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What I would refer to as an emotional faith seems to posses and occupies many of us and we are often inclined to this state as an initial reaction to the zeal of practicing Islaam and uttering our first Shahaadah. Being overwhelmed by the emotion that this first Shahaadah can bring, we become addicted to the emotion it creates. Similarly likened to the feeling of love, it has a domineering influence and can easily become addictive. The upkeep of this Imaan is extremely difficult as it has no firm basis, and inevitably at times we become overwhelmed with other emotions that just as easily overpower our faith. If Imaan is based on a feeling or emotion, it will become submissive, just as fear can override happiness, love can override sadness, and so on. We try to hold on to this Imaan with nasheeds that we believe strengthens our faith, seemingly becoming reliant on other people to ‘lift’ and ‘help’ us. This is a dangerous and somewhat lazy way of establishing our faith, and though in the beginning natural, a dependence on this feeling of zeal has no basis in the Deen.

We have to endure many hardships and calamities in our lives, and in this state of Imaan we do not stand a chance. At one point or another we will find ourselves weakened without even noticing. Learning and studying other branches of what could be politics and global legislation before our grounding upon the pillars of faith could almost certainly be described as a deception of Shaytaan helping us to believe we are gaining knowledge and that it is helping us succeed. While all of this is happening, he is helping us to bypass what we really need to adhere to – our basis and rationale that is Tawhid.

How many of us are clear on the Names and Attributes of Allaah, without premise? Knowing Allaah is a very important part of our relationship with Him, and once gained, this knowledge is never lost forming a firm basis for our Tawhid, and subsequently, our faith – true faith. Knowing Allaah makes a person love as well as fear Him, it helps us place our trust in Him, increasing sincerity in all actions. This is the essence of human happiness. There is no other way of knowing Allaah except by knowing His most beautiful names and understanding their meanings. We are strengthened in our relationship with Him, by increasing our first pillar of Imaan by knowing Allaah.

As Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman ibn as-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“Believing in, and knowing the most beautiful names of Allaah includes three types of Tawhid: Tawhid al Rububiyyah (unity of Divine Lordship), Tawhid al Uluhiyyah (unity of Divine Nature) and Tawhid al Asma wa’l safaat (unity of Divine Names and Attributes). These three types of Tawhid form the essence and joy of faith (joy here implying peace and relief from stress), and his knowledge is the basis and purpose of faith. The more a person learns about the Names and Attributes of Allaah, the more his faith increases and the stronger his conviction becomes.” [2]

Also, Ibn Al Qayyim Al Jawziyyah (may Allaah have mercy on his soul) said:

“The key to the call of the Messengers, the essence of their message, is knowing Allaah through His Names, Attributes and Deeds, because this is the foundation on which the rest of the message from beginning to end is built.” [3]

If we occupy ourselves with the learning of Allaah, we are doing what we were created for. The meaning of Imaan is not merely to think we believe in Allaah, or blindly assume that we know Him, for real Imaan is based on solid knowledge, and a true dependence is based on a reliant trust.

The Prophet Mohammed (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) spent over a decade with his Sahaabah in Makkah, strengthening their faith even before the inclusion of prayer which occurred in Medina. Most early chapters are those of Imaan and can be related to the pillars. Belief is penetrated by a cognitive, astute and sophisticated wisdom – all through knowledge.

Allaah the Most High says in the Qur’aan:

“Except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly (that there is no god but Allaah – la illaha il-Allaah) and they know – (in their hearts the meaning of the words they utter with their lips).” [4]

Our whole lives have been based on knowledge. We were never born with wisdom. We are only at the stage of ability we possess now through knowledge and guidance we have been allowed to acquire, given by Allaah through our environment. Let us not retire to anything less when it comes to our deen, and knowing our Creator.

It can always be a taboo subject when admitting we are slipping in our efforts to maintain a hold on our faith, and hence, we don’t always refer to such subjects. Through complete understanding of who Allaah is, and our knowledge building us instead of our emotion, we hope to accomplish our relationship with Allaah that we so desperately need and live for. In procuring such knowledge we will find our emotions are of a deeper and more meaningful level of faith. We must know our Lord to satisfy ourselves, and render ourselves a true Imaan, fully restored which no emotion can sway, emotions that register as a result of knowledge.


[1] Sahih Muslim
[2] Al Tawdah wa’l Bayan li Shararat al Iman by Sa’di – p.41
[3] Al sawaa’iq al-Mursalah ‘ala al-Jahamiyah wa’l-Mu’attilah by Ibn al Qayyim. p.150-151
[4] Al- Zukhruf 43:86