Professor Dr: Hayati AYDIN*
This article emphasises that faith provides a internal peace and calmness in the believers' spıritual world. The word iman already expresses reliance and composure. The article, analyzes the the effect of belief in internal world according to verses and commentaries which made by intellectuals of İslam. It is touched on in some places that depression as a result of incredulity in their spıritual worlds.
Faith changed the course of history. It is the biggest elixir and source of power which removes mountains from their own places, supports base for going into dangers fearlessly.
Faith is very important thing in Islam, too. We say, as Izutsu's point out: “Belief is the real fountain-head of all Islamic virtues; it creates them all, and no virtue is thinkable in Islam, which is not based on the sincere faith in God and His revelations” 1
The word of believing in Islam is entitled as Iman. This concept derives from e-m-n origin. E-m-n is soul's confidence and disappearance of fear.2This is Iman's Becoming (Sayrurat) meaning as “Âslama”. With this dimension to say “Âslama” means “Sare zâ silmin”, that is to say to find confidence and to reach safety.3 So with this dimension to say “Âmana means “Sare zâ amnin” namely to find soul's confidence and safety. For this reason,Zamakhshari refers to on Arabian saying “Ma Amantu an acida sahabatan” (I didn't find a companion), namely I didn't trust (a companion) and they (Arabians) by the word of Âmana aims confidence and serenity.4 We can find this meaning in those verses:
“It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with wrong-that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance” (Al-An'am, 6 / 82)
“Those who disbelieve and obstruct (others) from the way of God will have wasted their deeds. But Those who believe and do right, and believe what has been revealed to Muhammad, which is the truth from their Lord, will have their faults condoned by Him and set their hearts (Bal) fully serenity and presence. That is because those who refuse to believe only follow what is false; but those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. That is how God gives men perception of wisdom” (Muhammad, 47/ 1-3)
According to some commentators in the last verse, “Bal” is the meaning of condition and situation5 but according to others this concept is coming to the meaning of condition, the easy of life or the meaning of mind, intention, heart, heart's thought, reminiscence6 or the wideness of soul.7 This second meaning is the best meaning on the concept according to the Qur'an's holistic background. So, in my opinion, the meaning of “Wa aslaha balahum” is God sets believers' hearts fully serenity and presence or gives to them soul's wideness.
Contrary to confidence of faith, absence this issue brings about distrustfulness, narrowness of soul and psychological troubles. This is obviously psychological instability. This presence is only been overcame by believing and doing good actions. The Qur'an says:
“What do those who seek after evil ways think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous deeds-that equal will be their life and their death? Ill is the judgement that they make” (Al-Jathiyah, 45/21)
Muhammad Asad also says that the reference to the intrinsic difference between these two categories with regard to “their life and their death” points not only to the moral quality of their worldly existence, but also to the inner peace and tranquillity. That with which a true believer faces life's tribulations and the moment of death, and on the other hand, to the nagging anxiety which too often accompanies spiritual nihilism, and the “fear of the unknown” at the time of dying.8 The Qur'an says that in the other verse: “… He who follows My Guidance will not go astray, and neither will he be unhappy” (Tâ-Hâ, 20 / 122)
How do this presence and serenity occur? What is the reason underlying this? I want to give an example in the context of verses:
“There is no calamity that befalls the earth or your own selves but in accordance with the law (of causation) before We make it evident. This is indeed how the law of God works inevitably. Lest you grieve for what you missed, or rejoice at what you received…” (Al-Hadîd, 57/ 22-23)
This verse shows us that all of the events occur according to a destiny. Thus, the knowledge that whatever has happened had to happen- and could not, have not happened- because, obviously, it had been willed by God in accordance with His unfathomable plan, ought to enable a true believer to react with conscious equanimity to whatever good or ill comes to him. 9 Zamakshari says in this verse of Qur'an that when you know everything existed by means of human destiny that is under the control of God, sadness about your losses, and happiness about your benefits are decreased. Since, if one who definitely knows s/he may lose incomes, there will not be any unbearable sadness. This is because s/he arranges his/her desires according to this situation. For instance, if one who knows some good deeds are reached in any condition, s/he will not be spoiled from the reason of benefits s/he got. 10 Thus the Quran says that
“No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah -He will guide his heart…” (At-Tağâbun, 64/ 11)
Said Nursi says that belief in God bears the seed of what is in effect a Tuba-Tree of Paradise, while unbelief conceals the seed of a Zakkum-Tree of Hell.11 The nature of disbelief makes known Hell. Yes, just as if the true nature of belief was to be embodied, it could take on the form of a private paradise with its pleasures, and in this respect gives secret news of Paradise; So, disbelief, and especially absolute disbelief, and dissembling, and apostasy, are the cause of such dark and awful pains and spiritual torment that if they were to be embodied, they would become a private Hell for an apostate, and in this way tell of the greater Hell in concealed manner. The tiny truths in the seed-bed of this world produce shoots in the hereafter. Thus, this poisonous seed indicates that particular tree of Zaqqum:
“I am its origin. For the unfortunate who bears me in his heart, my fruit is a private sample of that Zaqqum-tree.”12
Just as some psychiatrists say that the stress of the men of this century indeed comes from unbelieving. 13
“We shall invest whosoever works for good, whether man or woman, with a pleasant life and reward them in accordance with the best of what they have done” (An-Nahl, 16/97)
Commentator Fahkr ad-din ar-Razi interprets this verse in terms of faith, serenity and presence. He states that the believer (in God) believes that his bread comes according to God's plan, and believes the God is most benevolent and make goodness lonely. Therefore s/he agrees the judgement of God on the subject.
Again the believer thinks various disasters and troubles and knows those mishaps happen according to the wish of God and agrees with this. They do not overestimate them in their hearts and minds are not influenced by then.14 About the interpretation of the verses Hasan Al-Basri says that the meaning of the verse is this: We will make taste of obedience to the obedient.15 This comment if held as base it is understood that there is beautiful life for believers and those who act in accordance with their belief.
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya claims that obedience to God inside human heart is the great castle of God keeping individuals from punishments of world and next world. One who goes out of this castle is surrounded by fears. If one who obeys God can get away from these fears and get secured. If one who is rebellious will keep fears instead of security. Those who are afraid of God will be sure of everything about world and those who are not will be afraid of everything. 16
The mankind is weak. His disasters and troubles are many; his needs and loves are unlimited; the bearing of his life is very hard. If he does not trust in his God he attracts troubles, his heart remains in torment and those troubles overwhelm him.
“As for life if it is a without belief, or because of rebelliousness belief is ineffective, it will produce pains, sorrows and grief far exceeding the superficial, fleeting enjoyment it brings. Because, since, contrary to the animals, man possesses a mind and he thinks, he is connected to both the present time, and to the past and the future. He can obtain both pain and pleasure from them. Whereas, since the animals do not think, the sarrows arising from the past and the fears and anxieties arising from the future do not spoil their plesure of the present. Especially if the pleasure is illicit; then it is like an altogether poisononous honey.
thousands of grief's sorrow man, those drag him into anxious that he can't get any pleasure from his enjoyment, as there are intelligence and thought in man contrast to animal. Thus, man with present relates to past and future. The fears that coming from past and future affects his present enjoyments and pleasures and make him anxious and destroy him'.17 This is true observation. Since reason is rather effective on man from instincts, animals are rather fortunate to enjoy the taste of life more than us. Because, animals have not a logic. Just as Kant says those in this context: In a being (man) which has reason and a will, if the proper object of nature was its conservation, its welfare, in a word, its happiness, then nature would have hit upon a very bad arrangement in selecting the reason of the creature to carry out this purpose. For all actions which the creature has to perform with a view to this purpose, and the whole rule of its conduct, would be far more surely prescribed to it by instinct. In fact, we find that the more cultivated reason applies itself with deliberate purpose to the enjoyment of life satisfaction. And from this circumstance there arises in many, if they are candid enough to confess it, a certain degree of mythology, that is, hatred of reason.18
According to commentator Said Nursi the belief gives their owner such high performance. He says
“One who recognises Him (the God) and obeys Him is fortunate even if he is in prison. While one who forgets Him is wretched and a prisoner even if he resides in a palace” 19Al-Qardawi too says similar word: “Believing in God gives sakina (calmness) and it turned a hut to a palace but those deprived of sakina a palace is turned to a hut”20
For this reason, living according to faith is a source of beauty. So the Qur'an says:
“But for him who lived in awe of sublimit of his Lord, there will be two gardens” (Ar-Rahmân, 55/ 46)
According to some commentators, these two gardens are destined respectively for men and jinn. According to some, for each believer, one of them is for their body pleasures, other one is for their spiritual pleasures and delights.
However in some interpreters' opinion the one of the two gardens is the life of a Muslim that alive in this world in this verse. Namely according to this life of a Muslim is going in paradisiacal feeling in this world.21 For this reason, Ibn Taymiyah says that in fact, the blessing and taste, joy and mature could only be achieved by recognizing of Allah, and loving Him. According to him, real happiness would only be possible by being close to Allah, and meeting Him. Here this is the paradise in the world. One who does not enter this first paradise (that in this world) can not enter the second one (the Hereafter). 22
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya in the interpretation of this verse: “The pious will surely be in heaven, the wicked certainly in hell” (Al-Infitar, 82/13-14)says: Don't suppose that the verse belong to the next world (hereafter). In the reality these persons in three phases (Dunya, Berzah and next world) are in God's blessings and the others are in hell. Which taste and blessing are better than happiness of heart, peace of soul, grasping the existence of God, loving Him and acceptance of God's will , human destiny and living according to these? (Tabaraka and Taala). In fact the art of living is the peace of heart, isn't it? For this reason, God has presented Hz. Abraham as an ideal believer of God over his character that is emphasised by peace of soul in the Qur'an. 23 “And Abraham indeed was of his inducement, when he came to his Lord with a heart complainant” (As-Saffat, 37/ 83-84)
Prophet Muhammad (p.u.h.) said “There is a piece of flesh inside man's body. When it is purified, the whole body remains impure. That piece is the heart (qalb)”24 This hadith shows us that when the inner world of man is peaceful and away from worry this condition spread over the entire of body.
Here the most profound influence of religion, in the heart of human is such an elicitation happiness.
Said Nursi says “If the light of thought is not illuminated with the light of the heart and blended with it, it is darkness and breeds tyranny. If the white of the eye, which resembles day, was not together with its black pupil, which resembles night, the eye would not be the eye; it would be unseeing. Similarly, if the black core of the heart is not present in white thought, it lacks insight” 25
This situation brings about intrinsic faith' constructs calmness and peace inside heart. Nevertheless, İbrahim b. Ethem says that “if kings and sultans know this psychological beauty surrounding us, they will absolutely wage war by their swords to get this kind of mood”. 26 So when Prophet Muhammad (p.u.h.) wrote a letter to Heraclius this crucial statement was written:
“Feinnî ad'uke bidiayeti'l-Islam. Aslim taslim (I invite you to be Muslim. Be Muslim find peace of mind.)” 27
It is understood that the darkness of the heart is the source of spiritual distress, while belief is its elixir.
In conclusion, human is the weakest being in organics. Additionally, life has a lot of burdens, afflictions and troubles. If people don't take refuge in iman's castle this troubles, burdens and afflictions would mislead them and it barriers to take pleasures from their possesions. However faith takes rola as a good shield in this subject.
Abd Ar-Rahim, Muhammad, Tafsir Al-Hasan Al-Basri, (Dar Al-Hadis).
Abu Abdillah Muhammad b. Ahmad, Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jâmi lî-Ahkâm al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr Al-Kütub Al-İlmiyye, 1988).
Abu Al-Qasim Abd al-karim, Al- Qushayri, Tafshir Al-Kushayri, (Beirut: Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyya).
Ahmed b. Hanbel, Sunan, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992)
Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, Abul-Qasim Husayn ibn Muhammad Al- Mufradat fi Gharib al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr al-Ma'rifa).
Ash-Shawkan', Muhammad b. Ali, Al-Fath Al-Qadir Al-Jami' fi Ar-Rivayah wa Dirayah min 'Ilmi At-Tafshir, (Egypt: Mustafa Al-Babi Al-Halabî, 1964).
Baydawî, Abdullah b. Umar, Anvarü Al-Tenzil wa Asrarü Al-Te'wil (Min Khashiyeti Shaikhzâde) (İstanbul: Hakikat publishing house, 1991.
Fakhr al-Din, al-Razi, Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, (Tahran: Dâr Al-Kütub Al-İlm,).
Hamidullah, Muhammad, Al-Vesaiku As-Siyasiyye, (Beirut: Daru Al-Nefâis, 1985).
Hamidullah, Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam (Translated to Turkish language by: Salih Tuğ, 4. edt., İstanbul: İrfan Yayınevi, 1980).
Ibn Maca, Sunan, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawzaiyya, Al-Jawabu Al-Kafi li Man Saala an Dawâi As-Shafi, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyâi Ulûm, 1990).
Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawzaiyya, Tibb Al-Qulub, (Jidde: 1983).
Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawzaiyya, Ad-Dâ'u wa Ad-Dawâu, (Damascus: Dar al-Qalem, 2001).
Immanuel, Kant, Fundemental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals (Translated by. T. K. Abbott, Edited by. Prometheus Books, 1988).
Jung, C.G., Psychology and Religion West and East, (Was translated to English language by R. F. C. Hull), (Pantheon Books).
Mahmud b. 'Umar, al- Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshâf 'an Haqâ'iq al-Tanzîl wa 'Uyun al- Aqâwil fi Wujuh' al-Ta'wil, (Dâr Al-Kitab Al-Arabî, 1987).
Maḥmūd b. ʻAbd Allāh, al-Ālūsī, Ruh Al-Ma'âni fî at-Tafsir al-Qur'ân al-Azîm wa al- Sab' al-Mathânî, (Beirut: Dar Al-Fikr, 1987).
Muhammad b. Ya'kub, al- Firuzabadi, Tartib al-Qamus al-Muhit,alâ Tarikat Al-Misbah Al-Munir wa Asasi Al-Blaga, (Isa Al-Babi Al-Halabi).
Muhammad, Asad, The Message of the Qur'an, (England: The Book Foundation, 2003).
Muslim, Sahih, (İstanbul: Çağrı publishing house, 1992).
Penrica B.A., John, Dictinary and Glossary the Qur'an, Curzon Press, 1976.
Robert, Frager, Heart, Self and Soul / Kalp, Nafs wa Ruh (Translated to Turkish Language by Ibrahim Kapaklikaya), (Gelenek publishing house, 2003).
Sad al-Din Masud b. Umar ibn Abd Allah, al-Taftazani, Tadrij al-Adani Sharh Al-Zanjani, (İstanbul: Salah Bilici publishing house).
Said, Nursi, Mektubat / Letters (translated to English language by: Sukran Vahide), (Istanbul: Sozler Nesriyat, 2001).
Siad, Nursi, Sozler, (Istanbul: Söz Basım yayın publishing house, 2004).
Tabari, Abu Ja'fer Muhammad b. Jerir, The History of Al-Tabarî / Târih Al-Umam wa Al-Mülûk, (Beirut: 1407).
Toshihiko, Izutsu, The Structure of The Ethical Terms in The Qur'an, (Tokyo: Keio University, 1959).
Umar Abdullah, Kamil, At-Tasavvuf Beyna Al-Ifrat wa At-Tafrit, (Beirut: 2001).
Yusuf, Al-Qardawî, Al-Iman wa Al-Hayat, (Beirut: Muassasatu Ar-Risala, 1991).
Yusuf, al-Qardawi, Yusuf, Al-Hasâisu al-Amma li Al-Islam, (Maktabatu Vahba).
Toshihiko, Izutsu, The Structure of the ethical terms in the Qur'an, (Tokyo: Keio University, 1959), p. 173
2 Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, Abul-Qasim Husayn ibn Muhammad Al- Mufradat fi gharib al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr al-Ma'rifa), p. 239
3 Look. Sad al-Din Masud ibn Umar ibn Abd Allah, al-Taftazani, Tadrij al-adani sharh al-zanjani, (İstanbul: Salah Bilici publishing house), p. 24; Al-Isfahanî, Ibid, p. 239
4 Mahmud b. 'Umar, al- Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshâf 'an haqâ'iq al-tanzîl wa 'uyun al- aqâwil fi wujuh' al-ta'wil, (Beirut: Dâr al-kitab al-Arabi, 1987), 1: 37; Baydawî, Abdullah b. Umar, Anvarü al-tenzil wa asrarü al-te'wil (Min Khashiyeti Shaikhzâde) (İstanbul: Hakikat publishing house, 1991), 1: 84
6 Muhammad b. Ya'kub, al- Firuzabadi, Tartib al-qamus al-muhit, alâ tarikat al-misbah al-munir wa asasi al-balaga, (Isa Al-Babi Al-Halabi), 1: 344; Maḥmūd b.ʻAbd Allāh, al-Ālūsī, Ruh al-ma'âni fî at-tafsir al-Qur'ân al-azîm wa al- sab' al-mathânî, (Beirut: Dar Al-Fikr, 1987), 28: 38; Ash-Shawkan', Muhammad b. Ali, Al-fath al-qadir al-jami' fi ar-rivayah wa dirayah min 'ilmi at-tafsir, (Egypt: Mustafa Al-Babi Al-Halabî, 1964), 5: 30; Penrica B.A., John, Dictinary and glossary the Qur'an, (Curzon Press, 1976), p. 20; Al -Isfahanî, Al- Müfradât, p. 67
7 Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Ahmad, Al-Qurtubi, Al-Jâmi lî-ahkâm al-Qur'ân, (Beirut: Dâr Al-Kütub Al-İlmiyye, 1988), 16: 149
9 Look. Asad, Ibid, p. 840; After Uhud war the hypocrites of Madina had said: “If we had any power of decision, we would not have left so many dead behind”. When Muslims got defeat and had been killed 70 men from them, this verse revealed: “Say (unto them): “Even if you had remained in your homes, those [of you] whose death had been ordained would indeed have gone forth to the place where they were destined to lie down” (Âli Imrân, 3/ 154) This implies that all of event becomes according a destiny.
13 For example Jung says that “Among all my patients in the second half of life-that is to say, over thirty five-there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost what the living religious of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook.” Look. Jung, C.G., Psychology and Religion West and East, (Translated by R. F. C. Hull), (Pantheon Books), p. 334; Robert, Frager, Heart, Self and soul / Kalp, nafs wa ruh (Was translated to Turkish Language by Ibrahim Kapaklikaya), (Gelenek publishing house, 2003) , p. 87
After those experiences he decide on the religious approach to life is closely relate to psychological health. Mystical belief systems were important expressions of human ideals and aspirations. He says “For me, religious experience is real, is true. I have found that through such religious experiences the soul may be “saved,” its integration hastened, and spiritual equilibrium established” . Frager, Ibid, p. 87
17 Look. Nursî, Sözler, p. 131; Said, Nursi, The Words (Translated by. Sukran Vahide), (İstanbul: Sozler Publishing house, 2004), p. 158
18 Immanuel, Kant, Fundemental principles of the metaphysic of morals (Was translated by. T. K. Abbott), (Was edited by. Prometheus Books, 1988), p. 19
21 Abu Al-Qasim Abd al-karim, Al- Qushayri, Tafshir al-Kushayri, (Beirut: Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyya), 3: 269; Muhammad Hamdi, Yazır, Ibid, p. 275
23 Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Ad-Dâ'u wa Ad-Dawâu, (Damascus: Dar al-Qalem, 2001)., p. 165; Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawabu Al-Kafi li man saala an dawâi As-shafi, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyâi Ulûm, 1990), p. 116 -117
24 Bukhari, Iman, 39; Muslim, Musâkat, 107; Ibn Maca, Fitan, 14; Darimi, Buyu', 1; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 4: 55
25 Said, Nursi, Mektubat / Letters (translation by: Sukran Vahide), (Sozler Publishing house, 2001), p. 443
26 Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Jawabu Al-Kafi li Man Saala an Dawâi As-Shafi, (Beirut: Dar Al-Ihyâi Ulûm, 1990).p.117; Kamil, Umar Abdullah,At-Tasavvuf beyna al-ifrat wa at-tafrit, (Beirut: 2001), p. 63; Al-Qardawî, Yusuf, Al-Iman wa al-hayat, p. 73; al-Qardawi, Yusuf, Al-Hasâisu al-amma li al-Islam, (Maktabatu Vahba, 1989), p. 23
27 Tabari, Abu Ja'fer Muhammad b. Jerir, The History of al-Tabarî / Târih al-umam wa al-mülûk, (Beirut, 1407), 1: 130; Muhammad, Hamidullah, Al-Vesaiku As-Siyasiyye, (Beirut: Dar al-nefâis, 1985), p. 109; Muhammad, Hamidullah, The prophet of Islam ( Was translated to Turkish language by: Salih Tuğ), 4. edt., (İstanbul: İrfan Publishing house, 1980), 1: 361