Sunday, February 10, 2008

How to Become a Believer - Shahaadatayn

The Arabic I learned from Bayyinah,, tells me that Shahaadatayn is the dual form of the word Shahaadah. In other words, it means "Two Shahadahs" as we might say in English. This is to say

1. Ashhadu anlaa ilaaha illa Allah,
2. wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa rasooluh.

In English, this means

1. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah
2 and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.

When a person says this, understanding what it means, and believing it in their heart, they are for all practical purposes a believer. Yes, yes, this is "the shahaadah" that people say to convert to Islam... but when somebody says this, we are at that moment obligated to treat them as a Muslim. A serious sentence, then!

Belief begins with this simple statement. We do not need to have full knowledge and belief about all Allah's attributes, angels, prophets, scripture, the last day or divine decree. Just understanding that Allah is our Lord and our God (and only Allah) and that Muhammad is His messenger and accept that.

And in fact we have examples from some Sahaba, that the Prophet Muhammad saws spoke to them, explained that there is no god except Allah and that he, Muhammad, had been given revelation. After this, and some recitation from the Qur'an, Abu Bakr (ra) embraced Islam.

In my class on aqeedah, this was something nice and simple to talk about--how easy it is to become a Muslim. To become a believer takes only these things. (I should mention that to negate them in any way, or to negate other pillars of faith, to reject the pillars of Islam, that would be an act of kufr...) But we don't have to be experts at theology to be Muslim. We don't have to take courses and classes and such to learn enough Islam to believe in it. Only this small bit.

And if we can convey that to people, perhaps the simplicity of it might be attractive? Not sure, but I liked learning it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MashAllah i loved it how you shared that we don't have to be theologists to become a muslim. nor do we have to know ALL of Allah's attributes. I actually i m very happy to read this because I have a non muslim who might be interested in islam InshaAllah. and we are both sort of afraid that it might be a bit too much to reverse the lifestyle or even bring such sudden changes but Allhumdulillah there is no more fear. It is the shaytan that tell us that no there is too much work.

inshAllah Allah will guide us Ameen.