Dear brothers and sisters, one of the greatest sentences that can be said, of greatest of benefits, is the ‘word’ of oneness, “there is no God except Allah’.
This is one of the greatest of pillars of our religion, and most important aspect of our faith, and the path to success in this world and next, to escape hellfire, because of it we have been created, books have been brought down, messengers have been sent, it is the word of witness and ultimately the key to our happiness and success.
The imam referenced the 18th ayat of Sura Al-Imran in which Allah SWT reminds us of this. It is translated to say:
Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge – [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
As great scholar Ibn Taymiya said – the benefits/weight of these words are beyond description of any describer, or knowledge of any scholar, and it is the head of everything.
However, today’s is about bringing this sentence to life into the hearts and minds of each of us and so this reminder concludes with 5 ways in which we can do that.
- Firstly, it is understanding both the sentence and it’s inverse. By saying that there is no God but Allah SWT, it is saying that only Allah SWT is worthy of your pleas, your help, your guidance and your success – both in this life and the next. That isn’t to say that we don’t interact with one another in this life to achieve things we want. For example, we can’t sit at home and ask Allah SWT to give us money. However, it is through the help and blessings of Allah SWT that we are able to attain a job and earn money. Only Allah SWT is able to forgive our sins too and hence it is to Him we show remorse and seek forgiveness.
The imam mentioned Sura Muhammad, ayat 19 in which Allah SWT advises the Prophet Muhammad this very point. It is translated to say:
So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women. And Allah knows of your movement and your resting place.
- Secondly, it is to believe this with full conviction of the heart. As Allah SWT mentions in ayat 15 of Sura Al-Hajarat:
The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah . It is those who are the truthful.
And hence, dear brothers and sisters, we need to reset our goals and our purpose so that we are focused on the true goals in this life.
- Thirdly, it is to inspire humility through this sentence. Allah SWT warns us against this in the 37th ayat of Sura Al-Saffat which translates as:
Indeed they, when it was said to them, “There is no deity but Allah,” were arrogant
We need to understand that this sentence is one which should make us, not only appreciate the magnificence of Allah SWT but also highlight within us the weakness of ourselves as creation of His. This is to ensure that we don’t suffer from an ego, pride or inflated self-worth as this is not a trait of a Muslim.
- Fourthly is to follow the meaning of this practically. The imam mentioned ayat 22 of Sura Luqman which translates as:
And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good – then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of [all] matters.
Which of us takes our daily problems, stresses and worries and consistently speaks of them to Allah SWT during our salah? How many of us here simply run through each of the daily prayers like it’s a chore that needs completing in the fastest possible time?
Dear brothers and sisters, the prayer is our one-to-one with Allah SWT Himself. To understand this point is to understand the strength of today’s reminder.
- To believe the sentence and not merely say it because it is the right thing to say. Dear brothers and sisters, this is a serious point because such people do exist. Those who play the role of a believer and know all the right things to say but the belief is missing from within their hearts.
Allah SWT speaks of this in Sura Baqara when He says:
And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” but they are not believers. They [think to] deceive Allah and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not.
This is a tragedy and there is no shame in recognizing this point and going back to the start in reaffirming the faith through study of the fundamentals, almost like a revert to Islam does. Practically this can be done by listening to the stories of those who embrace Islam or even attending the New Muslim events, albeit as a helper or an observer whilst using the opportunity to strengthen your faith.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to understand that these points aren’t needed in order to make us a Muslim. That is the recitation of the Shahada of which this is half. These points are actually what we need to do once we have recited that Shahada, in order to be successful upon our return to Allah SWT.
These points are just some that require a change in mindset and a refresh of the heart. And as Allah SWT mentioned Sura Al-Maidah, ayat 5, we have a clear instruction on what is expected of us. It translates as:
O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.