- Barukh Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha`olam… (Budhism)
- In the name of the father, the son and the spirit. (Christianity)
- Om Hari Om. (Hinduism)
- Aum Mani Padme Hum. (Judaism)
- Wahe Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Ji Ki Fateh. (Sikhism)
- Bismillah Hir Rahmanir Rahim. (Islam)
All faithfuls invoke the blessings of their Lord Almighty before they start anything. I have done it on behalf all my readers before they go through this blog. In addition I request you to take a journey to some of the places of worship which have been beautifully captured by Jafar.
Al Aqsa Mosque
The Wailing Wall, Israel
Temple. South Korea
Temple in Nepal
Webster defines faith as “Belief without proof.”
What is knowledge? “An acquaintance with truth, facts or principles through study or investigation.”
The non believers contend that faith is the power of believing what you know is not true or an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. Those with moderate convictions suggest that faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof, or belief without need of certain proof.
Assuming their contentions to be correct then faith is something based on little substantive proof, or, for that matter, no proof at all. Faith also allows men to act like they know something when, in fact, they do not. Further, at best faith is a probability proposition that may, or may not, have anything to do with truth. And, faith is seen as an entity composed of a small amount of knowledge and a big dose of uncertainty
However, we are asked to believe that faith is an “assumption” made by a person who simply desires to believe something, while our scriptures impress on us on the fact that knowledge is an integral part of faith, and that faith is not merely an “educated guess” or unfounded assumption.
Faith then is belief ? Yes, to most it is. Does it center on the beliefs that our scriptures propagate? Is it weak. “I believe I will win the match tomorrow”; it is an opinion which is hoped to be true, and thus believed to be true, it nevertheless cannot be proved. Or strong belief referring primarily to a judgment that something is true, “I believe the guilty verdict in that the criminal trial is correct and just,” because I am able to present factual reasons for my belief, based upon available evidence.
Then what is the relationship between faith and knowledge? Does faith somehow rule out “knowing”? Can one both “know” and “have faith” at the same time, or is it an either/or proposition? Is faith to be set in opposition to knowledge or evidence, as though the more one knows the less faith he needs? A false concept when faith is knowledge-based. As one gains knowledge of the truth, he is then in a position to engage his will and commit himself to the requirements of that knowledge.
Faith is usually a product of desire due to which even smart people have gotten lost out or are fleeced because they ignored the evidence and went with their feelings. Knowledge, on the other hand, is based on evidence. We know about China because we use the products in our house saying “made in China.” This is an obvious evidence of the existence of China, even though most of us have never been there.
“Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth?” [Quran, 57:16]
This verse tells us that it is not enough to simply know in your head, intellectually, that God is the Controller of everything. You must know it in your heart! This knowledge is much more profound than an intellectual knowledge.
From our childhood we have learnt that 4 + 4= 8, and this knowledge is agreed to by humanity in general is the result of BELIEVING it to be true. It could just as easily believe 4+4= 6 and be considered knowledge if generally accepted. For it to be accepted as knowledge, their must be consensual belief that it is so. So, the conclusion we can reach is: knowledge, whether true or false, is not the same as TRUTH or ACTUALITY.
We once believed the earth is flat. That was the knowledge we held, it has been proven false and been replaced by a BELIEF that the earth is more or less spherical in shape.
An agnostic BELIEVES he does not know whether or not God exists. His belief has no bearing on truth, actuality, or accepted knowledge as God either does or does not exist regardless what the agnostic holds to be true knowledge. On the other hand an atheist though is certain as he KNOWS God does not exist because he believes it and therefore he knows it is so. Like the agnostic’s position, his position has no bearing whatsoever on truth or actuality. God either does or does not exist regardless of what the atheist holds to be true knowledge.
Whereas the believer is certain that God exists and therefore he KNOWS there is a Supreme Deity. His belief has no bearing on whether or not God exists. God either does or does not exist regardless of what he holds to be true knowledge. He wants us to think rationally about the world, our role in it, and our relationship with God.
During my formative years faith and belief did take a backseat; probably due to my upbringing and the prevalent environment. I was made to engage mainly in search of knowledge all the way.
Do have a glimpse of pictures of a few educational institutions as captured by Jafar during his visits to them.
School in London
Cornell University in USA (3 pictures)
(Jafar is an Alumni)
Self gaining knowledge after retirement. The videos are my attempt.
Temple on the banks of Nile Egypt
Another Temple on the banks of Nile
Glass Shop in Luxor, Egypt
Real Estate show room in Dubai
Though rather late, I now agree that,
“My reason nourishes my faith and my faith my reason.”
Thank you Jafar Shameem
Readers may log on to http://www.jafar.com and enjoy photographs captured by him during his travels across the globe.
2 thoughts on “Faith and Knowledge”
Quite a few also make God and fate/luck as synonyms. What you cant understand with your knowledge falls in realm of faith. There are a lot of things we cant understand. Our body functions especially the mind/brain. Who created such a masterpiece?
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Thank you Ajay. Yes very few appreciate that it is our mind/brain which is responsible for our survival! However, who and why, this knowledge has yet to be acquired! Though the apparent explanations are voiced by many, but falls short of evidence!