I selected some texts from the book ‘Causes behind the Increase and Decrease of Eeman’ by Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaak al-’Abbaad, most of them being already posted in this blog recently. I will state the topics and link them to their respective blog posts, also I will mention few other causes that result in the increase of eeman, extracted from the same book. In sha’ Allah I will make some posts regarding the causes behind the decrease of eeman also.
Causes for the Increase of Eemaan
iii. To Look Attentively at the Biography of the Noble Prophet – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam –
Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentions that being guided has many reasons and various ways, and that this is from Allaah’s kindness towards His servants in light of the differences between their intellectual capacities, minds, perception and insight. He mentions that contemplation over the state and qualities of the Prophet is one of these ways and that it is the reason for guidance of many a people.
He says: “… and some people are guided by their knowledge of his state, of the perfect character, qualities and actions that he was endowed with, and of the fact that the norm of Allaah with regard to one who possesses such qualities and actions is that He will not humiliate and dishonors him.” Miftaah Daar as-Sa’aadah, page 240.
Ibn as-Sa’dee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says:” From the means that bring about eemaan and is one of its causes, is knowledge of the Prophet – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam – and of the lofty mannerisms and perfect qualities he possessed. The one who truly knows him has no doubt in his honesty and in the truthfulness of what he brought of the Book, Sunnah and religion of truth. As Allaah says: “Or is it that they do not recognize their Messenger so they then deny him.” Soorah al-Mu’minoon (23):69
iv. Pondering Over the Merits and Qualities of the Religion of Islaam
Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, writes: “If you reflect on the overwhelming and dazzling wisdom within this upright religion; this pure path and sharee’ah brought by the Prophet Muhammad – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam –, of which no expression can contain its perfection, no depiction can grasp its beauty and nothing more superior can bethought up by the minds of the learned even if they were all to be collectively assembled into the mind of the most perfect of them.
It is enough in itself, that these integral and respectable minds have sensed the beauty of it and bear witness to its excellence and the fact that no other sharee’ah that has ever graced the world, is more complete, more sublime and greater. The Sharee’ah is itself the witness and the one borne witness to, it is the proof and the one used as proof and it is the claim and the evidence. Furthermore, if the Messenger had not brought any proof for it (i.e., its validity), it itself would be sufficient as proof, as a sign and witness that it is indeed from Allaah.” Miftaah Daar as-Sa’aadah, page 323, also see page 328 and onwards.
Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says: “The gist here, is that the distinct of this ummah and its learned; when their intellects witnessed the beauty of this religion, its magnificence and perfection and when their intellects witnessed the ugliness of that which opposes it, its imperfection and illness, eemaan in this religion and love of it became fused with the delight of the hearts.
If one of them were given the choice of either being thrown into the fire or choosing another religion, he would choose to be thrown into the fire and for his limbs to be dismembered rather than choose another religion. These kind amongst the people are those who are firmly established in eemaan, who are the furthest removed from apostasy and those most deserving to remain firm upon the religion until the Day of meeting Allaah.” Miftaah Daar as-Sa’aadah, pages 340-341
A hadeeth related by Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, gives credit to what Ibn al-Qayyim mentions here. He reports; “The Messenger of Allaah said, ‘Three (qualities); whoever possesses them, will find the sweetness of eemaan: that Allaah and His Messenger are beloved to him more than anyone else, that he loves someone only for the sake of Allaah and that he hates to return to kufr just as he hates to be slung into the fire.” Related by al-Bukhaaree, (1/60 Fath) and Muslim, 1/66
v. Reading the Life-Histories of the Salaf of this Ummah
The Salaf of this ummah: the Companions of the Prophet – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam – and their students and successorsin righteousness, people of the first period of Islaam, are thebest of all generations. They are the defenders of Islaam, guides for humankind and lions of combat. They are the participants of the great and momentous incidents and events and the bearers and transmitters of this religion to all who came after them. They have the strongest eemaan amongst the people, they are the most well grounded in knowledge, have the most pious of hearts and the purest of souls. The specifically chosen amongst them are the Companions of the Prophet – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam –, whom Allaah favored with the sight of His Prophet – sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam –. He gratified them by granting them sight of his guise and honored them by allowing them to hear his voice and listen to his speech. They received the religion from him in a fresh and new manner, it took root in their hearts, their souls found tranquility with it and they remained firm on it on par with the stability of the mountains. It suffices as a representation of their excellence that Allaah addressed them with His saying:
“You are the best people ever raised up for mankind…” Soorah Aal-‘Imraan (3): 110
The meaning of which is, you are the best of all peoples and the most beneficial for the people.
The areas for the study and refection on the biographies of these righteous people are the books of Taareekh (History), as-Siyar (Biographies), az-Zuhd (asceticism), or-Raqaa’iq (heart-softening narratives), al-War’ (piety) and others. One benefits from those of the reports that have been authenticated.
2. Reflecting on the Universal Signs (Aayaat Kawniyyah) of Allaah
Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says; “If you consider what Allaah has invited His servants to reflect on in His Book, it will impart you with knowledge of Allaah, of his oneness, His attributes of perfection and qualities of magnificence such as the extensiveness of His capability and knowledge and the perfection of His wisdom, mercy, benevolence, kindness, compassion, justice, pleasure, anger, reward and punishment. Thus, with this (all), He introduced Himself to His servants and encouraged them to reflect on His signs.” Miftaah Daar as-Sa’aadah of Ibn al-Qayyim, page 204