The Importance of Establishing Your Own Faith

Skepticism: not sure that you can even know anything.

Cynicism: not really matters.

Nihilism: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.

Many of us have substituted personal faith, personal convictions, personal principles for abstracts: justice, equality, etc.

But what happens if you are unable to attain (different than strive for) justice or equality?

Abstractions: progress. We are fed a myth of progress but what progress can there be without a personally held belief and conviction in God?

This is why so many have turned to activism as a substitute, not a supplement, to faith, religion, and deen.

Many of us are unaware of the tyranny we live under: the tyranny of ideas and abstractions that coerce us into expressing our Islam through it. And often when we are unwilling or unable to do so, we jettison Islam in favor of this new form of revelation.

Knowledge, experience, and meaning: this is our crisis but it’s also our way out.

Knowledge of la ilaha illa’Allah, as witnessed through the creation.

Experiencing Allah’s oneness, power, mercy, wisdom, judgment, etc.

Putting these two together to conclude: there is meaning to life.

Treating the problem: stop seeing Islam as some sort of abstract collection of beliefs, rules, and regulations. There are rules, but they are part of a grander goal, objective and meaning.

The downside of this approach with our Islam is we tend to look at all problems and challenges in life theoretically, whereby real situations are reduced to mere possibilities and the people around us are reduced to objects.

Real situations are reduced to mere possibilities: we must have an Islamic state/society or our Islam cannot be fully realized.

The people around us are reduced to objects: non-Muslims/the kafir is [wrongfully seen] as something to either overcome, subdue, or if unable to accomplish that goal, assimilate to and subjugate ourselves to their rubric of reality.

Surah al-‘Asr [Qur’an 103: 1-3] and the Fundamentals of Reality:

إِنَّ الإِنسانَ لَفي خُسرٍ
إِلَّا الَّذينَ آمَنوا وَعَمِلُوا الصّالِحاتِ وَتَواصَوا بِالحَقِّ وَتَواصَوا بِالصَّبرِ

  1. By the passage of time (and no matter the time), Man is lost [1-2].
  2. Except for the ones which [3]:
    • Personally believe and
    • Do good works.
  3. Faith/conviction of immutable morals/truths give one the strength to overcome, not others, but oneself.
  4. One’s ability to purify and dominate one’s self allows one to act selflessly (good works).
  5. From there one is ready work with a collective, striving for
    • the Truth and
    • persevere through all forms of adversity.

Skepticism, Cynicism, and Nihilism: Three Challenges Facing Muslims Today – A Khutbah By Imam Marc Manley

Fear can make you do some funny things.

The word “fear” is much maligned: many young Muslims think if we fear Allah then we can’t love Him as well.

“Muslims don’t realize what they’re buying into.” Shaykh Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Humanism has brought about a number of challenges for believers. Three of them are:

  • skepticism;
  • cynicism;
  • and nihilism.

“The skepticism of the Enlightenment concerning facts of nature has entered our thinking, leading to skepticisms about the very possibility of knowledge, sliding to various cynicisms, and the meaning-destroying nihilisms of frantic modernists.” Harvey Sarles and Andreas Rosenberg, “An Epistolary Exchange,” from Humanism Today

Imagine being a doctor and trying to treat the illness of your patient but you don’t understand the fundamentals of health? This is the problem with Eurocentric (Enlightenment) science is that it fundamentally gets the nature of reality WRONG: this is why the environment is suffering.

لتتبعن سنن من كان قبلكم شبرًا بشبر، وذراعًا بذراع، حتى لو دخلوا جحر ضب تبعتموهم قلنا يا رسول الله: اليهود والنصارى؟ قال: فمن

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, stated that the Prophet ﷺ said,

“You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, span for span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they entered a lizard’s hole you will enter it, too.” We said, “O’ Messenger of Allah, do you mean the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Who else?” Sahih al-Bukhari, #7320