Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I March 22, 2015
Faith is not something frozen and static, like a stone. Rather, it is a living reality. Faith can continuously increase. According to the Quran (48:4), God gives confidence to the hearts of the believers "to increase and strengthen their faith". This increase in one's faith comes about through reflection. The believer continuously reflects on the Quran and the signs of God, and in this way discovers ever new aspects of faith. Through these discoveries, his faith and conviction continuously increase.
To illustrate this point, consider the case of solar and lunar eclipses. Even thousands of years ago, when people observed them with their naked eyes and reflected on them, they helped to increase their faith. These phenomena provoked them to wonder how powerful God must be to be able to draw a curtain of darkness over these giant globes of light, and then to draw back these curtains after a while. This helped them increase their faith in God.
The invention of the telescope in modern times gave a great boost to the possibility of increasing one's faith through observation of such phenomena. When solar and lunar eclipses were studied through telescopes, they showed themselves to be amazing illustrations of the power of God. Using telescopes, it was found that eclipses were occasioned by the alignment of three moving bodies of different sizes at a particular point in time in space. This fact has been alluded to in the following verse of the Quran: "We shall show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves" (41:53).
A person is blessed with experiences of increased faith when he develops in himself creative thinking by continually pondering and reflecting over the signs of God in the Quran and the phenomena of nature.