How are people deceived in faith issues?
Ever since the first human being Adam (peace be upon him), humanity has walked through two opposite paths and this will continue until the Day of Judgment. One of those paths is faith and conversion. The other path is blasphemy and going astray.
When looked through the light of fairness and conscience, it can be obvious that all the beauty, the good, the perfections, the tranquility, and the happiness are in the path of faith. All the ugliness, the destruction and the aggression is in the path of blasphemy.
This polarization and opposition in the outer world also takes place in the human’s inner worlds. There is conflict with feelings and emotions. The heart, the mind, and the conscience urge humans into the path of faith. The self, the desires and groundless fear lead one to the path of blasphemy. A person’s inner world is the stage to these kinds of conflicts all the time. The person leans to the side, which has more weight.
We will point out the important reasons, which can lead one into blasphemy and going astray:
The most important motive, which has led people into blasphemy, is ignorance. The most important reason is ignorance even if the person is a space scientist. The ignorance meant here is the lack of judgment concerning the reasons for the being of all things. In other words, it is thinking simple and superficial.
Another reason for ignorance is bigotry and mocking.This has been one of the biggest obstacles faced by the prophets when they were inviting people to the faith and belief in Divine Unity. They seriously struggled with the bigotry of the people and their insensible adherence to their ancestor’s perverted beliefs. The Quran has emphasized this and it stresses that it is wrong.
They asked Amr Ben As: “You are a smart person. What took you so long to accept Islam?” His answer is thoughtful and it sheds light on this topic:
“We used to live in a community where the old and experienced previous generation had the say. They followed a path between mountains facing each other. We followed them until we got there. They denied the Prophet (PBUH) and we denied him also. We never thought about what we did. We just imitated them. When they died, we were left to think for ourselves. When we looked at the prophet and saw the truth in it, the love of Islam came to our hearts…”
This has not changed today’s world. The contemporary deniers take some person whom they believe is superior to them and they blindly follow the principles, doctrines, and ideologies of that person.
2. Arrogance and Vanity
Arrogance is the second obstacle for people from going down the path of faith. It is the reason why Satan deviated from Gods path and he was expelled from God’s mercy.
Arrogance is the feeling to see oneself superior. Arrogance should be used, on behalf of God, for being superior to the deniers and not bowing for anybody to protect the glory of faith. Thoughtlessness and absentmindedness, though, causes people to go astray and rebel against God and His prophet (PBUH). Likewise, it was the arrogance of Nimrod and the Pharaohs that made them claim greatness against God. In addition, arrogance made Abu Jahal claim superiority against Muhammad (PBUH).
3. Emotional Blunders and Wrong Evaluations (Enharaf)
Another reason people go into blasphemy is the blunder of emotions called Enharaf. It is similar to seeing an object in water as broken, judging by that and basing ones opinions on that. Bediuzzaman states this in the following way:
“Since by nature man is noble, he seeks the truth. Sometimes he encounters the false, but supposing it to be the truth preserves it in his heart. Then, when delving into reality, without his willing it, misguidance strikes him on the head; supposing it to be reality, he plunges his head into it.“
There are many reasons why a person would make the Enharaf mistake that leads him to denial. Some of the important ones are:
a- Engaging constantly in the material world problems estranges people from the spirituality. It makes people blind to the faith truths.
b- An important reason to be mistaken and deny is comparing God Almighty to His creations. Everything was created by Him. The master will not look like his works and so the Creator of this universe will not resemble the universe.
c- Dismissing that mind may not be able to grasp the true nature of faith issues due to their exalted status. Knowing the existence of something is one thing, knowing its true nature is another thing. There are many things in this universe, which we do not know the true nature of them whereas we are sure of their existence. Not knowing the true nature of something does not entitle us to deny its existence. Similarly, not knowing the true nature of God Almighty, the angels, Heaven and Hell does not allow us to deny their existence.
d- The abundance of the nonbelievers and their consensus of denying on faith issues is another reason why people go astray. The important thing, however, is not in quantity. While animals are much more in numbers compared to humans, humans hold sway over them.
e- Not referring to the views of the experts in the area… No matter how well learned a person is in a certain field; his/her words are not valid in another field in which he/she is not well informed. For example, a good engineer’s opinions are not valid in diagnosing a medical illness. The same is true for spiritual concepts. The denials of certain people are not valid because they are alienated from spiritual concepts, their minds have descended to their eyes, and their perception in spiritual subjects has decreased substantially to the fact that they engaged in material things too much. The 124 thousand prophets, led by Muhammad (PBUH) and the religious scholars through the centuries are experts in the faith related issues. Their words are valid in those areas.
4. Addiction to sins
Every sin committed, makes a wound in the heart and soul of humans and it starts to darken the light of faith. As people insist on sinning, their hearts loose the light of faith altogether. Therefore, there is a path to the denial of God in every sin.
If the sin is not cleaned with repentance right away, it might cover the whole heart and lead into blasphemy.