The 'SHAHADAH': Lailahail lallah,wa ashaduanna Muhamadarasullallah' is consisted of 2 parts.
The 'true conviction'[ IMAN ] part," Laila hail lallah "[ There is no god but God ] . The 'AMAL' part "wa ashhaduanna Muhamadarasullallah "[ and I testify Muhamad is the messenger of God ]
The 2nd part, 'waash haduanna Muhamadarasullallah' is the syariah part , the 'AMAL part',ie since I believe there is no god but God and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God,I accept that he was the best person to know God and thus I follow the ways of Muhammad[ pbuh]. And now that the prophet is not around I follow the next best people around, the ulama', since my knowledge in the ways of Muhammad is very superficial and shallow .Fullstop. Since all the sages and the ulama' said so,and I have little knowledge to think otherwise, I take for granted that they are right and thus I follow.If I have the time and intelligence to know the religion as HAMKA or Shaikh Rashid Ridha do, I am free to follow my heart....But I dont.Fullstop...
The prerequisite of the 1st part of the 'Shahadah' however, requires more than just to follow.There must be definitive personal conviction, without which our Aqidah is on very flimsy ground. And indeed if we present day Muslims are honest in our self examination, we will have to concede our foundations are weak, in many of us.Non existent in some.That is basically why we Muslims currently are faced with an existential crisis of mega proportion.
We simply do not comprehend our very 'shahadah' which we repeat like parrots at least some nine times minimum per day for those of us who pray. We , mostly, never give much thought to the meaning and conviction which goes with it with respect to 'there is no god but God '. We do not bother even to read HIS letters to us.They just are there to collect dust up there in high places.
How many of us read the Quran constantly?
How many of us read the Quran with comprehension and conviction?
How many of us derive lessons from the Quran?
How many of us 'live by the Quran'?
Let me rephrase the last question in another way,...frankly, how many of us tend to deprecate people who want to 'live by the Quran' and preach others to live by the Quran as well?......brainless, simpletons,pondok people,'kampong' people' fundamentalists, ignoramus, small brained 'kopiah type' etc etc and etc.
AT the end of the day, the typical Muslim now has not enough 'ilm' but does not wish to follow the ulama'.Almost totally ignorant on matters of Islam but has the audacity to question ulama' at every nook and corner, Oxbridge or Harvard educated notwithstanding.He or she wants to have a polemical discussion on Islam while his heart and soul remained a vacuum . He or she does not have ilm. Compounded further by the fact that he or she has no real honest conviction in the only miracle available to him or her, The Quran....The daily " Laila haillallah " has no meaning to him or her. Eyes remained dry and hearts harder than stone!
Here is a very spiritually 'sick' person: Lack in IMAN, very loose and inconsistent in AMAL! In medical parlance, prognosis: POOR!
"The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (285)
Al Quran , 2 : 285
The Quran 2 : 285, states so and since all Muslims believe that the Quran is the divine words of Allah, this is the conviction , which delivers the prerequisite for the 'Shahadah'.
Only after the 'Shahadah', come prayer, almsgiving, fasting,and finally doing the Haj..
We present day Muslims take our 'Shahadah' very lightly and that contribute in the main our major problem of malaise and spiritual weakness...our foundation is not strong...lack of conviction etc etc.
If one look at the formative period of Islam, Nabi spent 13 years in Mekkah building the 1st part , the 'conviction' part. Only the subsequent 10 in Medinah did the 'syariah' part came in...the call to prayers, fasting,zakat and Haj...
That was why the early Muslims were able to bring light and spread the message to Byzantine Syria,Jordan and Egypt,Sasanian Empire of Iraq and Iran and beyond the River Oxus to Afghanistan and Caucauses,Byzantine northern Africaya [Tripoli, Morocco, Algiers ], crossing over the Strait of Jabal Tariq into Christian Spain and Southern France, across the Indian Ocean into Sind. All these within the 1st 100 years post Nabi except for the final push on Constantinople and Western Turkey which occurred several centuries later.
Orientalists and Westerners deprecatingly put down Islam's fast spread due to 'The Sword'. The Roman empire took 5 centuries to be of the same size in comparision....But even if it is by the sword ,so what? It is as if empires are given on a silver plate!...if they cannot humbly acknowledge and recognise the Light and the Message that comes with it, that is part of their loss.
Now we have Muslims amongst our midst very proud ape-ing the West.
"Sir, What is wrong with the Muslims of the future? Are they few in number?". One of Nabi's shahabats asked him....
Not exactly .....there are 1.5 billions of them..."but they are just like flotsams being pushed aside by the waves..."
Now is about time that we, especially us given Islam on a silver plate from our parents, seriously need to re-examine our 'Shahadah'!
It has to be ,as usual, back to the same: Ilm, Ilm , Ilm and yet more ilm.
Dr Nik Howk
September 29, 2010 6:21 PM