Friday, 23 May 2008

"There is none worthy of worship except Allah.”

Praise belongs to Allah alone; peace and blessing on the last Prophet, his family and his Companions.

The primary belief of Islam is: There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. What is the meaning of this Shahadah, testimony? How it affects the other fundamentals of Islam: Salat (ritual prayer), Zakah (obligatory charity), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Baitullah- Kaaba- the House of God). These five fundamentals are commonly known as Pillars of Islam. The Pillars comprise the main ritual activities including the fundamental Muslim faith. The Pillars, the symbol of Islam that includes fundamental Muslim faith, are not without spirit. These are not just what are essentially required to be member of the Muslim community- Ummah, but what it means to be a Muslim.

The single most significant factor in the performance of any Muslim ritual is the intention,(al-Aqeedah or al-itiqad) which must be uppermost in the believer’s mind before the ritual begins. The Pillars are some total of actions, which are not only verbal and bodily, but, above all, mental and moral, performed according to certain state of mind, certain conditions of conscious intention, of external and internal purity, presence of mind, modesty and obedience, humility and submissiveness of the heart, creating within the soul of the believers a real life of religious devotion and spirituality.

Leaving aside the principal Pillar: There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God, rest of the Pillars representing Salat, Zakah, Sawm and Hajj are all essentially group activities. The most important purpose of these Pillars is to assist the believers, through group actions, attain membership of the Muslim community, which is constructed through self-conscious testimony and performance of the fundamental religious rituals, is a borderless community, a community not bound by geographic, national, ethnic and racial consideration but united only by a single testimony: There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

“The Mu’minoon are but a single Brotherhood.” (The Holy Qur’an, 49:10)

“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin the ma`roof (all of Islam), and forbid the munkar (all that is evil; kufr): they observe regular prayers, pay Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.” (The Holy Qur’an, 9:71)

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”

As the teachings of Islam clearly show us that Brotherhood and unity in Islam are based solely on the `Aqeedah of Islam (which is the foundation of Muslim belief). The Mu’minoon are believers to one another and this belief has nothing to do with race or any other type of invalid reason to unite but is rather a bond based on an ideological belief in Islam.

The beliefs must be corrected first, then follows all of the other aspects of the religion.

Imaam Abu Hanifah pointed out: Understanding in the religion first (i.e. Tawheed) and then understanding in the science (i.e. the sharee’ah).

Imam Ash-Shafi`i said, “That a servant meets Allaah with every sin except Shirk is better say than meeting Him upon any of the innovated beliefs.”

al-Aqeedah or al-itiqad - The firm creed that one’s heart is fixed upon without any wavering or doubt. It excludes any supposition, doubt or suspicion.

Praise be to the Lord of the universe who gives the best reward to the God-fearing and the great loss to the transgressor. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; He has no partner and possesses real sovereignty. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger; the seal of the prophets and the leader of the God-fearing. May Allah bless him, his family, his Companions, and those who follow them till the Day of Judgment.

with this I say my Asalaam Aleykum wr wb . InshAllaah till next time.

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