THE STRUGGLE FOR ONE GOD
At the time of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), there was a
powerful and influential tribal leader by the name of Musailimah. For those who
know his history, I challenge you to tell me who his father was. Ask anyone in
the world and they will say, Al-Kazzaab – the liar! Even if we were to search
out his descendants in the present day and ask them who was your ancestor
Musaylimah’s father and they will say, the liar! Why? Because instead of being
known as Musailimah son of so and so, he became known as Musailimah, the Liar.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) made his name popular with the Lie of being
prophet of God.
Musailimah had all the earthly ingredients to launch a new religion. He had an
exquisite knowledge of the language, a magical public speaker, wealth beyond
imagination, and a tribal army crazy about him, ready to die for his safety. He
took all these ingredients and proclaimed to all, that he was a Prophet of God
just like Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). We take refuge of Allah (Subhaanahu
Wa Ta'aalaa) from this.
He missed one ingredient though, that sunk his ship, the ingredient of
truthfulness. That is why today – over 1400 years later -- there is not a single
human soul on earth that thinks Musailimah was the Prophet.
On the other hand, not a second ticks by in 24 hours / 7 days a week, except
that there is a Muslim MoAzzin (Caller to Salaah) somewhere in the world in the
millions of Masjids announcing “Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah – I testify
that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
This is so, because human beings did not give him this authority. Nor did he
himself proclaim this to himself. As the emperor of Rome – Heraclius – asked the
Muslim messenger in the year 679 after he had presented Islam to him: “Which
King gave Muhammad this authority?”
The reply was so simple, so profound: “Allah did! Allah gave him this
I grew up in West. I went to grade school in the early 80’s. My family and I
lived in an environment where we would be giggled at and insulted at the mall
and by passing cars. Not uncommon were random shouts of, “Hey Ninja lady!” or
“Look what came out of the Desert!”
At that time, we were the only colored children in the school. I remember once
telling a friend to guess what the most popular name in the world was. When I
told him it was Muhammad, he told me, “Get lost! You’re the only one in the
school with that name. It must be John or something.”
I don’t blame him; a lot of people in North America have not travelled and
experienced the treasures of culture and flavor that the nations of the world
have to offer humanity.
Rev. Billy Graham once said something so profound. He said: “I travelled the
world and came to the realization that perhaps America does not have in its palm
all the truths of the world.”
Rev. Billy Graham deserves a standing ovation for a statement like that, the
modesty to announce that to millions of viewers. But although America may not
have all the truths, it is blessed with a nation of truth seekers, for it is
never a shame to be mistaken, all shame lies in – after truth has come – to
persist in ones mistake.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, rather in the world. In the
past 50 years, Muslims have increased by 233%. And across the earth, from every
nation, Muslims number over 1 Billion.
The key to Islam is the statement “Laa ilaaha illAllah, Muhammadur Rasoolullah”
– There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
This statement takes only a few seconds to pronounce, but it is the
transformation point of the lives of billions of Muslims around the world. Only
the Creator deserves to be worshipped.
Let’s take an example from the lives of such people who’s lives changed with
this call to worship only one God. Hadhrat Bilal was an Abyssinian slave for the
aristocracy of Makkah al Mukarramah in the year 623. When Muhammad (SallAllaho
Alaihe WaSallam), the Messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa), came with
this message of ‘No god except Allah’, Hadhrat Bilal denounced the 360 statues
and idols that the tribes of Makkah al Mukarramah were worshipping and believed
in only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa).
His enraged slave master Umayyah would take Hadhrat Bilal out in the sizzling
noonday heat because of his beliefs and burn away Hadhrat Bilal’s back on the
sand. To intensify the pain, Umayyah would bring a boulder and place it on his
stomach to press his down on the grilling sand, burning the skin away.
All Hadhrat Bilal would say was: “He is only one (God), He is only one (God)”
infuriating Umayyah who would only intensify the torture.
Hadhrat Bilal was freed by one of Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)’s
closest friends and followers, Hadhrat Abu Bakr. Later Hadhrat Bilal become the
first MuAzzin of Islam.
Another example is that of the Muslim woman, Hadhrat Sumayyah. She was also not
from upper class of Makkan tribes. Since they had accepted that no created thing
deserved worship, only the Creator, her and her husband and son were subjected
to physical beatings.
Her torturer Abu Jahl became infuriated one day with her soft voice repeating:
“There is no god but Allah!”
He took a spear and pushed it through her mid section, he made Sumayyah the
first Martyr. She was the first Muslim to die in the name of “There is no god
Although it was permissible for the Muslims to lie to save themselves from the
torture, you’ll see many examples of Muslims who would rather die than surrender
their right to believe that only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) deserved to be
Amongst the tyrants of Makkah al Mukarramah was a man by the name of Umar ibn
Al-Khattaab. He was so vicious with the Muslims that he would volunteer to
torture the Muslim slaves.
One day, he just had enough, so he sheathed his sword and set on his way to the
home of the Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) to slit his
throat once and for all. We take refuge of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) from
this. On the way he passed a Muslim who had been hiding his Islamic identity –
Nu’aim ibn Abdullah. Hadhrat Nu’aim inquired about Umar’s haste: “I’m off to
find Muhammad, that convert who cut up our tribe, belittled our gods, and mocked
our religion. I’m going to kill him!”
Hadhrat Nu’aim became afraid for the safety of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s
Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). So, he quickly thought and said: “Why
don’t you start with your family first! Your sister and her husband have
Umar became enraged and changed direction to his sister’s home. At that time, a
Muslim teacher – Hadhrat Khabbab ibn al Arat – was at their home teaching them
the word of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) – The Quraan – and for a few moments
Umar stood there listening. Then he shouted for them to open the door. Hadhrat
Khabbab hid in an adjacent room and Umar’s sister Fatimah hid the scroll that
had the Quraan written on it.
Umar entered, walked right up to his brother in law and yelled: “I heard you
both have accepted Muhammad and you’re following him.”
Then Umar pounded his brother in law in the face. Fatimah his sister stood to
protect her husband, and when she came in the way, Umar slapped her face with
all his might.
She fell to the ground, her cheek split and the blood spilt all over her
clothes. She looked up at her brother and said from behind her tears: “Yes, Umar!
We are Muslim and yes we have believed in Allah and His Messenger. Maybe you
don’t have all the truth like you think you do?”
Umar was ashamed at the sight of his sister’s blood and desisted. He asked:
“What was that sound I heard, that recitation.”
His sister replied: “I fear for that scroll to fall in your hands.”
But Umar swore by the Idols that he would do no harm. She handed him the scroll
after he had cleansed himself and he recited:
طه مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن
يَخْشَىٰ تَنزِيلًا مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى
الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي
الْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَىٰ َإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ
فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ لَهُ
“TaaHaa! We did not reveal the Quraan to you to (make you) face hardship, rather
to remind him who has the fear (of Allah), it being a revelation from the One
Who created the earth, and high heavens. The Rahmaan (Allah, the All-Merciful)
has positioned Himself on the Throne. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens,
all that is in the earth and whatever lies between them and whatever lies
beneath the soil. If you pronounce the word aloud, then (it makes no difference,
for) He certainly knows the secret and what is even more hidden. (Such is)
Allah. There is no god but He. For Him are the Beautiful Names.” (TaaHaa 20:1-8)
Umar, leaving them there, straight away went to the Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho
Alaihe WaSallam), who was at Dar-e Arqam – House of a Sahabi (Companion) with
other Muslims. When he met him, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho
Alaihe WaSallam) took the coat of Umar and said: “Hasn’t the time come for you
to become Muslim?”
And Umar replied: “I’ve only come for that reason. There is no god but Allah and
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
The Muslims present at site shouted – Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest!) --
and everyone that heard it knew that Umar had become Muslim!
I’ve been in large crowds in my life, both in the west and in the Middle East.
In my native city, the biggest crowds I experienced were at hockey games. Maybe
20 thousand city dwellers would gather at night for that hockey game. Hey that’s
a lot for my city.
In Makkah al Mukarramah, at the Masjid ul Haraam, I have been in a crowd of 3
million worshippers in one Salaah! These people were not from one nation, nor
were they from one language background, and no they didn’t gather to see the
As you’ll see today when we line up for Salaah, In Makkah al Mukarramah, 3
Million people lined up in perfect circles around the Ka’batullah to worship
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)! I once stood in the window of a Hotel across
from Masjid al Haraam and watched down below the swarming crowd of 3 million
Muslims. Then when Azaan (the call to Salaah) began, that entire crowd stood in
perfect circles in less than 50 seconds. Who gathered these hearts? Only Allah (Subhaanahu
A consistent crowd of 3 million from every nation, class, and color did not come
about without pain and struggle to assert the human right to worship nothing but
the one true God – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa).
There were times in that very same valley of Makkah al Mukarramah when Hadhrat
Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) would make Sajdah (Prostrate) to Allah (Subhaanahu
Wa Ta'aalaa) only, avoiding all the false idols that surrounded him. The
Mushrikeen (Polytheists) of Makkah al Mukarramah sat there staring at him and
loathed the scene. They said to themselves: “How can you sit here and allow
Muhammad to make Sajdah to Allah in your midst. Who amongst us will humiliate
“I shall,” said a man by the name of Utbah.
He took the intestine of a fresh Camel that had been sacrificed to the idols and
dumped it on the head of most pious personality, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)
ever created -- Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). The Mushrikeen
fell off their seats in hysterical laughter. Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe
WaSallam) could not come up from his Sajdah because of the heavy weight.
News reached his daughter – who at that time was still a young girl – that her
Father was being ridiculed at the Ka’bah. She raced there and when she saw her
father she cried and removed the filth and swore through her tears at the
This is just one example of the ridicule suffered by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa
Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) and his followers. All they
wanted was to teach humanity that nothing deserves worship except Allah (Subhaanahu
The Mushrikeen -- idol-worshippers -- of Makkah al Mukarramah used their media –
poetry and word of mouth – to sway public opinion against this call: “There is
no god but Allah”.
A doctor by the name of Dhammaad from the tribe of Azd made pilgrimage to Makkah
al Mukarramah and when he arrived in the Holy valley the news media of Makkah al
Mukarramah flash-warned him to not listen to a word Muhammad says. He was told:
“He is a magician, he’s mad.”
Dhammaad recalls: “They frightened me so much that I considered putting cotton
in my ears. But then I said to myself, ‘I am a doctor and have healed mad men
before…perhaps I may be able to cure Muhammad.”
So after completing his Tawaaf (Circumbulation) around the Ka’bah, he saw
Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam), sitting peacefully in the
courtyard. He approached him and said softly: “Muhammad! I administer treatment
for this illness and healed many people. Would you wish that I nurse you?”
Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) turned to him and asked first to
listen him. His pious habit was to recite Khutbah before delivering Da’wah (Call
towards Islam): “Verily all praise belongs to Allah; we thank Allah and seek his
protection from everything; whoever Allah guides none can misguide them and
whoever Allah leaves to go astray none can guide them aright. I testify that
there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the
Messenger of Allah.”
Dhammaad’s mouth gapped open. He swallowed and said: “Could you repeat that for
me, what you have recited now?”
Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) repeated it.
Dhammaad requested to recite once again.
Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) once again repeated it.
Then Dhammaad suddenly announced: “By God, I have heard the words of
soothsayers, and have heard the words of magicians, and have heard the words of
poets, and I have never heard words like this! Give me your hand for I am
pledging allegiance to Islam. There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His
You’ll find in the Quraan Aayah (Verse) after Aayah opening the eyes of humanity
to the reality that there is a God – Allah -- and He is only one.
Jubayr ibn Mut’em stood quietly behind Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s
Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) at Salaatul Maghrib (Sunset Prayer) one
day and listened to the Aayaat of Quraan. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s
Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) was reciting the Soorah Toor (Chapter 52)
and in it he heard him recite:
أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ أَمْ خَلَقُوا
السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بَل لَّا يُوقِنُونَ أَمْ عِندَهُمْ خَزَائِنُ رَبِّكَ
أَمْ هُمُ الْمُصَيْطِرُونَ
“Is it that they are created by none, or are they themselves the creators? Or
have they created the heavens and the earth? No, but they are sure of nothing.
Or do they have the treasures of your Lord, or have they acquired control (over
them)?” (at-Toor 52:35-37)
Jubayr ibn Mut’em said: “When I heard these verses, it was as if my heart had
wings flying swiftly and in bliss to the truth that I had found in Islam.”
Ponder a little! Where will you be in 100 years? You’ll probably be dead. And
where were you 100 years ago? Nothing.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) says in the Quraan:
هَلْ أَتَىٰ عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئًا
مَّذْكُورًا إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ
فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا
“There has come upon man a period of time in which he was nothing worth
mentioning. Indeed, We have created man from a mixed sperm-drop to put him to a
test; then We made him able to hear, able to see. Indeed We have guided him the
way to be either grateful or ungrateful.” (al-Insaan 76:1-3)
In those early days of Islam, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa)'s Messenger (SallAllaho
Alaihe WaSallam) would go from tent to tent, tribe to tribe, announcing to them:
“Say there is no god but Allah and success will be yours!”
Today, over 1400 years later as the followers of Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho
Alaihe WaSallam) -- believers in Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta'aalaa) -- we extend
those words of our Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) – to all you meet in
yor life: “Say there is no god but Allah and success will be yours!”