Imitated faith, as compared to real faith

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Suhbah at KTM Surau

25th September 2010, after tahlil for Allahyarham Shaykh Zakaria bin Omar Bagharib

Imitated faith vs Real faith

We begin with Bismillah hir-Rahman nir-Raheem, for any action that begins with Basmalah is supported by Allah, and will bear fruit.

In Surah Al-Fatihah, we begin with:

ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds (1:1)

So everything in creation is praising Allah, and in everything around us, there are signs of His greatness which brings praise to Allah on our tongues. And all praise is due only for Him.

Allah said in the Qur’an:

رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقۡتَ هَـٰذَا بَـٰطِلاً۬ سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ

Our Lord! Thou createdst not this in vain. Glory be to Thee! Preserve us from the doom of Fire. (3:191)

Nothing was created without a purpose. So it is important to draw lessons from every incident, and from every creation.

Maulana Shaykh Nazim said that there is imitation faith and there is real faith. Most of us have imitation faith only, because the signs of real faith are three:

  • He is able to hear the Praising (Tasbeeh) of all creatures and objects
  • He is able to draw wisdom from every incident and every creature that he sees.
  • He is able to communicate with the barzakh (the world of spirits) without a hijab/veil.

Perhaps there is none in our majlis today who can claim to have real faith. Real faith has real taste, like real fruits and real flowers. Plastic fruits and artificial flowers have no taste and no smell. One cannot taste the sweetness of faith, if it is an imitation faith.

To read something, or to know something, is not faith. Faith means to have belief, yaqeen, certitude in what we know. When Allah says:

وَٱرۡزُقۡنَا وَأَنتَ خَيۡرُ ٱلرَّٲزِقِينَ

Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. (5:114)

Do we really believe Him? Or are we still wrought with fears that we will not have enough for our worldly needs? How many humans spend their entire lives, doubting that Allah is truly their source of sustenance, and that He truly suffices for them?

حَسۡبُنَا ٱللَّهُ وَنِعۡمَ ٱلۡوَڪِيلُ

Allah is Sufficient for us! Most Excellent is He in Whom we trust! (3:173)

True faith means having certainty in every Ayat that you read from the Holy Book, and in every hadees that you hear from Rasulullah (saw), without a shadow of a doubt! We must strive towards that goal, as Allah says:

وَٱعۡبُدۡ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِيَكَ ٱلۡيَقِينُ

And worship thy Lord until there cometh unto thee certainty. (15:99)

Prophets and Awliya strove to reach that real taste of Iman, and opened doors for their followers to taste of the same. It is meaningless to reach Iman after death, as mentioned in the following Ayat:

رَبَّنَآ أَبۡصَرۡنَا وَسَمِعۡنَا فَٱرۡجِعۡنَا نَعۡمَلۡ صَـٰلِحًا إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ

Our Lord! we have now seen and heard; so send us back (to dunia); we shall work righteously, verily we now believe with certainty. (32:12)

I shall end with a short story to highlight how weak our faith is.

An enemy soldier, who was battling Sayyidina Ali (ra), lost his sword in the combat and was trembling with fear. Sayyidina Ali (ra) raised his sword to strike him but stopped when he saw that the enemy had lost his sword. Sayyidina Ali (ra) said, “Run away my friend, for you are now unable to defend yourself.”

The soldier said, “If what I hear about your generosity is true, let me see if you would give me your sword.” Sayyidina Ali (ra) immediately gave the enemy, his sword. The enemy soldier now said, “Who will defend you now against my attack?”

Sayyidina Ali (ra) calmly replied, “O ignorant man! If He so Wills, He will defend me. Neither you nor any one else can cause even the slightest harm to me. If death, which is sure to come, is destined for me now, by God, none can save me.” This reply impressed the soldier so much that he threw down the sword, glorified God and accepted Islam at the hands of Sayyidina Ali (ra).

Would we have given the enemy our weapon? Not in a million years! Yet we have all read this Ayat:

وَأَنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ أَمَاتَ وَأَحۡيَا

And that it is He Who causeth to die and causeth to live. (53:44)

قُل لَّآ أَمۡلِكُ لِنَفۡسِى ضَرًّ۬ا وَلَا نَفۡعًا إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۗ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌ‌ۚ إِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمۡ فَلَا يَسۡتَـٔۡخِرُونَ سَاعَةً۬‌ۖ وَلَا يَسۡتَقۡدِمُونَ

Say: “I have no power over any harm or profit to myself except as Allah willeth. To every People is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation). (10:49)

And despite reading the Qur’an regularly, and understanding its meanings, we don’t really believe yet in the revelations of the Almighty.

That is why, the final Surah in the entire Qur’an speaks of doubt:

مِن شَرِّ ٱلۡوَسۡوَاسِ ٱلۡخَنَّاسِ

From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers doubt into the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allâh) (114:3)

May Allah open the Way for us to acquire true faith and may Allah replace our doubts with true yaqeen. And by the blessings of our esteemed guest from Sri Lanka, Shaykh Ajward Alim, may Allah open the path for us to attain spiritual excellence, and may Allah raise our guest higher in his station, and may he always remember us in his prayers.

We are so blessed to be remembering our Shaykh today, Allahyarham Shaykh Zakaria. One who remembers Allah abundantly, Allah remembers him, and makes His creation remember him too – it has been a year, yet there is so much of him in your hearts still, you all remember him so dearly! One who forgets Allah, Allah forgets him, and no one remembers him with fondness when he is gone.

Bi hurmatil habeeb, bi hurmatil Fatihah.

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