The Holy Kalimah
Brothers! This confession is the gateway to Islam, the arch-stone of the faith. By affirming it and reciting it with sincerity and conviction even a life-long heathen or a polytheist can become a Muslim, a man of faith, and earn his title to salvation. The condition, however, is that he should have accepted conscientiously and with full understanding of the declaration of the Oneness of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) and the Apostleship of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam) contained in it. Thus, any one who repeats the confession mechanically, without understanding it and without knowing what the concepts of Divine Unity and Apostleship and Prophethood means, will not gain recognition in the sight of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) as a Muslim. It is therefore, necessary, to study its meaning and implications carefully.
The First Part
The confession consists of two parts. The first part
contains the affirmation of
the Oneness of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa). It means that no one except Allah
Almighty is worthy of worship and obedience. Worship and obedience should be
offered to Him alone because He and no one else is our Lord and Creator,
Nourisher and Sustainer and the Dispenser of life and death, sickness and
health, poverty and riches, in short, all manner of good and evil, gain or loss,
lies solely in His control. Apart from Him, whatever living things exist on the
earth, or in the heavens, be they men or angels, are all His creatures and
slaves. He is partnered by no one, no one has a share in His Divinity nor can
any one amend or alter His Will, or interfere with His affairs. Hence, He and He
alone is worthy of devotion and worship. He alone is the Supreme Being, the
Almighty, to whom all our prayers and supplications should be addressed. He
alone is the real Owner of the heavens and the earth, the Monarch of all
monarchs, the Lord
Sovereign. It is, therefore, necessary that all His commands and injunctions are
strictly obeyed and faithfully carried out. As against His commands the commands
of no one should be heeded to no matter whether they are of our parents or
rulers or of the head of the community or a dear friend, or the biddings of our
own heart. In a nutshell, when once we have realized and confessed the truth
that Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) alone, and no one besides Him, is worthy of
worship and obedience our conduct should also be in conformity with it, so much
so that any one who sees us should know by our behaviour that we are the devoted
servants of the Lord who carry out His commands dutifully and live and die for
His sake alone.
States the Prophet:
"O Moses! If the seven heavens and the seven earths and all that is contained in them, are placed on one side of the balance and on the other, the side on which is placed will turnout to be heavier."
Brothers! This unique virtue and excellence is due solely to the fact that it
contains the solemn affirmation of Divine Unity, the assertion, the pledge and
the declaration that we shall worship Him alone and, offer our homage and
obeisance to no one apart from Him, and shall make Him the sole pivot of our
existence. It, indeed, is the life-breath of Islam.
The Second Part
The second part of the Kalimah consists of . In it the affirmation is made of the Divine Apostleship of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam). Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam) is the Apostle of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) means that he was raised up by the Almighty for the guidance of the world and whatever he taught, preached or revealed like the Divinity of the origin of the Holy Quraan, the existence of angels, the certainty of the Last Day the Resurrection, the Judgment, the award of heaven and hell according to one's deeds on the earth was hundred percent true and authentic. Indeed the Apostleship of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam) denotes nothing more and nothing less than this that all the things he taught to the world, all the truths he revealed to mankind, were based on Divine inspiration, that they were based on special and authoritative knowledge vouchsafe to him by Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) and so they were absolutely correct and beyond doubt. There is not the least excuse or the slightest reason, for doubting or questioning his word. The guidance he gave to men, the laws he laid down, were Divine guidance and Divine laws which had been inspired to him by the Almighty. You would have realised that the acceptance of any one as a Divine Apostle automatically implies that each and every precept and command of him should be whole-heartedly believed in and obeyed, for Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) raised up His Apostles in the world solely to convey through them to mankind the commands and precepts He wants to be followed. Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) says in the Holy Quraan.
We sent not an Apostle, but to be obeyed in accordance with the will of Allah (Subhahnahu Wata'aalaa) [IV:G-64]
To believe in anyone as an Apostle and to accept him as such, thus, means simply to
hold every word of his as true, to regard his teachings and guidance to be the
teachings and guidance of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa), and to decide once for
all, to lead one's life according to the precepts he taught. So, if a person recites the Kalimah but does
not, as a logical consequence of it, resolve firmly to hold all the teachings of
the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam) to be wholly true and all that may run
counter to them to be wholly false, and to abide by his Shariah (holy law) and
his commands faithfully, he, of course is not a man of faith and a Muslim. He,
probably, has not even understood what it means to be a Muslim.
From the meaning and interpretation of the Holy Kalimah given above, you will
have realised that it is a covenant. It embodies the pledge and the vow that we
believe in Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) as the One and Only Lord, Sovereign,
Master and Creator, and regard everything that exists in this world and the
Hereafter to be exclusively in His control, and that, since we do so, we will
worship Him alone and carry out His commands the way a servant and a slave
carries out the commands of his master, and love Him and adore Him above all
else, and further, that we accept Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam)
as the true Apostle of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa), and will abide by his
guidance as a loyal follower, and fashion our lives according to the holy law
laid down by him. In fact, faith denotes nothing except this pledge and covenant
and this is precisely what the affirmation of Divine Unity and Apostleship
It is related by Hadhrat Anas that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam) once said to Hadhrat Mo'aaz, "Allah (Subhaanahu Wata'aalaa) has declared as forbidden the fire of the hell for him who affirms the Kalimah of with a true heart."
Brothers! Affirm with a true heart and with a full knowledge and awareness of
its implications and importance and resolve now and forever to lead your lives
according to it in order that your attestation may not turn out to be false. On
this very attestation depends your faith and your salvation.
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