Reality Of Faith 2/4

Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, wa bihi nasta'in.Wa salla Allahu ala Muhammad, wa aalihi at-Tayyibeen, at-Taahireen, al-Masumeen. In the previous episode, we talked about three important elements that Imam Al-Ridha, alayhi assalam, is reported to have mentioned in one of the most profound dictums of his about how; for example, if these three conditions are met, a person would gain perfection of faith.

And faith is very, very important. Just consider those people who don't have faith and are doing good deeds. Their deeds don't have value, although we are told in some narrations that such people will get it in this world because of the good deeds that they are doing. But when it comes to the value of the action in the hereafter, it doesn't have any value. Therefore, Iman (faith) is very, very important.

If there is no Iman, then the 'Amal (deed), even if a person says I'm going to do 'Amalun Saleh (good deed), that action would have no value, even if the action is good.

Let's say, for example, the person doesn't have a faith, but he starts with actually giving good things to other people, helping the poor people, for example. You'll find such people would advertise and say, that see I have helped, for example, this many million touman, this many million dollars and so on, I have helped. They would like to show them off, to show themselves off. Why? Because there is no Iman (faith). If the person had Iman, he would say that it is better you don't mention my name at all.

So Iman, factor of Iman is very important. In this hadith that we mentioned in the previous session, we came to realize that Imam Al-Ridha, alayhi assalam, tells us that if you have three characteristics, you will be able to come to the perfection of Iman.

What are these three characteristics? We will, In shaAllah (God Willing) talk about them one by one. The first characteristic is at-tafakku fi 'd-Deen, that is gaining knowledge. And gaining knowledge doesn't mean that you just sit in the mosque and a certain 'Alim (scholar) comes and he starts talking about Islamic religion and then you say that I've gained knowledge. No, we have to go through the proper channels and we have to ensure that the knowledge that we are getting is from an authority of knowledge, not from any person who claims to be knowledgeable. This is one of the most important things we must understand. There are people who go and study abroad in order to gain knowledge.

For example, people come from different parts of the world to Iran, to the holy city of Qom. They go to Najaf in Iraq and they go to Syria also once upon a time. So why do they go there in these places? Because they know that there are Ulama, there are scholars who would teach religion properly.

But if a person is not sure whether the person who is going to teach him religion is an authority or not, he should stay away from that because there are examples of pseudo scholars, scholars who claim to be scholars, but they are not actually good scholars. They are not authorities of the subject. They will just discard another subject and say this is not a part of religion, while it is a part of religion, there is substantial evidence and so on.

And therefore, one of the most important things here is when a person wants to have at-tafakku fi 'd-Deen, then he must search for a scholar who is capable of teaching religion properly, who himself is an authority, not a person who is, you know, a second class scholar or who doesn't have that much knowledge. Just because you have a thirst of knowledge, it doesn't mean that you go to any Tom, Dick or Harry.

You have to go to somebody who is actually well established when it comes to understanding religion. InshaAllah, we will look at the other conditions in our next episode. We come to the end of the program.

Wa Al-Hamdulillahi Rabb Al-Alameen, wa salla Allahu ala Muhammad, wa aalihi at-Tayyibeen, at-Taahireen, al-Masumeen.

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Muhammad M. Khalfan
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Muhammad M. Khalfan