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The Significance of Shahada (Kalima)

"Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah"

"I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah(SWT)
and that Muhammad(SAW) is his servant and Messenger."

These are the words (Kalimah) by which one declares his/her intention to become a Muslim. A newly reverted Muslim has to understand the meaning of this simple phrase and live and act in accordance to its principles to be guaranteed admission into heaven. Mere words are easily uttered, but Allah(SWT) considers what is in one’s heart and measures one’s deeds to judge between his creatures.

Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- Who knows (all things) both secret and open; He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.
He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

(The Holy Quran, Al-Hashr, 59:22-24)

Someone, who simply repeats the Kalimah, is in the same position as a student admitted to a prestigious University. They have both overcome a great hurdle and are to be commended. However, unless they understand the significance of the action they have undertaken, apply themselves, and work earnestly toward realizing their goal, they will both fail: one in this life and the other in the hereafter.

A true Muslim is someone, who is completely aware of the meaning of this phrase, proclaims it with sincerity and devotion, and acts and lives in accordance to its requirements. Muslims are not allowed to take partners or intercessors (prophets, saints, righteous people, idols) with Allah(SWT); they are to worship, obey, and rely solely on Allah(SWT) and His revelations; they must accept Allah's(SWT) laws (religious and social) and orders (permissible and forbidden); and they should not put anyone or anything ahead of their obligations toward Allah(SWT).

A Muslim is always cognizant of the fact that the mere rejection of one of a single Word of Allah(SWT) -- revealed in the Holy Quran or taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW) -- is equivalent to denouncing faith.  This means that a Muslim will not declare human laws, man-made doctrines, or superstitious ideas superior to Allah's(SWT) teachings.  Indeed, every Muslim must realize that Allah's(SWT) laws are a reflection of His perfection and have been revealed for all ages and all societies. When Muslims fall short in the practice of their religion, they are to return to Allah(SWT) , the most Merciful, with sincere repentance and ask for forgiveness.

The believers should not be affected with the incorrect notion that the belief in God is enough to attain salvation.  We should remember that even the pagan Arabs, living at the time of the Prophet(SAW), believed in and worshipped Allah(SWT)!  They faulted in having taken idols and intercessors to bring them closer to Allah(SWT):

If thou ask them, who it is that created the heavens and the earth. They will certainly say, "Allah". Say: "Praise be to Allah!" But most of them understand not.
(The Holy Quran, Luqman, 31:25)

Give this warning to those in whose (hearts) is the fear that they will be brought (to judgment) before their Lord: except for Him they will have no protector nor intercessor: that they may guard (against evil).
(The Holy Quran, Al-Anaam, 6:51)

Allah(SWT) has instructed us to believe solely in him, worship him, and ask him for help and guidance. Muslims should avoid all satanic rituals of attributing special powers to the dead, visiting the shrines of righteous people for blessing, asking religious scholars for intercession, or seeking favors from fortune tellers.  These are pagan and superstitious rituals contradictory to the concept of "there is no deity other than Allah(SWT)":

Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did."
(The Holy Quran, Al-Anaam, 6:108)

Also contrary to the idea of "there is no deity other than Allah(SWT)" is the practice of willfully accepting, following, and promoting any doctrine or idea that contradicts Islam.  This means that we should not follow or promote any man-made concept that belies the revelations contained in the Holy Quran or authentic teachings of the Holy Prophet(SAW).  A person who does so reneges on his/her pledge to only obey and worship Allah(SWT):

But those who reject Faith and belie our Signs (revelations),- they shall be companions of Hell-fire."
(The Holy Quran, Al-Maeda, 5:86)

The phrase, "Muhammad(SAW) is his servant and Messenger", indicates that the person taking this solemn oath has accepted the divine origin of the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet(SAW).  Muslims believe that Hadhrat Muhammad(SAW) of Arabia was the last of the Prophets(pbut) to be commissioned and the perfect role model for us to follow:

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all things.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab, 33:40)

Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab, 33:21)

In the Holy Quran, we are told that Hazrat Muhammad(SAW) was given the Quran and the Wisdom [2:151] to understand and explain it [14:4] to us.  We are ordered to obey him(SAW) [3:32] and accept whatever he(SAW) gives us and abstain from whatever he(SAW) forbids us [24:7], because he only conveyed what was given to him by Allah(SWT) [53:3].

The believers should have no doubt that Allah(SWT) has kept His promise and protected his Word (revelations) from corruption.  Indeed, the same early Muslims, who protected the Holy Quran, also had a hand in protecting the authentic Hadith of the Prophet(SAW). After all, they had been instructed by Allah(SWT) and His Messenger(SAW) to recite and memorize both the holy Quran and the explanation (wisdom) given to Rasulollah(SAW):

And bear in mind that which is recited in your houses of the revelations of Allah and wisdom. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab, 33:34)

We ask Allah(SWT) to bestow his mercy upon the sincere seekers of salvation; to guide them to the true path of Islam; to clarify for them the meaning of the Shahada; and to protect them from the whispers of the accursed Satan.

Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Baqara, 2:128)



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Whom did the founder of the Qadiani (Ahmadi) mission claim to be?
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