A student studies hard for his final examinations, researching in libraries, practicing past papers and revising his notes because he wants a university degree that will help advance his career. A businessman invests much of his time, energy and money into a commercial venture in the hope of large profits in the future. A farmer ploughs his land, sows it, waters it and tends it regularly in the hope of a good harvest. They all know that success does not come down on a plate but has to be achieved through hard work. Man does certain things in life for certain results, and he avoids other acts because of their consequences. An adult will not put his hand into a naked flame because he knows that fire burns, but a child will do so as he is unaware of the consequences. The most important Belief and Knowledge that should dictate our actions is that Allah Almighty exists, that He is the Creator and Provider, and that none can benefit nor harm us except with His permission. If a person’s Iman (faith) in Allah is firm and unyielding, he will be able to direct all his worship and obedience to Allah and will feel no fear of false deities or worldly powers.
Consider the encounter of Pharaoh’s court magicians with Prophet Musa (AS) as described in the Quran. Before meeting the Prophet, they pleaded with Pharaoh for a substantial reward were they to defeat Musa in a duel using magic. “So the sorcerers came to Pharaoh and said, ‘Of course we shall have a suitable reward if we win.’ ” (Surah Al A’raaf 113)
Pharaoh accepted their plea and promised them not only a reward but also positions at court. When the encounter with Musa (AS) began, the magicians realized quickly that while their own display was simple magic, Musa’s (AS) display was extraordinary and much more than any human could conjure up. So overawed were they by Musa’s ( AS) miracles that they all fell down in sajda saying,
“We believe in the Lord of the Worlds. The Lord of Musa and Harun.” (Surah Ta Ha, 70)
Pharaoh was stunned by their declaration of faith in Allah and shouted:
“Have you believed in Him before I gave you permission? … Be sure, I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and then I will crucify you on trunks of palm trees. So shall you know which of us can give the more severe and lasting punishment.” (Surah Ta Ha, 71)
These threats did not frighten the magicians. These men who had just been begging Pharaoh for more gold coins now became so fearless because of their faith in Allah that they answered him back easily.
“Never shall we prefer you over the Clear Signs that have come to us and Him who has created us. So decree whatever you wish to decree. For you can only decree concerning the matters of this world. We have believed in our Lord; may He forgive us our faults and the magic to which you did compel us, for Allah is the Best and forever abiding.” (Surah Ta Ha, 72-73)