Problems Associated with Weak Faith

Problems Associated with Weak Faith
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In the Quran, Allah describes Himself as “the Light of the heavens and the earth” (Surah an-Nur, 24/35). He is the true source of light (nur), brightness, and enlightenment. He is the One Who will illuminate the paths we walk. Therefore, the extent to which a person is illuminated (enlightened) is directly related to their connection with Him, and the farther they move away from Him, the more they remain in darkness. The Qur’anic verse says: “Allah is the Ally/Guardian of those who believe: He brings them out of the depths of darkness and into the light. As for the disbelievers, their allies are taghut[1] who take them from the light into the depths of darkness” (Surah al-Baqara, 2/257). Differentiating between right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, is contingent upon one’s connection with Allah. Those who are disconnected from Him often confuse right with wrong and wrong with right. In their case, neither the right nor the wrong is clear. Hence, their words cannot be trusted.

Corruptive Steps and Major Destruction

However, many people, for various reasons, do not see any harm in following such individuals and cannot imagine that they will lead them from light into darkness. When individuals cut themselves off from the Eternal Source of light, their position in guiding society becomes a calamity in itself. They not only stray onto the path of misguidance themselves but also lead the masses who follow them astray. The harm they can cause to faith, Islam, and the Qur’an may be far greater than what those locked in disbelief and misguidance can inflict. You can identify and take a stance against enemies of religion and faith, but you cannot always prevent the harm caused by individuals who come to the mosque with you, face the Kaaba, stand side by side in the same row, bow their heads in prostration, say “Allah”, and even outwardly act as if they are constructing a monument of your soul through reviving religious values. Therefore, preventing the harm they may cause to religion is not always possible. Unfortunately, the Islamic world has suffered greatly in the past few centuries from ignorant individuals who have assumed leadership and guidance roles without truly understanding its unique qualities and background. Regrettably, Islam has become orphaned and destitute in the hands of these uninformed people.

They act as it suits their interests, displaying a complete hypocritical attitude. They behave duplicitously, telling lies, today labeling as wrong what they claimed was right yesterday, and tomorrow providing different explanations for what they said today. On the other hand, they have no qualms about committing sins explicitly forbidden by the religion and even attempting to give these a religious guise. For example, they engage in corruption and theft, embezzle public resources, disrupt tenders, give and take bribes, all the while attempting to present these actions as legitimate and reasonable through demagoguery to the masses. Moreover, they turn into oppressors and tyrants as they chase after their personal gains and positions, baring their teeth, foaming at the mouth, and launching aggressive attacks against those they view as their adversaries. They point fingers and say to those who heed them, “Do not grant them respite! Do not pardon them! Snuff out their lights, root them out!” They don’t hesitate to invent falsehoods and level false accusations against their rivals.

To make their errors, crimes and sins appear legitimate in the eyes of the crowds they gather behind them, they manipulate religious rulings, interpreting them according to their selfish desires. They cut, trim, and reshape religious decrees to extract the opinions and judgments they desire. They attempt to integrate even the most marginal interpretations that mainstream Sunni scholars have vehemently opposed throughout history into religious thought, all in order to achieve the fatwas and rulings they seek. What’s bizarre is that, on one hand, they engage in all these nefarious activities that are entirely contradictory to Islam, and on the other hand, they do not hesitate to present themselves as saviors striving to revive the religion. In reality, what they are doing is a surgical operation to conform religion to their whims and desires.

As a result of all this, it is Islam that suffers, and trust in the religion is shaken. Cracks and collapses occur in the walls of Islam, and Islam in minds is turned into ruins. Those who look at the words and deeds of individuals who appear to be in the forefront of Islam outwardly say, “If this is what the religion is, then there is no aspect of it to be followed or adhered to!” Thus, those who seem to represent the True Faith actually drive others away from it. Because of them, even those who sincerely practice the religion may develop a sense of aversion. This is a clear manipulation of the reputation of Islam. Don’t be fooled by their grandiose claims made in the name of Islam. The reality is that, up to now, even those who have made hostility towards Islam and Muslims a part of their character, using every opportunity against Islam, have not been able to inflict this much damage to the religion.

We have no right to interfere with anyone’s lifestyle. This world is a place of testing. Anyone can believe, and anyone can choose not to believe. Anyone can advocate and live a secular lifestyle, while others may choose to follow the path of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Since there is no compulsion in religion, everyone is free to live their life according to their own thoughts and beliefs. However, if some claim to follow the religion while actually undermining it, engage in all kinds of wrongdoing while not ceasing to mention the Era of Bliss – the era of the Prophet and his companions, and claim to revive the religion while causing the greatest harm to it, all the while talking about moral values but living in debauchery, then –even if cursing does not align with our general disposition– we have the right to say to them, “May God break your negative power and protect society from your evil!”

A true believer, whose faith has taken root in their heart, will not willingly put even a small amount of what is forbidden into their mouth. If individuals holding various positions are establishing wheels of self-interest under the guise of serving the people and nation and using the positions they represent for their own benefit, it means they are far from true Islamic values. Such individuals will not be able to contribute anything beautiful, beneficial, and lasting to their countries and nations. Although they may appear to be doing something today, they can also destroy their own work tomorrow. As the poet Namik Kemal put it: “If justice is not found within the people, the highest status achieved by the State will one day descend to the ground.”

You may see such individuals as having risen to great heights for a while, but later on, you find that everything has fallen into disarray. There are so many examples of this within the cycle of historical repetitions! Wherever such widespread deviation and oppression have occurred, state-level fractures have immediately followed.

Weak Faith and Heroes of Estrangement

In general, there is a serious weakness, or lack, of faith behind the types of destruction seen in the Islamic world and especially in our country. There is a failure to understand Islam, the Quran, and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) correctly. Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of faith in the geographic regions where today’s Muslims live. Most of us simply imitate what we have seen and heard in our cultural environment concerning faith. We haven’t truly embraced the truths of faith with the depth of heart and soul or the breadth of reason and logic. In other words, we haven’t transformed the imitative faith we obtained at the beginning into a verified and genuine one through later efforts and endeavors. The fundamental reason why many of today’s believers lead a life seemingly disconnected from God and distant from the Prophet (peace be upon him) lies in this problem of imitative faith.

As a result, unfortunately, the Quran and the Sunnah are not truly understood, known, acted upon or lived in their depth. Yes, today, religion and religious affairs are indeed stranger, outsider, in their hometown because they lack true representation and are not in safe hands. It’s not only religion and religious affairs that are stranger; those who genuinely advocate for their faith are also considered stranger. In fact, after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned the period of estrangement that religion would go through, he said, “Tooba (glad-tidings of Paradise) is for the strangers (al-Ghuraba) — those who rectify what the people have corrupted.”[2] These words emphasize not only the estrangement that religion and its representatives will experience but also the significance of the mission they will undertake.

Since there is indeed a serious weakness, or lack, of faith in our present day, what needs to be done, to use the terminology employed by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, in his “Âyetü’l-kübra” treatise, is to cultivate those who ask, “Is there no more? Can it not be increased?” These are the individuals who constantly renew their faith, never slacken in reinforcing their belief, and consider this the most important task in their lives, as they do not find the current state of their faith sufficient. They are the heroes of faith, always striving to deepen their belief. In the age when the torrents of tribulations foretold by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) have surged, causing religion to live in ‘exile’, it will be these unique individuals, the heroes of faith who dedicate themselves to reviving their faith in a manner that resonates with their souls, who will put an end to this estrangement and exile.

These noble spirits, with their lofty aspirations, tirelessly strive to restore the values that hypocrites and troublemakers have corrupted and vandalized to their original and authentic state. They work to revive the religion in the way that the Messenger of Allah, and then the Rightly Guided Caliphs, understood and lived it, without getting entangled in the misguided interpretations and baseless claims put forth by others in the name of religion. In an era where spirituality has been shattered, they dedicate all their efforts to reinforcing it, working to strengthen people’s spiritual immune systems so they don’t topple in the face of the storms. In short, they act upon and represent genuine Islam in its true form and inspiring nature, drawing the hearts of those who have turned away from it back to it once more.

Note: This text is from a conversation session (sohbet) that took place on January 3, 2016.


[1] Taghut is an Arabic term that is used to refer to false gods, idols, or anything that is worshipped or obeyed besides Allah (God) in Islamic theology.

[2] Tirmidhi, Faith, 13.