DAY 1: On Certainty
Synopsis: Ustadh Amjad starts this class by reviewing who is the author and why this text is important. He then delves into the topic of what is certainty (yaqīn), and what are the benefits of having strong faith. He explained that one’s certainty can be strengthened by three actions, and that believers have three degrees of certainty.
“Certainty (yaqīn) is the essential thing, and all other noble ranks, praiseworthy traits of character and good works are its branches and results.” (Imam Haddad)
- Imam Haddad was a 12th Century (Hijrī) Shafi’ī scholar who had a deep level of knowledge in many Islamic disciplines.
- Certain books are constantly repeated as they are not just a matter of taking information from each chapter, rather it is a reminder to constantly purify our intentions
- The strength of Ali’s (may Allah be pleased with him) faith & certainty
- Yaqīn is a level above the general faith of an average believer
- The difference between faith and certainty (faith can be shaken but not certainty)
- In general people start by rectifying their outward, and then from there they start to rectify their character, and then they work to strengthen the Iman in their heart; although all of things are virtuous, the order is backwards. One should start by strengthening their belief & connection to Allah (Exalted is He), the natural result will be a purification of their heart & character, and righteous deeds.
How One Can Strengthen their Belief & Certainty:
1) Listening attentively to the Qur’an, hadith, & stories of the prophets sent throughout time
- Reciting the Qur’an strengthens our belief & certainty, while pondering on the meanings within it. Listen with your heart as well as your ears.
- The importance of reflecting on the signs around us; the Might and Power of Allah Most High; the stories of the past and what became of the people who did not follow the prophets sent throughout time
- Example of Prophet Musa being pursued and reflecting on how that may have felt: Prophet Yusuf and the many tribulations he faced, but how he overcomes the trials
- We learn from this to be people of patience, success at the end will be for the people of belief
2) Learn from the Kingdom of the heavens and the Earth, and the creatures within it
- Example of Prophet Sulayman asking for a unique blessing from Allah
- How one learns from documentaries about Allah’s absolute Majesty; reflecting on the galaxy and how it is only the lowest of the heavens; there is no creature on earth except that Allah provides for it; reflect on how all of these creatures glorify Allah (Exalted is He)
- How detrimental it is for the human condition to not be connected with the natural world
3) To behave according to what one believes, outwardly & inwardly with zeal and determination
- Act upon what you know, every time it increases you in your certainty in all of your acts of worship; when one distances oneself from acts of obedience one is severely weakened and shaytan can overcome them
- The importance of using all of one’s energy to seek the pleasure of Allah
- How the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلّم would find comfort and rest in the prayer
- The results of good actions and how that helps us to taste the sweetness of faith
Benefits of proper certainty:
- Acquiescence in God’s promise
- Turning to God with pure longing continuously
- Abandoning what distracts one from Him
- Spending all one”s energy seeking His pleasure
- Sets the foundation for having noble rank, praiseworthy character & good works