Faith and the Limits of Human Capabilities

We have limited capacities in all of our faculties: vision, hearing, smelling, feeling, thinking and understanding. We are blessed with the right type of capabilities as human beings to live a comfortable life. When we see someone with a disability, we naturally feel for them and should feel a sense of gratitude towards all the blessings we have been granted. We didn’t create any of the capabilities we normally take for granted. Always be thankful to Allah for all that we have.

I often wonder about the limits of our capabilities: our eyes cannot see everything: we have a range of vision that is suited to our needs. We can’t see beyond that. We know other creatures who can see far more than we can. We cannot hear everything: we have a range of hearing that is suited for our survival. We cannot hear beyond that. We know of other creatures who can hear far more than we can. The same goes for the sense of smell. Yet, we are so arrogant sometimes to want to understand everything before we believe in Allah. Our minds have limits, we cannot understand everything. The concept of faith is meaningless if we could see, hear, smell and understand everything. What is left to believe after that?

It is human nature to forget that we did not create our bodies and the amazing capabilities we have as a result. We can walk, talk, see, hear, touch, taste and feel. We have been given a brain we can use to reach great potential. All of these complex capabilities are for us to use for the duration of our lives on earth. We can use these capabilities to serve Allah, be good to people and leave a legacy of good works behind. Or we can be evil and become agents of bad works and leave the earth worse off than we found it. The choice is ours to make. May Allah guide us to always stay on the right path and live as agents of good and leave this world a better place for all.

And Allah knows best.

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What is Imaan (Faith)?

Imaan translates to belief. Belief in Islam is referred to as Imaan and those who believe are known as al-Mo’minoon (the believers). Iman in Islam is not blind faith as people commonly mistake it to be. It is actually faith after your heart is content with the signs, the logic, the understanding that Islam presents us with. The Quran and Hadith are filled with explanations of why we believe in what we believe in with examples and parables that show us the logic behind belief and the absence of sound logic behind disbelief. The Quran implores the readers to ponder on the signs in the creations around us. The Quran doesn’t impose belief on us without any thought process or reasoning. The Quran presents us with proof and logic and signs that explain the existence of a Creator, Allah.

The fact that we exist, the fact that there is day and night, the fact that there is procreation, the fact that there is vegetation, rain, water flowing, sunlight, time to work during the day and time to sleep during the night are all signs of Allah. The fact that He created everything in pairs, the fact that he fed us in our mothers’ wombs, the fact that he provides for us throughout our lives, the fact that we have intellect, the fact that there are people who love us all are signs of Allah.

We didn’t create any of these, nor did they create themselves. Nothing comes into existence out of sheer chance, not even a simple object like a chair or even a nail used to hammer pieces of wood together to make a chair. How can complex living things come into existence on their own? The circle of life, with herbivores eating plants and carnivores eating herbivores, the fact that there is water, the fact that the earth is at just the right distance from the sun to sustain life is not a mere chance. Human beings cannot even create a simple life form such as a bacteria or a unicellular organism no matter how hard we try. All of these signs point to only one conclusion: there must be a Creator. This is how Islam establishes Imaan (faith) in Allah.

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