Prelude

Believing in the Unseen:the Primary Condition for Guidance

239-240

As in every year, the Blooming Month of Rabi I greats us carrying along with it the good tidings of the blessed birth of the Seal of Prophets who was sent by Allah Al Mighty with the Seal of Messages that The Most Merciful has approved as the religion of mankind and made dominant over the messages that predated it.

This Message was reserved in a Book carrying a coded-message. It is the message of guidance that does not blossom except among a definite group of people – {This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for the righteous}.

It further has positive effects that cover with its benevolence a group of people {And We send down of the Quran that which is healing and mercy for the believers}.

As for the group of people of opposite characteristics, they are not only denied its positive effects but this Book also has negative impact on them, resulting from the reaction of their dark inner sides with its luminous connotations {But it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss}.

Going back to the group of people concerned by receiving guidance, we find that the Holy Quran had set definite characteristics through which they are identified.

{Those who believe in the unseen, perform prayers, and spend out of what We have provided for them * And those who believe in what has been revealed to you, and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain * Those are upon guidance from their Lord, and these are the successful}

Six characteristics – if fulfilled in somebody – then he would be among the righteous: believing in the unseen, performing prayers, giving charity, believing in the Message revealed on Prophet Mohammad (PBUHH), believing in the former divine messages, and being certain of the Hereafter.

This is not strange at all, because performing prayers without believing in its moral impact and without feeling that it is a type of communication with the Absolute Creator is rendered a mere dull and dead ritual that fails to refine the soul and conduct. It is difficult to spend charity without viewing it as an act of trade with the All-Generous who does not undervalue the one who deals with Him; otherwise, it will be viewed as a compulsory detested spending of no actual benefit except that of arrogance, hypocrisy, and void appearances which reduce the act to a vice.

It is impossible to believe in the Divine Messages and the Hereafter as an unseen reality, except if man believes in the unseen as a knowledge system along with the earthly knowledge system.

It is noteworthy that the Holy Ayah sets as a precondition believing in – and not only knowing about – the unseen. So mental knowledge alone about the existence of such a system is not sufficient; the heart needs to feel its existence and interact with it as well.

Here comes the key question: what is the position of the unseen in the heart of the religious man – besides others – today? Does he sense the role of the unseen reasons in his life along  with the role of the natural reasons? Do we sense the role of mentioning the Name of Allah in blessing our food and work and likewise in disabling the role of the devil in embittering them?

Do we see that the pervasive sins have to do with the economic crises, the environmental problems, and the climate changes, taking into consideration the Quranic rule: {Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of that the hands of people have wrought, that He may make them taste some of what they have done so that they may repent}?

Do we see any link between keeping good relations with our relatives, being kind to our parents, and piety on one hand and the increase of one’s income and decrease in his expenditure on the other? Do we really feel above all the Divine role in one’s subsistence, recovery, and problem solving? Or is it that our reaction is limited to the apparent reasons, no more, as the sole factor which we actually feel its influence – except indeed in extraordinary subsistence and miraculous recoveries after losing hope of treatment and similar rare cases that disperse reasons from before the eyes of the heart, which come to see the real Actor standing there behind the act with His undefeated, unchallenged Omni power.

The religious man tackles these ideas in his daily dialogues; however, his sensing them diminished because he handed his emotional and sentimental composition to the materialistic vision which embraced in school curricula as a child, and it is now besieging him in mass media and communication means and the surrounding milieu that had likewise been nourished from the very same trend. Thus man no soon grows up and matures with a pious mind but a materialistic mind; he knows about the unseen and is convinced in it; however he does not sense its role in his life which actually means that he does not eventually believe in it.

Being aware of this fact, we would not be surprised by acts of worship being rendered mere rituals, the demoralization of the religious people though their number is increasing, and the formation of a wide section of religious people in shape who show enough boldness in transgressing limits set by the Islamic law, for how may he who is not pious be guided? And how may he be pious if he does not believe really in the unseen?!

It is possible to exit this dim and dark status quo only through a cultural coup d’état that would restore the balance in the vision of our hearts between the seen and the unseen.

Otherwise, the materialistic deterioration of the new world system would drag us by and by towards the worse.

Mortada Sayyed Haidar Sharafeddine

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