Effects and Advantages of Religious Faith
Blog Post 51
April 10, 2022
"Future man is the cultural animal, not the economic animal; future man is the man of belief and faith, not the man of stomach and waistline."
So writes Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari (1) in Fundamentals of Islamic Thought: God, Man and the Universe (1985, p. 30), where "man" means "people."
This is refreshing news.
Our course, as ordained by Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, whether as individuals or as societies, “begins with animality and finds its culmination in humanity.” As we evolve, our humanity grows. As we gain more independence and governance of our environment, the more we make steps to gain “independence and governance over the other aspects of...[our] being…An evolved human individual has gained a relative ascendancy over his inner and outer environments. The evolved individual is the one who has been freed of dominance by the inner and outer environments, but depends upon belief and faith.” (p. 29)
This is why the taghuts, the mushriks and the mustakbereen are always stepping up their murderous tactics, their psychological fear-mongering, their evilness, their shaitanic deceit and lies whenever the people of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala rise up. Those who oppose and rebel against Allah know fully well the route they have chosen and will do everything they can to maintain their power over the world, the resources, the plants and animals and all of us. If they do not act with connivance and treachery, they will lose their palaces of luxury, their gold and silver, their minds.
After discussing what separates human beings and animals and “that science and faith are two of the central pillars of” our humanity, (they are not separate and at odds the way it’s been spouted for centuries), Ayatullah Mutahhari tells us about all the effects and advantages of religious faith. (front flap) “Without ideals, aspirations and faith, man can neither live a sane life nor accomplish anything useful or fruitful for humanity and human civilization. One lacking ideals and faith becomes either selfish, never emerging from his shell of private interests, or a wavering, bemused being who does not know his own duty in life, in moral and social questions.” (pp. 38-39)
The Holy Qur’an was the first book that tells us clearly that religious faith is
“a kind of harmony with the creation: ‘Do they seek for other than God’s religion,
while all in the heavens and on earth bow to Him?’ (3:83)” and that religious faith is
“part of the makeup of human beings: ‘So set your face toward religion as one upright –
such is the disposition with which God has created man.’ (30:30).” (p. 41)
But we are “human by acquisition.” Our “human potential must be gradually nurtured in the light of faith.” The power of faith impels us; it detonates us from within; it activates our hidden potentialities; it produces a revolution in our heart; it gives us a new direction; it sanctifies values in our spirit; it elevates our aptitudes; it provides a spiritual way of thinking; it causes devotion to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala; it tames the ego; it urges us to make sacrifices; it inspires us to sacred truths and realities; it focuses us on the sacred; it demands worship. (pp. 37-38, 40-41)
Here are more effects and advantages of religious faith, as provided by Ayatullah Mutahhari (pp. 33-34):
1.gives love, hope and ardor [enthusiasm, zeal]
3. gives direction
4. encourages benevolence
5. causes an inner revolution
6. makes our psyche one of humanity
7. conveys us upward
8. shapes us
9. gives the power of integration
10. makes our spirit beautiful
11. beatifies our feelings
12. gives inward security
13. harmonizes us with ourselves
Ayatullah Mutahhari writes about three more effects and advantages of religious faith (pp. 42-46). They are:
1.produces cheer and expansiveness
2. ameliorates social relationships
3. lessens troubles
In a future blog post, we will look more into what he says about these three, inshallah.
Ramadhan is a fine time to learn about the benefits of faith
and to strengthen our faith and bonds of love of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala,
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him and his family,
his family and the lovers of Allah, inshallah.
Praying that your and my Ramadhan is filled with peace, spirituality and hope.
And as we journey forward, may we gain true humanness on the Way
that our Creator and Sustainer has paved for us, inshallah.
(1)Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari was born on February 2, 1920, in Fariman, Iran, and was martyred on May 1, 1979 in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. He played a major role in reawakening the Islamic consciousness in the people of Iran, guiding and participating in the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the newly formed Islamic government, and as an intellectual Muslim thinker, teacher and writer.
Mutahhari, Ayatullah Murtadha. (1985). Fundamentals of Islamic Thought: God, Man and the Universe. Trans. by R. Campbell. Berkley, CA: Mizan Press. Accessible from Al-Islam.org @ https://www.al-islam.org/fundamentals-islamic-thought-god-man-and-universe-murtadha-mutahhari