Imam Zijad’s Corner:   LIVING LIFE ON-AUTO-PILOT

We often go through life doing things “on auto-pilot” without ever thinking about their consequences and how they affect our relationship to faith and belief.

We set personal goals in life, we take jobs, we study different academic and professional fields, we pursue hobbies, we cultivate friendships; and as good as many of these activities are, we rarely (if ever) stop to review them in the light of our faith.

By living life this way, we fail to consciously actualize our faith or discern where we are on the road to higher perfection before God.

The remedy for life “on auto-pilot” is to put on the brakes, slow down a little on society’s highway, and make time to reflect on faith, to properly and fully understand its principles.

We know intellectually that faith covers all aspects of life: whether in prayer, general behavior, sustenance, family and societal relationships, attitudes toward those of different religious groups or people without faith, our respect for the environment, even in how and where we park our cars when shopping or attending the mosque.

But do we also know the wholeness of this concept in our hearts? Do we always remember that there is some relationship between every act and our belief in Islam?

This reality must be ever-present in our minds so that faith-in-action motivates righteous deeds toward all. If faith is not the prime motivator for acts, that others might see as being “good,” and that are based on the authentic knowledge, then our understanding and application of faith is defective, regardless of any praise we may receive.

It is important to remind ourselves once again — and frequently throughout life — that belief is the seed and source of our faith and right behavior (Akhlaq) and good action (A’malus Saliha) are its fruits.

Bottom line is that we can only truly enjoy the fruits of our belief through living our faith in action. Otherwise, faith becomes the seed that never actualizes itself into fruits.