The Completion of Iman:
The path of the believers is straight throughout. He is happy and successful in the material world and he is also blessed with success and well-being in the World Hereafter. He is well and comfortable both here and there. He is a loser neither, in this world nor in the world hereafter. Thus every Muslim knows well that all good deeds are part of his faith. Whatever pleases Allah the Almighty is part of one’s faith. Thus, a believer always, endeavours to deepen and perfect his faith. Now some of the complementarities that perfect one’s faith are discussed in the following:
- The Love of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) declared:
«فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لاَ يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَالِدِهِ وَوَلَدِهِ» (مسلم).
(Translation of meaning) “The belief of none of you is complete unless I am more lovable to him than his offspring, his parents and all other Muslims.” Hadrat Umar (RadhiAllahu Anhu) narrates that:
Once in the company of the Prophet he said: O Messenger of Allah, I love you more than the entire world except myself. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said no O Umar. Belief means that you love me more than yourself. Hadrat Umar (RadhiAllahu Anhu ) affirmed: Yes O Messenger of Allah. I love you more than my own life. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then confirmed: Now your belief is complete (Muslim). A Muslim can become a true lover of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) only, when he obeys his commands and emulates his example. Merely, affirmation of love, by the word of mouth is of no avail. Some people pretended to love Allah. Allah put them on trial and asked them to produce the proof of their love. Then, he Himself explained that the proof of their love is that you obey my commands solemnly. Without this, mere verbal claims will be hollow. To quote the Quran:
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (31) (آل عمران:31)
(Translation of meaning) [“Say [O Muhammad, to mankind]: If ye love Allah, follow me Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (Aal Imran: 31)].
The emulation of the: Each one of my Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the only way leading to Paradise. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) proclaimed:
«كُلُّ أُمَّتِي يَدْخُلُونَ الجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَبَى» ، قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَمَنْ يَأْبَى؟ قَالَ: «مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي دَخَلَ الجَنَّةَ ، وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَقَدْ أَبَى» (البخاري).
(Translation of meaning) Followers among my community shall enter Paradise except those, who, denied me. The Companions asked: Who is there to deny you? He replied, he, who followed me shall go to Paradise and he who defied me denied me (Bukhari). For this reason, Allah has enjoined the obedience to the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It is ordained that:
وَمَا آتَاكُمْ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا (7) (الحشر:7)
(Translation of meaning) [“… And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbids, abstain [from it]. And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal” (Al-Hashr: 7)].
- Welfare of Others: Wishing well and seeking well-being of others is one of the essential ingredients of belief. A Muslim likes for his brother what he likes for himself and whatever, he dislikes for himself, he dislikes for his brother. If one does not feel like this his faith is deficient and one should make it up. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«لاَ يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ، حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ» (البخاري).
(Translation of meaning) “None of you can become a believer unless he likes for his brother what he likes for his own self” (Al-Bukhari).
- Feeding the Needy and Popularizing Greetings: Allah has declared in the Quran:
وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِيناً وَيَتِيماً وَأَسِيراً (8) إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلا شُكُوراً (9) (الإنسان:8-9)
(Translation of meaning) [“And feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner for love of Him, [saying] We feed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you” (Al-Insan: 8-9)].
He does all that, for the sake of Allah, not for exhibition or out of hypocrisy. Similarly, under the compulsion of his faith he feels attached with his fellow-beings and thus exchange of greetings with others selflessly and without discrimination. Once a man inquired from the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which form of Islam is the best? He replied that
«تُطْعِمُ الطَّعَامَ، وَتَقْرَأُ السَّلاَمَ عَلَى مَنْ عَرَفْتَ وَمَنْ لَمْ تَعْرِفْ»
(Translation of meaning) You feed the hungry and greet all whether you know them or do not know them (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). Enjoining the practice of exchange of greetings he emphasized:
«لَا تَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا، وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا، أَوَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ؟ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ بَيْنَكُمْ» (مسلم).
(Translation of meaning) “You will not enter Paradise unless you believe and you cannot believe unless you love each other. Should I not guide you to something by doing which you can love each other? Popularize exchange of greetings [salaam] among yourselves (Muslim).
- Guarding against Harms: A Muslim cannot cause harm to others. His person can never become a source of harm to others because, he knows that, it will cause the displeasure of Allah. Once, a man inquired from the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) what type of Muslim is the best? He replied:
«الْمُسْلِمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ» (مسلم)
(Translation of meaning) One from whose tongue and hands, other Muslims are safe.
- Fair Treatment to Neighbours, Hospitality and Well-wishing: Fair treatment to neighbours, hospitality and speaking well of others are the requirements of one’s faith. One should speak only good, otherwise he should keep silent. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) advised:
«مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَاليَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلاَ يُؤْذِ جَارَهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَاليَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَاليَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ» (متفق عليه)
(Translation of meaning) “Those, who, believe in Allah and the Last Day should honour the kin and those, who, believe in Allah and the Last Day should speak only well or keep quiet”.
- To Call to Good and Detain from Evil: A believer likes good and naturally hates evil. He is, therefore a votary of good and an opponent of evil. He upholds the right and eliminates the wrong. It is his desire that all his fellow-beings earn the Paradise and keep away from Hell. He is always consumed by this desire. He himself sticks to righteousness and invites other to it. He not only himself keeps away from evils but also asks others to keep away from them. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ» (مسلم).
(Translation of meaning) “One who sees an evil, should remove it with his hands, if he cannot then with his tongue, and if he cannot then with his heart and that is the weakest form of faith” (Muslim).
In another tradition, Allah’s messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«مَا مِنْ نَبِيٍّ بَعَثَهُ اللهُ فِي أُمَّةٍ قَبْلِي إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِنْ أُمَّتِهِ حَوَارِيُّونَ، وَأَصْحَابٌ يَأْخُذُونَ بِسُنَّتِهِ وَيَقْتَدُونَ بِأَمْرِهِ، ثُمَّ إِنَّهَا تَخْلُفُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خُلُوفٌ يَقُولُونَ مَا لَا يَفْعَلُونَ، وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا لَا يُؤْمَرُونَ، فَمَنْ جَاهَدَهُمْ بِيَدِهِ فَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ، وَمَنْ جَاهَدَهُمْ بِلِسَانِهِ فَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ، وَمَنْ جَاهَدَهُمْ بِقَلْبِهِ فَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ، وَلَيْسَ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْإِيمَانِ حَبَّةُ خَرْدَلٍ» (مسلم).
(Translation of meaning) Never a Prophet had been sent before me by Allah towards his nation, who had not among his people (his) disciples and companions, who followed his ways and obeyed his command. Then there came after them their successors who said whatever they did not practise, and practised whatever they were not commanded to do. He who strove against them with his hand was a believer: he who strove against them with his tongue was a believer, and he who strove against them with his heart was a believer and beyond that there is no faith even to the extent of a mustard seed. (Muslim)
- To Love for the sake of Allah and to Hate for the sake of Allah: It’s a requirement of faith that one should love those who love Allah. And likewise one should not love those who do not love Allah. The love of Allah is the very pivot of a believer’s social relations. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
« وَالحُبُّ فِي اللَّهِ وَالبُغْضُ فِي اللَّهِ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ » (البخاري).
(Translation of meaning) “Love in Allah and adversity in Allah is part of faith” (Bukhari). Those who love each other for the sake of Allah shall come under the shadow of Allah on the Day of Resurrection (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
- Haya (Modesty): Modesty is an ornament of the believer. He shies away from acts of disobedience to Allah. He also keeps modest towards the public and avoids dealing with them unfairly. Modesty is full of all benefits. Once the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by a (man) who was admonishing his brother regarding Haya’. On that Allah’s messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Leave him as Haya’ is a part of faith.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
- To Remove Hindrances from the Pathway: Since a believer wants others to be safe and does not want that a passer-by is harmed by some hindrance put in the way, he therefore removes that hindrance. This he considers as an essential part of one’s faith. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«الْإِيمَانُ بِضْعٌ وَسَبْعُونَ شُعْبَةً، أَفْضَلُهَا لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَأَوْضَعُهَا إِمَاطَةُ الْأَذَى عَنِ الطَّرِيقِ، وَالْحَيَاءُ شُعْبَةٌ مِنَ الْإِيمَانِ»
(Translation of meaning) “Faith is seventy and odd or sixty and odd parts. The highest is ‘there is no god but Allah’ and the lowest is removal of hindrances from the path and modesty is a part of faith” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
Some of the essential requirements of faith as discussed above are part and parcel of a believer’s routine life. Those who excel in the performance of such deeds shall excel in their faith. Equally, those who lag behind in their performance their faith remain imperfect and weightless proportionally.