Hazrat Inayat : Faith pt II

We continue with the series of teachings by Hazrat Inayat Khan on faith. The first post in this sequence may be found here.

We are here to fulfil the purpose of our life. What is that purpose? Our desire, our inclination which is constantly at work in our mind, that is the purpose of our life. If we are unable to fulfil that inclination, we go from this world without accomplishing our purpose. As Omar Khayyam says, ‘Heaven is the vision of fulfilled desire; Hell is the shadow of a soul on fire’. If the desires are not fulfilled, the soul is naturally on fire. But there is no reason why the desire should not be fulfilled; the very existence of a desire promises its fulfillment. In the heart of man is the desire of God. The Qur’an says that without the will of God, not even a single atom can move. This shows that every wave of thought and feeling, every motion and action is from God. Every thought that comes to our mind is God’s thought, even if it appears to be a thought of everyday life in the world.

 Once man realizes that every activity and impulse that comes into his mind is really from God, from that time he feels that it must be fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled, it is man’s limitation that is the cause of its hindrance; he has allowed his weakness to hinder its accomplishment. It is man’s lack of faith that generally causes failures. In faith is the secret of fulfillment or non-fulfillment of every thought. There is no doubt about the fulfillment of a desire if man’s faith works with it, but when one’s own reason and doubt come and destroy the hope, one generally meets with failure.

What an important part faith plays in life! Can there be anything equal to it? In the Arabic language it is called Iman. The whole of religion is faith, however much people have called the separate religions faiths. Faith itself is a religion.

 Does this mean that one is to believe and trust anyone blindly? Would not that be a blind faith? Would it not be obscuring the reason, the power of discrimination between right and wrong, between possible and impossible? Suppose a person says you are going to be a king, and you believe it, this would be a blind faith, since there is no possibility of its being realized; still more impossible would it be to believe if he said, ‘You are a king’, when you see no sign of kingship in your life, but rather the contrary!

But the point is that the first lesson to be learnt is to have faith in oneself. How many among us there are who have no faith in themselves! It is this very lack that makes them have no faith in others. Once a person has faith in himself, he can have faith in others also. For instance, if one feels a person to be good and spiritual, what does it matter if the whole world does not think the same? But if somebody says, ‘I do not know, perhaps the other person thinks right, and I do not’, then he has no faith. He does not know what faith is. He may have faith in a man, and yet, as the days go on, the time comes when he will lose it. A person who does not believe in himself cannot believe in anybody else, and is really an unbeliever. Faith must begin within. Belief in oneself should be so strong that even if a thousand people say ‘no’, one will say ‘yes’. To look to others for every opinion, not trusting oneself to say whether it is day or night, is to end by not only distrusting others, but by developing a kind of insanity.

Faith means self-confidence. The secret of faith is that it can be used as a medicine, and it will be better than medicine; it can be wealth, and greater than wealth; it can be a religion, and greater than religion; happiness, and greater than happiness. For nothing can buy or sell faith. If there is anything that can be called the grace of God, it is faith and self-confidence. It is something one can neither teach nor develop; it must be in one, and one can only strengthen it by loving it, by enjoying it.   It must develop by itself.

Faith is in fact a power operating all through our lives, and imparted to us from the time of our birth. This power is obscured as soon as reason is developed, which occurs during the process of acquiring the knowledge needed for merely maintaining life; and then one loses one’s self-confidence as well as one’s confidence in others. This is doubt, which is the greatest enemy of the soul in its progress towards self-realization. It is removed as soon as one perceives that faith is really a power from God, by which He seeks to express Himself through the individual.

To be continued…

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