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Review of instances of īmān (إِيمَٰن) in the Quran

Introduction

The instances of Arabic words from the root: hamza, meem and nuun (أ م ن) occurs 879 times in the Quran in 17 derived forms having similar meanings according to their morphological and grammatical forms while we know that an Arabic word may have a range of meanings depending on context, which is a key concept to understand the message coded in the Arabic text of the Quran. However, the instances can be grouped as follows to study and understand their usages and meanings in the context:

Note: The above table is populated with data obtained from the corpus.quran.com

There are 812 instances, which are closely related in the verb (537), verbal noun (45) and active participle (230) forms. However, 45 instances of īmān meaning “faith/belief” in the verbal noun form are reviewed to understand the message in different context how we can increase our faith.

Instances of īmān

45 instances of īmān meaning “faith” found in 41 verses across 21 suras in the Quran are described below:

[2:93] And we took your covenant and we raised the mount above you, “You shall hold what we gave you with firmness, and shall listen.” They said, “We heard and we disobeyed.” They were made to sink the calf in their hearts because of their disbelief. Say, “Evil has been what enjoys you with it your faith (bi’samaa yamurukum bihi īmānukum), if you had been believers.”

[2:108] Or do you wish that you ask your messenger as Moses was asked before? And whoever exchanges the disbelief with the faith (wa-man yastabaddali al-kuf’ra bil-īmāni), then he has indeed strayed from evenness of the path.

[2:109] Many from people of the scripture had wished if they could turn you back to disbelievers from after your faith (law yarudduunakum min ba’di īmānukum kuffaaran), out of jealousy from behalf of their souls from after what became clear to them is the truth. So, you shall forgive them and overlook until God brings His command. Indeed, God is Powerful over all things.

[2:143] And thus, we have made you a community of the middle way that you may be witness over the people, and that the messenger may be a witness over you. And we have not made the direction of which you had been towards it except that we make evident whoever follows the messenger of whoever turns back on his heels. And indeed, it has certainly been a great (test) except for those whom God has guided, and God had not done that He let go waste your faith (wa-maa kaana allahu liyudee`a īmānakum). Indeed, God, the Merciful has certainly Kindness over the people.

[3:86] How can God guide a people who have disbelieved after their faith (kayfa yahdee allahu qawman kafaruu ba`da īmānihim), and they have witnessed that the messenger is true and has come to them the clear proofs? And God does not guide the people of the wrongdoers.

[3:90] Indeed, those who have disbelieved after their faith (inna alladheena kafaruu ba`da īmānihim), then they have increased disbelief, will not be accepted of their repentance, and those – they are the (real) strayers.

[3:100] O you who have believed, if you obey a group of those who have been given the scripture, they will turn you back to disbelievers after your faith (yarudduukum ba`da īmānikum kaafeereena).

[3:106] A day would become white some faces and would become black some faces; as for those of their faces have turned black: “Had you disbelieved after your faith (a-kafartum ba`da īmānikum)? Then taste the punishment for what you had done to disbelieve.”

[3:167] And that He makes evident those who have been hypocrites, and it has been said to them: “Come, fight in God’s way or defend”. They said: “If we know fighting, we have certainly followed you.” They are that day nearer to the disbelief than them for the faith (hum lil’kuf’ri yawma’idhin aqrabu min’hum lil’īmāni). They say with their mouths what has not been in their hearts while God is Knower of what they conceal.

[3:173] The people who said to them: “Indeed, the people have certainly gathered against you, so you shall fear them”. But it increased them in faith (fazaadahum īmānan) while they said: “God is sufficient for us, and He has been the best Disposer of affairs.”

[3:177] Indeed, those who have purchased the disbelief with the faith will never hurt God in anything (inna alladheena ish’tarawuu al-kuf’ra bil-īmānan yadurruu allaha shayin); and for them there is a painful punishment.

[3:193] Our Lord, indeed, we have heard a caller calling to the faith that (rabbana innanaa sami`naa munadiyan yunaadee lil’īmāni an) “You shall believe in your Lord”, so we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive our sins for us, and remove our evil deeds from us, and cause us die with the righteous.

[4:25] And whoever among you cannot afford to marry the free chaste believing women, then from what has possessed your right hands of the believing slave young women. And God knows best of your faith, yours from another (wa-allahu a`lamu bi-īmānikum ba’dukum min ba’din). So, you shall marry them with permission of their family and shall give them their bridal reward in a fair manner being chaste, neither lewd ones nor having secret lovers. As when they are married, then if they have committed adultery, then for them the punishment is half of what is for the free believing women. That is for whoever has feared committing sin among you and that you are to be patient, is better for you. And God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[5:5] Today, has been made lawful for you the good things; and food of those who have been given the scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them; and the chaste women from the believers and the chaste women from those who have been given the scripture before yourselves when you have given them their bridal due, are chaste, neither lewd ones nor having secret lovers. And whoever denies in the faith (wa-man yakfur bil-īmāni), he has surely wasted his deeds, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the losers.

[6:82] Those who have believed, and they do not mix their faith with wrong (alladheena aamanuu wa-lam yalbisuu īmānahum bizul’min), those – for them is the security and they are the guided ones.

[6:158] Are they waiting that comes to them the angels, or comes your Lord, or comes some signs of your Lord? A day when comes some signs of your Lord will not benefit a soul for its faith (yawma yatee ba`du aayaati rabbika laa-yanfa`u nafsan īmānuahaa), had not it believed before, or had earned a good through its faith (aw kasabat fee īmānuaha khayran). Say, “Wait, indeed, we are those who wait.”

[8:2] Only the believers are those – when has been mentioned God, has feared their hearts; and when has been recited His revelations to them, has increased them of faith; and upon their Lord they put trust (idhaa dhukira allahu wajilat quluubuhum wa-idhaa tuliyat `alayhim aayaatuhu zaadathum īmānan wa-`alaa rabbihim yatawakkaluuna).

[9:23] O you who believed, you should not take allies your fathers and your brothers, if they have preferred the disbelief over the faith (ini is’tahabbuu al-kuf’ra alaa al-īmānani). And whoever takes them as allies among you, then those – they are wrongdoers.

[9:66] You are not to make excuse. Certainly, you have disbelieved after your faith (qad kafartum ba`da īmānahum). If we pardon from a party of you, we will punish a party, as they have been criminals.

[9:124] And when has been revealed a chapter, then someone among them says: “Which of you has increased faith by this (ayyukum zadathu haadhihi īmānan)?” For those who have believed, then it has increased them in faith while they rejoice.

[10:9] Indeed, those who have believed and have done the righteous deeds, guides them their Lord through their faith (yahdeehim rabbuhum bi-īmānanihim). There will flow the rivers of their underneath in gardens of the Bliss.

[10:98] So, has there not been a town had believed, then had benefited it for its faith, except the people of Jonah (fa-lawlaa kaanat qaryatun aamanat fa-nafa`ahaa īmānuhaa)? When they had believed, we removed from them punishment of the disgrace in the life of the world and we granted them enjoyment for a while.

[16:106] Whoever has disbelieved in God after his faith (man kafara bi-llahi min ba`di īmānihi), except whoever has been forced while his heart is content with the faith (wa-qalbuhu mut’ma-innun bil-īmānani), but whoever has widened chest with the disbelief, then upon them, there is a wrath of God and for them, there is a great punishment.

[30:56] And said those who have been given the knowledge and the faith (wa-qaala alladheena uutuu al-`ilma wal-īmāna): “Certainly, you have remained by God’s decree until a day of the Resurrection. And this is a day of the Resurrection, but you had done not knowing.”

[32:29] Say: “A day of the Decision, their faith will not benefit those who have disbelieved, nor will they be granted respite ( yawma al-fathi laa-yanfa`u alladheena kafaruu īmānuhum wa-laa hum yunzaruuna).”

[33:22] And when the believers saw the confederates, they said: “This is what God has promised us and His messenger, and God speaks truth and His messenger.” This has not increased them except faith and compliance (wa-maa zaadahum illaa īmānan wa-tasleeman).

[40:10] Indeed, those who have disbelieved will be told: “Certainly, God’s abhorrence is greater than your abhorrence of yourselves when you were called to the faith (idh tud`awna ilaa al-īmāni), as you disbelieve.”

[40:28] And said a believing man from Pharaoh’s people concealing his faith (wa-qaala rajulun mu’minun min aali fir`awna yaktumu īmānahu): “Will you kill a man (Moses) that he says: ‘My Lord is God’, and indeed, he has come to you with the clear proofs from your Lord? And if he is a liar, then his lie will be upon him, and if he is truthful, some of which he threatens you will strike you. Indeed, God does not guide whoever he is a transgressor, a liar.”

[40:85] Then their faith would not benefit them (falam yaku yanfa`uhum īmānuhum) when they had seen our punishment. That is God’s system which has certainly preceded among His servants, and has lost there the disbelievers.

[42:52] And thus that we have inspired to you (Muhammad) an inspiration with our command. You have not been to know what the scripture was nor was the faith (maa kunta tadree maa al-kitaabu wa-laa al-īmānu). And we have made it a light; we guide with it whomever we will among our servants. Indeed, you surely guide to a straight path.

[48:4] He is the One who sent down the peace into hearts of the believers that they may increase faith with their faith (li-yazdaaduu īmānan ma`a īmānanihim). And to God belongs soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and God has benn Knower, Wise.

[49:7] And you shall know that among you is a messenger of God. If he were to obey you in much of the matter, surely, you have been in difficulty. But God has endeared to you the faith (wa-laakinna allahu habbaba ilaykumu al-īmāna) and has made it pleasing in your hearts, and has made hateful to you the disbelief, the defiance and the disobedience. Those – they are the guided ones.

[49:11] O you who have believed, a people should not ridicule of other people, it may have been that they may be better than they nor should women of other women, it may have been that they may be better than they, nor should you insult one another, nor should you call each other by the nicknames. It has wretched the name of the disobedience after the faith (bi’sa al-is’mu al-fusuuqu ba’da al-īmāni), and whoever does not repent, then those – they are the wrongdoers.

[49:14] The Arabs said: “We have believed.” Say: “You do not believe,” but say: “We have submitted”, and the faith has not entered into your hearts (wa-lamma yadkhuli al-īmānu fee quluubikum). But if you obey God and His messenger, He will not deprive you of any of your good deeds. Indeed, God is Forgiving, Merciful.

[49:17] They consider a favor to you that they have submitted! Say: “You should not consider your submission a favor on me. Nay, God has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith (bal allahu yamunnu `alaykum `an hadaakum lil’ īmāni), if you have been truthful.”

[52:21] And those who have believed, and has followed them their children in faith (wa-ittaba`athum dhurriyyatuhum bi-īmāni), we will join their children with them, and we will not deprive them of anything of their deeds. Every person has a pledge for what he had earned.

[58:22] You will not find a people who believe in God and the Last Day befriend whoever has opposed God and His messenger, even if they have been their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their relatives. Those – He has decreed the faith into their hearts (ulaaika kataba fee quluubihimu al-īmāna) and has supported them with an inspiration from Him. And He will admit them to gardens, flowing the rivers of their underneath, are abiding therein forever. God has been pleased with them and they have been pleased with Him. Those are God’s party. No doubt, indeed, God’s party – they are the successful ones.

[59:9] And those of their before – you shall provide the home and the faith (tabawwabuu al-daar wal- al-īmāna) and shall love whoever has immigrated to them, and they should not find any need in their hearts of what they have been given, and shall prefer over themselves even though it has been poverty with them. And whoever is saved from stinginess of his soul, then those – they are the successful ones.

[59:10] And those who came of their after say: “Our Lord, forgive for us and our brothers who preceded us to the faith (wa-li’ikh’waaninaa alladheena sabaquuna bil-īmāni), and in our hearts should not have any hatred towards those who believed. Our Lord, You are Compassionate, Merciful.”

[60:10] O you who have believed, when has come to the believing women as emigrants, you shall test them. God is Knower of their faith (allahu a`lamu bi-īmānihinna). So if you have known believers, then you should not return them to the disbelievers. Neither they (women) are lawful for them (disbelievers), nor are they (disbelievers) lawful for them (women), and you shall give them (disbelievers) what they have spent. And there is no blame on you if you marry them (women) when you have given them their (bridal) reward. And you should not hold the disbelieving women with marriage bonds, and you shall ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is God’s judgment, He judges between you. And God is Knower, Wise.

[74:31] And we have not made guardians of the Fire except angels, and we have not made their number except a warning for those who disbelieved, that it may ascertain those who have been given the scripture (Jews and Christians) and may increase faith of those who believed (Muslims) (wa-wayazdāda alladhīna āmanū īmānan), and may not doubt those who have been the scripture (Jews and Christians) and the believers (Muslims). And that may say those in their hearts there is a disease (hypocrites) and the disbelievers, “What has God meant by this allegory?” Thus, God misguides whomever He wills and He guides whomever He wills. And none knows your Lord’s soldiers except He. And it is not except a reminder for the human race.

Summary

Here is the summary of 45 instances of īmān found in 41 verses across 21 suras in the Quran:

  • What was given to Moses was disobeyed by his people while they enjoyed evil with their faith.
  • Those who have exchanged the disbelief with the faith has strayed from the straight path.
  • The people of the scripture had wished to turn the believers back to the disbelievers from after the faith out of jealousy from behalf of their souls from after what became clear to them is the truth.
  • The believers will be witnesses over the people and the messenger will be witness over the believers.
  • The changing of the direction of prayer was a great test for those whom God had guided.
  • How does God guide the disbelievers after the faith as He does not guide the wrongdoers?
  • Those who have disbelieved after the faith have increased their disbelief.
  • You should not obey the people of the scripture that they may turn you back after the faith.
  • Those who disbelieved after the faith would taste the punishment.
  • When the disbelievers frightened with a large gathering against the believers, increased their faith.
  • Those who avoided fighting with an excuse are nearer to disbelief being the hypocrites.
  • Those who have exchanged the disbelief with the faith does not hurt God.
  • The believers responded to the caller to the faith and prayed for to die as the righteous.
  • Whoever cannot afford a free chaste believing woman may marry from the slave chaste believing women or what their hands had possessed.
  • All good things are made lawful for the believers while food of the people of the scripture is made lawful for us and our food is made lawful for them.
  • We should not mix the faith with wrong to be deprived of God’s guidance as the guided ones.
  • The believers should earn the good things through the faith.
  • When God is mentioned with His revelations should increase our faith to put our trust in Him.
  • We should not take allies with our fathers and brothers if they prefer the disbelief over the faith.
  • When a sura was revealed it increased the faith of the believers, and those who believed and have done the good deeds, their Lord guides them by their faith and gives them gardens of the bliss.
  • Believing can benefit any community as mentioned the people of Jonah as an example.
  • Whoever has widened his heart to the disbelief, there is a great punishment for him.
  • The knowledge and the faith remained until a day of the Resurrection.
  • God and His messenger spoke the truth, and when the believers saw the confederate, it increased their faith and compliance.
  • A believing man from the people of Pharaoh who concealed his faith shared an argument with people that God does not guide a transgressor and a liar.
  • Their faith would not benefit them when they see the punishment.
  • The prophet had no knowledge of the scripture and the faith before God inspired him.
  • God has sent down the peace in our hearts that we can increase our faith being the believers.
  • Messenger was sent down to obey and endear faith to avoid disbelief, defiance and disobedience.
  • God wanted the Arabs to not say to be believers until their faith is established in their hearts.
  • Men should not ridicule of other men nor should women do it of other women for being better than others, nor should they insult one another, nor should they call others by the nicknames.
  • Those who believed and if their children followed them in faith, God will join their children with them and will not deprive them of any of their works.
  • He establishes faith in our hearts that we should disregard those who oppose God and His messenger even if they are our fathers, sons, brothers and near relatives.
  • Those who came before should provide the home and the faith for those who came after them as emigrants.
  • The believing women should not be returned to their disbelieving husbands and the believers can marry them providing bridal reward.
  • Quran’s mathematical coding is a reminder for the humans to strengthen their hearts of the believers who will advance with the reminder while the disbelievers of it will lag behind and will suffer the consequences.

In conclusion, God has sent down peace and establishes faith in our hearts that we are to increase being guided by Him but if we mix our faith or the faith after we see the punishment would not bring any benefit for us. Thus, being true believers, we must disregard those who oppose God and His messenger, and prefer the disbelief over the faith even if they are our fathers, sons and near relatives.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (12/27/2019).