[A+] [A-]

The Nature of Faith

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

by Sayyid Qutb

None of Allah’s creation has the right to ask why He has chosen to create man with the nature he has; why He has chosen to make the operation of this nature permanent and uninterrupted; and why He has chosen to make the divinely ordained path for human life be realised through human existence, rather than enforcing it miraculously, through obscure, hidden means.

It is however the duty of every single one of His creation to perceive and take notice of these facts, and to observe them in operation in human life. He should interrupt the facts of human history in their light, understanding their historical line of development on the one hand and knowing how to confront and influence that line of development on the other. Further, he should live with the wisdom and power of Allah, and have the correct attitude towards them.

This divine path, represented in its final stage by Islam, as entrusted to Muhammad (s.a.w) is not brought into existence in the world, in the realm of humanity, simply by virtue of its revelation by Allah. It is not brought into existence by being preached and proclaimed to the people. It is not brought into existence by divine enforcement, in the same way that Allah enforces His will in the ordering of the firmament and the revolution of the planets. It is brought into being by a group of people undertaking the task, believing in it completely and conforming to it as closely as possible, trying to bring it into being in the hearts and lives of others too; striving to this end with all, they possess. They struggle against human weakness and human passion within themselves, they struggle against those whom weakness and passion impel to resist divine guidance. They attain thereby, in the realisation of the divine path, a point made possible by human nature and permitted material realities. They begin with man as he stands and do not neglect his actual state and demands as he passes through and traverses the stages of the divinely ordained path. This group will triumph over their own souls and those of others at times, and at other times will be routed by their own souls and those of others, in accordance with the efforts they expend and the means they choose for the battle, suitable for the circumstances and the needs of the age. More important in determining victory or defeat is however the degree to which they truly, in themselves, represent this path, and are able to give it practical expression in their personal conduct and behaviour.

This is the nature of the faith of Islam and the mode of its operation. This is its plan for action and its method. This is the truth that Allah wished to teach the Muslim community when He said: “truly Allah does not change the state of a people until they change that which is within themselves”; “were Allah not to repel some people by means of others, truly the earth would be corrupted”; and “those who strive on Our account, them will We guide to our paths.”

print this page bookmark this page
preloaded image preloaded image preloaded image preloaded image preloaded image