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 Becoming Muslim Part 2

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PostSubject: Becoming Muslim Part 2   Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:23 pm

The FIRST of these condition is KNOWLEDGE. That is , one must have the
basic and general knowledge of what is meant by the shahadah. One must
understand what tha shahadah is affirming and what the shahadah is denying.
Allah says in the Quran, "So know that there is no God save Allah, and ask
forgiveness for your sin" (Muhammad 19). Similarly, the Prophet (peace be
upon him) said, "Whoever dies knowing that there is no one worthy of worship
except Allah shall enter Paradise." (Recorded by Muslim.)
In fact, the shahadah itself is a testimony. When one testifies to
something, one must know what it is that he is testifying concerning.
Obviously, a testimony about something that one does not have any knowledge
about is absolutely unacceptable. Allah says in the Quran," Save him who
bears witness unto the truth knowingly" (al-Zukhruf 86).
Now this condition probably sounds obvious. If someone said to you,
"There is no God except Allah," and then said that what he meant by Allah
was Jesus, you would immediately tell him that this shahadah is nonsense. Yet
can you imagine that there is a Muslim country in the world that until
recently used to have a yearly week-long celebration to "the Gods of the
Sea"! All along they call themselves Muslims and they make shahadah numerous
times a day. This clearly shows that they have no idea what the meaning of
their shahadah is. Do you think that this kind of shahadah will open the
doors to Paradise for them?
Today, there are many Muslims who wonder why we should not accept
secularism. They think that there is nothing wrong with secularism! Many of
these Muslims pray five times a day and utter the shahadah repeatedly. Yet
they see nothing wrong with accepting a Lawgiver other than Allah? What kind
of shahadah are these people making.

all of us do our best to laern at least the basics of Islamic beliefs.
The basics of what shahadah means. In this way, Allah willing, we will be
making the correct shahadah. We will be witnessing to the truth as we are
supposed to be witnesses to it.

The SECOND condition of the shahadah is CERTAINTY (or al-yaqeen). This
is the opposite of doubt and uncertainty. In Islam, in fact, any kind of
doubt is equivalent to Kufr or disbelief. We must, in our hearts, be
absolutely certain of the truth of the shahadah. Our hearts must not be
wavering in any way when we testify to the truth of, "There is none worthy
of worship except Allah."
Allah describes the believers in the Quran as those who have belief in
Allah and then their heart waver not. Allah says, "the (true) believers are
those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not,
but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are
the sincere" (al-Hujurat 15). Similarly, the Messenger of Allah (peace be
upon him) said, "No one meets Allah with the testimony that there is none
worthy of worship but Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah, and he has no
doubt about hat statement, except that he will enter Paradise." (Recorded
by Muslim.)
Indeed, Allah describes the hypocrites as those people whose hearts are
wavering. For example, Allah says, "They alone seek leave of thee (not to
participate in jihad) who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and whose
hearts feel doubt, so in their doubt they waver" (al-Tauba 45).
Many scholars have stated that the diseases of the heart, or the doubt
and suspicions that one allows into one's heart, are more dangerous for a
person' faith than lusts and desires. This is because lusts and desires may
be satisfied at some time yet the person still knows them to be wrong and he
may control himself and repent and give up that evil deed. On the other hand,
the doubts and suspicions may linger in the heart, with no cure, until the
person finally leaves Islam entirely or continues to practice Islam while,
in fact, in his heart he does not have the true faith.
The greatest cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is theough
sound knowledge of the Quran and the sunnah that most of these doubts will
be removed. By study and understanding, one will attain certainty. And as
one studies and learns more, his certainty will be made firmer and firmer.
I will give you just one example on this point. This is related to all
of the doubts, suspicions and misconceptions that are cirulating about the
authenticity of the hadith literature. For example, some Muslims even claim
that hadith were not recorded until at least 200 years after the death of
the Prophet (peace be upon him). Indeed, there are Muslims who seem to have
a great deal of doubt about hadith and very quick to reject hadith on that
basis. But, in fact, if one actually takes the time to study the history
and presevation of hadith, one will immediately recognize that all those
claims and charges against the hadith are not based on anything scientific
whatsoever. They are nothing but false claim that come from Satan and which
Muslims with poor understanding and knowledge have allowed to creep into
their hearts.
Let me make one last point about this condition of certainty. As I
alluded to earlier, doubts and misconceptions are very dangerous for a
person's faith. Doubt and wavering are tantamount to apostasy in Islam,
as I mentioned earlier. Hence, every Muslim should do best to safeguard
himself from such doubts and remain away from the sources of doubts-
especially if they are not well grounded in the Islamic sciences and do
not have the the knowledge to refute such doubts and misconceptions. Hence
if a person has an associte or friend, even if he be a Muslim friend, who
is always making him doubt Allah or the religion, then he should remain
away from that person in order to safeguard his own religion. Many Muslims
nowadays study courses on Islam tought by Orientalists and because of their
weak backgroungs in Islamic studies, they are influenced by the nonsense
that some of these Orientalists are teaching in the name of "science".
Similarly, many brothers and sisters nowadays are spending hoursat a time
with the computer news groups and bulletin boards. A lot of nonsense and
falsehood are posted on those news groups and bulletin boards. Again, the
one who is not very knowldgeable of his religion may easily be influenced
and affected by the misconceptions and false arguments that he reads in
those bulletin boards. He should remain away from those things and get a
deeper knowledge of Islam through the authentic sources of the religion.
Again, the greatest counterforce that can defeat doubts and
misconceptions, after the bounty and guidance of Allah, is sound knowledge
and understanding of the religion. When a person has that, he will not be
affected by the weak arguments put out by the enemies of Islam and he will
be, Allah willing, from among those described in the Quran, " It is only
those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah" (Fatir 28)
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