The Role Of Faith And Fortitude – Part One

By Ayatollah Jaffer Subhani

(Qom, Iran)

The secret of everyone’s success lies in two things: Firstly faith in one’s aim and secondly steadfastness and effort in the path of its attainment. Faith is the inner stimulant which perforce pushes man to his object and invites him day and night to attain his aim because he firmly believes that his welfare supremacy prosperity and good end are associated with it. And in view of the interest which man takes in himself whenever he develops faith and confidence the strength of his faith automatically directs and persuades him to overcome all difficulties and keeps him away from every doubt notwithstanding the fact that his prosperity may be dependent upon the attainment of a specific target.

For example a sick man who knows that his remedy and welfare lies in taking a bitter medicine takes it easily and a diver who believes that there are precious gems beneath the tides of the sea throws himself into the mouth of the tides without any apprehension; and returns to surface after achieving his purpose.

However if the ailing person or the diver are doubtful about the achievement of their objects or do not at all believe in the usefulness of their job they either do not take any steps in that direction or even if they do they are faced with hardship and anguish. Hence it is the very strength of belief and faith which solves all difficulties.

Nevertheless there is no doubt about the fact that achievement of one’s
target is associated with difficulties and obstacles. It is therefore necessary for us to combat against those hurdles and to make necessary efforts in that behalf so that all the obstacles may be removed with our full might. It has been said since olden times that wherever there is a flower (a prized object) there is also a thorn (difficulty) with it.

The flower should therefore be plucked in such a way that the thorn does not prick one’s hands or feet. lies in faith in one’s aim and steadfastness in its attainment) in a short sentence and has said: “As for those who say: ‘Our Lord is Allah ‘ and take the right path… … … .” (Surah al-Fussilat 41:30). (Viz. those who have faith in Allah and believe in a particular aim and then display steadfastness and fortitude will definitely achieve their object and are helped by the angels).

As a result of the special contacts of the Prophet before the ‘general invitation’ and his indefatigable efforts thereafter a selected and faithful team came into existence against the forces of infidelity and idolatry. The
Muslims who had embraced Islam secretly before the ‘general invitation’
developed complete acquaintance with those who responded to the Prophet’s call thereafter and the bells of danger rang in all the assemblies
of infidelity and polytheism.

No doubt it was quite easy for the strong and well-equipped Quraysh to crush a newly-born movement but the reason for their being afraid was that the members of the movement did not belong to only one family but persons belonging to various families had also embraced Islam. Hence it was not easy for Quraysh to take a decisive action.

After mutual consultations the chiefs of Quraysh decided to remove the
very foundation of this faith and the founder of the new religion by different means. They proposed to achieve this purpose by approaching
him sometimes with allurements and at other times by extending to him
various promises and occasionally by using threats and torture. For ten years Quraysh behaved in this manner and eventually they decided to kill the Holy Prophet. In order to save him therefore Allah ordered him to quit Makkah.

During the aforesaid period the chief of the family of Bani Hashim was Abu Talib. He was a man who possessed a noble nature and a magnanimous spirit and his house was an asylum for the needy and the orphans.

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