The Secret Beyond Matter

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Examples Of Faıthfulness In The Qur'an

The Companions of the Cave

In the story in the Surat al-Kahf in the Qur'an, Allah tells us about the young people who were determined in their worship of Allah, and separated themselves from non-believers; they left their homes, preferring to live in caves, only to be His servants. The two important characteristics, of being devout and faithful to Allah, was apparent in this group of young people, called the "Companions of the Cave": the first one of these characteristics is being young.

Many consider youth to be a period of life during which they can do anything; it is a time when they have a good appearance, are more physically able and healthier. Nevertheless, the Companions of the Cave, though they themselves were young, devoted that period of their life, despite all the possibilities it afforded them, to the attainment of Allah's favor. The fact that these young people gladly consecrated the most important period of their lives to win Allah's favor is evidence of the depth of their faith. That they showed such determination, in their choice of abandoning everything they possessed, and live in caves, just to be able to worship Allah, can be accounted for only through the strong sense of love, devotion and faithfulness they felt towards Him. In the Qur'an, Allah describes the virtues of the companions of the Cave:


Do you consider that the Companions of the Cave and Ar-Raqim were one of the most remarkable of Our Signs? When the young men took refuge in the cave and said, "Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation."(Surat al-Kahf, 9-10)


We fortified their hearts when they stood up and said, "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and We will not call on any god apart from Him. We would in that case have uttered an abomination."(Surat al-Kahf, 14)


[We said to them,] "When you have separated yourselves from them and everything they worship except Allah, take refuge in the cave and your Lord will unfold His mercy to you and open the way to the best for you in your situation." (Surat al-Kahf, 16)


With the words in the Qur'an, "We fortified their hearts," Allah informs us of how determined and patient they were in putting their faith in our Lord.

In another verse, Allah shows the faithfulness of certain young people who, despite the oppression of Pharaoh, were submissive to Allah and believed in Prophet Musa (as):


No one believed in Musa except [some] offspring [i.e., youths] among his people, out of fear that Pharaoh, and the elders, would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was one of the profligate. (Surah Yunus, 83)


The fact that such young people chose a life of difficulty, living in caves in order to defy the oppression of the non-believers, and win the favor of Allah, is another aspect that shows their faithfulness towards Allah. Their strong sense of devotion and faithfulness towards Allah gave them this strength and courage, and was also the foundation of their patience through the trials and adversity they confronted. The same can be said of the young people who, despite Pharaoh's cruel tyranny, believed in Musa (as). They were not afraid of Pharaoh, and showed their faithfulness to Allah in following Musa (as).

All such examples reveal that a strong sense of loyalty and devotion felt for Allah constitute an important factor for a believer for him to act so as to win Allah's favor.

A Man from Pharaoh's Household Who Kept His Faith Secret

In a story in Surah Ghafir of the Qur'an, Allah shows us how faithfulness, and a strong sense of devotion to Him, can bring about moral excellence in an individual. In this story, Prophet Musa (as) conveys the message of Allah to Pharaoh and, in doing so, a certain man comes forward to support Musa (as) and oppose Pharaoh's oppression. Allah tells us that the Pharaoh became arrogant when he heard Musa's (as) message, and objected:


Pharaoh said, "Let me kill Musa and let him call upon his Lord! I am afraid that he may change your religion and bring about corruption in the land." Musa said, "I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every proud man who does not have faith in the Day of Reckoning." (Surah Ghafir, 26-27)


While Musa (as) was relating Allah's religion to Pharaoh, a person from his household came forward; he addressed Pharaoh and his people, telling them to believe in Prophet Musa (as):


A man among Pharaoh's people who had faith, but kept his faith concealed, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying 'My Lord is Allah' when he has brought you Clear Signs from your Lord? If he is telling a lie, be it on his own head. But if he is telling the truth, then some of what he is promising you will certainly happen to you. Allah does not guide any unbridled inveterate liar."(Surah Ghafir, 28)


This believer appeared at a moment when Pharaoh was angry and threatening to kill the prophets, yet he defended the Prophet Musa (as). That this man stood up against such an excessively cruel man such as the Pharaoh, shows the extent of his faith and faithfulness towards Allah. As Musa (as) had done, this man also opposed Pharaoh, as well as exhorted his people to follow the Way of Allah. His actions show that he was of high moral character; he was a believer, and the strong faith he carried in his heart gave him the courage to stand up against Pharaoh. This story also shows the depth of his faithfulness towards Allah, and that he was undaunted by any obstacle put in the way to his winning His favor.

Just how faithful and devoted he was to Allah can be determined by the cleverness and care that had enabled him to keep his faith secret, even though he lived in Pharaoh's household. The Pharaoh was an enemy of the religion; and in spite of his threats and violence, this individual was able to preserve his faith intact. There is another point we must not fail to notice here: as Allah says in the Qur'an, obeying the words of a non-believer will only harm a person's faith:


You who believe! If you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you round on your heels and you will be transformed into losers.(Surah Al 'Imran, 149)


This man was in danger. But, in spite of that fact, he was able to protect his faith and keep it secret without being obedient to non-believers. This shows the power of his cunning, his astounding devotion to Allah, and his strong sense of faithfulness to Him.

We can see from this example, which Allah has related in the Qur'an, that winning Allah's favor is possible only through profound faithfulness towards Him, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

A Believer's Migration (Hijra)

Believers are deeply motivated and expend every effort to convey to others the moral teachings of the Qur'an, and invite them to follow what it is good and true. Some may feel uneasy with such principles of justice and equality fostered by the morality of the Qur'an, because for them these notions are not "profitable." For this reason, these people seek various means to hinder believers who are determined to propagate the morality of the Qur'an.

One method they employ is to force the believers to leave those places where they live. By these means, they expect to break the believers' resolve, and render them weak. But, they forget two very important matters: the determination of the believers in following the true Path that Allah has shown them, and their strong sense of devotion to Him. No matter what difficulties they inflict upon them, non-believers will never be able to divert believers from their Path; they are sincere in faith and loyalty towards Allah. For them, being expelled from their cities is a form of migration, and one of the circumstances that demonstrates their submission to Allah. In such a case, believers do not hesitate to leave their communities, their homes, possessions and the lives they had established. If necessary, without planning or preparations, they set out on their difficult journey, hoping only to win Allah's favor. Therefore, for a believer, migration is setting out, leaving every possession behind, and without the slightest hesitation, in order to win Allah's favor, and lead a life in accordance with the moral precepts of the Qur'an. This shows the great sincerity and determination of believers. In many verses of the Qur'an, Allah informs us that setting out on migration, leaving behind everything one owns for that purpose, is characteristic of a believer.

Essentially, taking on a migration means that a person sets out to follow the true Path that Allah has revealed, and to leave behind the false ways he been accustomed to. Prophet Lut (as) speaks of this meaning of migration:


And Lut believed in him. He said, "I am leaving this place to follow the pleasure of my Lord. He is the Almighty, the All Wise." (Surat al-Ankabut, 26)


When we consider the migrations made by believers in this light, we see that they have never departed, at any point in their lives, from the true Path to which Allah had guided and directed them, but have founded their lives solely upon seeking the pleasure of Allah and winning His favor. Believers filled with the "spirit of migration," live faithfully towards Allah throughout their entire lives. In the Qur'an, Allah states that believers, who maintain such determination on His Path, will receive a great reward, both in this world and the world to come:


As for those who migrate for Allah's sake after being wronged, We shall give them good lodging in this world, and the reward of the Hereafter is greater still if they only knew.(Surat an-Nahl, 41)



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