The question that we have to ask when it comes to faith is a very important one. Because when we’re saying that we are believers that we believe in one God and that all our life is in fact a way for us to worship Him. What He said in the Quran is that we have been created only to worship Him. This is the message of Islam.
And then we have to understand ‘what does it mean to believe in God?’ And in the Islamic tradition, it’s not something that we are adding to our rationality when we don’t have the answers coming from reason. For example, as it is often said in the western philosophy is that:
“When you don’t have the answer coming from your own reason, you jump to something which is ‘I believe in God because I don’t have the rational answer'”.
Faith in our life, and this is something which is essential to understand, is when you come back to your heart, and you find the first essential question, which is why I am here?
And what is said in the Quran is that God, Allah, put in our heart a spark, which is al-Fitrah that every human being him or her, Muslim, or non-Muslim, unbeliever… there is something in our heart which is the yearning for the answer as to the essential question: ‘Why am I here?’
And it’s not coming from our mind. It’s coming from our heart, where our heart is looking for an answer.
So it’s the relationship between our intellect and our heart, which is the final understanding, the ultimate question, and the ultimate response that we need when it comes to say: La Ilaha illa Allah.
In fact, as human beings, we’re always in need of an answer to the fundamental question of our life.
So Iman in Arabic is not only to believe; it is a space where you are at peace and in security (Aman).
When are you in security? When you are at peace. And in Islam, there is salam which is a dimension of peace.
When you are getting the fundamental answer, so it’s your heart looking for the answer and your mind and heart coming with an answer. La Ilaha illa Allah is when your first question, “why am I here?” gets the answer. Because there is one God and to Him you belong and to Him you are going back.
So this is face, a space of security and peace which is the very essence of Islam.
Faith is not and should not be perceived as something which is far from our rational needs and our heart. It’s where we come back to our heart and we find God in our self.
This is what is said in the Quran:
And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered. (8:24)
The knowledge of God is between you and your self. So come back to your self, know your self and you will find the answer.
This is faith and this what gives us peace in our life, heart, and peace with our mind.