How often does doubt about Allah, Islam and the unity of Allah knock on your heart. It is most often if you move in the company of the “educated”. The higher the human beings climb on the ladder of success and education the higher their titer of arrogance and delving into questioning Allah, His existence and even His abilities to create. (May Allah protect us all from this).
If we have the fortune or misfortune to move in a professional and personal environment (in person or via electronic media, websites etc) where such people exist whose eloquence in their heedlessness is convincing at a rational level, we must recognize where they are coming from and instead of arguing we should first protect our self.
A corollary is that if there are bombs falling around you and you have an innocent baby in your arms you will first seek safety before you retaliate. Your spirituality is pure and innocent like the newborn babe in your arms and can be easily injured if not protected with the word of Allah.
Thus is the scenario where you are with these sophisticated, attractive (in the worldly sense) eloquent, well read people and they are mouthing off shirk wrapped in a beautiful gift package. It is only after listening to their arguments and on unwrapping the package they are presenting so beautifully in their eloquence that you realize that it is vile and it is shirk. However by then the seeds of doubt have been sown even if you do not accept the final package.
Emaan we are reminded is a titer that goes up and down depending on how and what we do and what we expose ourselves to and what attempts we make in our daily living to get close to Allah.
In this process our “rational” thinking is being recruited and our heart is being anaesthetized so that when shaitaan enters it the process would be painless and ………….too late.
“Rational thinking” is the buzzword in the sophisticated intelligentsia of the world. Translated into normal understanding in the wider sense of the world of Allah it is the finite thinking through a small intellect which was created by Allah in the human so that it could recognize, wonder, and enjoy the many bounties of the world it lives in and give thanks to The Creator.
However when one is ungrateful and forgetful of whom to thank for the bounties we receive both materially and intellectually is when arrogance enters the heart and the Nafs and shaitaan ride the human being. They ride him like a wild horse and he thinks that all that he gallops on is the entire world and he is knowledgeable of ALL.
Surah Hadeed was revealed to introduce the Muslims to the inner world of spirituality that could connect them to the Force of Allah while standing on a burning plateau in this world. Irrespective of time, place and person one can spiritually be with Allah.
It is about Surah Hadeed that RasulAllah said (riwaya from Abu dawud and Tirmizi) :
“there is one ayah in surah Hadeed that is more (superior) afzal than 1000 ayahs”
هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٣﴾
He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward; and He is Knower of all things.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM DOUBTS ABOUT YOUR DEEN:
Ibn Abbas says that if someone puts doubt (waswasa) in your heart about your Deen, or Allah then silently recite this to yourself.
If people are assailed by doubts then the treatment is to recite this ayah.
Allah knows best!
Acknowledgment: The hadiths and tafseer is summarized from the tafseer of the Quran by Dr. Farhat Hashmi (alhudapk.com)