extending the smile of faith.
Behold verily the mobilization of preventing the atheists, refuting their doubts, revealing their sedition and exposing them is the right of Allah upon His servants, and the right of the Muslims on their scholars is in the refutation of every contrary and his contradiction, and (every) deviant one and his deviation, and (every) sinner and his sin, and the mistake of a scholar and his irregularity so that the Muslims are not called to desires; their natures corrupted; and their unity divided; and they are taken from their religion to a changed religion; a distorted law and a pile of sects and desires.
O Allah, O Turner of hearts, make our hearts steadfast on Your religion. O Allah, O Turner of hearts, make our hearts steadfast on Your religion.
O Allah send salutations, peace and blessings on your servant and messenger Muhammad, and on his good, pure family. And be pleased O Allah with all the companions of your messenger, and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgement.
O Allah grant honour to Islam and the Muslims…