Faith is to believe in the unseen
We are to believe certain things that we do not see, i.e., on faith. It is God’s system and we see that sciences also support it. Neuroscience researches show that when the brain is deprived of input in one sensory modality, it is capable of reorganizing itself to support and augment other senses, and blind individuals often demonstrate enhanced nonvisual perceptual abilities through learned behaviors or experience.
- The embryonic requirement for us is to believe in the unseen that we’re told in the Quran:
[2:3-5] Those who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and from our provisions to them, they give to charity; and they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain. These are guided by their Lord and these are the winners.
- We do not see God, angels, Heaven that we’re supposed to believe in. These things are “unseen” in the normal vision but the blessing is that God gives us so many proofs all around us to reflect on them and strengthen our faith.
[12:105] So many proofs in the heavens and the earth are given to them, but they pass by them, heedlessly!
[16:12] And He commits, in your service, the night and the day, as well as the sun and the moon. Also, the stars are committed by His command. These are (sufficient) proofs for people who understand.
[36:40] The sun is never to catch up with the moon – the night and the day never deviate – each of them is floating in its own orbit.
The sunsets, the flowers, the animals, the clouds, the rain, the day and the night, the sun, moon and stars, it’s all are there for us to marvel at and know that it comes from God but we may just ignore or attribute them to evolution or mother nature when we pass by them heedlessly, that’s our failing, not God.
- And God sends messengers and scripture to help increase our faith.
[57:25] We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs, and we sent down to them the scripture and the law, that the people may uphold justice. And we sent down the iron, wherein there is strength, and many benefits for the people. All this in order for GOD to distinguish those who would support Him and His messengers, on faith. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.
- And we’re tested throughout our lives to see how strong our faith is:
[3:186] You will certainly be tested, through your money and your lives, and you will hear from those who received the scripture, and from the idol worshipers, a lot of insult. If you steadfastly persevere and lead a righteous life, this will prove the strength of your faith.
- And God gives us the courage to face these challenges:
[3:173] When the people say to them, “People have mobilized against you; you should fear them,” this only strengthens their faith, and they say, “GOD suffices us; He is the best Protector.”
[33:22] When the true believers saw the parties (ready to attack), they said, “This is what GOD and His messenger have promised us, and GOD and His messenger are truthful.” This (dangerous situation) only strengthened their faith and augmented their submission.
[8:2] The true believers are those whose hearts tremble when GOD is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, their faith is strengthened, and they trust in their Lord.
- We are born with the inherent knowledge to believe in God and all His qualities even though we can’t see Him (30:30, 7:172). Then Satan plays tricks with us and diverts us from the right path as he has promised to work hard to do so (7:16-17).
[48:4] He is the One who places contentment into the hearts of believers to augment more faith, in addition to their faith. To God belongs all forces of the heavens and the earth. God is Omniscient, Most Wise.
- And we believe God is in full control of all things.
[3:109] To God belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth, and all matters are controlled by God.
[6:102] Such is God your Lord, there is no god except He, the Creator of all things. You shall worship Him alone. He is in control of all things.
[11:56] “I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is not a creature that He does not control. My Lord is on the right path.
We accept on faith that God is in control. But when we believe that, then we actually see it. We can look back on our paths and know without a doubt that God made it happen.
- Faith acknowledges that God and Heaven and the angels are unseen. But when we have that faith, then God does show us the things we believe in.
[3:193-5] “Our Lord, we have heard a caller calling to faith and proclaiming: `You shall believe in your Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord, forgive us our transgressions, remit our sins, and let us die as righteous believers. “Our Lord, shower us with the blessings you promised us through Your messengers, and do not forsake us on the Day of Resurrection. You never break a promise.” Their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female – you are equal to one another. Thus, those who immigrate, and get evicted from their homes, and are persecuted because of Me, and fight and get killed, I will surely remit their sins and admit them into gardens with flowing streams.” Such is the reward from GOD. GOD possesses the ultimate reward.
Faith isn’t an excuse. It’s reality. Maybe we can’t physically see God and so we accept Him on faith, but His ways aren’t unreal. They are totally real, and He manifests Himself in everything around us.
Look at signs like sunsets and flowers. Everyone can see a sunset and a flower. Everyone really appreciates a beautiful one. But for submitters, it’s a proof of God’s greatness and His gifts to us. We know sunsets don’t have to be beautiful. There’s no improvement in the function of day and night by having a nice sunset in between. The sun can set and will rise again even if there’s not a bit of color in the sky. But what beauty. And for believers, we get to enjoy the beauty of the sunset itself, and then we get to enjoy the feeling of appreciation we have for God who made it happen. This is the reward of our faith.
Quran does not support blind faith
God has told us to accept certain things on faith and given details to verify everything before accepting them. He has confirmed that the deaf, dumb and blind will fail to return.
- The holy Quran has no place for blind faith and it shares this knowledge with us in different ways.
[31:21] When they are told, “Follow these revelations of God,” They say,” No, we follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if the devil is leading them to the agony of Hell?
- We must read the Quran and reflect on each and every verse of it:
[38:29] This is a scripture that we sent down to you, that is sacred — perhaps they reflect on its verses. Those who possess intelligence will take heed.
- The Quran educates us to reflect on the creations of God to reinforce our faith in the unseen:
[2:164] In the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alteration of night and day, the ships that roam the ocean for the benefit of the people, the water that God sends down from the sky to revive dead land and to spread in it all kinds of creatures, the manipulation of the winds and the clouds that are placed between the sky and the earth, there are sufficient proofs for people who understand.
- We learn from the Quran that Prophet Abraham reflected on the creations of God to learn about God at his young age:
[6:76-78] When the night fell, he saw a shining planet. “Maybe this is my Lord,” he said. When it disappeared, he said, “I do not like (gods) that disappear.” When he saw the moon rising, he said, “Maybe this is my Lord!” When it disappeared, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will be with the strayers.” When he saw the sun rising, he said, “This must be my Lord. This is the biggest.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, I denounce your idolatry.
- We need to use our faculty of thinking and reasoning on the creations of God Almighty, if we want to be a faithful believer:
[16:78-79] God brought you out of your mother’s bellies, knowing nothing, and He gave you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brains, that you may be appreciative. Do they not see the birds committed to fly in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up in the air except God. This should be proof for people who believe.
- The innermost part of our faith resides in our mind. If we employ it rationally, it will bring us closer to God. If we forsake it then we will go astray. The reminder comes from the Quran:
[22:46] Did they not roam the earth, then use their minds to understand, and use their ears to hear? Indeed, the real blindness is not the blindness of the eye, but the blindness of the hearts inside the chest.
- The religion of our parents as preached by scholars, imams and mullahs educates us not to use our intellectual faculties in religious affairs. This education is spread through some false hadiths. Purportedly, the use of the mind in religious matters would lead us astray. The majority of Muslims uphold this sort of belief even though it opposes the Quranic teaching:
[2:170-171] When they are told, “Follow what God has revealed herein,” they say, “We follow only what we found our parents doing.” What if their parents did not understand, and were not guided? The example of such disbelievers is that of parrots who repeat what they hear of sounds and calls, without understanding. Deaf, dumb, and blind; they cannot understand.
- Prophet Abraham’s father Azar and his community were idol worshipers. Abraham was a free thinker. He did not follow the religion of his father blindly and put his effort to find the truth as we learn from the Quran:
[37:85-93] He said to his father and his people, “What are you worshiping?” “Is it these fabricated gods, instead of God, that you want? “What do you think of the Lord of the universe?” He looked carefully at the stars. Then he gave up and said, “I am tired of this!” They turned away from him. He then turned on their idols, saying, “Would you like to eat?“ Why do you not speak? He then destroyed them.
- How many of us really take heed from the above example of young Abraham and verify the religions that we inherited from our parents? Sadly, most of us blindly follow what our parents, our imams or our scholars taught us and we do not bother to think logically what we learn from the Quran:
[11:109] Do not have any doubt regarding what these people worship; they worship exactly as they found their parents worshiping. We will requite them their due share fully, without any reduction.
- Do we think that we will get God’s blessing the easy way without any test from God? Do we think that God cites all the examples in the Quran for entertainment purposes? What do we learn from the following example of young Abraham from the Quran?
[21:57-63] “I swear by God, I have a plan to deal with your statues, as soon as you leave.”He broke them into pieces, except for a big one, that they may refer to it.They said, “Whoever did this to our gods is really a transgressor.”They said, “We heard a youth threaten them; he is called Abraham.”They said, “Did you do this to our gods, O Abraham?”He said, “It is that big one who did it. Go ask them, if they can speak.”
- The teaching of the Quran gives the mind a noble place. God deems human beings who do not use their minds worse than animals, as understood from this verse:
[7:179] We have committed to Hell multitudes of jinns and humans. They have minds with which they do not understand, eyes with which they do not see, and ears with which they do not hear. They are like animals; no, they are far worse—they are totally unaware.
- God restricts those who do not use their minds from the fold of the faithful:
[10:100] “No soul can believe except in accordance with God’s will. For He places a curse upon those who refuse to understand.”
- Prophet Moses asked to see God to reinforce his faith even though he spoke to God:
[7:143] When Moses came at our appointed time, and his Lord spoke with him, he said, “My Lord, let me look and see you.” He said, “You cannot see Me. Look at the mountain; if it stays in its place, then you can see Me.” Then, his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, and this caused it crumble. Moses fell unconscious. When he came to, he said, “Be You glorified. I repent to You, and I am the most convinced believer.
- Prophet Abraham was a convinced believer of God, a monotheist submitter. Yet he demanded a proof from God to reinforce his faith:
[2:260] Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You revive the dead.” He said, “Do you not believe?“ He said, “Yes, but I wish to reassure my heart.” He said, “Take four birds, study their marks, place a piece of each bird on top of a hill, then call them to you. They will come to you in a hurry. You should know that God is Almighty, Most Wise.
- The Quran advises us in the way we should use our mental faculty:
[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the understanding, and you are responsible for using them.
[2:18] Deaf, dumb, and blind; they fail to return.
- The above verses lead us to comprehend that true believers use their mind and verify information and choose the best path for them. These are the real intelligent people whose faiths are strengthened through verification process and they are the guided ones:
[39:17-18] As for those who discard the worship of all idols, and devote themselves totally to God alone, they have deserved happiness.Give good news to My servants. They are the ones who examine all words, then follow the best. These are the one whom God has guided; these are the ones who possess intelligence.
- People grow up with blind faith when they do not think. They just follow their parents, their imams or mullahs without understanding. They utter certain words as inherited from them. Their faith is delivered by lip service, not from the heart. However, God is going to show us what was truly in our mind on the Day of Judgment:
[3:154] God thus put you to the test to bring out your true conviction and to test to bring out what is in your heart, and God is fully aware of your innermost thought.
We accept certain things on faith that we do not see but God has offered guidance and signs, and if we reflect on them, then He augments the guidance and increases our faith to strengthen our soul through our learned behaviors or experience. Such faith isn’t an excuse but it’s a reality. Thus, faith is to believe in what we do not see but the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.On the other hand, He has informed us in the Quran that we don’t have to go through life blindly following something we don’t understand. Now we must understand that blind faith does not reside in the heart and we are easily exposed to be diverted by the Satan and his allies.
So called religious leaders are always saying you have to accept this or that on faith. Accepting things on faith can be used as an excuse, when they don’t have the answer. But the proofs are there to make that faith solid and real, if we’re open to the proofs. Moreover, prohibiting the use of the mind has crippled the intellect of Muslims and the minds of Muslims have been benumbed for centuries, neutralized by false doctrines: hadiths, sharia laws including too many other man-made teachings, and we can only get rid of it to save our soul for ensuring safe return to God through proper use of our mental faculty (2:18, 16:78, 17:36).
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.