Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Shahadatain: Some Thoughts

A "Muslim" is an Arabic word that refers to a person who embraces the religion of Islam. The concept of becoming a Muslim is simple. It is to do the five pillars of Islam. These five pillars are:

1.    The proclamation in one's heart and tongue of the "Two Witness Statement" or the "Shahadatain". The first is to proclaim that "There is no God but Allah" and the second is to proclaim that "Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him /pbuh) is His messenger". In a nutshell, it means to believe in the Oneness of Allah by not associating Him with any other, and to believe that the Prophet Muhammad pbuh is His final Messenger and to accept all of his Islamic teachings and message;

2. To pray the five compulsory daily prayers which is the Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isya';

3. To fast in the month of Ramadhan;

4. To pay Zakat from the excess of one's wealth once it fulfils the minimum amount and have been kept for a whole year; and

5. To perform the Pilgrimage in Mekah.

For this post, I plan to just touch a bit on the first pillar of Islam, the Shahadatain.

The Shahadatain looks fairly simple but I essence, it is the crux of being a Muslim. The proclamation of the Shahadatain will lead you to the 6 pillars of being a Mu'min, which means being a believer. The 6 pillars of faith are:

1.    To believe in Allah, as the one and only God;

2.    To believe in the existence of the Angels;

3.    To believe in the Divine books that has been revealed to mankind, that of which only the Quran remains to be pure and true to all of its very letters;

4.    To believe in the Prophets that has been sent to mankind;

5.    To believe in the Day of Judgment; and

6.    To believe in the Qada' (Divine Will) and Qadar (Divine Decree) of Allah.

 Heavy? Of course it is. This is religion, not Sesame Street cartoon. And yet, people take it very lightly.

Apart from that, the Shahadatain must not be proclaimed under duress as Allah forbids the entering of Islam due to force.

If a Muslim hears a person uttering the Shahadatain, it is not up to him to determine if that man is sincere or is just saying to deceive others. The sincerity of the Shahadatain will be judged be Allah, the God who knows what is hidden and apparent, including what is in the heart and the mind.

Between a Muslim and Allah, his Creator, the Shahadatain is the irrevocable consent that he gives to Allah which confirms that he will abide by whatever Islamic teachings that has been taught by Prophet Muhammad pbuh.

The Shahadatain will be the reason why a Muslim will perform goodness and stay away from evil as defined in the Quran and Sunnah. It is the Shahadatain that makes a Muslim to avoid the prohibited acts such as consuming alcohol, adultery, injustice, interest etc.

It is the Shahadatain that binds a Muslim to cover their modesty (awrah) and live by the rules of the Shariah (Islamic Law) such as Hudud, Qisas and Ta'zir.

The fact that we lack the capacity to perform all that has been made compulsory to us and to avoid all that has been forbidden to us does not mean that it is okay, even if the majority of the people are not abiding the Shariah.

To be denial that the Shariah is not made compulsory upon us is an act of disobedience to Allah which in fact is the very reason why Iblis is cursed by Allah.

The idea is to accept our weakness and strive to be a better Muslim. Make dua that Allah grants us the strength to fulfil our Shariah obligation.

And remember to latch yourself to the idea of Allah will forgive you for your sin and that He will have mercy on you because He is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful.

And also remember to seek for His forgiveness and His Mercy. What's the point of knowing that He will forgive but not asking for it right?

Blog adjourned.

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