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Îmân and Islam (Correct faith)  >  Îmân and Islam  >  Reaching the Summit of Iman

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Reaching the Summit of Iman

Question: Can we reach the summit of iman [faith, belief] easily by reading articles proving the existence of Allahu ta’ala?
You cannot reach the summit of iman by way of reading such articles. Our Master the Prophet explained as follows how one could ascend the summit of iman:

(Doing the following things elevates one's iman to the topmost point:
1. To show patience
(sabr) in the face of all that Allah has ordained,
2. To have satisfaction and pleasure
(ridha) over Divine Decree,
3. To put your full trust
(tawakkul) in Allah,
4. To submit
(taslim) to Him completely.) [Abu Nu’aym]

Now let us explain them briefly one by one:

You cannot manage to carry out a fard or avoid a haram without having patience. When our Master the Prophet was asked what iman was, he declared, “It is patience” (Daylami).
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

It is reported in three hadith-i sharifs:
(The place of patience in iman is like the place of the head in the body.) [Daylami]

(Allah is pleased with a person who practices patience.) [Daylami]

(He who has patience and ikhlas [sincerity; doing everything for Allah’s sake] will be awarded Paradise.) [Tabarani]

In addition to them, the Qur’an al-karim says (what means):

(The patient will be rewarded without measure.) [Surat-uz-Zumar 10]

(Give glad tidings [of My Bestowal] to the patient!) [Surat-ul-Baqara 155]

(Vie with others in showing patience!) [Surat-u Al-i ‘Imran 200]

Hadrat Khidir said, “I have attained ‘ilm-i ladun thanks to my patience in avoiding harams.”

Being content (ridha) with Divine Decree
Displaying complete contentment upon what comes from Allah is a great blessing for a person. In connection with this topic, the following hadith-i sharifs say:

(Having ridha’ over Divine Decree is a sign of felicity.) [Tirmidhi]

(He who does these three things will have the qualities beneficial to him both in this world and in the next: ridha’ over Divine Decree, forbearance in afflictions, making du’a in times of ease.) [Daylami]

(He who does these three things will become one of the forty awliya: ridha over Divine Decree, forbearance in avoiding harams, and feeling hatred for the sake of Allah.) [Daylami]

(Allahu ta’ala declared: If anyone is not content with My qada and qadar and dislikes them and is not patient with disasters, let him look for another Rabb besides Me!) [Tabarani]

The following prayer was reported to be one of the most beautiful prayers, “O my Rabb! Make me one of those who are content with Your qada and qadar, who endure patiently disasters coming from You, and who render their gratitude for Your blessings.”

Reliance (tawakkul) on Allah
To have tawakkul [putting your trust in Allah] is fard. As a matter of fact, the Qur’an al-karim says (what means):

(If you have iman, put your tawakkul in Allah.) [Surat-ul-Maida 23]

(If a person puts his tawakkul in Allah, He is sufficient for him.) [Surat-ut-Talaq 3]

(Allah likes those who have tawakkul.) [Surat-u Al-i ‘Imran 159]

The highest grade is to attain Allahu ta’ala’s love. “Hasbiyallah” means "Allah suffices for me". When Hadrat Ibrahim (‘alaihis-salam) was put on the catapult and was about to be hurled into the fire, he said, “Hasbiyallah wa ni’mal wakil,” and he was saved. Allahu ta’ala declared to Hadrat Dawud (‘alaihis-salam): “If a person gives up hope of everything and puts his trust in Me only, I shall certainly rescue him even if all the beings on earth and in heaven strive to harm and deceive him. However, if a person puts his trust in a creature instead of Me, I shall impede all the causes of his success but facilitate all the causes of his failure” [Ibni ‘Asakir].

Do not lean against a tree, for it withers; do not lean on man, for he dies.

Submission to Allah
Submission means being a slave and serving with utter faithfulness and obedience. Submission to Allah means being a slave to Him and being ever ready to do all His orders. In fact, the meaning of the word Muslim is "a person who has surrendered to Allahu ta’ala.” Submission is ordered in the Qur’an al-karim, too:

(Say: “We have surrendered only to Allah.”) [Surat-ul-Baqara 136]

(Perform salat in submission to the Lord of the worlds.) [Surat-ul-An’am 71-72]

Balkis expressed her iman as follows: “I have submitted to the Lord of the worlds” (Surat-un-Naml 44).

A hadith-i sharif says:
(These five things are from iman: submission to Allah, contentment with His qadar, entrusting your affairs to Allah, reliance on Him, and practising patience in times of disasters.) [Bazzar]

Those who put the foregoing into practice will reach the summit of iman.

Do we have a perfect iman?
Can we sense in any way that we have reached maturity in iman [faith, belief]?
Yes, there are some distinctive features of it. Taking them into account, you can judge whether your faith is perfect or not. For example, Hadrat Hasan bin Muhammad bin Hasan states:

“He who does these three things has a perfect faith:
1. He loves but this love of his does not mislead him into doing improper deeds,
2. He becomes angry but his anger does not cause him to abandon the truth,
3. He does not obtain anything through ill-gotten means, even when he has the power to do so.”

Ashab-i kiram said, “We do not consider a person who is not patient with troubles caused by people to be a person with a perfect faith.”

(Real piety is to believe in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Books, the Messengers; to spend, for Allah’s sake, from your dear wealth for your relatives, for orphans, for stranded wayfarers, for those who are obliged to beg, for indentured [mukatab] servants, (and for captives); to perform salat, to pay the zakat, to fulfill covenants and to be patient in times of adversity, illness, and war.) [Surat-ul-Baqara 177]

In this verse, the essentials that make humans attain spiritual maturity are stated clearly. These are a steadfast faith, doing goodness, helping others, and purification of the nafs. People who possess these mentioned qualities are characterized by righteousness and praised for their piety, depending on their belief and creed. Our Master the Prophet declared, “He who acts upon the essentials revealed in this ayat will have a perfect faith” (Tibyan).

A person who abstains from haram and who performs acts of worships has a perfect faith. If a person who constantly performs acts of worship worries that their belief may be undermined and thinks that they have many sins and their salats may not rescue them, this means that they have a strong faith. (Bazzaziyya)

(The iman of these three people has reached perfectness:
1. He who clings to the path of Allah without ever fearing anybody’s condemnation,
2. He who does not stain his deeds with ostentation,
3. He who prefers, between two deeds, the one relating to the next world over the one relating to this world.)

(He who does the following has a perfect faith:
1. he who loves for the sake of Allah and he who feels hostility for the sake of Allah,
2. he who mentions Allah with his tongue as well,
3. he who wishes for others as well what he loves for himself,
4. he who does not wish for others either what he does not love for himself,
5. he who talks beneficially, if not, who remains silent.)

(The faith of a person loving whom he loves for only Allah’s sake is perfect.) [Bayhaqi]

(The faith of a person who loves the friends of Allah and who considers His enemies as enemies is perfect.) [Abu Dawud]

(The faith of a person who dispenses favors is perfect.) [I. Ahmad]

(The Mu’min with perfect faith is the one with good morals.) [Tabarani, Daylami]

(Not to forget Allahu ta’ala no matter where one is indicates the existence of a perfect faith.) [Bayhaqi]

(He who loves Allah and His Messenger more than all else, who loves another for the sake of Allah only and who fears reverting to disbelief much more than being thrown into the Fire has a perfect faith.) [Bukhari]

(A person will not have a perfect faith as long as he does not regard adversities as blessings; comfort and abundance as adversities.) [Tabarani]

(A person whose neighbors do not feel secure from his mischief is not a person with a perfect faith.) [Bazzar]

How to strengthen our iman?

Question: What can we do to strengthen our iman?
There are many things which make our iman stronger and make us relish the flavor of it.

Let us list some of them:
1. To have good morals,
2. To remember Allahu ta’ala all the time,
3. To have ikhlas,
4. To be generous,
5. To be subjected to many great troubles beyond one’s control (for a pious person),
6. To abstain from harams,
7. To fear falling into disbelief very much,
8. To love whom you love for the sake of Allah; not to love whom you do not love for the sake of Allah,
9. To be pious,
10.To attach much importance to salat.

Some hadith-i sharifs on this issue are as follows:

(Reading the Qur’an and remembering (dhikr) Allah strengthen iman.) [Daylami]

(The iman of a generous Muslim is strong.) [Daylami]

(He who does not look at harams because of his fear of Allah gets the taste of iman.) [Tabarani]

(Three things intensify the flavor of iman: loving Allah and His Prophet more than everything else; loving for the sake of Allah a Muslim who does not love you; and not loving the enemies of Allah.) [Tabarani]

(He who feels happy upon doing goodness and who feels sorry upon committing a sin has iman.) [Tabarani]

(The iman of a person who renews his wudu’ is renewed.) [Imam-i Ghazali]

(Reading the Qur’an and dhikr strengthen iman.) [Daylami]

(A person who does not forget Allahu ta’ala no matter where he is has a strong iman). [Bayhaqi]

Whoever recites the following prayer in the morning and in the evening is protected from shirk, and their iman strengthens:

(Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min an-ushrika bika shay-an wa ana a’lamu wa astaghfiru-ka li ma la-a’lamu innaka anta allamulghuyub.) [Imam-I Ahmad]

When we encounter a deed that is related to both worldly benefit and other worldly benefit, if we do it in the way that earns us other worldly benefit, it means our iman is strong. However, if we choose the one with worldly benefit, it means our iman is weak. If we do acts of worship, shopping, or any deed for the sake of Allah alone, it protects, strengthens, polishes our iman. We have to do acts of worship with ikhlas in order to protect our iman. These points polish our heart. Contacting Muslim spiritual leaders with ikhlas, reading their books, thinking of them polish our iman. A person with polished heart protects their iman as well. 

Reading or listening to the stories of the awliya’ increases one’s love. Stories of the Ashab-i kiram strengthen one’s iman and melt one’s sins. (Encyclopedia of the Awliya’)


Date of Update
16 Temmuz 2024 Salı
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