Presented by HAJI MOHAMAD HANIM HAJI MOHAMAD ISA

IMAN BIL GHAYB
The literal meanings of iman, islam and din, used frequently in the Qur’an, are very close to each other. The submission of thoughts and feelings to the object of belief is iman. To surrender willingly, inwardly as well as outwardly, to the will (of a supreme being) is islam. A deeply rooted dutiful, devoted, submissive and abiding approach, by nature and in appearance, towards "the approved discipline" is din. Din has been used variously to mean judgment, subjugation, religion, to do good, to obey, to advance a loan, to take into account, to reward and to punish, but the root is that which has been stated above, which also implies all the given meanings. According to verses 14 and 15 of al Hujurat Islam is the outward obedience and iman is the inward submission. Islam and iman become synonymous when Islam is used with reference to inward submission and iman is used with reference to outward obedience. Let us examine the state of mind in connection with iman and din. All the mental tendencies and faculties together with their allied phenomenon are rooted in the human ego or the conscious-self, referred to as "I". The ego, endowed with self-consciousness, loves itself. This self-love is followed by the involvement and concern for selfprotection, self-maintenance and self-advancement. Self-love creates and promotes the emotions of devotion, hatred, lust, and anger, also feelings and imagination, thinking and contemplation. The love for self-preservation creates the lust (hunger) for food, which is responsible for the development of the sense of taste. It also enables to feel repulsion for that food which is harmful. This repulsion is termed as anger. The desire to preserve the self, in all times, through reproduction, is carried out by the sexual lust. It is because of self-love, that man loves that which belongs to him and to which he refers to as "mine" - parents, children, relatives, community and surroundings with which, in some way or the other, he is associated. Things which he feels as not his own or opposed to his interest, create repulsion in him. Man's activities are the expression of either the love or repulsion that he feels, whether or not the object of love or repulsion is within the control of his will power. With regard to those objects which are within the control of his will power, a lust for domination is developed. But if the object, loveable or repulsive, useful or harmful, is beyond his control, a sense of awe and reverence associated with the desire for an approach through surrender, submission and appeasement is developed, believing that the object is sacred. This submissive state of mind is described as din, and its expression takes the form of sacrifice (qurbani). In this sense din and iman are one and the same, i.e. the inclination of the mind and heart towards the object believed to be effective in one's destiny. Mere belief, or just to be sure of anything is not iman, but belief in its reality and its effectiveness in one's destiny, beyond the domination of one's own will power, is true iman. No one, not even those who pose as atheists, can be devoid of this subjective aspect of din and iman. The objective aspect or methods of approach bring in the differences. People may differ as to who or what should be held as sacred and how to pray and offer sacrifice, but no one can do without holding something or other as sacred and bowing down before that sacred object, and adopting a method of approach and adoration. The sacred objects and the methods of prayers and sacrifice have gone through an evolutionary process with the development of man's intellect, knowledge, experience, power of reasoning, contemplation, and, above all, on account of the instructions and guidance given by the divinely commissioned teachers.

The necessary consequence of religious tendency, natural in every man, as the result of self-love, is prayer and sacrifice. Sacrifice is an effort to break one's bonds so as to come in contact with the sacred being, the ultimate object of faith, by parting with some of his possessions, which, on account of his faith, are regarded as gifts received from the sacred being. Prayer is a demand put forward to the object of adoration and veneration; and when the demand is met, the bounties received are given to others, in charity, to please the fulfiller. So to take and to give, in religious adoration, go together. Only in how and what is given people are distinguished from each other. Din and iman, in the highest form, is yuminuna bil ghayb, a total and perfect inclination and commitment of the mind and the heart, on the strength of pure reasoning, to the unseen and the inconceivable reality, realized by all as beyond the grasp of human means and intellect. The loftier the object the more intense will be the faith in it. Although there are beings beyond the empirical knowledge like angels and jinn etc., yet they are created beings, definable and within the conceptual capacity of man; despite the fact that they cannot be verified through observation and experiment. Only ALLAH, beyond all definitions and limitations, is ghayb ul mutlaq, the incomprehensible absolute, the loftiest object of din and iman, the ultimate of iman bil ghayb, and not anything else created by Him. This iman bil ghayb is a dynamic force which takes man towards the absolute in a progressive and unfaltering stride. If any other unseen, except the ghayb ul mutlaq, is held as an object of faith, it will cause stoppage, obstruction and stagnancy, which results in idolatry. In verses 52 to 56 of al Anbiya this stagnancy has been condemned. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq says:

“That which your mind, in its finest awareness, may distinctly grasp, would be your creation like unto you, and that will bounce and come back to you. “
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