The second aspect of the statement of faith is to testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. This is also not a mere pronouncement; rather, it is a profession with some implications, from these are:
TO BELIEVE IN HIM
The first and foremost implication of our saying that Muhammad is the messenger of Allaah is to believe in him and to believe in the message he was sent with. Allaah says:
“Believe in Allaah and His Messenger and the light which He sent down.” (Q64[Taghabun]:8)
Qadhi Iyadh said: “Believe in the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) therefore an obligation for every individual. Believe is not complete without it and Islaam is only valid with it.”
Allaah has linked belief in Him with belief in His messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). They are inseparable. To belief in the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) is to live according to his guidance. It is much more than mere recognition of the fact that he is a prophet. This is the first implication of the declaration of faith.
TO OBEY HIM
This is another implication of our saying that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). Allaah says:
“O you who believe, obey Allaah and His Messenger.” (Q8[Anfal]:20)
Allaah mentioned obedience to the Messenger in connection with obedience to Him. You cannot have one without the other.
Obeying the messenger means following his commands and staying away from what he has prohibited. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) himself said:
“All of my ummah will enter paradise except for those who refuse to.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, who will refuse?” He replied, “Whoever obeys me will enter the Paradise, Whoever disobeys me has refused.” (Bukhari)
TO LOVE HIM
A Muslim that testifies in truth that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah must love him. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“None of you will believe until I am more beloved to you than your children, your fathers and all people.” (Bukhari)
RESPECT FOR HIM
“O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good news and a warner, so believe in Allaah and His Messenger and help him and respect him.” (Q48[Fath]:8-9)
respect for the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) includes honouring him, exalting him with the noblest title such as the Messenger of Allaah or Prophet of Allaah. It includes putting his opinion over our own and defending him if he is verbally abused
ACCEPT HIS JUDGMENT
Yet another implication of saying the kalimah is to judge by the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and accept his judgement. Allaah says:
“If you quarrel over anything, then refer it back to Allaah and the Messenger.” (Q4[Nisaa]:58)
Therefore it is incumbent upon us to look in the Qur’an and the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) brought and judge by them, and rule according them.
MAKE HIM THE MODEL
“You have a good model in the Messenger of Allaah for one who hopes for Allaah and the last day.”[Q33[Ahzaab]:21)
Commenting on this verse, Imam Tirmidhi (RAH) said:
“ To take the Messenger as a model means to emulate him, follow his Sunnah and avoid opposition to him in either words or action.”
We should strive to follow his mode of life, his sayings, and doings, his conduct and manners.
NOT TO EXAGGERATE IN REVERENCE OF HIM
Our shahadah does not require that we defy Muhammad. This is the mistake of the Christians with regard to Jesus. Deifying Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) will throw a person into disbelief. Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was a servant and a worshipper of Allaah. He was a Prophet and a Messenger. Allaah says:
“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger.” (Q3[Nisaa]:144)
The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) himself said:
“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Chrisitans exaggerated in their praise of the son of Maryam for indeed I am a slave, so say, ‘the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.” (Bukhari)
BESTOW BLESSING ON HIM
Each time we hear his name mentioned, our acceptance of him as a Messenger mentioned, our acceptance of him as a messenger of Allaah requires that we bestow blessings upon him. Allaah says:
The meaning of bestowing blessing upon the Prophet is asking Allaah to preserve him from any harm coming from any harm coming to him and it is also a greeting to him.
Since Allaah has commanded that we send salah and salam upon the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) then it is a general obligation and not restricted to a specific time. The obligation is that we must do it at least once. However, saying it more than once is highly recommended and is the Sunnah.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited