Setting on the course to know and understand the beliefs Muslims hold dear is a task that is very rewarding but has many obstacles. Attending lessons based on a book called ‘The Clear Light Fundamentals of Religious Beliefs’ written by the Andalusian Imam Ibn Juzayy made me realize this is not, in fact a difficult task. It just needs us to open up to different basis of knowledge.
The book is mostly based on rational proofs alluded to in the Qur’an. This, as mentioned in the prologue of the book, is one of its main goals and priorities. The content of this book is very important because many ordinary Muslims wrongly believe that the Qur’an is solely read for blessings. In truth, the Qur’an proposes arguments for God’s existence and should lead us to having greater certainty in God and conviction in His promise. Imam al-Sanusi, a notable theologian said, “All of which the people of understanding present in evidence and proofs in their books is just a droplet from the ocean of what is mentioned in the Mighty Qur’an.”
Many of the evidences in the Qur’an are provided through asking questions. This has a great impact on the listener and is more readily understood. Imam Ibn Juzayy makes use of these verses and explains the truths the Qur’an is calling us to. The book splits into chapters about the existence of God and His Oneness. In the first chapter Imam Ibn Juzayy presents the arguments through a series of statements and rebuttals. He then uses Quranic verses to establish his arguments. Examples of such thought provoking verses include:
أَم خُلِقوا مِن غَيرِ شَيءٍ أَم هُمُ الخالِقونَ
“Or were they created from nothing? Or are they the creators” [Surah al-Tur 52:35]
لَو كانَ فيهِما آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتا ۚ فَسُبحانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ العَرشِ عَمّا يَصِفونَ
“If there were in the heavens and the earth any deities other than Allah, both (of those realms) would certainly have fallen into ruin. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, from all that they ascribe (unto Him).” [Surah al-Anbiya 21:22]
Then he goes into beliefs about the prophets and the news they brought about the unseen. The Imam then ends with a section of advice on how to cultivate one’s faith and preserve it.
This is an easily digestible book that will benefit anyone who reads it, there is also translation available online. It advisable for one to memorise the Quran verses mentioned in this book and the points of belief it alludes to in order to reaffirm one’s connection with the Qur’an and God.
And with God is success.