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STRENGTHENING OUR FAITH THROUGH KNOWING ALLAH – (PART 1)

Sometimes, it seems that we are surrounded by people who do not understand our faith. Confused by our surroundings, we must ask ourselves ‘Do we understand our own belief system?’ Our Imaan is not always strong, and sometimes we find ourselves slipping away from the right path through no fault except our own ignorance, especially as to how we may strengthen our faith and ourselves in order to combat our inner desires as well as the temptations it calls us to.

Many of us find ourselves embracing Islaam, or revisiting (when more mature) the Islaam we were once taught through loved ones, but with a much more sincere approach. Through a lack of what should be basic knowledge, we appear to enter a state of emotional faith that places us on an almost transitional level. We rarely begin on the basis we should be working from, and we are reliant on any small conversation to guide us or help to maintain the uplifting and exciting feelings we have found. Imaan has been specifically described in videlicet terms as in the Hadeeth narrated by Umar (RadhiAllahu Anhu):

“One day we were sitting with Allaah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) and a man suddenly appeared before us, wearing a very white dress, having very black hair, without any signs of journey upon him. He approached until he sat before the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) with his knees touching the Prophet’s knees and he placed his hands on his thighs and said:

‘Oh Mohammed, inform me about Islaam’.

Allaah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“Islaam is to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah, and that Mohammed is the messenger of Allaah, to offer the salaat, pay zakaat, fast during the month of Ramadhaan, and to make Hajj if you are able and have the means to make the journey..”

The man said:
‘You spoke the truth.’

We were surprised at his asking and confirming at the same time. He said:

‘Inform me about Imaan’.

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“Imaan is to believe in Allaah, His angels, His books, and Messengers, the Last day and to believe in His divine preordaining of all that is good and evil.”

He again said:
‘You spoke the truth.’

He said:
‘Inform me about Ihsaan.’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“Ihsaan (perfection) is to worship Allaah as if you see Him; if you can’t see him, surely He sees you.”

He said:
‘Inform me about the Hour.’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“The one asked has no more knowledge of it than the questioner.”

He said:
‘Inform me about it’s signs.’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“The slave girl will give birth to her mistress and you will see the barefooted, naked, impoverished shepherds competing with each other in tall buildings.”

Then the stranger left. The Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) remained seated for quite a while, then he asked Umar ‘Oh Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’

He (RadhiAllahu Anhu) said, ‘Allaah and His Messenger know best.’

He (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

“That was Jibreel, he came to teach you your religion.'”
[1]

Notice the mentioning of the pillars of Islaam first, as one must know what he or she is required to embark on if they wish to become a practising Muslim. The Shahaadah carries with it a great deal of important and influential status, so significant is it that we must refer to our Shahaadah as our first operation amongst conviction and therefore must know of Allaah and His Messenger.

As our pillars of Imaan are cited, we must take clear note of them. We are told at the end of the Hadeeth that Jibreel (Alayhis Salaam) came to “teach you your religion”, and we must understand the importance of this Hadeeth as we live in our common world. In this Hadeeth, faith is described and we are afforded a precedent to follow, in order not to confuse ourselves with this life and the hereafter.