Our talk in this article is going to be about one of the highest ranks in the religion and a quality of the virtuous… it is certainty.
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said about the rank of certainty: “It’s importance for belief, is like that of the soul to the body. It is based on this rank that the righteous differ in status and in it they compete and strive hard. Their deeds are based on it, and their aims directed to it. If patience were to marry certainty, they would obtain the rank of leadership in piety with respect to this religion. Allah Says (what means): “And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs” [Quran: 32: 24].Allah made benefiting from the signs and evidences peculiar to the people of certainty saying (what means): “And on the earth are signs for the certain [in faith]” [Quran: 51: 20].Allah also made success and guidance one of their distinct qualities saying (what means): “And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad] and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith]. Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and they who are the successful” [Quran: 2: 4-5]. Additionally, Allah Has informed us that the dwellers of the Fire were not amongst the people of certainty Saying (what means): “And when it was said, ‘Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth and the Hour [is coming] — no doubt about it, you said, ‘We know not what is the Hour. We assume only assumption, and we are not convinced.’” [Quran: 45: 32]. Thus certainty is the life for deeds, hearts and limbs … it is the reality of truthfulness … it is the essence of the religion and around it the matter revolves”.
Reliance is one of the fruits of certainty:
Reliance is one of the fruits of certainty and thus it was appropriate to connect guidance to it, as Allah Says (what means): “So rely upon Allah; indeed, you are upon the clear truth” [Quran: 27:79]; the clear truth here refers to certainty.
The messengers of Allah, may Allah exalt their mentions, said, as we are informed by Allah in the following verse. Allah Says (what means): “And why should we not rely upon Allah while He has guided us to our [good] ways.” [Quran: 14:12] Once certainty reaches the heart, it fills with light and brightness, the result of which is that doubt, discontentment, anguish, anxiety all depart from ones heart, and it is filled instead with the love of Allah, fear of Him, contentment with Him, gratitude towards Allah, reliance on Him and returning to Him. Certainty is the essence of all these qualities and the thing that instigates them.
The Prophet said: “The reformation of the first (generations) of this nation (i.e. the Muslims) results from their being ascetic and having certainty in Allah; while the destruction of the last of it will be due to stinginess and harboring false hopes to live longer than ones destined time” [Ahmad]. In another narration he said: “The salvation of this nation (i.e. the Muslims) results from their being ascetic and having certainty in Allah …” [Ibn Abu Ad-Dunya].
The Prophet asks for certainty from his Lord:
Ibn ‘Umar reported: “The Prophet seldom left a gathering without supplicating in these terms: "Allahumma-qsim lana min khashyatika ma tahoolu bihi baynana wa bayna ma`aseeka, wa min ta`atika ma tuballighuna bihi jannataka, wa minal-yaqeeni ma tuhawwinu bihi `alayna masa-'ibad-dunya. Allahumma matti`na bi-asma`ina, wa absarina ma ahyaitana, waj`alhul-waritha minna, waj`al tha’rana `ala man thalamana, wansurna `ala man `adana, wa la taj`al museebatana fee deenina, wa la taj`alid-dunya akbara hammina, wa la mablagha `ilmina, wa la tusallit `alayna man-la yarhamuna, (O Allah, apportion to us such fear that will serve as a barrier between us and acts of disobedience; and such obedience as will take us to Your Paradise; and such as will make easy for us to bear the calamities of this world. O Allah! let us enjoy our hearing and our sight as long as You keep us alive and make our heirs from our own offspring, and make our revenge restricted to those who oppress us, and support us against those who are hostile to us; let no misfortune afflict our religion; let not worldly affairs be our principal concern, or the ultimate limit of our knowledge, and let not those rule over us who do not show mercy to us).'' [At-Tirmithi].
Certainty yields contentment and acceptance of deeds:
Abu Ad-Dardaa’ said: “… An atom’s weight of righteousness from a person with piety and certainty is better, greater and more superior than acts of worship as huge as mountains from a deceived person” [Ahmad].
‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said: “Relief, tranquility and joy are found in certainty and contentment, while grief and anxiety are found in doubt and discontentment”.
‘Ataa’ Al-Khurasani rarely left a gathering without saying: “O Allah, apportion to us such certainty that will make easy for us to bear the calamities of this world, so that we will realize that only what has been destined to happen will happen and that we will only attain the provisions that You decreed for us”.
Bilal Ibn Sa’d said: “O slaves of The Most Merciful! Know that you are working in short days for the lengthy day to come; in a vanishing abode for the eternal abode; in a dwelling of anxiety and weariness for a dwelling with everlasting pleasure; and he who does not posses certainty should not be deceived with his deeds ... You neglect that which Allah commanded you to guard (i.e. His commands) and strive hard to attain that which He guaranteed for you (i.e. provision). This is not how the certain slaves should be; how can they be intelligent in seeking this life, and heedless of the purpose of their creation? Just as you hope for the mercy of Allah due to the obedient acts you perform, likewise, fear His wrath that results from the sins you commit”.
Know that certainty is proportional to piety, as it will never be in a heart that trusts other than Allah.
Beautiful examples for ambitious people in attaining certainty:
The one who searches the pages of history finds it filled with beautiful examples for ambitious people in attaining certainty and trust in Allah, such as:
Ibraheem : One of the distinct qualities of the Propher Ibraheem and all his stances prove such a fact. His debate with his people reflected certainty, as Allah Says (what means): “And his people argued with him. He said, “Do you argue with me concerning Allah while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not remember? And how should I fear what you associate while you do not fear that you have associated with Allah that for which He has not sent down to you any authority? So which of the two parties has more right to security, if you should know?” They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice (i.e. association of others in divinity with Allah.) — those will have security and they are [rightly] guided.” [Quran: 6:80-82]. How can anyone hold such certainty fear other than Allah?
His certainty and reliance on Allah materialized when his people were about to throw him in the fire and Jibreel (Gabriel) came to him saying: “Do you need anything?” Ibraheem replied: “If it is from you, then no; then he started repeating the following terms: ` Allah - Alone - is sufficient for us, and, He is the Best Disposer of affairs`”.
Every one of his situations spoke aloud reflecting his certainty. Additionally, his departure from his wife when she was alone with his breastfeeding infant in the desert is another bright example of reflecting his certainty.
Prophet Muhammad … the optimum ambition: Who can reach the level of our Prophet whose certainty was an example to be imitated during hardships?
There was no hardship and grief that was more difficult than the time when he had to migrate, as Allah Says (what means): “If you do not aid him [the Prophet ] — Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, ‘Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.’ And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers [Angels] you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest while the word of Allah — that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise” [Quran: 9:40].
When Abu Bakr said; “If one of them looks at the position of his feet he would see us” the Prophet calmed him down saying: “O Abu Bakr! What do you think of two Whose third (in support) is Allah?” Look how certain he was in his Lord.
After he went through an extremely difficult time with the people of Taa’if, the Angel Jibreel came to him and offered to take revenge for him from those polytheist people, but instead he said: “I hope that Allah will bring from their progeny some who will not associate others with Allah”.
The call of ‘Umayr Ibn Al-Hamam … a minaret of certainty: When he heard the Prophet say: “Rise for a Paradise as wide as the Heavens and the earth” he said: “Bakh, Bakh” which is an expression reflecting ones astonishment. The Prophet said to him: “What made you say Bakh, Bakh?” he said: “Nothing O Prophet of Allah, other than the hope to be amongst its dwellers”. Thereupon, the Prophet said to him: “You are one of its dwellers”. He took out some dates that he had in his pocket and started eating from them, then he said: “If I live long enough to eat these dates, then this indeed would be a long life”. Then he tossed them away and fought until he was killed.