Many times the word إيمان ‘Eman’ is casually translated into “faith” without one having a deep understanding of what it implies. This word comes from ء م ن, which literally means “safety, security, and guarantee.” Security from our own bad thoughts, from punishment because of our sins, from committing what God has told us to stay away from, from doubt, and from living a purposeless life, etc. Another word which has the same root is أمانة ‘amaanah’ which is a “trust.” Anytime someone shares a secret with you, asks you to hold some money, or watch over an item, your job is to keep it secure and safe from harm. And of course, that security isn’t guaranteed with simple thoughts and words, but demonstrating it with your actions; hence إيمان is coupled with عمل الصالح (see below) all throughout the Qurʾān.
The concept of عمل الصالح is many times seen as ‘doing a good deed’ and nothing more. The root of صالح is ص ل ح, which means to “rectify, make good, and thrive.” The bare minimum of عمل الصالح would be to do anything good, but the real goal is to take whatever action you are doing and maximize its benefit to reach all those around you. The end in all is to fix that which is broken and help it thrive to its full potential. Hence, part of increasing one’s إيمان has been attributed to removing an object on a road/path, because you are taking an initiative to fulfill your faith by clearing something which could be a hindrance to others on the road.
The ancient Arabs never had one definition for a word. Each word has a story to tell, a lesson to enact, and a parable to consider. Down to even having a reason it’s pronounced in a certain way. If you open an Arabic dictionary, each word has close to a paragraph in English to simply define the word! Brothers and sisters, welcome to the world of Arabic! May Allāh strengthen our إيمان and make us of those who are true to لاإله إلاّ الله محمد رسول الله.