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Friday, December 26, 2008

WHAT IS IMAN?

Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 67th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

Iman means to believe the teachings coming from our Prophet, which are written in the books of Ahl as-sunnat [2] savants, and to express one’s belief. Worships are not from iman. But they perfect and beautify iman. Imam-i a’zam Abu Hanifa ‘alaihirrahma’ said that iman does not increase or decrease. For, iman means the heart’s confirmation, admitting and believing.

There is not scarcity or abundance in iman. Belief which has its decrease and increase is not called iman, but it is called supposition and illusion. Iman’s being much or little means muchness or scarcity in worships. When a person worships much, he is said to have much perfection in his iman.

Then, the imans of all Believers are unlike the imans of prophets. For, prophets’ iman has reached the summit of perfection on account of worships. The iman of other Believers cannot reach there. But both have the common quality of being iman. The former has become different through worships. It is as if there were no resemblance between them. All Believers and prophets share the property of being human. But other values, superiorities have made prophets reach high grades. Their humanity has become sort of different. In a way, they are higher human beings than the common humanity. Perhaps, they only are human beings. Others, as it were, are not human beings.

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GLOSSARY
[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] Ahl as-Sunna (wa’l-Jama’a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.

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