Fruits for the Week

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The meaning of the Kalimah is simple: “There is no god but Allah; and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Covenant with Allah

The ‘ilah’ found in the Kalimah means God. Only that being can be our Allah (swt) who is the Master, Creator, Nourisher, and Sustainer, who listens to our prayers and grants them, and who alone is worthy of our worship and obedience.

Saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’ means two things. First, you have acknowledged that the world has neither come into being without a God nor has many gods. God is there; He alone is God, and there is another being except Him which possesses divinity. Second, you have accepted that this same God is your Lord and Master as well as of the whole universe. You yourselves and each and everything that you have or is found in the world, belong to Him alone. He is the Creator and the Provider. Life and death are under His command. Both trouble and comfort come from Him. Whatever one receives is really given by Him; whatever is taken away is taken away by His command. He alone should be feared. From Him alone should we ask any and everything. Before Him alone should we bow our heads. He alone is worthy of worship and service. We are slaves or servants of nobody save Him, nor is anyone else our Master or Sovereign. Our duty is to obey Him and abide by His laws – and His alone.

This is the covenant which you make with Allah as soon as you recite ‘La ilaha illAllah’, and while so doing you make the whole world your witness.

If you violate this covenant, your hands and feet, the tiniest hair on your bodies and every particle on earth and in the heavens, all that witnessed you breaking your pledge, will testify against you in Allah’s court. You will find yourselves in such a hopeless position that no a single witness will be found to aid you. No barrister or trial lawyers who in the courts of this world are themselves all too often guilty of bending the law to their own ends, will themselves be standing there, like you, in the same hopeless position. That court will not acquit you on the basis of forceful pleading, false witness, or forged documents. You can hide your crime from the police in this world, but not from Allah’s police. The police here may be bribed, but not there. A witness in this world can give false evidence, but not Allah’s witness. The judge of this world can do injustice, but Allah can never be unjust. And there is no escape from the jail to which Allah sends the guilty.

It is a great folly – the greatest of all follies – to enter a false covenant with Allah. Before making the covenant, think through thoroughly and then scrupulously adhere to it. You are under no compulsion to give a mere verbal pledge; but empty words shall not profit you.

Accepting the Prophet’s leadership

After ‘La ilaha illAllah’, you recite ‘Muhammadur-Rasulullah’ (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). This means that you accept Muhammad (saw) as the man through whom Allah has sent you His guidance. If we acknowledge Allah as Master and Sovereign, it is essential to know what His will is. What deeds should we perform that would please Him and what deeds should we refrain from that would displease Him? What laws should we follow to receive His forgiveness and avoid His punishment? To explain all this to us, Allah appointed Muhammad (saw) as His Messenger; for this very purpose through him He sent His Book.

The Prophet (saw) lived according to Allah’s guidance, showed us the way we should lead our lives. So, when you say ‘Muhammadur Rasulullah’ you pledge to follow the way and law given by him and to reject anything which runs counter to it. If, after making this pledge, you abandon the code of life brought by the Prophet (saw) and follow different and conflicting laws, however widely they may be accepted, there can hardly be any worse liars and more dishonest people than you.

For you enter Islam only solemnly affirming that you accept the code of life brought by him as the only true law and that you will faithfully follow it. It is on the basis of this affirmation that you become brothers unto Muslims, become eligible for inheritance from your Muslim fathers; on the same basis you were married to Muslim women, your children become legitimate and you secured the right to ask Muslims to help you, to give you alms and to be responsible for the protection of your lives, property, honor and dignity. Nothing can be more dishonest if, in spite of all this, you break your pledge

If you make the pledge of ‘La ilaha illAllah Muhammadur Rasulullah’ with a full understanding of its meaning, then it is inconceivable that you will not comply with the laws of Allah even though no police or court is forcing you to do so is visible in this world.

(To be continued)

by Sayyed Abul A’la Mawdudi

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