Certainty or conviction is a decisive, stable, mental state in accordance with reality and unperishable which gives peace and quiet to the man of conviction, this conviction being related to knowledge about God or related to other matters of belief.
This kind of conviction which is beyond the usual belief and knowledge and in Khwaja Nasr’s understanding of the term, consists of two kinds of knowledge: the knowledge of what is known, and the knowledge that its converse is impossible. It is in fact, the source of strength in human spirit, and this is emphasized by Imam ‘Ali (as).
The Importance And Value Of Certainty
Certainty or conviction is a valuable capital which is given to only few people. Anybody possessing this, enjoys great prosperity.
Imam Reza (as) has stated:
“Faith is one degree above Islam; God-wariness is one degree above faith. Certainty is one degree above God-wariness. Nothing less than certainty is divided among God’s believers”
The narrator says: I heard Imam as-Sadiq (as) saying:
“Indeed, a small act based on certainty that is performed continually, is better before God than abundant actions not based on certainty”
He also said:
“With his justice and fairness, God has put tranquility and ease in certainty and satisfaction, and has put sorrow and grief in doubt and displeasure”.
Types Of Certainty
Certainty has degrees. These degrees are referred to in the Qur’an as”certain knowledge”, to see with the “eye of certainty” and “certain truth”.
The verses 5 and 7 of Surah al-Takathur: “Nay! If you had known with certain knowledge, you should most certainly have seen Hell; then you shall most certainly see it with the eye of certainty”
“كَلَّالَوْتَعْلَمُونَعِلْمَالْيَقِينِ … ثُمَّلَتَرَوْنَهَاعَيْنَالْيَقِينِ”
refer to the first and second degrees respectively and verse 95 of Surah al-Waqi’ah:
” إِنَّهَذَالَهُوَحَقُّالْيَقِينِ ”
“..Most surely this is a certain truth,” refers to the third degree of conviction.
‘Ilm Al-Yaqin (Certain Knowledge)
This is reasoning-based certainty. It is reached through reasoning with majors and minors. For instance, we are convinced that fire exists when we observe the smoke, or the reasoning which takes place to prove God’s existence
“We will soon show them Our signs in the universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth”.
‘Ayn Al-Yaqin [To See With The Eye Of Certainty]
This is conviction derived by observing the thing itself: for example, observing the fire itself.
Haqq Al-Yaqin [Certain Truth]
This kind of conviction is arrived by touching the thing itself, i.e., a connection to the thing and adopting its characteristics, for instance, entering the fire and feeling its heat or extinction in God, and dissipation in His love.
In the sanctified tradition we read:
“My servant does not approach Me with anything dearer to Me than what I have made incumbent on him. He continues to approach Me through supererogatory acts until I love him. When I love him, I become his hearing through which he hears, his sight through which he sees, his tongue through which he speaks and his hand through which he strikes. If he calls on me I answer him, and if he asks me I give him.”