Friday, June 6, 2014

'Laa Ilaaha Illallah': Essence of Islam

Do you not see that Allah has cited the example of the good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches are high in the sky?

It produces its crop every season, as designed by its Lord. Allah thus cites the examples for the people, that they may take heed.

And the example of the bad word is that of a bad tree chopped at the soil level; it has no roots to keep it standing.

The verse of the Quran which I just read before you today, in a way or another is indicating to the Kalima Tayyeba, in an indirect way without the words “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” are being mentioned. In this verse, Allah (swt) “cited the example of the good word as a good tree”.

The good word which has been mentioned in this verse has been compared to a tree and the roots of this tree, is the proclamation of faith (Iman) which comes from within the depth of the heart of a believer; and its branches reaches the sky, and by this means, the good actions of a believer reaches the sky.

Like Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran (Ch. 35; v.11)“Anyone seeking dignity should know that to Allah belongs all dignity. To Him ascends the good words, and He exalts the righteous works.”

“Good words” which Allah mentions in several verses of the Holy Quran refers to “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”. If you reflect deeply on “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” which Allah has established as the first statement of principles in Islam, you will see that Allah has placed it even before the daily prayers, fasting etc.

In Surah Al Imran, v.111: Allah says: “You are the best community ever raised among the people: you advocate righteousness…” The word “Taa’muruuna bil Ma’ruf” (you advocate righteousness), means that you ordain people to testify that there is no God except Allah (that is, belief in “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”, obedience to the command of Allah and affirmation that “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” is far more the best and the most profitable of all good things which may exist. When you study the Hadiths, you will see that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) advised his companions more than one time concerning good actions, he said that good actions remove evil actions.

Once, Abu Zar (May Allah be pleased with him) asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to give him some advise. Thus, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) told him: “Always fear Allah, if ever you commit a sin, replace it at once by a good action to cancel the bad one”. Abu Zar said also that he asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) if the recitation of “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” is counted among these virtues. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied that this is indeed the best among virtues.

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) also related that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: “One who recites “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” in any part of the day or night, his sins disappears from his Book of Actions.”

In Surah An-Nahl Ch. 16, v. 91: “Allah advocates justice, charity, and…”

Here, the word Adl (justice) can also be interpreted that the belief in “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” and “Ihsan” (charity) is our obligation (Farz) towards Allah and that we must fulfil it.

In a Hadith reported by Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah has said: The best Zikr is the recitation of “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” and the best supplication is “Alhamdolillah” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

It is clear that “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” is the best among all Zikr and moreover, lots of Hadith confirmed that. Reflect deeply on that, and you will see that the religion of Islam as a whole rests on  “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”; thus what doubt can we have about its superiority over all other Zikr and the fact that “Alhamdolillah” (All praise is for Allah) is considered as the best supplication? Their superiority rests on the fact that we are doing the praises of a Being who is really and, absolutely generous. Thus, you are really praying Allah and glorifying Him.

When you are studying the Holy Quran (not by reading it like a parrot but by reading it in a way and concentration in which you will come to know what Allah has told us). Thus, the one who recites “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” must recite also “Alhamdolillah” because after the verse “Fad’uuhu Mukhliswiina Lahuddin” (Ask of Allah with a sincere heart), Allah mentions “Alhamdolillahi Rabbil Aalamin” (All praise to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds) – Ch. 40; v. 66.

There is no doubt that “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” is the most virtuous and best of all Zikr (remembrance of Allah) because it is the basic foundation of the religion of Islam and all the teachings of Islam is centred on “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”. It is for this reason that I have put a lot of emphasis on “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”. If you are a true and sincere believer in Islam, you must have love for “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” and you must have a preference for “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” over other Zikr.

It is necessary that each member of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam and the other Muslims recite “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” in abundance, and to implore Allah to protect one’s faith from unbelief and to stay far away from sins because lots of people lose faith because of their own evil actions and they die in infidelity.

Is there a greater misfortune for someone who turned his back to the Muslim faith and thus finding his name figuring on the list of evildoers on the Day of Judgement? Verily, there cannot be a more atrocious calamity than this! We would not be that sad if we see that a person who have for all times been indulged in idol worship, and evil practices to be condemned on the list of infidels on the Day of Judgement! There are those who even make actors and actresses or their chiefs become their idols. Not only do they pray idols, but the give other things more importance than Allah. This is pure Shirk.

It is really saddening and painful to see people whose whole lives have been spent in going to the Mosque, being inscribed as infidel in the Next World. This is so, because of the consequences of their bad actions which they have committed in great quantity in secret, and which is forbidden in Islam. Thus, each of us must regularly recite this dua, Alhamdolillah where Allah on the spot puts this prayer on my tongue: Allahoumma Fazaa Minhu” – O Allah! Protect us from this (these sins).

Thus, the one who recite “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” in such a way that he does not gives importance to another thing more than Allah, and he turns with repentance and sincerity to Allah for all his sins, then replace those bad actions with good ones, and afterwards recites sincerely “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”, then definitely Paradise becomes incumbent (obligatory) upon him.

Never recite “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” only on the lips, while your heart is attached to the love of this world, and the greed to achieve it.  Recite “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” with a pure heart, devoid of the greed of this world. Your inside must match with your actions, and vice-versa. Lots of people usually hold great discourses in such a way as if they would automatically break the microphone before them. They take themselves to be great “Ulemah” whose talks one must listen to, but whereas if one looks at them closely, onr would realise that they are nothing but arrogant and dictators.

There is a Hadith reported on the authority of Abu Huraira who related that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said: For all servant who recites “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”, the doors of the heavens open till this Kalima reaches directly the Throne of Allah, but on condition that the person remain far away from grievous sins.”

And according to another Hadith, there is two Kalima, one of which does not stop till it reaches the Throne of Allah and the other one embellish the Heavens and Earth with its light (or reward). The first one is “Laa Ilaaha Illallah”, and the other one is “Allah O Akbar”.

According to some Hadith, it has been reported that there were circumstances that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) made his companions (Sahaba) recite the Zikr “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” in group and also individually and this proves that Zikr can also be done in group. In these cases, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to ask someone to shut the door so that those present in the group of people can concentrate themselves totally in their Zikr, so that no stranger can come and either disturb the Prophet or those people doing Zikr in group.

The Renewal of Faith 

In another Hadith Hazrat Abu Huraira has reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said: “Continue to renew your faith.” The Sahaba asked him: “O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), how would we renew our faith?” The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) replied: Recite “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” in abundance.” (Ahmad, Tibrani)

The following is a very beautiful Hadith, but we must understand it well. I will try to comment on this Hadith: “Faith is like used old clothes (that is) it becomes weak; pray Allah to renew your faith.”

Here “used” means “weakened”; that is, faith loses its strength and its light due to committing sins. In a Hadith, Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that when a person commit a sin, a dark spot appears on his heart. If he repents sincerely, this dark spot disappears, but if he continues to sin one after the other, these dark spots becomes larger and larger till his heart becomes completely dark and rusted as described in Ch. 83 V. 14, where Allah says: “Indeed, their hearts have become shielded (rusted) by their sins.”

Let us pray Almighty Allah to give us the necessary strength so that with each second, each minute, each hour, each day, each week, each month and year that comes to pass, our heart is filled with “Laa Ilaaha Illallah” and “Allah O Akbar”. Ameen

-Friday Sermon of 23 January 2009 delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius.

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