The character of a believer

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | January 29, 2017, p. 12

According to the Quran, a believer possesses two attributes: strong affection for God (2:165), and fear of God (9:18). All the other attributes of a believer are different aspects of these two attributes. When someone discovers God, the Lord of all the worlds, these two attributes are born inside him or her. When these two attributes become a deeply integral part of someone’s life, he or she develops the character of someone who is called a believer. When a person becomes aware of the great blessings of God, the attribute that the Quran refers to as strong affection for God emerges within him. Likewise, when someone discovers and becomes aware of his utter helplessness before God, the attribute that the Quran calls fear of God emerges within him.

These two attributes of faith actually emerge as a result of realization of God. The higher the level of his or her realization of God, the higher the level of these attributes will develop in a person. The qualities that an individual possesses do not exist in isolation rather they are an external expression of an internal discovery. Present behind every attribute of faith is deep contemplation and reflection.

Faith is not a legal issue that is, teaching a person the legal commandments of religion cannot lead to the development of deep faith in him. The method for increase of one’s faith is that one should first become a student, someone who studies and ponders, reflects and contemplates. When this happens, that higher attribute that is called realization will emerge inside him. This is the only criterion to recognize a true person of faith. If someone lacks the above-mentioned two attributes, in God’s eyes he is not a true believer, no matter how ‘big’ a person he may be considered by people who judge things by their appearance.