6) Piety And Faith

One of the issues a human being has to take seriously and in the words of some religious authorities, the question of following others is not sufficient or as some others say one must reach certainty, is the question of principles of religion and ideology. It is incumbent on every Muslim and non-Muslim to deeply think about his religious principles, that is to choose a right path, to realize that there is a God who is the Lord of the universe and to know with certainty that other gods are false and made by the human imagination. One should truly realize that all beings are Allah’s creatures and before Him, he should prostrate. In this relation, God says: “And I am your Lord, therefore fear Me.”

One should know that human beings are in need of leaders ordained by God as prophets and Imams. He should firmly believe that he has been created for the other world and that this world is transient. Perhaps, it is a reference to piety when we read in narrations that faith is superior to Islam. Imam Baqir (AS) has been reported by Hamran as saying: “I heard the Imam says: Truly God has made faith superior to Islam in the same way that He has made the Ka’aba superior to the Inviolable Mosque.”1

The Imam (AS) then mentions different ranks of Islam and faith. On Taqwa, the Imam says: Piety is superior to faith and certainty is superior to piety in terms of rank. Therefore, Taqwa here is an ideological piety, for the Imam has considered Islam as the lowest and certainty as the highest degree while piety is in between.

  • 1. Al-Kafi, vol. 2, P. 52.