Article ☁ A Vow in One “Word”: A Healing Way of Life and Death–and Love

A VOW IN ONE “WORD”

A HEALING WAY

OF LIFE AND DEATH

AND LOVE

Ash-Shahaadah in Purple

أشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلاّ الله وَأشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ الله

 I Bear Witness There is No God but Allâh and I Bear Witness Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh

Kalimat Ash-Shahâdah, ‘the word of testimony’, is easy to utter with its pleasing flow of Arabic words, and easy to fall in love with.

It is a potently concise one-sentence declaration that is dulcet to hear and sweetens our tongues, enlightens our minds, enfolds around our hearts permeating them with warm love outshining any other, scents our body and beautifies our soul with undivided surrender to Allâh ﷻ and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

It is declaring,

I bear witness therefore I submit, and I love, live and die in complete submission to that testament.

That is the effect the shahâdah is meant to have on us.

THE ROOT OF IT ALL

Shahâdah (شَهادة), ‘witnessing’ or ‘testifying the truth’, etymologically derives from the Arabic root word shahida (شَهِدَ), ‘to witness’ or ‘to observe’.

Appreciating the root of the word, its emphasis in Islâm becomes that much more significant, as follows.

Professing the shahâdah is not only a proclamation; it is accepting without demur that Allâh ﷻ is The One and Only God and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His last messenger.

Fundamentally, it is avowing to follow the word of Allâh ﷻ in its entirety and the teachings of The Prophet ﷺ.

It is a perfect and intricate word intrinsic in delineating what Islâm is with a cornucopia of beautiful layers to its meaning.

It is the first article of Islâm and so much more.

The declaration of the shahâdah connotes and denotes so many explicit and implicit profound messages.

A PUISSANT CONNEXION

Remarkably, and beautifully, shahâdah also means martyrdom, a valuable correlation and an insightful connexion that gets to the crux of what martyrdom in Islâm truly signifies, clarifying the concept in its purest form.

You cannot have one without the other.

To explicate further, only after grasping what lies behind the Arabic word lexically, logically and intellectually, can we begin to understand what it means to be a shahīd (شَهيد), ‘martyr’.

The simple fact the way we must live our lives solely on the premise of that testament, and that it should be our last whisperings before we leave this world to the next, is symptomatic of what it means to desire martyrdom.

It is not for any worldly or heavenly gain; martyrdom is only for one intention: the shahâdah.

It is incumbent upon us not to lose the spirit of martyrdom and glorify what is sometimes an illusion. Even more than that, we need to appreciate how one poignantly powerful word binds and symbolises two essential elements for a Muslim to live and die by.

BEHIND THE DECLARATION

Believing in the first pillar implies what we see, hear and say, how we act, connect and dress, is for the sake of The One and Only God, and for our respect for the ways of His last messenger ﷺ.

It is KNOWING Allâh ﷻ.

Fear of God is courage,

worshipping Him is freedom,

humility before Him is dignity,

and knowing Him is certainty.

~ The Esteemed Dr Mustafa Mahmoud رحمه الله

It is clearly, consciously, conscientiously and precisely understanding, embracing and embedding TAWHEED firmly in our hearts.

It is praising Allâh ﷻ and being grateful to Him ﷻ constantly and consistently for no other reason than HE IS WORTHY OF PRAISE. Simply think about what we take for granted: the gift of breath and a beating heart, the miracle of His Holy Book and miracles of His creation, bestowing infinite bounties and blessings upon us, granting us free-will, choice and an intellect, mercifully gracing us with limitless tests and signs to heal our hearts for realignment, rebalance, reconnexion and rewiring for betterment, and so much more.

It means absolute obedience to Allâh ﷻ with our all – time, health, energy, earnings, knowledge; in deeds, body, senses, mind, heart and soul – and to the wisdom of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ.

It is surrendering to Allâh ﷻ by complying with His word,

{قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ}

{Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allâh, then follow me, and Allâh will love you and forgive your sins for Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’}

(03:31)

through His messenger, the complete man, the paragon of character, whom Allâh ﷻ chose to seal His religion.

Truly attesting the shahâdah is making a promise to Allâh ﷻ Islâm is the way of life, and how we love, live and die for Him, for us to be under the shade with His Prophet ﷺ on the Day of Judgement and in his company in paradise.

It is turning to Allâh ﷻ by implementing Istikhâra Prayer for the true and ultimate guidance from Him ﷻ for ALL decision-making, BEFORE every deed, in ALL matters, in ALL areas of life.

We are saying, above our love for ourselves and before our love for others, we love Allâh ﷻ first,

{وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ }

{And those who believe are stronger in love for Allâh}

(002:165)

And, Prophet Muhammad second,

’Umar bin Al-Khattâb رضي الله عنه addressed The Prophet ﷺ, Messenger of Allâh, you are dearer to me than everything except myself.’ Thereupon The Prophet ﷺ said, By the One in whose hand is my life, your faith will not be complete until I become dearer to you than your own self.’

Upon reflection and with the realisation his life would not be complete in this world and the next without The Prophet ﷺ, ‘Umar رضي الله عنه  responded, You are now dearer to me than my own self. The Prophet ﷺ replied, Now ‘Umar, your faith is complete.’

It is aligning all our love, regardless of the relationship, purely for the love of Allâh ﷻ, as The Prophet ﷺ guided,

None of you will believe

until you love for your brother

what you love for yourself.

The shahâdah is more than a few words we murmur; it is our breathings, love, a way of life, and death.

The shahâdah is the essence and meaning of Islâm, SUBMISSION, and what we aspire as Muslims to achieve in this world by being and doing with attention and intention our utmost to please Allâh ﷻ for us to return to Him with Him content with us inshâ’Allâh.

It is Islâm.

*       *       *

In the Words of Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ,

Three traits, whoever possesses them shall experience the sweetness of imân (faith): To love Allâh and His Messenger more than anyone else; to love a man only for the sake of Allâh; and to hate to return to infidelity after Allâh has delivered him from it as much as he hates to be thrown into fire.

~ 2013 ~

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