How The Salaf Attained A High Level Of Strong Faith?


If you are always been wondering how the salaf attained a high level of strong faith. You could probably have heard tons of stories about the earlier salaf (the Sahaabah) and those that come after them, the extraordinary events that happen to them.

Also, you may be amazed by how they were able to reach that high level of faith while they get rid of worldly gains from their heart?

It’s worth knowing and that’s what I’m going to explain. After all, I also want to improve the level of my faith.

Praise be to Allah.

This question is such a serious and a needed matter for everyone, so you should first keep in mind that it is easy for someone for whom Allah makes it easy. And only those who are ready for a high level of faith will get the benefit.

That said, the essential matters on which all the affairs of the salaf were based, could be summarized into two. There is the hope that whoever adheres to them, will attain something similar to what the early Salaf attained, and will become one of their group.

Sincerely, we ask Allah to make these two things easy for you and us, to make us and you steadfast in adhering to them, until we meet Him when He is pleased with us.

Without further ado, let us go through the two main things.

Follow What The Prophet (Pbuh) Brought And Adhering To It

The first thing is to follow what the Prophet (PBUH) brought, and to persevere in adhering to it.

In other words, to attain high status before Allah, (SWT), He has outlined a condition that must be met, which is to follow that which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) brought. Allah (the exalt) says:

“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful’” – Aal ‘Imraan 3:31

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has enjoined us to follow the Messenger, obey him, take him as an ally and love him, and has enjoined that Allah and His Messenger should be dearer to us than all others. He has guaranteed that, through obedience to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and loving him, we may attain the love and honour of Allah.

Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful’” – Aal ‘Imraan 3:31

“And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided” – An-Noor 24:54

“And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted by Him to gardens [in Paradise] under which rivers flow, abiding eternally therein; and that is the great attainment” an-Nisa 4:13.

And there are many similar verses in the Qur’an. No one has the right to drift away from that which is established in the Sunnah, stated in the teachings of Islam, proven in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and was what the early generations of the ummah adhered to.

From Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (1/334).

It is also worth noting that, since the first step in following the prophet is to learn about Islam, we must acquire such knowledge from authentic sources while staying focus in doing so.

They Follow The Prophet (Pbuh) With Sincerity That Is Not Contaminated

The second thing is the way in which they followed the Prophet (PBUH), with sincerity that was not contaminated with any corrupt intention, and with certain faith that was not mixed with any doubt.

When they learned what the Prophet (PBUH) brought, they learned it sincerely, and with steadfast faith. Likewise, when they acted upon what they had learned, they were entirely sincere in that, and they strove against their evil inclinations, against the impulse to show off, against aiming for worldly gain by means.

Allah (SWT) said:

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true” at-Tawbah 9:119

Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan as-Sa ‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“and be with those who are true” that is, those who are true in word, deed and conduct, those whose words are true and whose deeds and conduct cannot be but based on truth, devoid of laziness and apathy, free of bad intentions, and based on sincerity and good intentions. For truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise.

Allah, may He be exalted, says elsewhere: “This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness” al-Maa’idah 5:119

From Tafseer as-Sa‘di (p. 355).

Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Virtue cannot be attained by doing a lot of physical deeds; rather it is attained by making those deeds sincerely for Allah, may He be glorified and exalted; by making them sound and correct in accordance with the Sunnah; and by making one’s emotions and feelings in the heart sincere and connected to Allah.

The one who has more knowledge of Allah, and of His religion and its rulings and teachings, and has more fear of Him, love of Him and hope in Him, is better than one who is not like that, even if the latter does a lot of righteous deeds and physical actions.

Hence some of the early generations said: Abu Bakr did not surpass them by fasting and praying a great deal, rather it was by means of something that he had in his heart… Mention was made to Abu Sulaymaan of how long the Children of Israel lived and how hard they strove in doing righteous deeds, and that some of the people envied them for that.

He said: All that Allah wants of you is the sincerity of intention, and sincerely seeking that which is with Him – or words to that effect.

Ibn Mas‘ood said to his companions: You fast and pray more than the companions of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), yet they were better than you.

They said: Why is that?

He said: They had less interest than you in worldly gain and a greater desire for the hereafter.

From Majmoo‘ Rasaa’il Ibn Rajab (4/412-413).

In conclusion, how the salaf attained a high level of strong faith could be summarized into two, (1) Follow what the Prophet (PBUH) brought And adhering to it and (2) They follow the prophet (PBUH) with sincerity that is not contaminated. That said, by following their footstep we should be able to attain a strong and high level of faith.

As a quick tip, read through the salafs’ biography to know how they live their life, you will find something you will need in it.

And Allah knows best.


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