What is needed to believe really with the heart?

The Details of the Question

I cannot believe with my heart. The only reason I am still a Muslim is because of the scientific miracles in the Qur'an. The existence of a creator sounds reasonable, but religions and stories are like the old stories written years ago. I regularly perform Salah, but because of the contradiction I am in, praying is harder than ever. I cannot believe in the Qur'an with my heart while I cannot deny it with my logic. What is needed to do to be able to really believe with the heart?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Real belief should be the force that drives man, brings him to the good, to the right and righteous deeds; its product should be involved in life actively and illuminate the believer and his environment. This occurs by practicing the belief in life, that is by worshiping Allah, doing righteous deeds and attaining high ethics. If worshiping and deeds are not acceptable without belief (and are regarded as signs of hypocrisy), belief which does not lead to good deeds and worshiping is not enough.

In that case, in order to consummate and mature belief, it is necessary to hang on to Allah’s orders and avoid His prohibitions; in other words, it is necessary to do righteous deeds. Only such people will attain Allah’s consent and the eternal bliss. For this reason; although deeds are not included in the truth of belief; there is no doubt that they are included in the perfection of belief.

In fact, belief is a phenomenon that we cannot feel with our five senses but arises with the co-operation of our minds and hearts.

At the beginning of Surat al-Baqara and in the whole Qur'an, we are asked to believe in “the unseen”, that is, “ to believe in Allah and other principles of belief” which we do not see or hear but believe with our minds by recognizing the infinite number of evidences about the indispensability of the existence of Allah.

Real belief is not possible only with the mind or only with the heart; these two should work together.

How about passion, fear, love, excitement, hopelessness, enthusiasm ... are they possible with the mind only?

Does our brain tremble when we fear? Do our eyes burn with love when we fall in love? Do our ears get sad when they heard bad news?

Are not all these and so many other sensations felt only in the heart?

Who taught us to experience all these feelings in our hearts to the hilt?

Do they not happen unavoidably?

Sometimes your heart gets so excited that it prevents you from doing something because you cannot control that feeling but you cannot do anything to prevent it from fluttering.

Let us deal with your situation after these determinations that we all know and have already experienced.

Firstly, you should know that the degrees of belief, whether in terms of mind or heart, are endless. So, one should never say, “I have believed, I am convinced, that is enough!” For, belief is like swimming against the tide; you go at a certain speed while swimming, but the minute you stop by deciding that the point is good for you to stop, you get dragged back, even further back from the starting point if you continue to stop.

Therefore, a Muslim should meditate as long as he or she is alive and conscious to increase his belief and should read the Qur’an, hadith, biography of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, commentaries of the Qur’an in particular and should take advantage of such lessons, even if from the internet to develop his belief. There are many lessons about them on our website.

Fortunately, you have a belief that logically convinced by the evidences, but you say you cannot find a satisfactory response from your heart.

Here are three short recommendations for you;

Firstly, please do not forget that Satan exists!

His job is to whisper suspicions and delusions to the heart and to work from there!

Therefore, take refuge in Allah from Satan first and ask for help sincerely from Allah!

Subsequently, since the problem is in your heart, listen to the Qur’an which brings a solution for that and mention Allah often (make dhikr).

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah; for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction.” (ar-Rad 13/28)

After that, contemplate the things happening in you, your environment, on earth and in the universe.

Contemplation is a perfect way to worship.

The less we contemplate the more heedless we get. The more we contemplate, the more satisfied we get by seeing the holy names, attributes of Allah and His manifestation in everything.

This satisfaction on the one hand will make us say “Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah, Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah)” and on the other hand it will certainly stir our hearts by flourishing the hope for heaven and feeling the fear of hell. 

As an example, let us contemplate the air;

Science tells us the following briefly:

  • Air is a colorless and odorless gas which is a combination of oxygen and nitrogen atoms.
  • It transmits sound, light, smell, temperature…
  • It turns to be a wind which refreshes, brings the clouds and fertilizes the flowers.
  • It enters into the lungs of humans and animals and cleanses venous blood.
  • Plants and trees breathe in dirty air and produces oxygen which is needed for animals and humans.
  • The layers of the atmosphere prevent air from diffusing through space.
  • In short, there would be no living creature that we know on earth, especially no human beings!

If we contemplate and start to think who is beyond those scientific facts, we will see and understand that it is impossible for all those to be happening by themselves!

Is it possible for those, unconscious, weak, will-less, merciless, mindless, simple, ignorant, lifeless, blind, deaf… Oxygen and Nitrogen atoms to do those endless jobs simultaneously without confusing and making mess on their own?

It means those atoms and particles are the officers of someone! They work under the command of someone!

The following is stated in the surah al-Fath; 

“… And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth...” (48/7)

Yes! We have found the Lord, who manages all those works!

So, what does that Lord who keeps these jobs in order, says in his book as a commentary;

I am Allah! Obey Me and attain eternal peace! Or else you will have eternal punishment!

With the contemplation above and similar ones, we get to a point where we stay between “Fear and Hope”; on the one hand, the hope for Heaven makes us thrilled; on the other hand, while we feel the fear of Hell to the hilt. They stir our hearts.

This consciousness increases the awe we feel in our prayers; and the increased awe strengthens our contemplation on belief and the realities of belief.

Please do not forget that you can control your hands, arms, legs and eyes but you cannot control your heart.

It is possible to be alive without hands, arms, legs and eyes but impossible to be without the heart.

In summary, turn to the One with full submission who puts that heart in its place, makes it work like a clock and stops it in due time, sincerely ask help from Him and surrender to Him!

Only then Insha’Allah will you see how you feel your belief in your heart!

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