Tif on Faith by Siham Karami


The following Tif on Faith was featured in our Fall/Winter 2019 issue.

While a “tiff” is defined as a “petty argument”, a “Tif” is anything but petty–it is a short exploration of a deeply meaningful subject.

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To understand what faith is, one must understand the significance of the heart as the dwelling place of the soul or essence of a person. In Islam, the heart is where understanding occurs, possible if one thinks of consciousness as not being confined to the brain, but occupying the whole body and at its nucleus, the heart. There the soul/ consciousness processes thoughts, sensory input, memories, and emotions to form its core beliefs. So in that sense, all human beings have faith in something, and rely on that faith in both forming opinions and decision-making. Indeed the Quran refers to humans as “worshippers,” from the divine perspective, regardless of their beliefs. Having faith, even to atheists who place their faith in empirical things, is hardwired into us. The name “Allah” sounds like the heartbeat; in the Quran this name is often and prominently followed by two names meaning Almighty, All-Merciful, like Yang the Creative and Yin the Receptive. From this, imagine Allah as the heartbeat of the universe, literally pulsing yang/yin of unimaginable energy. Faith in God puts us in tune with that pulse, spawning reverence and compassion in our hearts, filling our lives with meaning and fulfillment.

SIHAM KARAMISIHAM KARAMI’S poetry collection To Love the River (Kelsay Books, 2018) celebrates life as a spiritual pursuit. Her work is published or forthcoming in The Orison Anthology, The Comstock Review, Able Muse, Measure, Presence, The Rumpus, Pleiades, and Tupelo Quarterly Review, among others. Currently, she is working on a chapbook of ghazals which was a finalist in two contests. Visit her blog at sihamkarami.wordpress.com.

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