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Prerequisite of The Testimony of Faith [3]

Prerequisites of the Testimony of Faith (Part 3)
Truthfulness, Sincerity, Love, Refutation & Adherence
By Jamaal Zarabozo
Monday, 12 December 2011 06:55

We are not Muslims for the sake of our parents, friends, family or community
Part 1 & Part 2
Until now, we have seen four conditions of the testimony of faith, the fifth condition is:
Truthfulness

Truthfulness is the opposite of hypocrisy and dishonesty. This means that when we say the shahadah (the testimony of faith), we are saying it honestly. We actually mean it. We are not lying when it comes to our testimony of faith.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
"No one bears testimony to there being no one worth of worship save Allah, sincerely from his heart, except that Allah makes the Hell-fire forbidden for him." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
We are all familiar with those who say the testimony of faith yet they are not saying it honestly. They do not believe in it but they are simply saying it in order to protect themselves or to get some gain from doing so.

God has described these people in the Quran:
{And of mankind are some who say, 'We believe in Allah and the Last Day,' when they believe not. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves, but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increases their disease. A painful doom is their because they lie.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 8-10)

Sincerity
When one makes the shahadah, he must do so solely for the sake of God only. He must not do it for any other reason. And he must not do it for anyone else's sake. God says in the Quran:
{Indeed We have revealed to you the Book with the truth; so worship God, devoting your religion purely to Him.} (Al-Zumar 39:2)

And He also says:
{And they are ordained not else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion (Al-Bayyinah 98: 5)

Prophet Muhammad said:
"Allah has forbidden for the Hell-fire anyone who says, 'There is no one worthy of worship except Allah,' and say so desiring the face [and pleasure] of Allah." (Muslim)
This is something that we should think about, especially those who grew up in Muslim families and were born Muslim. We should make it very clear that we are Muslims only for the sake of God.

We are not Muslims for the sake of our parents, friends, family or community. One of the signs of our sincerity as Muslims is that we submit to the commands and will of God.

Love
The believer should love saying the testimony, he should love the implications and requirements of the testimony of faith.

When God orders us to do something, like bearing witness to the faith, we should realize, by doing it, that we are pleasing God.

This is a necessary condition of the shahadah. If a person makes the testimony but does not love something in it then, in fact, his faith is not complete. It is not the faith of a true believer. And if he loves something more than God, then he has negated hisshahadah. The true believer, who declares his faith according to the conditions of the shahadah puts no one whatsoever as an equal to God in his love.

God says in the Quran:
{Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allah, loving them with a love like (that which is due to) Allah only. However, those who believe are stauncher in their love of Allah} (Al-Baqarah 2: 165)

He also says:
{Say: If your fathers, or your sons, or your brethren, or your wives, or your tribe, or the wealth you have acquired, or merchandise for which you fear that there will be no sale, or dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allah and His messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. Allah guides not wrongdoing folk} (At-Tawbah 9: 24)

Prophet Muhammad said:
"Whoever has three characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith. [The first of these] is that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than he loves anyone else..." (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
When God orders us to do something, like bearing witness to the faith, we should realize, by doing it, that we are pleasing God and, therefore, out of our love for God, we should be very pleased to do the acts that are pleasing to Him.

Refutation
The person who makes the shahadah (testimony of faith) must deny what he used to worship. God clearly reminds us of this important aspect of the shahadah, theshahadah is not merely an affirmation but it is both and affirmation and a negation. God states:
{And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break} (Al-Baqarah 2: 256)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made this point even clearer when he said:
"Whoever says there is no one worthy of worship except Allah and denies whatever is worshipped besides Allah, then his wealth and blood are protected and his accounting will be with Allah." (Muslim)

Adherence
The Muslim adheres to the testimony until he dies. You can't rest on your laurels of what you may have done in the past. Once declaring the testimony of faith, your past sins become definitely erased. Prophet Muhammad said:
"A man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of Paradise and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire. And a man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of Paradise." (Muslim)

In another hadith, the Prophet said:
"By the One whom there is no other God, one of you does the actions of Paradise until there is just a hand span between him and Paradise and then the book [preordainment] overtakes him and he does actions of the people of Hell and he enters into it" (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

God says in the Quran:
{O believers, observe your duty to Allah with right observance, and die not save as Muslims [surrendering yourselves to Allah]} (Al-Imran 3: 102)
These are the conditions of the declaration of faith that one should consider and ask himself: "Does my shahadah meet those requirements? Am I saying it sincerely, honestly and out of love for God? Am I saying it based on what it really means? Am I denying all other false objects of worship?..."

These questions we should ask ourselves now before we meet God.
This way, by God's mercy, in the Hereafter, our shahadah (testimony of faith) will be the key to Paradise and the gates of Paradise will swing wide open for us and we will be able to live forever in the bounties of Paradise, with God being pleased of us.

This is a summary of the original article published by Al-Basheer magazine.
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/first-steps/testimony-of-faith/454963-prerequisites-of-the-testimony-of-faith-part-3.html
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