Question: Is the belief of people who believed in the prophet (PBUH) without seeing him not superior to the belief of the Companions who believed in him by seeing him?
QUESTION: It is said, the Companions saw Allah’s Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him), then they believed. However we have believed without seeing him, in which case our belief is stronger. Also, there are narrations mentioning the strength of our belief, are there not?
THE ANSWER: At that time, when all ideas were opposed and hostile to the truths of Islam, the Companions believed so strongly -sometimes on only seeing the person of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and without miracles- that all the generally held ideas in the world did not shake them. Let alone doubts, they did not even cause some of them the slightest anxiety or scruple. You are comparing your belief with that of the Companions, but how can there be any comparison? For despite your seeing with the mind’s eye, not the Messenger’s (PBUH) humanity and bodily form, which was the seed of the Tuba-tree of his prophethood, but through all the lights of Islam and truths of the Qur’an, his luminous, magnificent collective personality, encompassed by a thousand miracles, you waver and fall into doubt at the word of a European philosopher. Yet due to their belief, the Companions did not waver in the face of the attacks of the entire world of unbelief and of the Christians, Jews, and philosophers? And how can you compare the intense fear of Allah of the Companions and their complete righteousness, which demonstrated the strength of their belief and proceeded from it, and your dull belief, which due to your extreme weakness does not impel you to perform even the obligatory practices completely, O you who make such a claim!? However, the Hadith the meaning of which is: “Those at the end of time who do not see me and believe, are more acceptable,”1 refers to particular virtues. It concerns certain special individuals. Our discussion, however, is in regard to general virtue and the majority.
1. Musnad, v, 248, 257, 264; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, iii, 41; iv, 89.
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