Monday, November 16, 2009

The Real Meaning of Shahadatayn

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Author : Faimee Erwan ChanThe

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. Subhanallah. Amma ba’d. Salam to all.

‘Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah, wa ashhadu anna muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rosuluh’ = i testify that there is no God except for Allah and i testify that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.

This is a prerequisite for someone to embrace Islam. It looks merely of words but as we know, words hold power sometimes beyond our imagination. The flavours that tickle the sensitive mind.

Our shahadatayn have three parts in them - the one dealing with our hearts, the other that is proclaimed by our tongues and the last and always forgotten, the one which is put to practice by our bodies.

Let me put them in point form so that it is easier for us to remember:

1. Our hearts
2. Our tongues
3. Our bodies

Whence we believe, we believe with our hearts that we trust only and only on the Oneness of our Lord and that Allah had sent down Muhammad, our beloved prophet as a guide for the human kind. We then need to openly say out the truth that we hold in our hearts by saying out the Shahadatayn. In order for them to be valid, the two components must be present, meaning to say that we are confirming the faith in our hearts. Without the heart, our Shahadatyn are invalid.

The desert Arabs, say “We believe.” Say “Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say `We have submitted our wills to Allah.’ for not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not belittle aught oft your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” (14) - Suratul Hujrat.

Alright, let’s go to the matter that i would like to touch most - our bodies. The Shahadatayn as most of our words have their rights that we need to fulfill. A word without practice is also a blasphemy. Let’s read the 44th verse of Suratul Baqarah:

Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people and forget (to practise it) yourselves and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand? (44)

Our prophet himself is a leading example of one who enliven the Shahadatayn by following every single order that Allah has commanded us to do and leaving Allah’s prohibitions aside. Don’t we remember that our beloved mother of believers had said that Rasulullah’s akhlaq is the Quran itself and what else besides the Quran and the Sunna that are best to equate as the meaning of the Shahadatayn.

Simple words saying that We believe in Allah as the only God have great impact in our lives because one can only truly believe if he/she accepts the whole package of submission to Allah. Let me explain; if you do not pray, then you have to question the strength of your faith because prayers are part of the pillars of Islam. If you commit a sin thinking that nobody knows, then there is something wrong with your faith because Allah is All-Knowing and Oft-Seeing. If you know this and still you commit the sin, then you do not truly believe in Allah for a true belief in Allah is also to be fearful of Allah.

The second part of the Shahadatayn where we testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah is crucial because Rasulullah was a living proof that the Quran can be practised all out. Quran is not a theory as Rasulullah was the evidence that it is not just a Book with grand words and inspiring stories. How do we live up to this second portion of our Shahadatayn? The answer is easy - we follow what Rasulullah did and stay away from what he forbade i.e following his Sunna.

Dear respected readers,

The Quran should be read not only with our tongues (bodies) but also by our hearts. We should also use our limited mind to picture ourselves within the context stated in the Quran and this can only come with more knowledge of the Quran (Ulumul Quran). Don’t only read the Quran with our hearts because our hearts interlink with our minds and our bodies. All these three aspects have to come hand in hand to really grasp the wonder and the secrets of the Quran. It is just as much when you talk about the Sunna and Seerah. Try practising this in our lives and see the difference because every little faith which we truly and sincerely believe in will determine the way we shape our thinking and will later be evident in our speech and emulated by our behaviour. So there you go, a complete set of the real meaning of our Shahadatayn, one that comprises all these: Heart –> Mind –> Body (Tongue & Others).