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 Becoming Muslim Part 5

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PostSubject: Becoming Muslim Part 5   Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:26 pm

The SEVENTH condition is LOVE. That is, the believer loves this
shahadah, he loves in accordance with the shahadah, he loves tha
implications and requirements of the shahadah and he loves those who act
and strive for the sake of this shahadah. This is a necessary condition of
the shahadah. If a person makes the shahadah but does not love the shahadah
and what it stands for, then, in fact, his faith is not complete. It is not
the faith of a true believer. And if he loves something more that this
shahadah or if he loves something more than Allah, then he has negated his
shahadah. The true believer, the one meeting the conditions of the shahadah
puts no one whatsoever as an equal to Allah in his love.
Allah says in the Quran, "Yet of mankind are some who take unto
themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving
them with a love like (that which is due to) Allah only. However, those who
believe are stauncher in their love of Allah" (al-Baqara 165). And
elsewhere Allah says' "Say: If your fathers, or your sons, or your brethren,
or your wives, or your tribe, or the wealth you have acquired, or merchandise
for which you fear that there will be no sale, or dwellings you desire are
dearer to you than Allah and His messenger and striving in His way: then wait
till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah guides not wrongdoing folk"
(al-Tauba 24). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever has three
characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith. [The first of these] is
that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than he loves anyone else..."
(Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.).
This is one of the most important aspects of Islam yet, for some reason,
it is missing from the lives of many Muslims. They act in Islam as if Islam
were a chore instead of doing things out of the love of Allah. When Allah
orders us to do something, like bear witness to the faith, we should realize
that that thing is plaesing to Allah and, therefore, out of our love for
Allah, we should be very pleased to do the acts that are pleasing to Allah.
But, as I said, this feeling is missing from many, many Muslims today.

The EIGHT condition of the shahadah is that the person who makes the
shahadah must DENY EVERY OTHER OBJECT OF WORSHIP. Although that is claer in
the words of the testimony of faith, it does not seem clear to everyone who
makes that testimony. Therefore, I am mentioning it explicity here.
In Surah al-Baqara, Allah clearly reminds us of this important aspect
of the shahadah, the shahadah is not merely an affirmation but it is both
and affirmation and a negation. Allah states, "And he who rejects false
deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never
break" (al-Baqara 256). Perhaps the Prophet (peace be upon him) made this
point even clearer when he said, "Whoever says there is no one worthy of
worship except Allah and denies whatever is worshipped besides Allah, then
his wealth and blood are protected and his accounting will be with Allah."
(Recrded by Muslim.)
Although this condition sholud be obious to everyone who says the words
of shahadah, you can still find Muslims who say the shahadah and then make
acts of worship for beings or things other than Allah. You will find them
going to the graveyards and worshipping those in the graves. They will
perform acts of worship, not for the sake of Allah, but for the sake of the
dead "saints" in the grave. What kind of shahadah have these people made? Do
you realy think that their shahadah will mean anything on the Day of Judgment
as long as they believe that acts of worship may be done for other
than Allah?

The NINTH condition of the shahadah is that the Muslim ADHERS to the
shahadah until he dies. This is must if the shahadah is to mean anything
for you in the Hereafter. You ca not rest on your laurels of what you amy
have done in the past. No, indeed, the shahadah must be your banner until
your death. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, " A man spends a long time
doing the deeds of the people of Paradise and then he ends his deeds with
the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire. And a man spends a long time doing
the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire and then he ends his deeds with
the deeds of the people of Paradise." (Recorded by Muslims) In another
hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "By the One whom there is no
other God, one of you does the actions of Paradise until there is just a
handspan between him and Paradise and then the book [preordainment] overtakes
him and he does tha actions of the people of Hell and he enters into it"
(Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
And Allah says in the Quran, "O believers, observe your duty to Allah
with right observance, and die not save as Muslims [surrendering yourselves
to Allah]" (ali-Imran 102).

Dear brothers and sisters, these are the conditions of the shahadah.
These are the aspects of the shahadah that each and every one of us should
look to in ourselves and ask ourselves, "Is my shahadah meeting those
requirements? Am I saying it sincerely, honestly and out of love for Allah?
Am I saying it based on what it really means? Am I denying all other false
objects of worship?..."

These questions we should ask ourselve now before we meet Allah. Allah
willing, we shall ask ourselves these questions now and we shall find that
we have all the right answers for them. Or, if we find we have some
deficiency, we shall work to remove that deficiency. Such that, by Allah's
mercy, in the Hereafter, our shahadah will be the key to Paradise for us and
the gates of Paradise will swing wide open for us and we will be able to live
forever in the bounties of Paradise, with Allah being pleased with us.

Again, it is not simply a matter of knowing these conditions. Indeed,one
can meet many Muslims who have these conditions memorized, yet when one looks
to their deeds and behavior, one can see that these conditions have no effect
on them. This means, in fact, no matter how well he konws and can rattle off
these conditions, he, in fact, is not fulfilling tham. In the Hereafter,
his knowledge of these conditions will be of no avail to him. Indeed, his
knowledge will be a proof against hin as he clearly knows what the conditions
are that he mut satisfy yet he has shown that he is not willing to satisfy
them in his life.
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