How can we strengthen our faith?
Faith is a light, a blessing from Allah. However, faith is knowledge at the same time, which must be necessarily learnt. There are two ways to strengthen our faith:
The first and the primary one is to learn the rules of the sunnah and to investigate it in accordance with the Quran and the sunnah, as required by our time.
The second one is to advance in spirituality through performing good deeds, purifying the heart and soul by avoiding sins.
However, the course of this century makes the second way really difficult to take. For this reason, it is very important to read books which teach investigative faith. It has also become essential to study science as a feature of our century, besides studying religious knowledge. This is because the light of the mind is science as the light of the heart is religious knowledge. We can state that one of the most important books which teach both of them together is Risale-i Nur Collection. In addition, one can benefit very well from books of significant people such as Imam Ghazali, Imam Rabbani, Imam Mawardi and Imam Qushairi.
Protecting and strengthening faith is a Muslim’s most important issue. It is necessary to attach importance to taqwa (God-Consciousness) in order to protect faith. Faith can only be protected within the castle of taqwa. Without taqwa, faith tends to deteriorate. It is necessary to read and make research on books about faith a lot in order to strengthen faith. Issues about faith which result from knowledge do not have effect on one’s feelings unless it is filtered through reasoning. Firstly, mind must be satisfied.
Contemplation is very important. The fact that Prophet Abraham found his Lord by watching the moon and stars and contemplating is narrated in the Quran. Faith improves with thinking. For this reason, it is stated in hadith that “One hour of contemplation is superior to one year of nafilah (supererogatory) prayer.”
Environment has a great influence on human beings. Sins suggest people infidelity. Suggestion has a great influence on human beings. It infuses infidelity into one’s sub-conscious while people are unaware of it. For this reason, one must keep away from sinful places as much as possible. Sins committed outside carelessly suggest people that there are not hereafter and punishment. To be protected from the negative effects of such suggestions, one must keep away from sinful places as much as possible and try to suggest people goodness and prevent them from evil as much as s/he can. One needs to study issues about faith a lot and pay attention to delivered messages in order to compensate for the damages of the negative suggestions which s/he has been imposed to. It is necessary to meet often with people who care about good deeds and live in accordance with taqwa. In this sense, the importance of a community (jama’ah) becomes more obvious. Just like sins suggest infidelity, good deeds suggest faith.