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 Becoming Muslim Part 3

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PostSubject: Becoming Muslim Part 3   Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:24 pm

The THIRD condition of the shahadah is ACCEPTANCE (or al-qabool).
I a person has the knowledge of and certainty in the shahdah, this must
followed by acceptance, with the tounge and heart, of whatever that
shahadah implies. Whoever refuses to accept the shahadah and its
implications, even if he knows that it is true and certain about its truth,
than he is a disbeliever. This refusal to accept is somtimes due to pride,
envy or other reasons. In any case, the shahadah is not a true shahadah
without its unconditional acceptance.
The scholars all talk about this condition as ageneral condition in
the way that I have just stated. However, there is also a more detailed
aspect that we must all be aware of. The believer accepts whatever the
implications of the shahadah are. This also means that he believes in
whatever is stated in the Quran or stated by the Prophet (peace be upon
him), without any right to choose what he wants to believe and what he
wants to reject. Allah says in the Quran, "Do you believe in part of
the book and reject part of it? And what is the reward of those who do so
save ignominy in the lifeof the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they
will be consigned to the most grievous doom" (al-Baqara 85).
This is one aspect that the Muslims must be aware of. Although it is
not the same as the complete refusal to accept the truth, by rejecting part
of the truth that has come from Allah, one also negates his testimony of
faith.
Unfortunately, many Muslims are doing this nowadays in various ways.
Although not all of these form may necessarily be considered apostasy, they
are still very dangerous. For example, if they do not like what is stated in
a verse in the Quran, they simply reinterpret the verse according to their
liking. If they do not like what is stated in a hadith, they simply state
that the hadith must not be authentic although they are not scholars in that
area. This kind of behavior is the antithesis of the behavior of the true
Muslims. Whatever comes from Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), the
true Muslim believe in as the truth. This goes hand in hand with their
testimony of faith.

The FOURTH conditionof shahadah is SUBMISSION and COMPLIANCE (or
al-inqiyad). This implies the actual physical enactment with our deeds of
our shahadah. In fact, this is one of the main meaning of the word Islam
itself, "the submission to the will and commands of Allah." This is what
Allah commands in the Quran, "Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unot
Him" (al-Zumar 54).
Allah has praised those who submit to His command by their actions.
Allah says, "Who is better in religion than he who surrenders his purpose
to Allah while doing good" (al-Nisa 125).
Actually, Allah has clearly made it a condition of faith that one
submits to the command of Allah and His messenger. Allah says, "But nay,
by your Lord, they will not truly believe until they make you [the Messenger
of Allah] judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves
no dislike of which you decide, and submit with full submission" (al-Nisa 65)
Unfortunately, there are many claim that there is no relationship
between faith and deeds. You can even hear one Muslim saying about another,
"That is the best Muslim I have ever met." yet the other person performs
scarcely any of the deeds of Islam whatsoever. This incorrect understanding
of faith has spread throughout the Muslim world.
Indeed, our shahadah or testimony of faith must be implemented or
realized in our hearts, tounges and actions. In our hearts, we must have love
for Allah, fear Allah and hope in Him. With our tongues we must testify to
the shahadah. And with our actions, we must implement waht the testimony of
faith requires from us. Anyone who claim to be a Muslim and yet does no
deeds, either does not understand Islam whatsoever or is bearing testimony
against himself that his testimony of faith is not a true and correct
testimony of faith.
This does not mean that the true believer never commits a sin. Indeed,
true believers do commit sins. But as long as they recognize that what they
did is not correct and it is inconsistent with their obligation of submitting
to Allah, then they have not violated the soudness of their testimony or
shahadah .But, do not forget, they are still sinners.
And what is the minimum of submission that is required from a person
beyond which there can be no claim to faith? For those scholars who say that
the abandonment of prayers is infidelity, it is the five daily prayers.
Whoever does not perform, at least, the five daily prayers has gone beyond
the limit that is acceptable for lack of deeds. Allah knows best.

The FIFTH condition is TRUTHFULNESS, as opposed to hypocrisy and
dishonesty. This means that when we say the shahadah, we are saying it
honestly. We actually mean it. We are not lying when it comes to our
testimony of faith.
The Prophet (peace be upon his) said, "No one bears testimony to there
being no one worth of worship save Allah, sincerely from his heart, except
that Allah makes the Hell-fire forbidden for him." (Recorded by al-Bukhari
and Muslim.)
We are all familiar with those who say the testimony of faith yet they
are not saying it honestly. They do not believe in it but they are simply
saying it in order to protect themselves or to get some gain from doing so.
These are the hypocrites. Allah has described them in the opening of the
Quran with the following words, "And of mankind are some who say, 'We
believe in Allah and the Last Day,' when they believe not. They think to
beguile Allah and those who believ, and they beguile none save themselves,
but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increases
their disease. A painful doom is their because they lie" (al-baqara 8-10).
Obviously, the shahadah of thse who become Muslims simply to benefit
from being Musim and not because they believe in Islam will be rejected
by Allah in the Hereafter. They will face a painful punishment due to
their lying.

The SIXTH condition is SINCERITY (or ikhlas). That is, when we make
the sahahadah, we must do so solely for the sak of Allah. We must not do
it for any other reason. And we nust not do it for anyone else's sake. In
this manner, the meaning of sincerity is opposite of Skirk or ascribing
partners with Allah. We became and remainMuslims solely for Allah's sake.
Allah says in the Quran, "Worship Allah, making religion pure for him"
(al-Zumar 2). And Allah also says, "And they are ordained not else than
to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright
and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion"
(al-Bayyinah 5). And the Prophet (peace be upon him) added, "Allah has
forbidden for the Hell-fire anyone who says, 'There is no one worthy of
worship except Allah,' and say so desiring the face [and pleasure] of
Allah." (Recorded by Muslim).
This is something that we should think about. But especially those
of us who grew up in Muslim families and were born Muslim. We should make
it very claer to ourselves that we are Muslims only for the sake of Allah.
We are not Muslims for the sake of our parents, friends, family or
community. It must be claer in our minds that we are Muslims for the sake
of Allah first, last and only.
One of the signs that we are Muslims for the sake of Allah is that we
do whatever Allah asks of us, regardless of what anybody else desires or
wants from us. That is, in the same way that we are Muslims solely for the
sake of Allah, all of our acctions are done for the sake of Allah.
However, sometimes one begins to wonder whether this condition is met
by some people. Some people from the Muslim world practice Islam to the
extent that it is pleasing to their families. If there is anything in
Islam that their families do not like- although their families are Muslim
and therefore they actually should like all of Islam- then they do not
practice that aspect of Islam. One common example of that nature is mixing
between men and women. Sometimes a brother, here in the U.S., will not
mix with women and his wife will remain separate from the men. Yet, when
they return to their homes, because this is not pleasing to their families
who want to mix between men and women, they easily, simply and happily
compromise their religion for the sake of their parents. These people
must sincerely ask themselves why they are Muslims. Are they Muslims for
the sake of their parents and therefore whatever thei parents like they
will do and whatever their parents do not like they won't do? Or are they
Muslims for the sake of Allah and therefore whatever Allah dislike they
will not do and whatever Allah is pleased with they do?
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