|أحمد محمد لبن Ahmad.M.Lbn|
مؤسس ومدير المنتدى
عدد المساهمات : 27322
العمر : 67
|موضوع: The Testimony of Faith: الخميس 20 يوليو 2017, 7:11 am|| |
The Testimony of Faith:
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
It is important to understand the meaning and the implications of the second part of the testimony of faith as well. Indeed, sometimes one strays from the Straight Path and from Islam itself because he is not implementing the second part of the declaration of faith properly.
When one testifies that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, he is stating his belief that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen by Allah to be His Messenger and to convey His Message. Allah specifically chose the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be His Messenger. Allah says, “Allah knows best with whom to place His Message” (6:124).
This implies some characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 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. If anyone claims that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 is obvious disbelief.
Second, when one makes the testimony of faith, he is also testifying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been sent for all of mankind until the Day of Judgment. Allah says in the Quran, “Say [O Muhammad]: O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah” (7:158). It is obligatory upon everyone from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) until the Day of Judgment to believe in and follow the Prophet (peace be upon him). This also implies that the Prophet’s teachings and his Sunnah are valid and obligatory upon all of mankind until the Day of Judgment.
Some people seem to try to resist the idea that they have to follow the Prophet (peace be upon him). When they do so, they must realize that they are going against what they have testified to. They have testified that the Prophet’s message, which includes both the Quran and his inspired Sunnah, is for all of mankind— including each and everyone alive today.
Third, when one makes the declaration of faith, he is testifying that he believes with certainty that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) conveyed the message— he conveyed it correctly, he conveyed all of it, and he conveyed it clearly. Allah says in the Quran, “The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way” (29: 18). The Prophet (peace be upon him) 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.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) conveyed all of the guidance and revelation that he received from Allah. He conveyed and explained it in a clear manner. Therefore, one is also testifying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) conveyed all the aspects of the religion– its fundamental 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 (peace be upon him) may have possibly forgotten.
Therefore, when this complete and clear guidance from the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 or Christians. Indeed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) told Umar, when he saw him reading the Torah, that if the Prophet Moses were alive at his time, he would also have to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). There is no need for any Muslim to turn to the Greek philosophers, for example, to learn about theology.
In fact, there is no need for Muslims to turn the religious or spiritual teachings of any non-Muslims to get guidance. All that is needed is to be found in the Quran and Sunnah. This is part of what the Muslim is testifying to. The Muslim bears witness that the Prophet (peace be upon him) conveyed the entire message.
When one declares, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” one is also declaring that he is the final prophet sent by Allah. Allah says in the Quran, “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the Prophets” (33: 40).
There is to be no prophet who is going to come after the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). No new prophet and no new scripture will come that will abrogate what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought. Furthermore, if anyone after the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) claims to be a prophet, it is known automatically that such a person is a liar and a deceiver. 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 the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is to falsify one’s declaration of the testimony of faith.
It must also be realized that when one makes the testimony of faith, this not only implies that he believes in certain things but it also implies that he accepts certain responsibilities that stem from it. For example, when he says that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, for that testimony to be true, it means that he is now taking on the responsibility of worshipping no one other than Allah.
Similarly, when one says, “I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” he is taking on certain responsibilities with respect to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When he is lacking in any of these responsibilities, then he is lacking in his complete fulfillment of his testimony of faith. It can even get to the point that he negates his testimony completely by refusing to fulfill his responsibility to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
One of these obligations toward the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to love him. This does not just imply any form of love but complete faith requires that one loves the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than anyone or anything else of this world. Allah says in the Quran, “Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, 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” (9:24).
Second, when one makes the testimony of faith, this means that he is accepting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as his example of how to live and behave in a way that is correct and pleasing to Allah. Allah says in the Quran, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for him who hopes in (a good meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much” (33:21). Allah also says, “Say (O Muhammad): If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins” (3:31)
It is very strange that some people actually state the testimony of faith and declare that Muhammad is the Messenger and Prophet of Allah yet at the same time they do not consider him an 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 (peace be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him) has said,
“I swear by Allah that I am the most fearful of Allah and most conscious of Him than all of you. But I also [as part of my Sunnah] fast and break my fast, pray and sleep [at night] and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me [that is, is not one of my true followers].” In this hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that he is the most fearful of Allah and God-conscious. Therefore, there is no excuse for anyone not to follow his example and guidance. But he also stated that the one who turns away from his practice and example is not from him. One cannot truthfully claim to believe in and accept the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and, at the same time, refuse to accept his life as the example that one must strive to emulate.
Other Deeds Related to the Act of Embracing Islam
There are a few other deeds that are often associated with the act of declaring one’s faith. These are (1) a complete bathing, (2) removing all of one’s hairs from pre-Islamic days and (3) circumcision. Each of these shall be discussed separately below. Before moving on, it must be noted that none of these actions, however, should lead to a delay in a person’s embracing Islam. In fact, once a person has decided to embrace Islam, the event should not be postponed, for example, to a more appropriate time or a time in which more people will be witnessing and so forth. In reality, no one knows when a person may be taken by death and, therefore, whenever a person has made a conclusive decision to embrace Islam, he should embrace it at that time by making the declaration of faith.
(1) A Complete Bathing:
There are actually four opinions among the scholars concerning the complete bathing in connection with embracing Islam. Without going into great detail , the views may be summarized as follows: One view is that the bathing is obligatory upon anyone who embraces Islam. This is one opinion found in the Maliki school and is the well-known opinion of the Hanbali school. Another view is that this bathing is not obligatory under any circumstances. This is also a view held by some of the Hanbali school. A third view is that this bathing is recommended for anyone who embraces Islam. This is one of the views of the Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali schools. A final view holds that this bathing is only recommended, unless an individual is in a state of sexual defilement or a woman has previously experienced menstruation or post-partum bleeding—in which case it becomes obligatory. In those cases, the bathing is required for the state of ritual purity required for the prayer.
Part of the reason for the difference of opinion on this issue is the existence of some reports in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told some individuals who had embraced Islam to perform a complete bathing. However, as stated earlier, in order for such reports (or hadith) to be considered a proof in Islamic Law, they must meet very stringent conditions. These reports all have some minor defects to them and are considered weak by a number of hadith scholars.
In addition, some scholars note that numerous people embraced Islam during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and there is no record of there being a general order or understanding that such people were to bathe as part of the process of becoming Muslim. Furthermore, given this argument, the reports of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) telling some individuals to bathe may be a sign that such bathing is recommended but not obligatory.
At the same time, though, the new Muslim is going to be required to perform the prayers. It is a requirement for the prayer that an individual be in a state of physical purity and the act of bathing itself requires the intention of entering into a state of purity, as opposed to being simply for the sake of washing. Although some scholars argue that the individual’s previous state is overlooked by Islam, this does not seem to be a strong argument at this point. If the individual is sexually defiled or if a woman has experienced menstruation or post-partum bleeding, they will have to make a complete bathing before performing the prayer.
In sum, based on the overall evidence, it can be argued that bathing after making one’s declaration of the faith is, at most, a recommended act but not an obligatory act. This should not be looked at as a mere ritual without any significance. The person who embraces Islam definitely has had a spiritual rebirth and is setting about on a transformation of his life. In fact, for most converts, Islam is truly a life transformation very different from his previous pattern of life. Hence, he should prepare himself mentally, emotionally and physically. This bathing metaphorically removes from him all of the different types of physical impurities that may still be lingering on him. He is now ready to venture on his new path.
In any case, though—at least to be on the safe side—before one prays, one has to be in a state of physical purity which would require a complete bathing on the part of those who were sexually defiled or women who had experienced menstruation or post-partum bleeding in the past.
(2) Removing all of one’s hairs from pre-Islamic days:
This action is also based on a hadith which the vast majority of the scholars reject as weak. This is a hadith in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said to a man who had just informed him that he had embraced Islam, “Remove from yourself [or shave off of yourself] the hairs from [the time of] disbelief.”
Again, even if the hadith is accepted as authentic, this was not a practice that was known to be widespread during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or afterwards. Thus, some scholars understand this hadith as applying only to those people who grew their hair for a religious purpose. In that case, they should remove that hair upon becoming a Muslim.
For example, in contemporary times, it is well-known that Sikhs do not remove any hairs from their head or body as a sign of their brotherhood. However, there is nothing explicit in the text that would support his interpretation. Hence, once again, either the hadith is weak or if it is accepted, it may be understood to be a recommended but not a required act. As with the case of the bathing, it is an act by which one removes the remnants of his pre-Islamic life in order to set about on his new life as a Muslim and servant of God.
In some of the narrations that mention the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) telling the new Muslim to remove his hairs of pre-Islamic days, the individual is also told to be circumcised. There is also another narration that states, “Whoever embraces Islam is to be circumcised, even if he is of older age.” But this is also a report that cannot be verified as a statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
There is no question that circumcision is an established practice of Islam. It is obligatory or an emphasized recommended act. However, the evidence is lacking to prove that one must immediately fulfill this act upon becoming a Muslim. There are some exceptions that excuse a person from performing this act.
In the past, scholars mentioned an adult who embraces Islam and fears negative consequences via the process of circumcision. Of course, in contemporary times, this possibility has been reduced, as circumcision is now a precise and safe medical procedure. At the same time, though, it is costly in some parts of the world, especially if it is considered an elective procedure. This financial burden could be more than what some converts could afford to bear, in which case they can delay the procedure until they are able to afford it. And Allah alone knows best.