Most everyone knows that to enter Islam, one must bear witness that there is none worthy of worship save Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Many times the first part of the shahaadah or testimony is discussed in detail. However, it is just as important to understand the meaning and the implications of the second part of the shahaadah. Indeed, sometimes one strays from the Straight Path and from Islam itself because he is not implementing the second part of the shahaadah properly.
MUHAMMAD (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) IS 'THE VERY BEST OF CREATION: When you testify that Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is the Messenger of Allah. you are stating your belief that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was chosen by Allah to be His Messenger and to convey His Message. Allah says:
"And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and He chooses." (Q28[al-Qasas1:68)
Allah creates and has power to do all things. Allah specifically chose the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to be His Messenger. Allah also says, "Allah knows best with whom to place His Message. "(Q6.[ al-Anaam]:124).
This implies some characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad· (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) as obviously Allah. due to His justice wisdom and mercy would not choose one who is treacherous or lying to be His Messenger. Allah would not choose anyone for such an important mission whom He knew would not convey the message or who would use the position to his own advantage. lbn Mas'ood (RA) said: "Indeed, A1laah looked into the hearts of the servants and found the heart ofMuhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to be the best of the hearts of the servants. So He chose him for Himself and sent him as a Messenger." (Ahmad)
If anyone claims that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) did not 'actually convey the entire message or that he distorted it in any way. he is actually saying that Allah did not know who was the correct or best person to be a messenger. This would be obvious disbelief (kufr).
MUHAMMAD,(sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) IS A MESSENGER TO ALL MANKIND: With your shahaadah, you also testify that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has been sent for all of mankind until the Day of Judgement. Allah says:
"Say[0 Muhammad]: 0 mankind! Verily,I am sent to you all as the Messenger or Allah". (Q7[al-Araaf]:158 )
Furthermore.' the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"I have been given five things that were not given to any Prophet before me .. [One of which is every prophet was sent only to his people while I have been sent to all mankind.
It is obligatory upon everyone from the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) until the Day of Judgement to .believe in and follow him. His message. which includes both the Qur'an and his inspired sunnah, is for all mankind - including each and everyone alive today and until eternity. If the, message of Islam clearly reaches a person and he still refuses to believe in and follow Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam). he is a disbeliever and will be in the Hell-fire forever - unless he repents and embraces Islam.
MUAMMAD (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) CONVEYED THE MESSAGE FULLY &CLEARLY: Third. when you declare the shahaadah you also testify that you believe with certainty that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) conveyed the message - he conveyed it correct1y, he conveyed all of it, and he conveyed it clearly. Allah says:
"The Messenger's duty is only to convey(the message) in a clear way". (Q24[al-Nur]:54)
The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) himself said:
I left you on a bright path whose night and day are alike. No one strays from it after me except he is destroyed." (Ahmad)
He conveyed all of the guidance and revelation that he received from Allah. He conveyed and explained it in a clear manner. Therefore, the believer is also testifying that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) conveyed all aspects of the religion - its fundamentals as well as its secondary aspects. There is no part of the religion that one needs for his guidance that was not conveyed to mankind or that Allah or the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) may have possibly forgotten. Therefore, when this complete and clear guidance from the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is present there is no need for any Muslim to turn to other sources for guidance.
There is no need for one to turn to the books of the Jews. Christians or indeed any other. In fact the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) told Umar. when he saw him reading the Torah that if the Prophet Muusaa (alayhis sallam) were alive at his time. He would also have to follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad. (Ahmad) Abu Qataadah (RA) reported:
"We were sitting with 'Imraan ibn Husain (RA) in a company and Bushair ibn Kaab was also amongst us. 'Imraan narrated to us on that day that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said. "AI-Hayaa [modesty etc.] is an absolute goodness (or said:modesty is a complete goodness)." Upon this Bushair ibn Kaab said:
'Verily we find in some books (or books of wisdom) that. it [ql-Hayaa] leads to tranquility (peace of mind) and solemnity for the sake of Allah and there is also weakness in it."
'Imraan was so much enraged that is eyes became reddish and he said. "I am narrating you the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam)and you are making contradiction in it." (Muslim)
MUHAMMAD (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) IS THE FINAL MESSENGER: When you declare."Muhammad Is the Messenger of Allah", you are also declaring that he is the final prophet sent byAllah. Allah says in the Quran:
There are two sides to this; first is that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has 'abrogated' the mission of all the prophets that came before him and following their way is no longer required. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
"By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad. He who amongst this nation. the Jews or Christians. Hears about me but does not believe in that which I have been sent with and dies in this state (of disbelief). he shall be one of the dwellers ofHell-fire." (Muslim)
Second is that there is to be no prophet who is going to come after him. No new prophet and no new scripture will come that will abrogate what he has brought. Furthermore, if anyone after him claims to .be a prophet it is known automatically that such a person is a liar and a deceiver. [The Prophet 'Issa (alayhis sallam) will return before the Day of Judgement. However, he will not be coming as a prophet or a messenger but only as a follower of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam)] He must be opposed and it should be declared to all that his claim to prophethood is false. To accept anyone as a prophet after Prophet Muhammad.(sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is to falsify one's declaration of the shahaadah.
OBLIGATIONS OF SAYING "MUHAMMAD IS THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH"
When you make the testimony of faith this not only implies that you believe in certain things but also implies that you accept certain responsibilities that stem from that shahaadah. For example when you say that 'there is none worthy of worship except Allah' for that shahaadah to be a correct form of testimony. it means that you are now taking on the responsibility of worshipping no one other than Allah. Similarly. 'when you say. "I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah," you also take on certain responsibilities with respect to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam).When you are lacking in any of these responsibilities then you are lacking in the complete fulfillment of your testimony of faith. It can even get to the point that he negates his shahaadah completely by refusing to fulfill his responsibilities to the Prophet(sallallaahu'alayhi wa sallam).
For instance it is known that an one who knowingly and willingly violates the shahaadah becomes a disbeliever. For example if anyone worships anything or anybody else along with his worship ofAllah such as worshipping Jesus or other similar man-made deities along with worshipping Allah then that person becomes a disbeliever. Similarly, If anyone curses the Prophet claims that he is a liar or willingly disputes his valid claims this person has violated the second portion of his shahaadah and. thereby falls outside of the fold of Islam.
YOU MUST LOVE HIM!: One of these obligations toward the Prophet is to love him. This does not imply any form of love but complete eeman requires that one loves the Prophet more than anyone or anything else of this world. Allah says:
"Say: If your fathers, your son your brothers your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the comerce in which you fear a decline and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenge and striving hard and fighting in His cause then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are disobedient." (Q9[at-Taubah}:24)
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alayhiwa sallam) also said:
"None if you will have faith till he loves me more than his father his children and aI- mankind." (Muslim)
HE IS YOUR BEST EXAMPIE: The second obligation is that when you make the shahaadah. this means that you have accepted the Prophet Muhammad (sal/al/aahu 'alayhi wa sal/am) as your example of how to live and behave in a way that is correct and pleasing to Allah. Allah says:
"Indeed inthe Messenger of Allah you have an excellent exampleto follow for him who hopes in (a good meeting with)Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much." (Q33[al-Ahzaab}:21)
Allah also says:
"Say (0 Muhammad): If you love Allah. then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins." (Q3[ali- Imraan}:3 I)
It is very strange that there are some Muslims who do not consider the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) as the example of the way of life that a believer should follow. Not only do they not take him as an example for themselves they actually oppose others who do take the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) as their example. This is nothing but a clear sign that such a
person does not have a clear understanding of the meaning and implications of the testimony of faith that he made. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said:
"I swear by AIlah that Iam the most fearfulofAI/ahand most conscious of Him than all ofyou. But also fast and break my fast, pray and sleep at night and Imarry women. Whoever turns away from my sunnah;s not from me [i.e is not one of my true followers]." (Bukhari)
HE SEPARATES THE BELIEVER FROM THE UNBELIEVERS: Jabir ibn 'Abdullah (RA) narrated that some angels came to the Prophet while he was sleeping. Some of them sad. "He is sleeping." Others said. "His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake." Then they said. "There is an example for this companion of yours." One of them 'said. "Then set forth an example for him." One of them said. "He is sleeping." Another said. "His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake." Then they said. "His example is that of a man who built a house and then offered therein a banquet and sent an inviter (messenger) to invite the people. So whoever accepted the invitation of the inviter. entered the house and ate of the banquet and whoever did not accept the invitation of the inviter. did not enter the house. nor did he eat of the banquet."
Then the angels said: "Interpret this parable to him so that he may understand it." One of them said. "He is sleeping." The others said. "His eyes are sleeping but his heart is awake." And then they said. "The house stands for Paradise and the call-maker is Muhammad (sal/al/aahu 'alayhi wa sal/am); and whoever obeys Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) obeys Allah; and whoever disobeys Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) disobeys Allah. Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sal/am) separated the people [i.e. through his message. The good is distinguished from the bad. and the believers from the disbelievers)." (Bukhari)
THE PROPHET’S TESTAMENT
The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) had a great concern for the safety of his Utnmah, Once, he recited:
"My Lord! Lo! they have led many of mankind astray: "But whoso follows me. he verily is of me"(QI4[lbrahim]:35).
and he recited: "If you punish them, lo! they are Your slaves, and lf You forgive them--verily You are the Mighty, the Wise" (Q5[Maidah]: 117).
Then the Rasul (salallahu alayhi wa. sallam) raised his hands and said: "0 Lord, myUmmah, my Ummah", and wept. So Allah said: "so Jibril go to Muhammad (though your Lord knows it fully well) and ask him: 'What makes you weep?'So Jibril (AS) came to him and asked him, and the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)informed him of what he had said (though Allah knew it fully well). Upon this Allah said: "0 Jibril, go to Muhammad and say:
'Verily We shall please you with regard to your Ummah and shall not displease you. (Muslim).
Towards the end of his life, every action he performed and every word he said indicated his wish that his Ummah would remain upon the right path and not to go astray after his death:
Beware of Shaytan:The greatest enemy man has is Shaytan. He has vowed to mislead man from the Straight Path: "I will mislead them and I will create in them false desires" (Q4[Nisaa1:.I19) During the last hajj preceding his death, the Prophet (salallahu alayhiwa sallam) called out to the people
"0 people! Listen to what I say. I do not know whether I will ever meet you at this place once again after this current year" (Ibn Hishaamn). And he also warned: "Beware of Shaytan, foryour safety of your religion. He has lost hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things. So beware of following him in small things, .. "
Part of the little things we were Warned about is the additions to the deen which we often called bid'atunhasanaat (good bid'ahs). Imaam Sufyaan ath- Thawree (RAH) said:
"Innovations are more beloved to Shaytan than sin. Sins may be repented from but notan innovation." (Sharh Usull'tiqaad).
Do not leave the Path of Piety: Only pure faith and sincere righteous and pious actions can bring success on the Day of Judgment. During the same hajj al-wada (the farewell pilgrimage) the Prophet the believers:
"Remember one (Jay you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware. Do not go astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone ... "
When Allah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) sent Mu'adh to Yemen. He went out with him giving him advice, Mu'adh riding and Allah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) walking beside his riding' beast. Then when he finished he said,
"Perhaps Mu'adh. you may not meet me after this year, but Perhaps you may pass this mosque of mine and my grave."
Mu'adh wept from grief over the departure of Allah's Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) then turned facing Medina and said,
"Those nearest to me are the pious.whoever they are and whenever they are." (Tirmidhi)
Hold Firm to the Qur’an and Sunnah: The Rasul (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said:
"Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) which if you hold fast you shall never go astray" (Muslim)
One who limits his guidance to these two as did the companions, shall never fall into error and whoever goes outside of this does not enjoy that guarantee.
Five days before his death, in the thick of his mortal illness, he fainted and suffered from pain. Inspite of the pain, an important matter had to be addressed.
"Pour out on me seven Qirab (water skin pots) of various water well so that may go out to meet the people and talk to them" he said. Thereafter he sat on the pulpit and made a speech and said:'
"The curse of Allaah falls upon the Jews and Christians for they have their Prophets' tombs places of worship. "and concluded: "Do'not make my tomb a worshipped idol." (Bukhari)
And this was' a great matter indeed for worshipping the grave is an act of shirk (setting up partners with Allaah) which could take away the last hope of good for this Ummah forgiveness. For Allaah says: 'Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allaah is to devise a sin most heinous." Q4 Nisaa :48
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited