I was watching this video; a TED talk featuring Lezley Hazelton. She was using the evidence of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to prove an argument: "Doubt is essential to faith". Now, of course, she used the hadith where she was talking about how the prophet (pbuh) himself was so hesitant to the truth after encountering Gabriel in the cave and was relating it to doubt. I mean I understand that given any human being will be startled to non-belief after seeing something impossible happen right in front of their eyes.

I was watching another video by Dr Shabbir Ally, where he was talking about the certainty in faith. He was saying, how can't achieve absolute certainty in faith, cuz faith is all about trusting the unseen and that one can grow closer to certainty by clearing out doubts, reading books and learning more about Islam but never an absolute certainty like the prophets or the sahaba, cuz they witnessed miracles, therefore, the impossible and the unseen.

So how exactly do we define FAITH in Islam? Is Shabbir Ally right or wrong? Can we say Faith means to have certainty in Allah's existence or does it mean to believe in the certainty of Allah's existence.

After seeing both of this video, I am still kinda in confusion as to how we define faith in Islam. Cuz Allah in his holy book constantly talks about eradicating doubt and having to move towards being in a state of having no shadow of a doubt. Although it might be difficult, that's what this world is for; a test of faith.

  • As per Islam, having faith means being certain in your beliefs, with no room for doubt (a category of disbelief). Lezley Hazelton's example of the Prophet (ﷺ) and his first encounter with Gabriel doesn't demonstrate uncertainty in faith/beliefs, rather it only demonstrates uncertainty of how to interpret a situation that was never experienced before. As for Shabir Ally, he's implying there are levels of certainty but this can be the case without there being any "doubt" involved. – Muslimah يا رب العالمين Apr 4 at 1:14
  • @Muslimahياربالعالمين I may agree on your first point. Cuz our prophet knew what he saw, but couldn't really understand it that's why in the hadith he was in distress as if he was seeing illusions (or smth like that, if I am not mistaken). But with regards to Dr Shabbir, he clearly didn't talk about the llevels of certainity. He explicitly mentions, faith itself can't be certainity, no one can reach absolute certainity...one can always move closer to it. Cuz to have certaininity u have to see observe detect...but here u are having to deal with none of that. – EPIC Tube HD Apr 5 at 3:50
  • Becuz faith fundamenally means to trust, trust that God will help ya out and etc etc. But I think the real thing we're dealing with here, is belief...in GOD. Now, having to believe can very well be certain IMO, cuz u can very well use reason as a way to earn some certainnity with the need of seeing or detecting. Please do reply, if u have any other thoughts....on what I just said. – EPIC Tube HD Apr 5 at 3:53
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    Well, what is his evidence from the Qur'an/Sunnah? I'm not aware of any such evidence that lesser certainty involves doubt or that doubt is even part of faith, SubhanAllah. Even Prophet Ibrahim (as) asked Allah for a sign [to have stronger faith/certainty] and Allah asked "why, do you disbelieve"? because any "doubt" would mean he disbelieved. But rather, he affirmed that he believed but wanted to be firmer in faith through seeing a sign. – Muslimah يا رب العالمين Apr 6 at 4:26
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    Islam is not blind faith or blind trust; it is trust based on proofs and evidences.. through which we have certainty. – Muslimah يا رب العالمين Apr 6 at 4:33

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