Iman is the first of the five pillars of Islam.
It is the faith, which is based on intention and action and includes the acts of worship and also the whole way of life. Prophet Muhammad described Iman as:
“Iman is that which resides firmly in the heart and which is proved by deeds.”
So, Iman is the feeling of human beings that an invisible power, bigger than our imagination exists and created the Universe.
This feeling normally resides in the heart; driven by conscience to make individuals believe that this invisible power is real and that they are accountable for their own actions.
We learn in mechanics that every action has a reaction. The action is seen and the reaction is unseen. We know that every happening has a cause. The happening is seen and the cause is unseen. So, our feeling tells us that behind every visible thing there is an invisible force that created it.
All these actions and happenings are physical and touchable. There are some other things not touchable. When a problem exists, our mind work hard to find a suitable solution to it. What is behind that? A feeling inside us urges us to believe that there is a solution to our problem. This means: as there are physical things touchable, there are also other spiritual things untouchable.
So, that is the faith, which as it resides in the heart and soul, will let us discover the reality of life and believe that behind all the physical things as well as the spiritual things, there must be an invisible force or power, which creates, arranges, co-ordinates, and directs all these things.
Faith is behind human advancement and is the main cause of all development. The stronger the faith of individuals, the stronger the influence they can exert on other people. Their strong believe makes the truth clear to them and can change things to better and also change the weakness to strength and the hopelessness to hopefulness.
The real faith cannot be developed without understanding all constructive discussions and arguments, which lead to strengthen the belief in the hidden power and make individuals discover the secrets of the Universe and the wonder of creation.
Many people still cannot understand the meaning of Iman, the real faith. They know how to perform their religious duties only because their parents and grandparents performed them this way, but they don’t know why. They follow the religion their parents followed. They belong to a religion, Christianity, Islam, Judaism or others because they were born to parents belonging to the same religion and raised among the same community. They follow the tradition blindly without thinking, only because they are obliged to do so. Qur’an says about the so-called Muslims:
“The Arabs of the desert say: ‘We believe.’ Say you believe not, you have no faith; but rather say: ‘We have submitted our wills to God by confessing Islam, for the Iman, the faith, has not yet found its way into your hearts (49: 14)
A true believer is the one who is convinced that there is God, creator of heavens and earth and what is between them, and does good deeds in the course of life. Qur’an states:
“Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians, any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (2: 62)
All religions brought by the prophets are from the same One God. They may differ in some aspects or the way they have been indorsed for action, but they all agree in their whole spirit to believe and surrender to God. They also urge the believers to act in a manner showing good deeds.
“Were you present when death came to Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: What will you worship after me? They said: ‘we shall worship your God and the God of your fathers, of Abraham, Isma’il and Isaac- the One true God: To Him we have submitted.’” (2: 133)
“Behold! His Lord said to him (Abraham): ‘Bow, in submission, he said: ‘I bow to the Lord of the Universe. And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; Oh my sons! God has chosen the faith for you, then die not except in the Faith of Islam.” (2: 131-132)
So, Islam, which means submission to the will of God, is the religion of Abraham and also all prophets before and after Abraham. It is the religion of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Thus, true Muslims are they, who believe in God and are sincere in their actions, with belief, of whatever religion they may have.
The religion is there to purify the souls, free minds from the disbelief, reform hearts with good intentions in all actions. It is also there to urge people to be sincere to all other people in humanity and to be sincere in worshipping. Bearing in mind, that God considers all human being’s good activities as acts of worship.
Read about the actual actions that belief is comprised of
(Iman – the first of the five pillars of Islam Pt 2…)
Authors Details: Fathy Fares – C/o spiritual.com.au