The incidents of the saints – A means of strengthening the faith
The populace studies the lives of the saints, learns from the lives that they have led and try to make their lives successful for this world and for the next. Shaykh Ul Islam Imam Muhammad Anwaarullah Farooqui (May Allah shower His mercy on him), the founder of Jamia Nizamia writes about studying, reading, listening to the lives of the saints:
Translation: First, think of strengthening your faith. The only way to do this is to study the lives of the saints, the elders of our religion, so that one thinks of one’s lapses in the face of such greatness and a zeal is created and as per the verse (Surah Hood-24). For a person hears about his (or her) elders only to accept it and whomever he finds the greatest and most distinguished among them, he loves them the more and desires to attain their character and attributes.
This is the reason that when the Arabs had to enthuse and excite a tribe, the poets and speakers would describe the achievements of their predecessors and forefathers to them, which would provoke the whole tribe into battle where they would set new milestones of bravery. They hear the achievements of their elders and resolve to walk alongside them and don’t care about their lives even as love eases following in the footsteps of the beloved. In the same way, if the speakers instill the zeal and achievements of the elders in the hearts and minds of Muslims and describe their character and attributes which resulted in that grandeur and achievements, then naturally they will desire following and attaining that character. The least effect will be that they will regret their own blameworthy attributes and this regret is not a small thing! It is but the foreword of true repentance. Thus, there is nothing better for Muslims than the mention of miracles! (Maqasid Ul Islam Vol. 7, Pg. No. 181/182)