Feb
4
2012

Believing in Allah by Fitrah

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Man is a believer by fitrah. Human nature is much like a clear mirror which reflects everything in front of it. However, the moment it gets steamed-up, it loses its clearness and, thus, no longer reflects objects, and only then does the soul need evidence.
Hence, faith in Allah the Almighty can be the outcome of fitrah (pure human nature) or of rational evidence and scientific proof.
Allah created mankind and installed in their nature the belief in Him. If they follow this belief, they will be composed, assured, calm, and happy; whereas, if they fail to do so, they will suffer hardships and sickness, developing the symptoms of the soul disease, such as arrogance, cruelty, haughtiness, selfishness, and pompousness.
Allah Most High says:

(But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship.)

[Surat Ta-ha, ayah 124]

Belief by fitrah rises to the surface in adversities:

Every person, whether young or old, educated or illiterate, rich or poor, strong or weak, urban or rural, dense or bright, believes, in accordance with their fitrah, that there is no god but Allah, the One. How is that?
Consider this example: If an atheist, who thinks that there are in the world thousands of proofs that the True God does not exist, goes on a sea voyage, and suddenly the sea rages with fury, mountain-size waves crash onto his ship, and fierce wind drives it like a feather in mid air, at that very moment, this atheist seeks refuge with Allah the Almighty. Along the same lines, a bunch of disbelieving scientists travelling by plane will sincerely turn to Allah for their safety whenever the plane gets into an air pocket and they fear a crash.
Hence, human being is a believer by fitrah, but he insists stubbornly on disbelieving as long as he is safe, powerful, wealthy, and doing well.
A certain man told me once the story of his life. He said: “I grew up in a totally disbelieving environment, and on top of that I worked for a craftsman who was a disbeliever himself, and who kept telling me that Allah does not exist, and that we should relax and do whatever we like in life in order to satisfy all our desires. I did so. I committed all kinds of sins. I engaged in commerce, earned lot of money and got married. I travelled to many countries where I committed all kinds of wrong-doing, and all of a sudden, all my properties got confiscated. I was broke –no income at all, deeply in debt, my kids got sick and my wife couldn’t even afford medicine for them. I was terribly afflicted.” He went on to say: “I suffered adversities that could shatter a mountain into pieces, and at that very moment, I found myself going to a mosque to pray.” This is fitrah.
There was another man who believed that Allah does not exist, and he committed shameful deeds in his life. He had a young daughter who was very ill and he spent a fortune trying to cure her, but the doctors told him that she could not be cured; that, actually, she was dying. He loved her so much that he kept her company all the time so she wouldn’t die alone. One day, she started to suffer from fever that would not recede though he took her to many doctors and gave her different medicines. One of the doctors whispered to him that she had a rare incurable terminal disease. At that point, he told his wife that he wanted to take a bath in order to pray. He asked his wife what to say in his prayer as he knew nothing about the salah. He told his wife that he had spent half an hour crying and asking Allah either to let him die or to cure her. By the end of his prayer, his daughter got better and the fever left her. So, what about his disbelief?
Anyone who denies Allah’s existence will say the following on the Resurrection Day:

(There will then be (left) no fitnah (excuses, statements or arguments) for them but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah. Look! How they lie against themselves! But the (lie) which they invented will disappear from them.)

[Surat Al Ana’am, ayaat 23-34]

They denied Allah in this life and in the Hereafter will deny stubbornly and adamantly that they ever denied His existence.
You shouldn’t resort to Allah only in adversity; you should resort to Him in prosperity, when you are riding the crest of a wave of power and health, when you have money and time, not after having got into a hardship that could shatter a mountain into pieces due to its extreme burden.

Feelings in the human self indicate the existence of fitrah:

Dear brothers, human being is a believer by fitrah, and when one believes, one is at ease and in peace, whereas when one denies, the soul gets disturbed, loses balance, gets bored and sick, and only then does one turn into somebody ruthless for trivial reasons, all of which indicates, according to psychiatrists, one’s imbalance. This happens on account of having contradicted ones fitrah. Similarly, an engine working on fuel will start making strange noises, will fail to operate normally and eventually will come to a stop when water is poured into it.
Don’t think that there is no evidence. On the contrary, there are millions of pieces of evidence pointing to Allah’s existence, but before reviewing some of the scientific pieces of evidence and rational proofs; I would like to remind you again that man is a believer by fitrah.

Quotes with regard to fitrah:

Scientists say: Every new born baby has a reflex called “sucking”, which happens to be a very complicated process. One hour after birth, every baby is able to take his mother’s nipple, close his mouth tight around it and suckle her milk, and this is a very complicated process. The tiny baby has by fitrah the skill to suckle. How did this skill originate? Animals were created with hundreds of reflexes as well, called by the scientists “instinct”. The animals, lacking the faculty of reasoning, have not been assigned any mission by Allah.
Back to sucking reflex that a human baby has, it can’t be explained except by saying that this baby knows by fitrah that it has to suck milk from his mother’s breast, and this is one part of the evidence for the existence of fitrah.
Consider this second evidence, which is the mother’s inexplicably kindled affection towards her baby, and were it not for this affection, we wouldn’t be here.

Fitrah is a self-evident truth that doesn’t need proofs:

It is out of fitrah that a mother looks after her child, while the father strives, labors, takes all kinds of risks, and undertakes to bring home all his family needs; and when he sees his child warm, well dressed, and eating all it needs, he feels indescribable happiness, and that is fitrah.
By looking closely we realize that without this feeling life would come to a halt. It is rational, yet, the father feels it without analyzing it or looking for its indications. Who among us can deny mother’s love? It is a rule of thumb for all of us and no evidence to prove it is necessary. It is simply there and means that fitrah doesn’t need any proof. These phenomena are called in mathematical logic “axioms”, and are defined as “principles that need no proofs”, such as for example “the whole is bigger than the part”, and if you try to prove it, you find out that it is as clear as daylight or else as the “rule of thumb”.

People’s daily strife is the biggest proof of fitrah:

All people strive to make a living out of fitrah, and it is a hidden motive.
When someone opens a super-market, starting a new business, he feels at ease because he is now making his living.
When a peasant has had a good season and the wheat harvest is promising, he also feels at ease, and that is fitrah.
Hunger is a very conspicuous sign of fitrah.
I am not giving these examples to prove that Allah’s existence is, indeed, based on evidence although it is copious and we shall tackle much of it later on. What I wanted to say is that, being human, you are a believer by fitrah, and when you disbelieve, you are covering up your fitrah, exactly like a mirror that reflects every single object in front of it, when steamed-up, loses its reflecting property, and only then do we need evidence to prove that, basically, its function is to reflect objects. As long as the mirror is clear, we are not in need of such a proof.
One sometimes feels like eating something sour, like salad or a lemon (as most girls do with pleasure), and this indicates that one’s level of calcium, which gets dissolved by acids, is high. How can we explain that? Well, as we have just said, the reason for craving for something sour is the high level of calcium in the body and it is Allah Most High who has created the craving for things sour, salty, or sweet, depending on the needs of the body.
An experiment has been conducted by some scientists in which 10 children were allowed to choose from different kinds of foods whatever they felt like eating; and in which another 10 children were on a well-balanced diet of proteins, calories, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, fruits, and meat. The first group turned out to grow up better than the second group because their nutrition was according to their spontaneous needs. Therefore, when you long for something sour, it means you have excessive amount of calcium in your body; when you long for salt, you lack it, and when you feel like drinking, that is because your body needs water; and all of that is out of fitrah.
The same goes for emotions and feelings, but here there is no proof to demonstrate it since the only proof we have is what we feel.

Fitrah is the common denominator among people:

Fitrah is the common denominator among people of different backgrounds, walks of life, and orientations. It exists in civilized societies, intellectual institutions, art halls, and scientific laboratories.
It is made use of by the small child, the primitive individual, the civilized one, the ignorant, the scientist, the researcher, the philosopher, the genius, and the expert. All of these people feel that there is a God, and that He is a powerful force that rules everything, knows everything, and is wise beyond all doubt. I’ve read once a quote from Einstein, the most acknowledged physicist ever, who discovered what is called “the theory of relativity”. He said:
“He who cannot see that in this Universe there is a Power knowledgeable beyond all knowledge; powerful beyond all power; merciful beyond all mercy, and wise beyond all wisdom is a living corpse.”

Quranic proofs of the existence of fitrah:

The following are several ayaat that point to these facts:

(Their Messengers said: “What! Can there be a doubt about Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? He calls you (to Monotheism and to be obedient to Allah) that He may forgive you of your sins and give you respite for a term appointed.” They said: “You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority i.e. a clear proof of what you say).)

[Surat Ibrahim, ayah 10]

Allah has created the heavens and the earth, and He has given us fitrah to believe in Him.

(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.)

[Surat Al Israa, ayah 44]

Hence, Allah, who has created the heavens and the earth, has bestowed on us fitrah that makes us believe in Him by itself. He says in another ayah:

(So set your face truly to the religion being upright, the fitrah in which Allah has made mankind; no change (there is) in the work (wrought) by Allah; that is the True religion, but most people know not. )

[Surat Al Rum, ayah 30]

Even plants have fitrah:

Please pay attention to this important point, and I hope that it will help you to understand better this idea. Plants are very clear example of fitrah, as each kind of them is different from each other. One might need water every day, another once a week because too much water kills it; yet another one needs sunlight whereas some need shade; some grow outdoors, whereas some grow indoors and so forth.
Allah the Almighty has given plants two things:
1- Apparent properties which distinguish one from another, such as their shapes, leaves, colors, and flowers.
2- The characteristics which you discover with the passage of time, such as their behavior, which in fact is the fitrah itself –their needs, species, seasons and times of blossoming, and these are very precise things about plants.
Some plants blossom twice a year, some lose their leaves; some have aromatic flowers, others don’t; some have single flat leaves, some others parted leaves, and so forth. Country people have deep knowledge of each plant and know their behavior –apple trees like heights, citrus fruits grow on coasts, some grow in Africa where humidity is high, acanthodians grow in deserts, others grow on poles, some at the bottom of the sea, and others in rivers, and such is the fitrah of every creature.

Deviation and death of fitrah:

Man likes, by fitrah, perfection and happiness; man has been created weak, impatient, and irritable –such is his nature. Allah Most High says:

(So set your face truly to the religion being upright, the fitrah in which Allah has made mankind; no change (there is) in the work (wrought) by Allah; that is the True religion, but most people know not.)

[Surat Al Rum, ayah 30]

When one indulges in lusts and desires, one deactivates fitrah by such acts, killing it, so to speak, turning, in the process, into a wild monster.
A woman in France locked up her child in the house and travelled to see her friend. The child died of hunger and thirst two weeks later. This mother’s fitrah has been effaced, and the same can be said about the man who slaughtered his wife and five kids.
The issue is not a simple one and apart from all complications in one’s psychological structure, nature, and one’s formation, man’s fitrah makes him believe in Allah, this being the basis for everything. Yet, if someone denies, disbelieves, and apostatizes, their fitrah gets distorted, ruthless, confused, and the person becomes an entirely unbalanced being.
There are lots of people out there who are close to madness though they would not be admitted into an asylum. Such is the case of somebody who divorces his wife for the slightest possible reason or who breaks up a business partnership for a trivial cause, or who kills a neighbour because his cow crossed his own field and grazed on his grass. Those are rare cases; nevertheless, they do happen.

The controlling laws of fitrah:

1. Nafs tends to like kindness:

People of different races, colors, and backgrounds are molded to like the person who is kind to them, and it was said “A free man is captured by kindness”; and also, “I wonder about those who pay money to free slaves, but they don’t buy free men out of generosity.”
Kindness is considered to be captivating, and if you want people to like you, you should be kind to them. If you want to guide people to the right path, be kind before you guide, since when you are, your guidance will be accepted by them and will work like a charm. Yet, if you are harsh, they will hate your guidance even if it is in the right direction, and this is a very important law.

O Dawud, remind My creatures of My blessings, as souls are molded to love the benefactor.

Hence, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

I have been sent to be kind to people.

[Agreed upon]

A person said to me: “I suffered once a serious setback in my business and I was very much pressed, and then I met a merchant from another country who gave me goods and said I could have them for sale, and that when my business had taken off, I could pay him.” Then he told me how much he loved that person, and that is fitrah. His own brother failed to help him; yet, this man from a distant country found out about his hardship and sent him the goods and saved him from debts and bankruptcy.
Such was the way in which Muslims conquered all those countries. They were role models because of their excellent manners, and because of that the local people guided them through the mountains so that they could pass safely to Africa and Asia. If those people had hated them, Muslims would never have been able to conquer these well fortified countries. Thus, on account of their justice, mercy and manners they conquered the hearts before they conquered the countries; and it was all done by fitrah.

2- Nafs appreciates the person who excels it in character:

People yearn for those who excel it in character. Who can really appreciate the excellence of a good surgeon? Obviously, another surgeon. Who can appreciate a big-scale merchant? The answer is: a small-scale merchant. Who can recognize the virtue of the people of virtue if not the people of virtue themselves? If you are a school principal, you can’t manage the teachers at your school unless your knowledge exceeds the knowledge they have. The same goes for the head of a hospital ward, who should be a better doctor than all the doctors working under him, and so forth.
Hence, the nafs is conquered by those who excel it, be it in knowledge, expertise, trade, and such like, and all that is out of fitrah.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds

Translation : Noora Al Sharabi
Auditing : Najat Rozko

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