Sometimes we mix belief with hypocrisy and I don't mean anyone else when I say this since it's a reminder to myself first then to others inshAllaah.
So what is belief? The word Belief can be synonymous to certainty, when we are certain about something we call it belief. A lot of things around us are taken for granted (in eg.cars,keys,cats,dogs etc.)whereas the Islamic belief is based on an entity who is beyond any form or likeness. Therefore, to say that 'we believe' is not as easy a thing as it may sound to us. Because to really believe we must attain certainty that HE exists.
However, Allah being the Most Merciful has made it easier for His slaves. In the Qur'an He has talked about different categories of Muslims. Some have actually raised to a level from which they can literally see Paradise or Hell or even God for that matter. Hadhrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) can be a very good example of this, look what he had to say bout his belief- "If either the Paradise or the Hell was brought near to me it would not make a difference....."
Now going back, hypocrisy! It's something which is quite common in the present day Muslims. And the lack of certainty in the existence of Allah actually paves the way for hypocritical behavior. The fundamental problem about this issue is it's really tough for us to reach to a level of the likes of hadhrat ali (m.A.b.p.h). So we have to manage with whatever ability we have inshAllaah to get closer to Allah, The most Merciful. Now let's face it, we do not really have the certainty in the existence of Allah and I believe you'll have to agree with me considering the lack of Muslims in the masjids and even the ones present not experiencing the sweetness of prayer. Yes my dear brothers and sisters, we do believe in Allah and we love Him and We believe in His messengers (M.P.B.U.T.A.) but we have not given the correct estimate to Allah. Why, for instance, we sin proudly yet we don't feel any kind of remorse in our hearts? Trust me oh my brother or sister in Islam, sometimes we are not any better than a disbeliever cause he doesn't know Allah whereas we know Allah yet there is no sign of it. We are disobeying our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, The Fashioner, The Creator of the heavens and the earths. Yet we do not hesitate to say that we love Allah, woe to us!
We have to identify the reality of Allah's existence in our lives. I mean really, Allah wants us to believe and act in addition to that. But we have taken our 'Muslimness' for granted, as if we have a guaranteed ticket to Paradise, no my brothers and sisters it's not your problem alone it's the same with me, a lot of times I do things and later on I regret. However, feeling remorse is a mercy from Allah if you feel remorse then know that it's a sign of imaan/faith. Allah says- my servant has committed a sin and He knows He has a Lord and He has turned to me. Listen to What our Beloved Lord says at the end of His statement, " Do what you do, I will forgive you so long as you do not associate partners with me."
This is a light of hope for us when there is no hope. And I also believe this is an invitation to the non-Muslims to come to know Our Creator, The true God, who Created everyone. The Immense power and Infinite Mercy that He has is Unexplainable, Unimaginable.
For us to really take care of our belief we have to constantly ask Allah for guidance,and don't think just because we are Muslims we are guided and that's it. No absolutely not! If it was that easy then whats the point asking Allah for guidance in prayer at least seventeen times a day?
There is nothing compared to a sincere du'a or supplication. Allah accepts the prayer only if it's sincere and done in accordance to the way of the prophet Rasulullaah(S.a.W.).
I ask Allah to guide us, forgive our sins, accept us as His Mukhlisin or the sincere ones, ameen.
Subhanakallahumma wa bihamdik ashhadu an la ilaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk'.