Why do you believe?

By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia

Why do you believe? This most profound million-dollar question needs pondering and deep soul-searching. It is relevant and vital that we mull this idea about and through discussion and debate, seek some solution to this exceedingly important query that confronts us. Despite the millions of gallons of ink that have been spilled over this question, it really is a blindingly simple choice. The choice is only one of two: either you believe or you don’t. Nothing more nothing less. The Most Glorious Qur’an confirms that there is no compulsion in religion. End of story!

The bottom line is if you don’t believe, you can forget all the stuff about life after death, rewards and punishments for the way you lived your life, the quaint notion that somewhere inside your brain is a thing called a conscience that tells you what you ought to do. If you don’t believe, that’s all just wishful thinking, or a crude attempt by some people to make others do what they want. On the other hand, if you do believe, you have to face up to the whole business.

We now come to the big question: – Why do I believe? I believe because Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen the Most Exalted Creator of the heavens and the earth created me thus I have to pay homage to my Maker and need to be abundantly thankful for the blessings and bounties that He has bestowed upon me. How do I pay homage to my Maker? I fulfil my duties and obligations by following the Divine Commands of the Glorious Creator and Sustainer as declared in verse 177 of Surah Al-Baqara:

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the
East or West. But it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the
Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers.”

To spend of your substance, out of Love for Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata’ala, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask and for the ransom of slaves. To be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity, to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of Truth, such are the Allah-fearing. This then is the statement of faith of a believer. There are no complicated theological involutions to go through, no necessity to possess a university degree in esoteric knowledge.

A very simple believer can grasp it immediately. Belief is not only not contrary to trust in Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, the reliance one places in the Rabb and Creator of the heavens and the earth and the faith one has in eternal Divine Power strengthen and develop one’s personality. I believe because a human being with a heart full of faith relies upon none other than Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen Who is Most Exalted and Who directs all affairs with His infinite power and has no partner or collaborator in any of His works. We are told with words of wisdom in verse 2 of Surah Fatir:

“Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold,
and whatsoever He withholds, none can release after His withholding 
it, and He is Almighty, All-Wise.”

Where can a human being find refuge that is beyond the realm of Almighty Allah’s power? Taking refuge in something other than the Most Glorious and Exalted Creator will have no result except disappointment and humiliation. How can any creature be master and arbiter of others’ affairs, while it itself stands in need of Almighty Allah for everything, and owns nothing that pertains to itself, and has no power that is its own, nor is capable of offering refuge to anyone? I believe because there is nothing more appropriate for the human being than seeking to live under the shadow of support and Grace of Almighty Allah, Who regulates all matters with His Might and Wisdom.

Humility before Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala at all times, in hardship and ease. The conviction that the infinite power of the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth is above all ordinary powers, causes, and factors, that it rules and governs everything, give a most wonderful strength to the spirit. Belief creates such a confidence and peacefulness within a Muh’min’s heart and soul that one would not be swept away by events and lose one’s human equilibrium and worth, or be oppressed by anything big or small. When one surrenders one’s soul and mind to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, to the degree that one is capable of, one becomes infused with the spirit of submission to the Exalted Creator and resignation towards His Decrees.

Human beings enjoy a very special place in the entire realm of creation. Unlike all animals, humans are not just aware but they are also self-aware; they are not just conscious but they are self-conscious. Only man can turn his attention towards and analyze his own deeper self. This in itself proves that he possesses a supra-sensory faculty that provides a permanent sense of identity to his transient states of sensations and experiences. I believe that the spiritual soul comes from the Most Glorious Creator and is “of the Creator”, and hence inclines toward higher spiritual and moral ideas. It is a Divine element residing inside a brute.

The Most Holy and Noble Qur’an alludes to the fact that it is this very spiritual soul infused into man that made a human being out of an animal. Made him capable of receiving Divine Revelation, and elevated him to the position of vicegerent of the Most Exalted and Glorious Creator, superior even to the Angels. I believe that when one surrenders one’s soul and mind to Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala’meen, to the degree that one is capable of, one becomes infused with a spirit of submission to Him and resignation towards His Decrees. Believe in the Creator of mankind never leads to any weakness or indifference. Rather, it gives a self-confidence that strengthens the will and removes all traces of doubt and vacillation from the heart. This, according to verse 15 of Surah Al-Hujurat is what defines a true believer:

“They alone are the believers who come to believe in Allah and 
His Messenger and afterwards never doubt, and who strive in 
the way of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Only they are
truthful and sincere.”

I believe that the entire realm of being and the whole cosmic complex is neither eternal nor ever-lasting; rather, it is both contingent and perishable. In itself, it has no warrant for its own existence and it cannot explain itself. However, there is only One such a Being Who neither has a beginning in time nor an end – Allah, the proper name for the Creator. It makes no difference whatsoever whether one calls Him Almighty Allah, Ar-Rahman or Ar-Raheem [The Most Beneficent]. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens, the earth and of man, and, particularly, the Giver of guidance for man and the Supreme Judge of his conduct. Almighty Allah’s existence can be brought home to those who believe and who care to reflect, so that it not only ceases to be an “irrational” or “unreasonable” belief but also becomes the Master-Truth for them.

I solemnly believe that the Most Glorious and Exalted Creator is all enveloping, literally boundless, and He alone is absolute, eternal, and infinite. He is the personification of all excellent Attributes, like Power, Majesty, Munificence, Knowledge, Compassion, Love, All-Knowing, Most-Forgiving, etc., in the utmost degree. The core of this belief lies in the assertion that my present terrestrial existence does not constitute my total life; rather, it is a short preamble of the everlasting life to come in the Hereafter.I believe that one who upholds these beliefs reflectively and with full consciousness possesses authentic knowledge both about his or her source of origin and his or her ultimate destiny or destination. The Most Holy and Noble Qur’an summarizes this most beautifully in verse 156 of Surah Al-Baqara:

“Verily, we are from Allah and unto Him we shall return.”

As a matter of truth, a person without this absolutely essential knowledge of the whence and wither of humanity is like a wayfarer who, due to a mishap during the course of his or her journey, neither remembers as to wherefrom he or she started not recalls the destination to which he or she was travelling. This then is the situation of a non believing person who, not knowing his or her ultimate destination or the purpose of his or her existence, spends his or her entire life in pursuing this-worldly goals, in accumulating the means of material sustenance and luxuries, and in seeking carnal gratification.

Such a person is so absorbed in the immediate physical concerns and his or her narrow material gains that he or she does not heed the higher ideals and values of life.I believe that Almighty Allah’s greatest gift to humanity is the faculty of reasoning and free will. This freedom of action carries with it a guarantee that all people shall have the opportunity to exercise their free will as we learn from verses 2 and 3 of Surah Al-Insan (Man), or Al-Dahr (The Time):

“Verily We created man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order 
to try him: So We gave him (the gifts) of hearing and sight. We 
showed him the Way; whether he be grateful or ungrateful 
(rests on his will).”

Likewise Almighty Allah gave humans the faculty of reason, the faculty of hearing and sight, and then showed them the Right Path, but He left the choice to them. If they choose to follow the Right Path, Almighty Allah guides them and helps them, but if they decide to go the other way, Allah leaves them alone and gives them the opportunity to follow the path of their choice. It is our strong belief combined with the love of Almighty Allah which unlocks the coldness and bitterness, the ache of bereavement and the pain of loneliness and rejection, and the resentment of our ill-treatment by others.

Maybe life is given to us specifically so that we can learn how to believe, how to love Allah, and how to love our fellow human beings and how to treat them with dignity, understanding and compassion. I believe that each and every human being should evaluate his or her situation in life and identify the road he or she has chosen through the terrain of existence. We should find out whether we are going towards felicity and goodness or towards wretchedness and deprivation. By identifying one’s beliefs and spiritual needs, one can effectively resist the conditions and factors that disturb one’s spiritual equilibrium, not allowing harmful elements to accumulate and consolidate their strength.

The aim of man’s existence, in the sight of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala is belief and submission. That is, to attain to true awareness of the Most Exalted and Merciful Creator, to conduct his life in conformity with Almighty Allah’s Commands, to seek Him by following the Path laid down by the Beloved of Almighty Allah – Nabee Muhammad – Rahmatul Liel Ala’meen Sallallalahoo Alayhi Wasallam, and to make provision for the Hereafter. This is the real aim; all other things are the means to it. The Most Noble Qur’an alludes to this in verse 56 of Surah Al-Ankabut:

“O My bondsmen who believe! Spacious is My 
earth, Therefore serve you Me (and Me 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 Shahada, the 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. He or she 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.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa sal-Allaahu wa-salam ‘alaa
Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhim Wasallam

Was Salamualakum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhoo

Abdul Hamid Lachporia 

Please be advised that you are more that welcomed to use and share
my Khutbah’s for propagational purposes without my prior consent. 

جَزَاكُمُ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا