Yaqeen is often translated as certainty in God, and this comprises many aspects. Most simply it is certainty in God’s existence, but also certainty in God’s power, attributes and promises.
Allah describes in the Qur’an:
الٓمٓ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْكِتَٰبُ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
“Alif Lam Mim. This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God, who believe in the unseen, keep up the prayer, and give out of what We have provided for them;” (Surat Al Baqara, 2:1-3)
Certainty provides the basis of our relationship with Allah; if we have true certainty in our hearts, we train ourselves to see the wisdom in Allah’s dealings and indeed as a result will have contentment. This is also why it is important to know Allah’s Names; when we immerse ourselves in their meanings and how Allah manifests them in our lives, we cannot but increase in certainty and hope.
We might say “well yes of course we have certainty, we are believers after all”, but certainty comes at many levels. Below are some of the ways in which our certainty is tested and/or reaffirmed:
1- Certainty in the power of Allah over all things
“أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
“… Do you not know that God has power over everything?” (Surat Al Baqara, 2:106)
When we look at problems that are seemingly intractable, do we give up on them? Do we have more faith in humans than we do in God? When we look at both domestic and global situations and injustice, and look at the bias of many states and the way they are responsible for the continuation for these injustices, some people say “well, what can we do? they are too powerful”. However, we should remind ourselves that Allah is more powerful. We need to look at history in light of our knowledge of Allah; how world powers have come and gone. We should also recognize our duties; recognizing Allah’s power doesn’t mean we forget our own responsibilities of standing up to injustice. Rather our certainty in the power of God should inspire us that there can be change, but in order for that to come, we must follow the ethics and rules laid out by this religion.
ٱدْعُونِىٓ أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ
“‘Call on Me and I will answer you…” (Surat Ghafir, 40:60)
Certainty in du’a has been the topic of many articles, circles and islamic lectures. If we see that the answer to our du’a is delayed, do we despair, or stop making du’a, or believe that Allah will not respond? This is a lack of certainty in Allah’s promise and words. We need to be persistent, and have complete faith in the answer while constantly re-assessing our state.
3- When someone shakes our faith
Knowledge isn’t necessarily a pre-requisite for certainty. It was reported that Imam Al Ghazali once visited a village and passed by an old lady, who didn’t know who he was. A man who saw this went and told the old lady “Do you not know who this man is? He is Imam Al Ghazali!” and she responded “and who is that?”. The man was shocked and replied “He is the great scholar! He has found 99 proofs for the existence of Allah” And she said “And does Allah need someone to ‘find’ proof?”
But in this day and age, Muslims are sometimes with faced with many challenges, both internal and external. If we find ourselves having doubt in Allah, His existence and/or attributes, we should know that we should increase in knowledge. Many people do not know enough about their own religion and this is why they are susceptible to doubt. Moreover, our religion is one that commands us to think, reflect and contemplate.
4- With tests
Sometimes we are tested; a calamity afflicts us, the response to our du’a is delayed, we work hard but fail to see results. But the answer is in the Qur’an- Allah tells us that “certainly with hardship there is ease” and “Allah will make after hardship ease” and “Allah is with the patient”. Tests are in order to purify us, to raise our station, and perhaps a blessing in disguise. Remember that whatever pain we have is temporary, and everything is from Allah. If when we are tested we turn to Allah, it shows that we have certainty in Him; however, if we find that these tests take us away from Allah, then our certainty is lacking.
May Allah keep us firm in this religion and increase us in certainty.