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Knowledge, Faith Morality and the Future of Humankind.
THE ROLE OF FAITH IN DEVELOPING A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Dr. Muhammad Abdullah
Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre,
University of the Punjab,
Istanbul – Turkey
THE ROLE OF FAITH IN DEVELOPING
A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACOUNTABLITY
Today, scientific development is in full swing. Knowledge is being spreaded widely, unluckily, there is no existence of the creator in these scientific developments. Materialism took the man away from belief. Though discovery of universe is essential but man is going farther from one another. In this scenario there is a dire need of thinking to solve these problems in the light of Beduizzaman Said Nursi.
Human mind controls all the activities of a man. This is the Centre of human body. These feelings basically base on some permanant strong thinkings and concepts. These principles are called our beliefs i.e. faith. This centre gives directions to practise a man, it also controls all the deeds of a man. The single motivater of our all the activities is our intention. Holy Prophet (SWS) said’ “All the deeds are base on intentions.” The Prophet (SWS) clearly told five principles as basic beliefs i.e. Tauheed, belief on Angles, His prophets, books and be answerable on the Day of Judgment.
Islam provides a complete system of accountability. If this sense disappears the whole system will collapse. This responsibility may be divided into three parts i.e. Individually responsibilities, Collective responsibilities, International responsibilities.
Man created by God, held some individual responsibilities like fearing God, be independent, patience and self respected. Moreover serving others, be helpful, console and comfort others are his good qualities. Collective phase comprises responsibilities, equality, freedom of speech, justice, fairplay being responsible, spreading of knowledge disarmament, peaceful talks and one standard of Socio economic responsibilities. In international scenario, free politics, weaponless society, open mindness, serving mankind irrespective of geographical boundaries, eradicating poverty from the world and helping the deprived one’s of this society. Tauheed is not only a scholastic view but a practical fact. The first this faith provides is that man becomes free and independent in all respects. He develops himself into a superior one to all of the best of the creatures. A sense of awareness is granted to him by the Almighty Allah. Allah says in Surah Al-Hadeed.’ Where you are, He is always with you. And Surah Al-Momin says, “approach me”, I will accept all your requests.” Islamic beliefs develop a sense of collective welfare. It enables man to serve others and be helpful for them.
THE ROLE OF FAITH IN DEVELOPING
A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Dr. Muhammad Abdullah
Today, scientific development is on its climax. Knowledge is being spread widely. Unluckily, there is no existence of creator in these scenario. Materialism took the man away from spiritual beliefs. Though discovery of Universe is essential, but man is going farther from one another. In this scenario there is a dire need of thinking to solve these problems in the light of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s views and his Risale-i-Nur.
No body can deny the contribution of a revivalist like, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1878-1960) a great Muslim thinker and theologian of 20th century, who inspired the spiritually dead society of Turkey and led his life in the revivalism of Islam.
“Bediuzzaman understood an essential cause of the decline of the Islamic world to be the weaking of its very foundations, that is, weak belief in the basic tenets of the Islamic faith. This, together with the unprecedented attacks on those foundations in the 19th and 20th centuries carried out by materialists, atheists and others in the name of science and progress, led him to realize that the urgent and according need was to strengthen, and even to save, belief. What was needed was to expand all efforts to reconstruct the belief of Islam from its foundations, and to answer at that level those attacks that were put on Islam and its belongings. It is no exaggeration to say that with its conveying the Qur’anic Message in a way that addresses and answers modern man’s needs, the Risale-i-Nur played a major role in keeping alive the Islamic faith in Turkey in those dark days, and in the resurgence of Islam that has occurred consequently”. (1)
In this context it is very important to discuss in the light of Bediuzzaman writings. “The Role of Faith in Developing a sense of Responsibility and accountability.”
The paper may be divided into these phases:
Faith and its role in Islam:
Human feelings control all the activities of a man. They make or mar him. These feelings base on some permanent and strong thinking and concepts. These principles are called our beliefs i.e. faith (Eiman). This centre (Faith) gives directions to practise a man, it also creates ends of all the deeds of a man. The heart plays a key role in doing good or bad, Holy Prophet (SAW) says in this context:
“Beware, human body contains a flesh of meat in human body, if it is pure every organ is on the right path, if otherwise, it makes the situation worse that is heart”. (2)
He also said “All the deeds are based on intentions”. (3)
Qur’an explained beliefs at many places. “And who believe in that which hath been sent down unto thee and that which hath been sent down before thee, and of the hereafter they are convinced”. (4)
The Holy Qur’an informs us that true religion is practical not theoretical or formal:
“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West, but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the last day and the angels and the scripture and the Prophets, and giveth his wealth for love of Him to kindred and to orphans and the needy and the homeless and to beggars and to set slaves free, and those who are regular in prayer and pay the poor their legal position and those who keep their promise when they make one and preserving in adversity and tribulation. These are they who are sincere. These are who they keep from evil.” (5)
So The Holy Qur’an invites to believe all the beliefs, as it says.
“The apostle believeth in that which is sent down unto him from his Lord, and so do the believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His Angles and His books and His apostles saying: we differentiate not between any of His apostles.” (6) More explained, “Those who believe and do good.” (7) Renowned scholar M.M. Pikthal said:
“Those who believe and do nothing cannot exist in Islam. Those who believe and do wrong are inconceivable, for Islam means man’s surrender to God’s will, and so obedience to His law, which is a law of effort not of idleness. (8)
Allah Almighty says “Make ye the giving of drinks unto the pilgrims and the tendance of the sacred Mosque like unto the conduct of one who believeth in Allah and the last day and striveth hard in the way of Allah?Equal they are not with Allah and Allah guide not the wrong doing people”. (9)
At times Muslims has been given good news Allah says, “Whosever believeth in Allah and the last day and worketh righteously, no fear shall come on them nor shall they grieve.”(10)
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi explained beliefs in Risale-i-Nur in this way “Like these three phrases, In the name of God and there is no god but God and other blessed phrases are all seeds to the pillars of faith. “Like the meat essences and sugar concentrates that have been discovered recently. They are summaries of both the pillars of belief, and the truths of the Qur’an. The three mentioned above one. They are both the seeds of the five daily prayers and they are the seeds of the Qur’an, so too are they the true sources and bases of Risale-i-Nur. (11)
When the Holy Qur’an says on the good effects on believers, also told the bad effects.
“And whosever rejecteth the faith, his work will surely come to naught and in the hereafter he shall be of the losers.” (12)
The Holy Qur’an gives details of belief and difficulty facing in this way. ‘Alif Lam Mim, Bethink men that they shall be left alone because they say: we believe and that shall not be tempted? (13)
Explaining this verse prominent scholar of the Sub-continent Syed Abu l A`la Maududi says:
“When this thing was said the condition prevaiting in Makkah was extremely tiring. Whosever accepted Islam was made a target of tyranny and humiliation and persecution. An instance of this is found in the tradition of Hadrat Khabaib bin Arat which has been described by Bukhari, Abu Daud and Nassai. He says:
“During the time when we had become sick of our persecution by the Mushriks, One day I saw the Holy Prophet (SAW) sitting in the shade of the wall of the Kabba. I went up to him and said “O Messenger of Allah, Don’t you pray for us! Hearing this his face became red with feeling and emotion, and he said, the believers who have gone before you, had been subjected to even greater persecutions. Some one of them was made to sit in a diteh in earth and was sawed into two pieces from head of foot someones joints were rubbed with iron combs so as to withhold him from the faith. By God this mission will be accomplished and the time is not for when a person will travel without apprehension from Sana to Hadarmaut and there will be none but Allah whom he will fear.” (14)
In this historical perspectives one can have the view that believers had to face so many difficulties, Late Bediuzzaman said, Nursi also was imprisoned but he remained firm. (15)
Risale-i-Nur explains the facts narrated by Qur’an in this way.
“Yes, the infinite miracles bestowed by God prophets (peace be upon them) each one being like a confirmation of their mission; the heavenly blows dealt to their opponents, each being like a proof of their truthfulness; we bring like on indication of their righteousness, their included perfections, each,their various teachings; the strength of their faith, a witness to their honesty; their supreme seriousness and readiness to self sacrifice; the sacrid books and pages held by their hands; their countless pupils who through following their paths attain truth, perfection. And like, thus proving again the truthfulness of the teachings; the unanimous agreement of the prophets. Those most earnest warners land their followers in all positive matters; their concerned mutual support and affinity all of this constitutes so powerful a proof that no power on earth can confront it, and no doubt can survive it.” (16)
“Believing in God is the first and foremost in the meta-physical system in Islam. Rest of all beliefs are interconnected by this. All the moral, social and cultural laws are derived from this. All the things on the face of earth get inspiration from this one. Believing on Angels is as they have been created by God. As is the case with Books. i.e. they have been revealed by Al-mighty Allah. Day of judgment is going to be brought by Him. Obligations have been made by God. Duties are also set by him. Orders and forbiddens have been sent by Allah. So every will of God is connected by believing one God, the Al-mighty Allah.”
Islamic faiths are connected with each other, According Risale-i-Nur:
“Praise be to God! I have seen and heard Thirty-Three Truths bearing witness to the necessary existence and unity of the Creator andSovereign I was everywhere seeking and enquiring after. Each of the truths is bright as the sun and leaves no darkness behind. It is as strong and unshakeable as a mountain. Each of them, with this verifications, bears decisive witness to his existence, and with its comprehensiveness proves His unity in manifest fashion. While proving implicitly all the pillars of faith. The totality and consensus of these truths causes our belief to advance from imitation to realization, from realization to knowledge of certainty, from knowledge of certainty to vision of certainty and from vision of certainty to absolute certainty,. Praise be to God; this is from the bounty of my Sustainer.”(17)
Role of Sense of responsibility and accountability:
This belief that is centre of all the Universe, taking all, intellectual and practical practices show that the creature is one Rather this concept covers all the centrality with Allah the Al-mighty. This thinking gives inspiration and power to every believer it covers all intellectual and physical powers. It is not mere accepting God as the Sole Super power. Rest of the nations also believed in one God or other way. But the thing that makes Islam prominent is that it gave people the true knowledge about Allah, the Almighty and unique characteristics about Him. Then centralizing it, made it the motivator of purification, morality, beneficial, organizer for good and base of culture; No religion other than Islam has such a rare thinking about God. As commented in Risale-i-Nur:
“The essence of the unbelief that opposes the truths of Islam and struggles against them is denial, ignorance, and negation. Even though it may appear to be an affirmation of some kind and a manifestation of being, it is in reality negation and non-being. Whereas belief is knowledge and a manifestation of being; it is affirmation and judgment. Every negating aspect of belief is the gate to positive trough or the veil covering it. If the unbelievers who struggle against faith attempt, with the utmost difficulty, to affirm and accept their negative beliefs in the form of acceptance and admission of non-being, then their unbelief may be regarded in one aspect as a formof mistaken knowledge or erroneous judgment. But as for non-acceptance, denial, and non-admission something more easily done-it is absolute ignorance and total absence of judgment.” (18)
Faith creates following lessons for sense of responsibilities and accountabilities.
1- Lesson of freedom:
Belief on oneness gives man such a noble and respectable position that a man deserves as the best creature. All the universe is for him. When a man does not know about Touheed he is so inferior that he fears from every thing. The things that have been created for him he obeys them. He makes God the things like him, bows before them like slaves. Belief in oneness makes a man very respected and honourable, he thinks that God holds all the powers, No one can give profit or loss except Him. This knowledge enables him bold and courageous, and he never bows anyone.
Man embracing oneness of God is never as he thinks the whole power can snatch if it can give me everything. Otherwise agnostic may get worldly gains but he thinks it is due to his merit and hardworking.
2- Optimistic Approach:
Believer never despairs. He believes that God, is the creator and real master of universe. His beneficial qualities are unlimited. His powers are infinite. This belief fills his heart with sold contentment. If all the people reject him, Allah never leaves him alone, so he remains hopeful in all the circumstances.
3-Confidence and Patience:
It gives a man, confidence, courage and patience. He gets so many trials but never despairs. As he attempts for some high aims he believes someone is accompanying him, it makes him high like mountains.
4- Obeying the law of God:
Believer obeys the law of God. He is aware of the fact that Allah knows what is on the scene or behind of it. Allah knows, every action done by us in the day light or in darkness. Even Allah knows all that is hidden in our intentions. Man can hide from everyone but not from Him, save from everyone but not from the supreme existence. aloof everyone but not from the real Al-mighty Allah.
5- Collective Responsibility:
Human society based on pure equality and fair justice, this is only possible by believing in one God. The worst situation of the world today is due to , this deterioration of less advancement in developing human conscious, inspite of so many material advancement. As explained in Risale-i-Nur:
“Then too all of the pure spirits from among guys that have appeared before men have, unanimously and without exception, born witness to the necessary existence, the unity, and the sacred attributes of the Creator of this cosmos, and proclaimed this with one accord. The affinity and mutual correspondence of these countless proclamations is a guide for you as bright as the sun.” “Come, the path leading to truth from these counterparts of yours is shorter. We should benefit by studying their qualities, natures and colours concerning faith that we find here, not by listening to the lessons given by these tongues of disposition as was previously the case.” (19)
The scientific advancement has gone to the so extent that it broke all the limits by new discoveries and machines converted world into a courtyard. But in spite of all this man is so narrow minded that it is surrounded by Nationalism.
AS he said: “So the exposition , the solution, the uncovering and proof of the mystery of this degree of the assertion of the Divine unity, this Third Truth, this word of unity – the mystery that the greatest universal is like the smallest particular without the slightest difference between them – this beneficial wisdom, this supreme talisman, this riddle beyond the reach of the intellect, this most significant foundation of Islam, this most profound source of faith, this greatest basis of the Divine unity – the setting forth of all this opens the talisman of the Quran and makes it possible to know the most secret and unknowable riddle of the creation of all beings, a riddle that reduces philosophy to impotence.” (20)
Moreover, he says:
“ So look, see how their freedom and courage dissolve in the face of the monster’s threat. There is nothing they can do but flee. They do not realize that it is an obedient steed, because they do not believe in its driver and orderly system. They imagine it to be a sort of lion with twenety terrifying and rapacious lions the size of waggons attached to its rear.
O my brothers and my friends who are listening to these words after fifty years! What give the five-year-old child greater freedom and courage than those two heroes, and a fearlessness and confidence far exceeding theirs, is faith, trust and belief. Belief in the order and system of the railway, which is a seed of truth in that innocent child’s heart. Belief that the reins of the train are in the hands of a driver, that its movement is regulated, that someone is driving it on ehis own account.
While what terrifies the two heroes and makes their consciences prisoners to delusion is their ignorant lack of faith; it is the fact that they do not know the driver and do not believe in the order and system.”(21)
He explained more: “The All-glorious One Who sent us to you holds their reins in His hands. The eye of faith reads on their faces the signs of mercy; each proclaims them.”
O believer with a wakeful heart! Let our eyes rest a little; we shall hand over our sensitive ears to the blessed hand of belief in their place. We shall send them to the world to listen to its delightful refrains. (22)
6- Faith of hereafter:
Accepting, the belief on Day of Judgment is, man should recognize responsible and accountable. He should perform all his actions that he is to be judged by all his performance. He should not keep in mind mere worldly deficits but hold an eye on every lasting profits.
7- Bravery and Sacrificing Spirit:
The belief on the Day of Judgment creates in man boldness and courage. It strengthens the firmness, i.e. if you are killed, you would not be destroyed but get the life of new decay at all.
The belief on the day of judgment alive no blind lone to this world. He thinks for superior purposes. He does not lone merely this world. He gets abuant wealth of patience and heart contentment. The Holy Qur’an mentions this at many places about this fact. As Beduizzaman Said Nursi’s concluded at one place:
“The essences of the unbelief that opposes the truths of Islam and struggles against them is denial, ignorance, and negation. Even though it may appear to be an affirmation of some kind and a manifestation of being, it is in reality negation and non-being. Whereas belief is knowledge and a manifestation of being; it is affirmation and judgment. Every negating aspect of belief is the gate to a positive truth or the veil covering it. If the unbelievers who struggle against faith attempt, with the utmost difficulty, to affirm and accept their negative beliefs in the form of acceptance and admission of non-being, then their unbelief may be regarded in one respect as a form of mistaken knowledge or erroneous judgment. But as for non-acceptance, denial and non-admission – something more easily done – it is absolute ignorance and total absence of judgment. (23)
We can conclude results in the light of Baddiuzzaman Said Nursis’s views:
Now the most important result, substance and reason for the creation of the cosmos is none other than life, and life, that exalted verity, can in no way be restricted to this transient, brief, defective and painful worldly life. Rather the purpose and result of the tree of life, the splendor life of the hereafter, it is life in the eternal of which can be deduced from its twenty-nine properties, the fruit of that tree worthy of its splendor, is the eternal realm where even stones, tree and the soil will be endowed with life. Otherwise it will follow that the tree of life, so plentifully decayed out with significant instrument, yields no fruit, benefit or truth for animate beings, specially man, and man who is his substance and faculties is twenty times superior to the sparrow and is indeed the most important and elevated of all creation, He will fall to a degree twenty times lower than that of the sparrow, with respected to the facility of his life. he will be the most unfortunate and humiliated of wretches. (24)
Reference and Notes
1-Sukran Valide, “The Damascus serman (from the Risale-i-Nur collection) Istanbul – Turkey, 1996, P-II.
15-Beduizzaman Said Nursi as imprisoned in 1935 at Eskisehir and 1943 at Denizli, was banished form different cities and was trialed in many cases but he remained firm strongly. (Ramzan Balija, Beduizzaman Said Nursi’ Urdu translation by Masud Akhtar Sheikh, Harmony Publications, Islamabad-Pakistan, 2009,P: 145-172)
16-Sukran Valide, The rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection, P-103
17-Sukran Valide, The rays, from Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-147
18-Sukran Valide, The Rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-90.
19-Sukran Valide, The Rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-105.
20-Sukran Valide, The Rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-180
21-Sukran Valide, “The Damascus serman (from the Risale-i-Nur collection) Istanbul – Turkey, 1996, P-63.
22-Sukran Valide, The Rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-778.
23-Sukran Valide, The Rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-128.
24-Sukran Valide, The Rays, Risale-i-Nur Collection,
(Istanbul, 1992) P-120.
CV OF DR. MUHAMMAD ABDULLAH
The author is working as Associate Professor at Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre, University of the Punjab, Lahore-Pakistan since 2008. The author has completed Doctorate from Department of Islamic Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan in 2002. His Ph.D. title was “Rahamatullah Karanvi’s contribution towards critical study of Christianity”.
He participated and presented papers over 20 seminars/ conferences on National level and one conference on international level i.e. New Delhi-India. He got four national awards on Seerat un Nabi (SAW). His field of specialization is comparative study of religions, biography and Seerah.
He worked as Sub-Editor of the research journal, Al-Qalam, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of the Punjab for seven years and now now he is Sub-Editor of “Jihat al Islam” faculty magazine of Islamic Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore-Pakistan.
Over 15 research papers have been published in well – reputed journals on national and international level.