Imam Zijad’s Corner: The Importance of Faith in Islam


The Importance of Faith in Islam

More than ever before in our human history, we are critically in need of a great renewal in faith, not just as a theoretical notion but rather as practical one.

Faith is all about hope, not fear; about help, not burdens; about healing, not punishment; about comfort, not trouble!

Faith is about guiding individuals to pathways of self-improvement, self-assessment, self-discipline and self-awareness, from which a sense of social responsibility can grow.

Faith services our actions – ethics; and we will not survive the 21st century with the ethics of the 20th.

In fact, faith is something which has to be self-consciously acquired in order for us to become believers, constantly maintained, continually reinforced and fortified in order to remain in the state of belief.

Faith is conviction which is based upon knowledge; a conviction that results from full mental acceptance and intellectual satisfaction; the kind of conviction that gives one a feeling of inner contentment and peace.

Thus, faith is the base/foundation of our structure. If there is no faith, we cannot have a strong base! It is the starting point in our lives; the SEED of all our actions!

It is not an inherited notion, for an example of culture; it is a self-conscious notion, acquired…based on knowledge, conviction, and commitment!

Faith (iman), thus is the seed that has to develop itself on a day-to-day basis. It is not static notion! It fluctuates – yazdadu wa yanqus – goes up and down. The Muslim faith is our Islam in action.

Many circumstances make an impact on the state of our faith – circumstances of an internal as well as external nature.

Our faith can only be measured or experienced through the degree of our commitment to Islamic normative principles and ethics – in action through our behavior.

This whole-life concept of faith embodies the belief in God, observance of His laws, and our ultimate accountability before Him for what we do in this life – all of our actions, big and small.

Faith requires that we mold our lives in accordance with God’s commandments, as recorded in the Qur’an and exemplified by the life and teachings of His last Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh).

Faith must, therefore, encompass our private as well as public lives, guiding us in all spheres of activity — from the home and mosque to our social, professional and public presence in society.

Prophet Muhammad (S) once said: “Faith has over seventy branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no deity but God, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the road. And modesty is also a branch of faith” (Bukhari, Muslim).

* The term for “faith” in Islam is iman. Iman is considered as one component of an inextricable set; the other part being ‘amal-us-salihat (good deeds). See Qur’an (98:8) (18:30)

* Faith provides the ideological foundation for human existence and the criterion through which to categorize good from bad, right from wrong and righteousness from indecency.

* Through faith we commit ourselves to a system of belief that impacts the personal, social, economic, religious and spiritual dimensions of our lives.

* Faith offers a moral framework and an ethical standard for our behavior and action in this world.