The Essence Of Faith

Faith is the most valuable blessing which a person has. If a person has nothing but faith, then he is the richest person of the world. On the other hand, if one has all the comforts of life but he does not have faith, then he has nothing.

Allah says:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اٰمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ  ﴿۱۳۶﴾‏

Meaning: O believers! Put faith in Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him). [4: 136]

We are living in a roughish society and it is very crucial to acquaint ourselves with the essence of faith. Everything has two aspects; the one is exoteric and the other is its essence. A large number of people are familiar with the exoteric state of faith only and a few reach its essence.

Hadith

The Holy Prophet pbuh said:

There will come a time when my umma will have the exoteric state of Islam only. Meaning thereby, they would be apparently Muslims but far away for the essence of faith. They would be familiar with its name only.

Who is a True Believer?

In present era every Muslim considers himself a true believer. The exoteric scholars think so on the basis of their knowledge and the worshippers and religious devotees consider themselves faithful due to their excessive prayers and pious deeds. In essence, faith is neither related to knowledge nor pious acts. However, it is faith that makes knowledge acceptable and turns it into Divine light. Likewise, pious deeds and noble acts cannot grant faith but faith makes them admissible in the holy court of Allah. In short, both knowledge and pious deeds are useless without faith. It is not wrong to say that faith is life and blood for knowledge and deeds.

Faith and Knowledge

Knowledge is not incumbent with faith nor every scholar is faithful. However, every true believer must have knowledge.

  • Holy Prophet pbuh said:

“Beware of an ignorant scholar.”

The sacred companions asked:

“Who is an ignorant scholar?”

Prophet Mohammad pbuh replied:

“The one who is outwardly learned but his esoteric self is ignorant.”

If the level of faith depends on level of knowledge then not a single infidel would have knowledge. We can see a number of learned persons around us who, merely on the basis of their knowledge, reached at moon and ruled over the world but they are not blessed with faith. Knowledge means to know. If knowing something grants faith then Abu Jahl must have been faithful. He knew that the Holy Prophet is as-Sadiq (the Truthful) and al-Amin (the Honest) hence his proclamation of prophethood is true. But knowing these all did not make him a believer.

Allah Sent His Prophet Among The Illiterate

It is written in Al Minhaj Us Sawi:

If it were compulsory for faith to be literate then Allah would have sent His beloved Prophet to Rome. Rome was the hub of knowledge at that time but Allah sent him amongst the illiterate.

Allah says:

ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ  بَعَثَ فِی  الۡاُمِّیّٖنَ  رَسُوۡلًا مِّنۡہُمۡ ۙ﴿۲﴾‏

Meaning: He is the One Who sent a (Glorious) Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) amongst the illiterate people from amongst themselves. [62: 2]

The Holy Prophet pbuh did not get worldly knowledge but he is the source of all the knowledge, wisdom and sagacity. Likewise, Sultan Bahoo (ra) did not acquire exoteric education but he has written 140 books and all those are masterpiece of esoteric knowledge. Hence, he is known as “King of Mystics”.

Sultan Bahoo and Knowledge

He says:

I did not get formal academic education like Prophet Mohammad pbuh. We had the Divine knowledge. The Divine experiences revealed such inspirational knowledge upon me inwardly and outwardly that needs a number of books to be expressed. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

He further says:

گرچہ نیست ما را علم ظاہر
ز علم باطنی جاں گشتہ طاہر

Explanation: Although I did not get any worldly education but spiritual knowledge has completely sanctified me. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Result Of Focusing Too Much on Exoteric Knowledge

He says about those who do not bother to travel on Divine path and only insist upon worldly education:

پڑھ پڑھ علم کرن تکبر، حافظ کرن وڈیائی ھوُ
گلیاں دے وچ پھرن نمانے، وتن کتاباں چائی ھوُ
جتھے ویکھن چنگا چوکھا، اوتھے پڑھن کلام سوائی ھوُ
دوہیں جہانیں سوئی مٹھے باھوؒ، جنہاں کھادی ویچ کمائی ھوُ

Explanation: Worldly knowledge brings arrogance. The possessors of such knowledge always remain busy in altercation, verbosity and controversies. Satan was the greatest scholar. He used to teach angles but his knowledge created pride and arrogance in him. Resultantly, he was deprived of Divine nearness and presence.

Allah says:

وَّ اِنَّ عَلَیۡکَ لَعۡنَتِیۡۤ  اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الدِّیۡنِ ﴿۷۸﴾‏

Meaning: And surely, My curse is on you till the Day of Resurrection.’ ‏ [38 : 78]

Faith and Acts of Worship

It is crystal clear from the lives of sacred Companions that obligatory acts of worship i.e. prayer, fasting etc. are not the sole source of faith. Holy Prophet made them true believers first and all acts of worship became obligatory afterwards. It is most important to note that pious deeds are acceptable in Divine court only when they are done with faith.

Hadith

Following Hadith is quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih al-Muslim:

  • Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri narrated that While we were with the Holy Prophet pbuh who was distributing (i.e. some property), there came Dhul Khuwaisirah, a man from the tribe of Bani Tamim and said, “O the Messenger of Allah! Do Justice.” The Holy Prophet said, “Woe to you! Who could do justice if I did not? I would be a desperate loser if I did not do justice.” Umar said, “O the Messenger of Allah! Allow me to chop his head off.” The Holy Prophet said, “Leave him, because there will be people in future generations like him who pray and fast in such a way that you will consider your fasting negligible in comparison to theirs. They recite Quran but it would not go past their throats (i.e. they would not act on it) and they will desert Islam as a sharp arrow pierces through a victim’s body.” (Sahih Bukhari: 3610)

Abdullah bin Abi Salool, the head of the hypocrites, used to perform all the exoteric deeds but this did not make him true believer. 

The Holy Prophet said:

There will come a time when people will gather in mosques but by God there will not be a single believer among them.

(Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

All those deeds which do not enlighten Innerself are merely pretence

Sultan Bahoo (ra) says:

  • Inward is never sanctified by the supererogatory prayers alone. Esoteric acts i.e. invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is compulsory. It grants Divine blessings. (Qurb-e-Deedar)

He says in Punjabi couplets:

سے روزے سَے نفل نمازاں، سَے سجدے کر کر تھکے ھُو
سَے واری مکے حج گزارن، دل دی دوڑ ناں مکے ھُو
چلے چلہیے جنگل بھون، اس گل تھیں ناں پکے ھوُ
سبھے مطلب حاصل ہوندے باھوؒ، جد پیر نظر ایک تکے ھوُ

Explanation: I left no stone unturned to accomplish gnosis by performing various religious rites. I offered supererogatory prayers, prostrated in salat hundreds of times, performed hajj, forty-days seclusion and then wandered off into the woods to find Allah but failed due to lack of guidance of the perfect spiritual guide. I remained deprived of Allah’s gnosis until I came in the servitude of my guide. The moment he cast his spiritual glance upon me with beneficence then and there I accomplished the purpose of my life.

Presence Of Inward Is Compulsory For Worship

He further says:

باجھ حضوری نہیں منظوری، توڑے پڑھن بانگ صلاتاں ھوُ
روزے نفل نماز گزارن، توڑے جاگن ساریاں راتاں ھوُ
باجھو قلب حضور نہ ہووے، توڑے کڈھن سے زکاتاں ھوُ
باجھ فنا رب حاصل ناہیں باھو، ناں تاثیر جماتاں ھوُ

Explanation: That worship is not acceptable in the court of Allah which does not have presence of inward whether it is azan, salat, fast or zakat. If one fasts through the day and offers supererogatory prayers at nights, still presence cannot be achieved but only through the purification of innerself and inward. If a person does not annihilate his innerself then union with Allah, His vision and Divine presence are not achieved.

Only a true believer can have presence of inward and according to Sultan Bahoo (ra), any worship without presence is not acceptable in the court of Allah. To sum up, acts of worship neither grant faith nor guarantee success in the hereafter but deeds are acceptable only when they are performed with faith.

Allah says fifty-two times in the Holy Quran:

اٰمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰت

Meaning: Put faith and do good deeds.

Good Deeds Require Faith For Acceptance

If we carefully look at the sequence, every time Allah says to have faith first then do good deeds. Sadly, renowned scholars, ascetics and pious ones are unable to understand this important point and they keep on emphasizing upon doing more and better deeds.

Essence of Faith

The essence of faith is the intense love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh. It is a subtle passion that arises in inward and burns everything other than Allah.

Hadith Explaining the Essence of Faith

  • One day, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) asked a young Companion, “O Harith! Tell me, how is your morning?” Harith bin Malik replied, “Master! I did the morning with the essence of faith.” The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “O Harith! Think again what are you saying? What is the essence of your faith?” He replied: “O Master! My innerself has completely renounced the world. Since then I have been awake at night, unable to sleep and tired of the world. I spend whole day thirsty. The situation has become such that I could clearly see the Throne of Allah when I raise my head. I could see the people of Paradise visiting each other, meeting each other and listen woes of the inmates of Hell.” On hearing this, the Holy Prophet pbuh said: “O Harith! You have become a Mystic. Be steadfast. You have found the essence of faith.” He said these words thrice. (Al-Tabrani, Shuab al-Iman)

Characteristics Of One Having Perfect Faith

Renunciation of world is the distinct characteristic of a Mumin. Whatever he does, does it purely to gain Divine pleasure. That is why his each act is accepted in Divine court.

Sultan ul Ashiqeen says:

The true believer is perfect in his outward as well as inward and his heart is profound with Divine love.

When a true believer annihilates himself in Allah according to His will, he becomes perfect manifestation of Divine attributes. Even though his spiritual status changes, he still remains a slave of Allah.

In present era, people focus on outward acts of worship only instead of seeking the love of Allah and His beloved which is the source of faith. Surprisingly, they are convinced too that they are believers.

Sacred Companions Feared the Most About Their Faith

Imam Bukhari writes in Kitabul Iman:

I met thirty Companions and I found each one very concerned about faith. Each of them wished that their faith remained safe.

The sacred Companions were the most fortunate seekers of Allah who gained beneficence directly from the Holy Prophet pbuh. They always feared about disgrace in the Holy court of Allah that is why they kept their hearts filled with love of Prophet Mohammad pbuh. In fact, this is the essence of faith. The love of Allah and His beloved cannot be learnt from any institute rather it is acquired from the spiritual sight of a perfect spiritual guide.

No One Can Gain The Essence Of Faith Without Perfect Spiritual Guide and Divine Love

Allama Iqbal writes in Javid Nama:

دین نگردد پختہ بے آدابِ عشق

دین بگیر از صحبت اربابِ عشق

Meaning: No one can gain the essence of faith without following the rules of Divine love and this is only possible by the companionship and spiritual glance of passionate lover of Allah (perfect spiritual guide).

Allama Iqbal says about the importance of perfect spiritual guide:

صد کتاب آموزی از اہل ہنر

خوشتر آں درسی کہ گیری از نظر

Meaning: A single lesson learnt from the glance of perfect spiritual guide is much better than reading a hundred books from scholars. (Faqr-e-Iqbal)

Perfect spiritual guide is the only source of faith. He is the one who illuminates the inwards of the Divine seekers with the light of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.

In the present age of materialism, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is spreading the beneficence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. By sitting in his company, passionate love for the Holy Prophet pbuh is instilled in inwards, the source of essence of faith. May Allah bestow us His path and the company of perfect spiritual guide. Ameen

Note:

This article was published in Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) titled as 

ایمان کی حقیقت Iman ki haqeeqat in the issue of March 2022. It was originally written by Faqiha Sabir Sarwari Qadri and translated in English by Faiza Fahad Sarwari Qadri.

Answers of Important Questions

What is the essence of faith?

We are living in a roughish society and it is very crucial to acquaint ourselves with the essence of faith. Everything has two aspects; the one is exoteric and the second is its essence. A large number of people are familiar with the exoteric state of faith only and a few reache its essence.

The essence of faith is the intense love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh. It is a subtle passion that arises in inward and burns everything other than Allah.

In present era every Muslim considers himself a true believer. The exoteric scholars think so on the basis of their knowledge and the worshippers and religious devotees consider themselves faithful due to their excessive prayers and pious deeds. In essence, faith is neither related to knowledge nor pious acts. However, it is faith that makes knowledge acceptable and turns it into Divine light. Likewise, pious deeds and noble acts cannot grant faith but faith makes them admissible in the holy court of Allah. In short, both knowledge and pious deeds are useless without faith. It is not wrong to say that faith is life and blood for knowledge and deeds.

Why faith is important?

Faith is the most valuable blessing which a person has. If a person has nothing but faith, then he is the richest person of the world. On the other hand, if one has all the comforts of life but is deprived of faith, then he has nothing.

Allah says:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اٰمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ  ﴿۱۳۶﴾‏

Meaning: O believers! Put faith in Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him). [4: 136]

What is the purpose of knowledge?

Knowledge must be acquired to gain marifa, Divine vision and closeness. Sultan Bahoo (ra) says about those who do not bother to travel on Divine path and only insist upon worldly education:

پڑھ پڑھ علم کرن تکبر، حافظ کرن وڈیائی ھوُ
گلیاں دے وچ پھرن نمانے، وتن کتاباں چائی ھوُ
جتھے ویکھن چنگا چوکھا، اوتھے پڑھن کلام سوائی ھوُ
دوہیں جہانیں سوئی مٹھے باھوؒ، جنہاں کھادی ویچ کمائی ھوُ

Explanation: Worldly knowledge brings arrogance. The possessors of such knowledge always remain busy in altercation, verbosity and controversies. Satan was the greatest scholar. He used to teach angles but his knowledge created pride and arrogance in him. Resultantly, he was deprived of Divine nearness and presence.

Comments

53 Comments

  • Waheed Hassan
    March 14, 2022 at 8:19 pm Reply

    May Allah bless us with the essence of Islam.

  • aneeb younas
    March 14, 2022 at 8:36 pm Reply

    بے شک

  • Abdul Rahman
    March 14, 2022 at 8:42 pm Reply

    مرحبا 🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

  • Abdul Rehman
    March 14, 2022 at 8:44 pm Reply

    Beautiful ❤️

  • Ashiq e Mustafa
    March 14, 2022 at 8:52 pm Reply

    No One Can Gain The Essence Of Faith Without Perfect Spiritual Guide and Divine Love

  • Walter White
    March 14, 2022 at 9:10 pm Reply

    The essence of faith is the intense love for Prophet Mohammad pbuh. It is a subtle passion that arises in inward and burns everything other than Allah.

  • Noreen
    March 14, 2022 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Beautiful article

  • Noreen
    March 14, 2022 at 9:25 pm Reply

    Perfect spiritual guide is the only source of faith.

  • SQ
    March 14, 2022 at 9:30 pm Reply

    ❤💖💚💜💙💛💙

  • Imama
    March 14, 2022 at 9:31 pm Reply

    Good informative article indeed….💯💯💯👌👌👌

  • TahirAlisultan
    March 14, 2022 at 9:46 pm Reply

    Beautiful article

  • M SAEED
    March 14, 2022 at 10:02 pm Reply

    Best article

  • Saman
    March 14, 2022 at 10:11 pm Reply

    mashaAllah

  • Vinaye
    March 14, 2022 at 10:12 pm Reply

    Beautiful and important article

  • sportsman
    March 14, 2022 at 10:25 pm Reply

    Very nice and informative

  • Abdus Sobhan
    March 14, 2022 at 10:44 pm Reply

    Very informative post

  • Muqadas Younas
    March 14, 2022 at 10:58 pm Reply

    MashAllah very informative article 👌👌👌

  • Haris saeed
    March 14, 2022 at 11:08 pm Reply

    nice article

  • arshia123
    March 14, 2022 at 11:34 pm Reply

    Great article on essence of Faith

  • Amna moghees
    March 14, 2022 at 11:57 pm Reply

    Great blog

  • Amna moghees
    March 14, 2022 at 11:57 pm Reply

    Loved it

  • Shazia ali
    March 14, 2022 at 11:58 pm Reply

    Good artical

  • Abeeha
    March 15, 2022 at 12:26 am Reply

    Great👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  • Mahroo
    March 15, 2022 at 12:40 am Reply

    A great article

  • Salma Tabassum
    March 15, 2022 at 2:47 am Reply

    Knowledge is not incumbent with faith nor every scholar is faithful. However, every true believer must have knowledge.

  • malik
    March 15, 2022 at 3:02 am Reply

    Faith is the most valuable blessing which a person has. If a person has nothing but faith, then he is the richest person of the world. On the other hand, if one has all the comforts of life but is deprived of faith, then he has nothing

  • Abdul Haseeb Sarfraz
    March 15, 2022 at 8:24 am Reply

    Worldly knowledge brings arrogance. The possessors of such knowledge always remain busy in altercation, verbosity and controversies. Satan was the greatest scholar. He used to teach angles but his knowledge created pride and arrogance in him. Resultantly, he was deprived of Divine nearness and presence.

  • Waqar Ahmed
    March 15, 2022 at 9:06 am Reply

    Very good and informative article

  • Muhammad amjad
    March 15, 2022 at 10:51 am Reply

    A large number of people are familiar with the exoteric state of faith only and a few reach its essence

  • Muhammad Zafar Iqbal
    March 15, 2022 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Very nice

  • Sahar
    March 15, 2022 at 3:01 pm Reply

    Wow blog

  • fatima
    March 15, 2022 at 3:02 pm Reply

    Beautifully explained

  • Maira Sarfraz
    March 15, 2022 at 4:15 pm Reply

    In present era, people focus on outward acts of worship only instead of seeking the love of Allah and His beloved which is the source of faith. 

  • Hurr
    March 15, 2022 at 6:14 pm Reply

    Beautifully explained the essence of faith ♥️

  • imran
    March 15, 2022 at 6:46 pm Reply

    گرچہ نیست ما را علم ظاہر
    ز علم باطنی جاں گشتہ طاہر
    Explanation: Although I did not get any worldly education but spiritual knowledge has completely sanctified me. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

  • imran
    March 15, 2022 at 6:48 pm Reply

    دین بگیر از صحبت اربابِ عشق
    Meaning: No one can gain the essence of faith without following the rules of Divine love and this is only possible by the companionship and spiritual glance of passionate lover of Allah (perfect spiritual guide).

  • Ghulam Qadri
    March 15, 2022 at 7:29 pm Reply

    Knowledge must be acquired to gain marifa, Divine vision and closeness.

  • Abdul Razzaq Sarwari Qadri
    March 15, 2022 at 11:35 pm Reply

    MashAllah

  • Sofia Sultan
    March 17, 2022 at 8:01 am Reply

    Amazing to read this wonderful blog

  • ab
    March 17, 2022 at 6:17 pm Reply

    best article

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