Faith, Belief and Action
Cont’d from page 1
God Himself makes a distinction between submitters and believers.
In this case, it would mean mere submitters who do not act or practice.
In no uncertain terms does God say a warning to people who believe
that a mere declaration of faith is enough. You have to act on the
belief that you accept.
[49:14-15] The Arabs said, “We are Mu’mens
(believers).” Say, “You have not believed; what you
should say is, `We are Muslims (submitters),’ until belief
is established in your hearts.” If you obey GOD and His messenger,
He will not put any of your works to waste. GOD is Forgiver, Most
Merciful. Mu’mens (believers) are those who believe in GOD
and His messenger, then attain the status of having no doubt whatsoever,
and strive with their money and their lives in the cause of GOD.
These are the truthful ones.
Similarly speaking, the Quran talks a great deal about knowledge
and its acquisition. But knowledge without its good use is useless.
With education you acquire knowledge and attain some wisdom but
it is futile and worthless if not accompanied with actions to match.
One of the many dark sides to the human character is to profess
things we do not ourselves practice. This is because of our instinct
to present ourselves as role models of morality and respectability.
It does not cost much to profess ourselves as the epitome of all
virtue. However, this is a dangerous habit because it does not contribute
any good to society and it propagates false pretense and deceit.
[61:2-3] O you who believe,
why do you say what you do not do? Most abominable in the sight
of GOD is that you say what you do not do.
A true submitter must make his deeds and actions a true reproduction
of his utterances. We should not profess what we do not practice.
We should not project what we are not.
Even more dangerous is to advise and preach to others without practicing
the same ourselves. Sometimes this may not have an effect because
people may realize that you are not a follower of that code. However,
these habits are counter-productive because people lose faith not
only in the preacher but sometimes in the virtue of the good act
[2:44] Do you exhort the people to be righteous,
while forgetting yourselves, though you read the scripture? Do you
[3:188] Those who boast about their works, and wish
to be praised for something they have not really done, should not
think that they can evade the retribution. They have incurred a
We have to follow every injunction of the Quran faithfully in letter
and spirit; every word is sacrosanct.
Hence, it is absolutely vital that we should not preach to others
about virtue unless and until we ourselves do the same. Also, you
will notice that we will, God willing, find people more receptive
when they are assured that we are “in the forefront of righteous.”
Any expectations beyond would be self-deception.
Our thinking should be set right too. If we think that our belief
is right and this is sufficient to win
over God’s mercy and blessings
then we would commit the same error as the Children of Israel:
[7:163] Remind them of the community by the sea,
who desecrated the Sabbath. When they observed the Sabbath, the
fish came to them abundantly. And when they violated the Sabbath,
the fish did not come. We thus afflicted them, as a consequence
of their transgression.
They did not pay heed to what was asked of them to perform and
We have to remember and accept that belief and faith are essential
fundamentals and the starting point of Submission, but we also have
to mold our life completely with the teachings and injunctions of
the Quran. This has to be included with your belief and faith. Belief
and faith without righteous actions and deeds would be akin to a
body without a soul. God puts great emphasis on this. The Quran
mentions about those who believe over 140 times but qualifies the
statement -- those who believe and lead a righteous life over 90
times. From this we understand that the latter is as important as
the former. Our faith otherwise would be incomplete; the two go
in tandem as they are inseparable.
Take the example of a person who is unwell and goes to see a doctor.
He has full faith and trust in the doctor whom he has carefully
chosen. The doctor gives him a prescription but instead of taking
the medicine he puts the prescription in his drawer and looks at
it every day very religiously. He hopes that he will get well soon.
But will he? So the mere trust and faith in the doctor cannot cure
the patient unless he heeds the advice that the doctor has given.
Cont’d on page 3