"O Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen!
With Thy Holy Name I begin and from Thee I seek guidance and support.
Beloved people of Imaan! In Islam, all existence is the creation of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and an image of His knowledge and power; the whole universe is attracted to Him, and man is His creature, superior to others, and His Khalifah on earth. By employing his intrinsic talents, man can build the world created for him, in the most beautiful ways and flying on the two wings of faith and knowledge, rise to the highest peaks of spiritual attainment. Conversely, man can create oppression and corruption by going astray and wasting and perverting his Allah-given potential. The only light illuminating his path is belief in Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and submission to His Commands.
Dearest brothers & Sisters in Islam: If you've arrived at a stage of reasoning at which you're questioning things and searching through the darkness for something that can make sense out of existence, then perhaps the time has come for you to sit down and try to work out what you believe. Over the centuries, there have been a chain of awareness relating to the existence of our Most Glorious and Exalted Creator and Sustainer, different generations been granted such awareness through various enlightened people whom Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala brought close to Himself. These chosen Messengers called people to Almighty Allah and organized those who responded to their call into communities of faith.
The three great monotheist religions are, as we know, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Of these, Islam differs somewhat from the other two, in that it claims to be the final and summative statement of genuine revealed knowledge of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, encompassing all the truths taught by the Ambiya Alayhim Salaam who lived prior to Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, and remains eternally valid due to the very nature of its miraculous revelation in the form of exact-word statements that were learnt, memorized, written down and passed on to all future generations.
All religion starts with realization. It lies at the very heart of religion, and it can begin even when faith, or even the possibility of faith, is very weak. No religious leader or teacher in the world can make it happen, although they may do their best to guide people toward Almighty Allah. One of the most important declarations which Muslims believe that have been made by Almighty Allah is verse 256 of Surah Al-Baqara. If a thing is true, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks or says about it, it will in the end be self-evident, and people, when they attain reason, will either come to realize it or deliberately choose to ignore it.
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear
from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped
the most trustworthy handhold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth
and knoweth all things."
You cannot be forced to feel faith any more than you can be forced to feel love. It's a matter of awareness. According to Islam, the person who submits to the Will of Almighty Allah, which is a good Will, and obeys the Law of the Exalted Creator, which is the best Law, is a sound and honest person. He is gaining protection of his own rights, showing genuine respect for the rights of others, and enjoying a high degree of responsible, creative freedom. Submission to the good Will of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen, therefore, does not take away or curtail individual freedom. On the contrary, it gives freedom of a high degree in abundant measures.
It is impossible to force or impose a belief by means of decree, command, adjudicate, terror, pressure, or violence. No human being can be drilled like an animal. One minute there may be nothing at all; you're going along your merry way when all of a sudden - wham! Your whole Doonya suddenly changes, and you become the most insightful and enlightened being because of your flash of insight. Alhumdoelillah! all of a sudden, you become aware of His Exalted Presence and you realize that you are an insignificant speck of dust in the vastness of Almighty Allah's creation. You really don't know how to describe it.
You feel an incredible wave of emotion that you cannot explain, a kind of overwhelming joy, gratitude, and amazement that your Glorious Creator and Sustainer sees, loves, and cares about you. Suddenly you come to the realization that all those times when you felt alone, you were not alone at all since Almighty Allah was always with you. You have heard many stories of how people broke down and burst into tears and how ridiculous it sounded at the time, but now, it is your turn, your time has come and you want to shout out in joy and cry at the same time.
Suddenly, you find that the temporal world is indeed a cultivating ground for the Aghirah, and death is not the end of life but only a passage to immortality and the beginning of a new existence. All this time you thought that man becomes a Muslim when he confesses belief in the Oneness of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and in Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam as His Last Messenger. But this is far from the full meaning of Faith because the full meaning of Faith in Islam is not, by any means, something nominal or mere formality. Faith in Islam is a state of happiness acquired by virtue of positive action and constructive conceptions as well as dynamic and effective measures.
You want to announce to the world that the Most Noble and Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah and Seerah of our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam defines these required measures and establishes the standards that builds up a meaningful Faith. You know now that a true Muh'min is one who believes in Almighty Allah, His angels, His Books, as completed by the Qur'an, His Messengers with Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam being the Last and Final of them all, the Day of Final Judgement, and the absolute Knowledge and Wisdom of Almighty Allah. It is now clear to you that the very meaning of Faith makes Islam penetrate deeply and constructively into every aspect of life.
You feel greatly blessed because you know that Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala wants to help you fulfill the purpose of life so that you may realize the goal of existence and enjoy the good taste of life according to Islam's Divine guidance. Yes, you fully agree that life is a trust from your Creator, and as a trustee, you must at all times handle that trust with honesty and skill, with mindfulness of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen and with consciousness of responsibility to Him alone.
We can pass our lives as automatons, like machines, or we can take the leap of faith and change our entire motivation. Even if we cannot see our Most Glorious Creator, we could start to alter our lives and behave in such a way that He sees us and that He understands all our inner thoughts and motivations. We can make the leap of faith like true believers and come full circle to the Shahadah, the Divine Declaration of Faith: "La Ilaha Ilal Lahu Muhammadur Rasulullah." [There is no deity except Allah, and Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallamis His Messenger].
Faith is a force that is greater than knowledge or power of will. The darkest defeat turns to triumph if we trust in Almighty Allah's Wisdom and Will. For faith is a mover of mountains. There is nothing man cannot achieve if he has the courage to try it and then has the faith to believe. Yes, opening the eyes of the spirit takes a great deal of courage and a moment of decision. The moment of realization that maybe it is all real where submission to Almighty Allah begins. It is not the end of the story by any means, but only the beginning. If the reality of Islam is not present in us, we cannot hope for any help from Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala since it is faith alone that counts with Him and carries weight for this is made crystal clear to us in verse 9 of Surah Yunus:
"Allah shall guide to the Path of Happiness those who believe and do good deeds."
A person who believes willingly implements the law that he or she has come to accept as expressions of the Eternal Wisdom of Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen. Such a person recognizes, moreover, that while obeying those laws he or she is journeying towards eternity and an imperishable realm across a span of infinite time. The narrow vision of human knowledge is incapable of fully comprehending the lofty destiny of such a person.
And Almighty Allah knows best.
Imam Abdul Hamid