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Prerequisite of The Testimony of Faith [2]


Prerequisites of the Testimony of Faith (Part 2)

Knowledge, Certainity, Acceptance & Submission
By Jamaal Zarabozo

A person who has knowledge and certainty about shahadah (testimony of faith) must follow them with acceptance of tongue and heart.

The first part of this article mentioned that the testimony of faith should follow certain conditions.

The first of these conditions isknowledge.

That is to say, one must have the basic and general knowledge of what is meant by shahadah (testimony of faith). God says in the Quran:

{Know, then, that there is no god except God, and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women.} (Muhammad 47: 19)

Similarly, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

"Whoever dies knowing that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah shall enter Paradise." (Muslim)

In fact, the shahadah itself is a testimony. When one testifies to something, he must know what it is that he is testifying.

Obviously, a testimony about something that one does not have any knowledge about is absolutely unacceptable. God says in the Quran:

{And those whom they call on besides Him have no power of intercession, except those who bear witness to the truth with [full] knowledge.} (Az-Zukhruf 43: 86)

Certainty
The second condition of the shahadah is certainty. This is the opposite of doubt and uncertainty. One must be absolutely certain of the truth of his faith; his heart must not be wavering in any way when he testifies to the truth of: "There is none worthy of worship except Allah." God describes the believers in the Quran as those who have belief in Him and then their hearts waver not.

God says:
{The [true] believers are only those who believe in God and His Messenger, and then have not doubted, and who strive with their wealth and their souls for the cause of God. It is they who are sincere.} (Al-Hujurat 49: 15)

The cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is through sound knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah that most of these doubts will be removed

Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad said:
"No one meets Allah with the testimony that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah, and he has no doubt about that statement, except that he will enter Paradise." (Muslim)

Indeed, God describes the hypocrites as those people whose hearts are wavering. For example, God says:
{They alone ask leave of you who do not believe in God and the Last Day, and whose hearts are doubtful, so in their doubt they waver.} (At-Tawbah 9: 45)

Many scholars have stated that the diseases of the heart, or the doubt and suspicions are more dangerous for a person' faith than lusts and desires.

The cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is through sound knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah that most of these doubts will be removed. By studying and understanding, one will attain certainty. And as one studies and learns more, his certainty will be made firmer and firmer. An example on this point related to doubts, suspicions and misconceptions about the authenticity of the Hadith literature. For example, some Muslims even claim that the Hadith was not recorded until at least 200 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad.

Many Muslims seem to have a great deal of doubt about the Hadith and very quick to reject some hadiths on that basis. But, in fact, if one actually takes the time to study the history, background and the preservation of the Hadith, one will immediately recognize the truth. Again, the greatest counterforce that can defeat doubts and misconceptions is sound knowledge and certainty of the religion.

Acceptance
The third condition of the shahadah (testimony of faith) is acceptance. A person who has knowledge and certainty about shahadah (testimony of faith) must follow them with acceptance of tongue and heart. The believer accepts whatever the implications of the shahadah are. This also means that he believes in whatever is stated in the Quran and stated by Prophet Muhammad.

God says in the Quran:
{Do you believe in part of the book and reject part of it? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to the most grievous doom} (Al-Baqarah 2: 85)

God has clearly made it a condition of faith that one submits to His commands and His Prophet.
This is one aspect that the Muslim must be aware of. Although it is not a complete refusal of the truth, by rejecting part of the truth that has come from God, one negates his testimony of faith. Thus, the true believer is he who believes in whatever comes from God and His Messenger.

Submission
The fourth condition of shahadah (testimony of faith) is submission and compliance. This implies the actual physical enactment with our deeds of shahadah. In fact, this is one of the main meanings of the word Islam: "submission to the will and commands of God." This is what God commands in the Quran:
{And turn [penitently] to your Lord and submit to Him, before the chastisement comes on you, whereupon you will not be helped.} (Az-Zumar 39: 54)

God has praised those who submit to His command by their actions. He says:
{And who is fairer in religion than he who submits his purpose to God and is virtuous, and who follows the creed of Abraham as a hanīf? And God took Abraham for a close friend.}
(An-Nisa’ 4: 125)

God has clearly made it a condition of faith that one submits to His commands and His Prophet. God says:
{But nay, by your Lord, they will not truly believe until they make you [the Messenger of Allah] judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of which you decide, and submit with full submission}(An-Nisa’ 4: 65)

Indeed, our shahadah or testimony of faith must be implemented or realized in our hearts, tongues and actions. In our hearts, we must have love for God, fear and hope in Him. With our tongues we must testify to shahadah. And with our actions, we must implement what the testimony of faith requires from us.

(To be continued In-Shaa-Allah ...)

Edited from:
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/first-steps/testimony-of-faith/454903-the-prerequisites-of-the-testimony-of-faith-part-2.html
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