Iman–the key to success

By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

With as much of it as a grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains. It is actually the absence of concrete knowledge. You can’t see it but you know it’s there. It is the key ingredient that separates the true believer from those that doubt, and…it is what’s missing most in our communities.

Iman, (faith) is to believe in what you can’t see, which, through Divine intervention, allows you to see the results of what you believe. One of my good friends and I were discussing faith the other day and he made some points that went to the depth of the meaning of faith. We were expressing that a true believer’s actions are a sign of his/her iman. The person with the strong iman does his/her best to live the spirit of what ALLAH prescribes because he or she believes the word of ALLAH is true.

ALLAH has revealed to us through His Prophet (s) that prayer and charity are two conscious actions that will make you, and the society, pure and whole. The person that believes that, and has faith in the result, does it without flinching. This person submits simply because ALLAH is The G-d. I’m speaking of the flesh and blood human being, the offspring of Adam. There are others, of a different creation, who are aware of ALLAH’S power but choose not to submit. But that’s another story. The majority of us are human beings desirous of following ALLAH’S directives.

Exercising your iman is not only knowing, or even believing it in your mind. The true expression of your iman is actually doing what you know and believe. Mere faith counts for nothing unless put into practice. Here’s an example.

ALLAH says in Qur’an that one believer can withstand 10 non-believers. Now that is fact. He (ALLAH) also says that is hard for most of you to believe that (even though it’s true) so He says be comfortable in knowing that one believer can withstand two non-believers. Now most of us know that and have read it hundreds of times but still sit on our behinds afraid to stand up and live and defend our religion with the beautiful teachings from Qur’an. We look at the negative light the enemies of Islam are throwing out and retreat into our shells–afraid of looking bad.

But the person of strong faith looks in the Qur’an, gets that spiritual strength, and stands up to the world of those negative forces…and wins. I have seen it happen and practiced it many times, so I know it’s true. This is how we start the process of turning our Jinn into a Muslim. We consciously have faith in ALLAH’S Word and then repeatedly put it into action and watch the manifestation of that faith materialize.

Strong imam also keeps us from relying on others to save or protect our religion. In the media today you see many Muslims denigrating the religion and other Muslims in order to seem “moderate.” We must remember another of ALLAH’S sayings that we should not take the Christians and Jews (or others) as protectors of your religion. He says they will never follow you unless you accept their way. This doesn’t mean you can’t have friends and associates of other faiths. Additionally it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage in interfaith activities. It means you should not expect them to save your religion. That is our job. If we confide too much in them and share our little secrets (while getting none of theirs), it hurts our ability to participate as equal people.

Let us have strong faith in ALLAH. Look first in ALLAH’S Book, pray and ask for guidance, and then stand up and go forth… with His strength. You’ll find It’s the only strength you really have.

As Salaam Alaikum
(Al Hajj) Abdullah Bey El-Amin