Believing is very important as it drives the action or behavior of people. Knowing does not result in behavior but belief does. Knowing (knowledge) lies on the brain while believing exists in the heart or soul.
People behave according to what they believe, not what they know. Is it possible that two people who have the same religion have different attitude on the same problem? Is it possible that two people graduating from the same university, studying the same subjects from the same lecturers, have different opinion about the same issue? Is it possible that two religious preacher have different attitude on the same religious issue? Of course it is possible, because they have different beliefs in their hearts. Their knowledge is the same but their beliefs are different.
So, people who have the same background, education, and experience turn out to behave differently upon the same issue. Again, that's because their beliefs are different.
Furthermore, many people do outrageous, unbelievable things that we can't imagine. For example, many people steal, corrupt, abuse the people around them, kill other people simply because of the skin color & race, ruin the environment for gaining lots of profit. Many people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, fornication...and many more… What drives them to do that..? It's their beliefs, not their knowledge. Surely they know that killing, abusing, stealing, corrupting etc are wrongdoings but they still do that. They only 'know' that it is wrong but they don't believe it is wrong.
Belief in someone's heart or soul will determine his behavior, attitude, and action. Morale values that a person has depends on the belief in his heart. The differences in attitude, behavior, morale value, and action are due to differences in people's beliefs in their hearts.
However, why African tiger has the same behavior with Sumatran tiger? Why elephants all over the world have the same behavior? Of course it's the same… Animals don't have heart or soul!
A person needs the right beliefs so that his attitude is right as well. But what sort of belief that a person must have in his heart? What is the criteria for the right, flawless belief? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "I leave you two thing in which if you hold on tight on them, you will never get lost. Those two things are Kitabullah (Al Qur'an) and my sunnah (Prophet's way of life and sayings)."
So, what a person needs is beliefs that are in accordance with the Qur'an and the Prophet's sayings and his way of life. Those beliefs are called Godly beliefs. The more Godly beliefs a person has, the stronger,healthier, and cleaner soul he has. Having the right beliefs in our soul will lead to noble behavior. Having the wrong beliefs in our soul will lead to sinful behavior.
Some examples of Godly beliefs as contained in the Qur'an are:
- The prosperity of every person is different. God doesn't give the same prosperity to people around us. If a person has this belief, he will not be jealous of other people's fortune. Allah (God) says in the Qur'an chapter 4 verse 32: "And in no wise covet those things in which God hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others…"
There is only one God worthy of worship. If a person has this belief in his heart, he will not worship other than God (Allah) alone. God says: “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him…” (ch.4:36)
Being kind is God's command. If a person believes it he will stay away from cruelty. God says: "…and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.” (ch. 4:36)
Ruining the environment is against God's will. If a person has this belief, he will take care of the environment. God says: "And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation." (ch. 7:56)
- Convert to other religion equals hell. If a person has this belief, he will not desire to change his own religion and he will not allow his family members to convert. God says: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to God), never will it be accepted of him and in the hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)." (ch. 3:85)
- God's decision is always good. If a person has this belief, he will not complain, he will not be sad, and he won't be disappointed if bad things happen to him. God says in chapter 41 verse 46: "…nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His servants." Furthermore, chapter 2 verse 216: "…But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not."
- Whoever holds his anger, heaven is the reward. If a person has this belief, he will never be angry at all and he has no problem in not getting angry. God says: "And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the heaven." (ch. 79:40-41)
Backbiting & negative assumptions are sinful. If a person believe it, he will not gossip and avoid prejudice. God says: "O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful." (ch. 49:12)
…and there are many more of Godly beliefs. The Qur'an consists of 6,236 verses. It is equal to 6,236 Godly beliefs.
So, it is clear that having Godly beliefs, as many as possible, is very important as such beliefs can calm down the lower desires of human being and can deflect the provocation of satan. If a person has wrong beliefs in his heart, then his attitude and behavior will also be wrong and that's very dangerous. If a person has wrong knowledge, to some extent, it is still tolerable as knowledge doesn't determine behavior/attitude/action. It is the belief that forms the behavior.
Gaining knowledge is important… But gaining Godly beliefs is more important…!
Faith without knowledge is like light in the hands of a baby… knowledge without faith is like light in the hands of a thief…
Knowledge without action is like lightning and thunder without rain (saying of Prophet Muhammad)
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