"Katakanlah: Inilah jalan (agama)ku, aku dan orang-orang yang mengikutiku mengajak (kamu) kepada Allah dengan hujjah yang nyata, Maha Suci Allah, dan tiada aku termasuk di antara orang-orang yang musyrik" (QS Yusuf:108)

16 June, 2015





12 June, 2015

Zikir La ilaha illa Allah

The Important Pillar of Islam – Kalimah Tayyibah

There is none worthy of worship but Allah, the One True God; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

On uttering these words called Kalimah Tayyibah a person undergoes a remarkable transformation. The Kalimah Tayyibah is, in fact, a declaration of one’s belief that Islam is the true religion. The two basic and distinctive features of Islam, which distinguish it from all other creeds of the world are:
  1. a) Its uncompromising stand on the belief that there is only One True God and
  2. b) The belief in the prophethood of Mohammed (pbuh).
The Kalimah, being a declaration of one’s adherence to Islam entails both these basic elements of Islamic faith. i.e. Tawheed (oneness of God) and Risalah (prophethood) – which have been mentioned together in it. The reason for joining these two beliefs, is due to the significance of these two beliefs, in making the Muslims a separate nation from all the other creeds of the world. Moreover, if closely examined, the declaration of the combination of these two beliefs is, in its essence, the declaration of the complete contents of Islam. These simple words constitutes the fundamental basis of religion and the root of Islamic faith, the greater the devotion to thiskalimah, the more firmly the faith be rooted.

On uttering this kalimah, a person transformed from a non-Muslim to a Muslim. The person’s fate on the day of the Judgment changed from being liable to receive the divine wrath, to gaining wide opportunities to enter the gates of heaven. Those who recite it are consolidated and merged as one community or a single ummah – regardless of its race, nation, skin color or geographical location.  Malcolm X (rahimahullah) could not have clarified it better when he wrote in his letter during his Hajj experience:

“During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug – while praying to the same God – with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.
“We were truly all the same (brothers) – because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude. I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man – and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their ‘differences’ in color.”

The power of the Kalimah Tayyibah is so strong that it supersedes blood and family relationship. It joins one stranger with another though there are separated by the Pacific Ocean. It also cuts asunder one relative from another though they were born as twins with mere minutes apart.
Why then this big difference? How can a simple kalimah expressed from the mouth produce such radical change? How can a small thing uttered create a difference of heaven and earth between two individuals from the sight of Allah? The answer lies with a simple example. Suppose we are shivering in the cold weather and we start chanting quilt, heater, quilt heater several times would the cold effect stop? Or suppose we are thirsty and we just shouted water, water, water a few times does the thirst subside? No. We can only lessened the cold effect by preparing ourselves with the quilt and wrapping ourselves under it to keep us warm and cozy. We can only quench our thirst by drinking water.
This is exactly the position of this kalimah. A mere verbal expression will not bring the big change from Kafir into a Muslim. The kalimah is the key to Islam, it depends on us as Muslims to act upon it and turn the key or not. The essence of these words needs to permeate in our mind and as we recite them while understanding the meaning, we should fully realize the big commitment and great responsibility we are making before Allah. The implication of this affirmation that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the One True God and prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His Final Messenger must control our entire life with no idea opposed to the kalimah should enter our mind. Once the effect of the meaning of the words penetrates our heart, it will produce a powerful impact so as to effect a change in our thoughts, moral boundaries and daily actions.

When a Muslim testify that no one is worthy of worship but Allah, it necessarily means that he should worship none in the whole universe but the Almighty and should not bring any partner to Him in worship. The Muslims should believe that Allah is their sole guardian and Helper in distress. The Muslims should trust Allah’s guidance and should faithfully obey His commandments. Moreover, as Muslims we should not imitate and obey customs or practices that are contrary to this creed. In all the affairs, Muslims should follow the teaching of the Holy Quran and should hope for Allah’s Mercy and at the same time fear His Wrath!

Zikir 2

The second part of the kalimah is the Message of Prophethood (Risalah). In order to follow Allah’s commandment, we can’t do so unless we keep Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as our life’s instructor and guide to the right path. That is we will worship Allah as he (pbuh) told us and the obedience of the Prophet (pbuh) is really the obedience to Allah. Whatever the Prophet told us through the authentic chains of Hadith of the unseen things like angels, Hell, Paradise, the incidents in the grave and the Day of Resurrection are true and we must believe in them though we could not understand them. We must also believe that the way of life as he (pbuh) told us and has behaved himself (pbuh) accordingly is the way that is appreciated by Allah. Anyone who acts contrary to it does not tread the Right Path and subsequently not loved by Allah.

After affirming the kalimah, we can’t behave as the non-Muslims do especially if their celebration is an acknowledgement that there are other deities to be worshipped. The kalimah will bind us and we will need to follow its dictate and shun what it forbids. Through this affirmation, the Muslim will then truly submit to the will of Allah and obey His law. Only through this process and journey the big difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim is clear. After admitting that Allah is our Master, our life is not ours but the property of Allah. Our hands are not ours, nor do our eyes, ears and every limb of our body belong to us. The earth we plough, the animals we service, wealth and children– none of these are ours. We can’t claim like the champions of the LGBT do, “the body is mine so I will treat them the way I see fit” but at the same time utter the words of submission to Allah. To assert we own our body after uttering Kalimah Tayyibah is totally absurd and in reality goes against the meaning of the kalimah. Each and every thing on this earth is owned by Allah and has been given to us as a trust. As a trustee of His goods, we must make use of these goods strictly in accordance to His instruction.

The beauty of this is that though all these belong to Allah, He takes it back and says:
“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise” [Surah At-Taubah: 111].

Allah is Great! What a beautiful bounty this is.

“Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word (Kalimah Tayyibah) like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in worldly life and in the Hereafter. And Allah sends astray the wrongdoers. And Allah does what He wills.” [Surah Ibrahim: 24-27].

Allah knows best.

11 June, 2015

The real difference between a Muslim and a Kafir.

Masjid Putrajaya

This section is a continuation from the previous article and summarizes the second chapter from Abu A’la Maududi’s rahimahullah (rh) book entitled “Fundamentals of Islam”. This part is probably the first of the few chapters that serves as the main foundation in his explanation on this topic and attempts to answer a very rudimentary question to Muslims and non-Muslims alike – why is there so much difference between a Muslim and a “Kafir”? One key point that he kept stressing is that the answer to this question should be answered cool-mindedly and not be looked from a provocative perspective. We should strive to do the same.

A non-believer is as much an offspring of prophet Adam (pbuh) as Muslims are. They breath the same air, drink the same water and inhabit the same land as Muslims do. Allah created them as Allah created Muslim. Why then, in the day of the Hereafter Allah promised the true believers Paradise and the non-believers Hellfire? Why is Allah the Most Just and Most Merciful makes a distinct treatment in the Hereafter for these two groups of people?

This is the main point that must be pondered and reflected deeply. Allah the Almighty is not cruel to discriminate between all human beings on petty grounds such as bearing different names, eating “non-halal” foods or whether one person is circumcised or not. Allah the Most Beneficent is far from such unjust attributes. The answer to this question is actually simple yet it has always been taken for granted.
The meaning of Islam is obedience to Allah while the opposite of Islam that is “Kufr” is disobedience to Allah.  A true Muslim recognizes his Master, obey His orders and fears the consequence of disobeying Him. However, a non-Muslim falls from Allah’s grace because the person does not recognize Allah as the One True God and does not carry out Allah’s instruction on this earth. It is only through this distinction that Allah promises the reward of heaven to Muslims and warns the unbelievers the threats of hellfire. Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) was born in the home of an idolator but he came to know of Allah and worshipped Him. Prophet Noah (pbuh) son was born in a prophet’s home but he did not understand God and disobeyed Him.

Thus, the main difference in the sight of Allah between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is in relation to the person’s knowledge and deeds. The reward that a Muslim will get in the Hereafter is proportionate to the degree of the Muslim’s conviction and deeds on this face of this earth.

Therefore, if the knowledge and deeds of a person who claims himself or herself as a Muslim is similar to those who disobey Allah, the person should really check where his or her faith really lies.
Abu A’la Maududi rahimahullah made it clear in this chapter, “A Kafir does not read the Quran and does not know what is written therein. If similar is a condition of a Muslim, why should he be called a Muslim? A Kafir does not know the teaching of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and what straight path the prophet has shown to reach Allah. If a Muslim is equally ignorant of this, how is he considered a Muslim? A Kafir follow his own desire instead of following the command of God. If a Muslim too like him is headstrong and unbridled and a follower of his own ideas or opinion, indifferent to God and is a slave of lust then what right does he to call himself an obedient slave of Allah? A Kafir does not need to discriminate between Halal and Haram and takes to anything that to him is beneficial and full of relish, no matter whether it is Halal or Haram in the sight of Allah. If a Muslim behavior is the same as that of a non-Muslim, what difference is there between him and a Kafir?”

This is a point that requires a deep reflection by us as Muslims. The condition of our ummah today suggests that we’ve neglected our duty as Muslims and there is only a slight difference between non-Muslims and us. If we continue this path, we can’t entitle ourselves as true Muslim. In fact, the opposite is probably true (we seek refuge from Allah for such thing) since we already know that the Quran is the word of Allah yet we treat it similar as a non-Muslim does. We know Allah cursed liars, those who believes in shamans and khurafat, taking and giving bribes, declare war against interest and usury, warned against backbiting, obscenity and lewdness yet despite of knowing all these we continue to be indulged in these vices as if there is absolutely no fear of Allah.

This again goes back to the first part of the series that was published last month that is the importance of true knowledge for being a Muslim. It is thus important that we continue to strive and learn about the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Muslims need to appreciate the great loss we’re experiencing by remaining ignorant on the Islamic teachings. The book of God is with us yet we’re moving away from Allah’s teaching. Allah demands the Muslim to put the ummah unity as a priority yet we instead prefer to put that aside and make our political pact as more important.

We know the pain of losing badminton or when our favorite football team loses in the final tournament. We know the loss and suffering due to being a lower income nation with high cost of living. Yet we do not know the loss of being unaware of Islam’s teaching, acknowledging and submitting that Allah is the One True God and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the Last Messenger.

Can there be a greater loss than this?

05 June, 2015


It is never too late to learn about Islam and the most proper way to get to know about Islam is to first learn about its very fundamental- the principle of Islamic belief.

In that spirit, let us all begin a lesson on Aqidah Islamiyah (or The Islamic Creed) based on a book of the same name that was authored by none other than the highly respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq.

Islam, as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), consists of Iman (faith) and Amal (deeds).

In the simplest terms, Iman is the principles upon which Shariah law and amal are derived.
Consistent with the meaning of the word Islam, which is ‘to submit’, the essence of Iman calls for all Muslims to solidly believe in the following six articles of faith:

First and foremost is to believe in Allah including His Exalted Names, Supreme Attributes and most importantly, The Oneness of Allah.

Secondly, is to believe in the realm of the unseen especially the Angels of Allah besides recognizing the existence of Iblis, Jinn and the concept of Ruh (soul).

Thirdly, is to believe in the Books of Allah that will guide Muslims in distinguishing between good and bad, between truth and falsehood, between permissible and forbidden as prescribed in Islam.

Fourthly, is to believe in the Prophets who were chosen to convey the divine message and guidance to mankind.

Fifthly, is to believe in the afterlife and all of its elements such as the Day of Resurrection, judgment, punishment and rewards that is either heaven or hell.

Finally, is to believe in the divine destiny (qada’ and qadar) in that everything in this world occurs as predetermined by Allah.

These are the essence of iman in Islam. It is fixed and remains so until the end of time. On this very same note, the principles of Islamic Law, which serves to fulfil the objective of the articles of faith, are also applicable and relevant for all times and places. A Muslim shall never proclaim that some parts of the Islamic Law, such as hudud, are no longer appropriate in this era, or that its implementation must wait for a more suitable time.

“O you, who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.” (An Nisa’, 4:136)

With this set of belief firmly nurtured in the heart of a Muslim, what comes next is all about the responsibility in practicing it and upholding it. It is all about synchronizing one’s actions, and conscience, with one’s belief.

For example, a Muslim is required to perform salat (prayers), and never to miss it regardless of circumstances, as salat has been prescribed as a fardhu (obligation) upon all Muslims. Here, salat becomes the deed that manifests one’s iman.

And to perform the salat as exactly as how the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) performed it is also a manifestation of one’s iman. So a Muslim shall not do it in other ways such as praying without covering the aurat. Or, a female Muslim prays as the imam to a mixed-gender congregation.
These are just some of the examples on how Islam is really about the faith and the ensuing deeds.  A Muslim cannot just profess to have faith but abandon the deeds that are binding to it. And the deeds must also be true as exemplified by the Prophet, and not an innovation. We will discuss more on this later on.

In the next part of this series, we will share the wisdom of Allah in fixing the principles of iman and also the methodology used by the Prophet in nurturing iman to the people.
May Allah guides and blesses us all with Islam.