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Tilawah of the Qur’an: Meaning and Blessings

reading Qur'an

As the tongue recites and words flow from the lips, the mind ponders, the heart reflects, the soul absorbs, tears well up in the eyes, the heart quakes and trembles.

Tilawah is the word that the Qur’an uses to describe the act of its reading. No single word in English can convey its full meaning. ‘To follow’ is closest to its primary meaning. To read is only secondary, for in reading too, words follow each other, one closely behind the other, in an orderly and meaningful sequence. If one word does not follow the other, or if the sequence and order is not observed, the meaning is destroyed.

So, primarily, tilawah means, move closely behind, to go forward, to flow in a sequence, let go in pursuit, to take as a guide, leader, master, a model, to accept the authority, to espouse the cause, to act upon, walk after, practice a way of life, to understand, to follow the train of thought – or to follow.

Hence, reading the Qur’an, understanding the Qur’an, following the Qur’an – that is how those who have any right to claim faith in it relate themselves to it.

All-Inclusive Act

Tilawah or recitation is an act in which your whole person, soul, heart, mind, tongue and body, participates. In short your whole existence becomes involved.

In reading the Qur’an, mind and body, reason and feeling lose their distinction; they become fused. As the tongue recites and words flow from the lips, the mind ponders, the heart reflects, the soul absorbs, tears well up in the eyes, the heart quakes and trembles, the skin shivers and softens just as the heart does, there no longer remains any duality between the two, even your hair may stand on end.

And ”so he walks in a light from his Lord”  (Az-Zumar 39:22) “that is God’s guidance, whereby He guides whomsoever He will.” (Az-Zumar 39:23)

To read the Qur’an thus, as it deserves to be read, is not a light task; but nor is it too difficult or impossible.

Otherwise the Qur’an could not have been meant for laymen like us, nor could it be the mercy and the guidance that it surely is. But obviously it does entail much travail of heart and mind, soul and intellect, spirit and body, and requires that certain conditions be observed and obligations be fulfilled – some inwardly, some outwardly. You should know them all, now, and endeavour to observe them before you enter the glorious world of the Qur’an.

Matchless Blessing

Only then will you reap the full harvest of blessings that await you in the Qur’an. Only then will the Qur’an open its doors to you. Only then will it let you dwell inside it and dwell inside you. Nine months spent in the womb of your mother have transformed a drop of water into ‘you’ – hearing, seeing and thinking.

Can you imagine what a lifetime spent with the Qur’an – seeking, hearing, seeing, thinking, striving – can do for you?

It can make you into an entirely new ‘being’ – before whom even angels will feel proud to kneel. Ascending at every step taken within the Qur’an and every moment spent therein, you will reach towering heights. You will be gripped by the power and beauty that breathe and move within the Qur’an.

From `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas: The Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be on him) said: “The companion of the Qur’an will be told: recite and ascend, ascend with facility as you used to recite with facility in the world. Your final abode is the height you reach at the last verse you recite”. (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and An-Nasa’i).

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The article is excerpted from the author’s book “Way to the Qur’an”.

 

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The Qur’an: To Start from the Beginning

By Haya Muhammad Eid

Al-fatihah

Short and concise as it is, Al-Fatihah adroitly contains the totality of the Islamic creed

Reading the Qur’an gives the feeling that the speaker is all around, seeing and hearing everything; all-knowing of us – every feeling, every thought, every memory, every good or evil tendency; all-knowing of the heavens and earth – every atom, every breath of air, every grain of sand, every fruit on every tree; and all-knowing of the past, present, and future – every moment, every event, every detail:

He knows what enters into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the sky and what ascends to it. He is with you wherever you may be. And Allah  is the All-Seer of what you do. (Al-Hadid 57:4-6)

The tone is that of supreme authority, full lordship, and absolute sufficiency:

Allah, there is no god except Him, the Ever Living, the Self-Sufficient Master Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

Despite its grandeur and majesty, the Qur’an does not evoke a sense of distance or strangeness, but rather affinity with the divine words because of their familiarity with human nature, its needs, its fears, its pains, and its desires:

Indeed, We (Allah) have created the human, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Qaf 50:16)

Reading and rereading it, each time with more purpose and focus, eventually forms a rope safely tying us to our Creator, as depicted by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

“Truly, this Qur’an is a rope; one end of it is in Allah’s Hand and the other end is in yours. Hold fast to it. Indeed, you will never go astray or be ruined after it (after holding on to it).”  (Ibn Hibban)

Al-Fatihah

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of existence, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful, the Owner (Master) of the Day of Judgment. It is You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help. Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not the path of those who have incurred Your Anger, nor of those who have gone astray. (Al-Fatihah 1:1-7)

Al-Fatihah (the Opening) is so named because it is the chapter with which the Qur’an begins. It is also named Umm Al-Qur’an (the Mother of the Qur’an) and As-Sab`-ul-Mathani (Seven Oft-recited Verses).

Short and concise as it is, this Qur’anic chapter adroitly contains the totality of the Islamic creed, which reveals the wisdom behind the divine ruling that Al-Fatihah be recited in every unit of salah (prayer) and the invalidity of salah without it.

“In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful.”

The start of anything, as Allah guides, should be in His name; everything in this universe is in His name and happens by His will and permission. Starting any action with Allah’s Name means taking Him as one’s helper and supporter in that action.

The mention of Allah’s name is accompanied by His two sublime Attributes, the All-Merciful and the Ever-Merciful, as a constant reminder of the open doors of His mercy; thus, no one should feel unwelcome.

“Praise be to Allah, the Lord of existence.”

Coming into existence out of nothing is a bounty from the Lord of existence, Who gives to all, and takes nothing for Himself. With every breath, His endless and continuous blessings flow by day and night, which can render the tongue speechless, at a loss for the right words. But Allah teaches that thanking Him is done with only two words, “Alhamdu lillah” (Praise be to Allah). This is a favor in itself.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) expressed the human inability to fully thank our Creator, when he said: “I cannot praise You enough. You are as You have praised Yourself.” (Muslim)

“The Owner (Master) of the Day of Judgment.”

This is what gives balance to the whole world. Without it, the world would be a jungle. Without it, human life could not be elevated. Only through belief in the Day of Judgment can hearts find rest; what humans receive in this world is not their final portion. There is a world to come that is worth striving for, unrestricted by the limits of a lifetime or the scope of this earth.

Believers and disbelievers in this Day are not the same in their emotions, thoughts, behavior, or actions. Their attitude towards it splits them into two totally different types of people. Believers rarely lose sight of their inevitable meeting with Allah and retain Him in their thoughts and actions, for they know they will be judged. Disbelievers do not have Allah in any of their thoughts or actions. About them, Allah says:

As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it to be nothing. Instead he finds Allah before him, Who will pay him in full his due. And Allah is swift in account. (An-Nur 24:39)

“It is You we worship, and You we ask for help.”

As long as people worship only their Creator and seek only His Help, they are free and immune to subjugation by regimes, circumstances, or other humans. They will not fall prey to superstitions, myths, or fancies. Filled with feelings of submission to and reliance on Allah alone, Muslims live in this world free, with no fear of – or for – anything. They bow to Allah (Exalted be He) with humility and stand with their heads raised before everything else.

“Guide us to the Straight Path.”

This is the first and most important supplication a believer can pray for to continue to adhere to and practice Allah’s true religion, Islam, to attain happiness in this life and the next.

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The article is excerpted from the Book “A Brief Tour through the Qur’an” by Haya Muhammad Eid, edited by Emily Richardson. To read or download the book click here.

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Our Relationship with the Qur’an & Its Effect on Our Lives

Qur'an

The Qur’an is the source of every good: it will give whatever and as much as you ask from it.

Muslims are the only people in the world today fortunate enough to possess the word of God preserved in its original form, free from all distortions, and precisely in the wording in which it was sent down upon the Prophet (blessings and peace be on him).

Paradoxically, these same Muslims suffer the misfortune of being denied the countless blessings and benefits which the word of God must give to those who believe in it. The Qur’an was sent to them, for them to read it, understand it, act upon it, and, with its help, establish on God’s earth the rule of His law.

The Qur’an came to grant them dignity and power. It came to make them true vicegerents of God on earth. And history shows that whenever they acted according to its guidance, it did make them the leaders of the world.

Irreverence and Misuse

But now the Qur’an’s usefulness, for many Muslims, consists only in keeping it in their houses to drive away jinns and ghosts, in writing its verses on amulets to hang round their necks or washing those amulets with water and then drinking it, or in reading its contents without comprehending their meaning in the hope of receiving some reward.

No longer do they seek guidance from it for their lives. No longer do they ask it to tell them what should be their beliefs, morals and actions, nor how they should conduct transactions, what principles they should observe while dealing with enemies and friends, what the rights are of their fellow beings and of their own selves. Nor do they turn to it to find what is true and what is false, whom they should obey and whom disobey, who their friends are and who their enemies, where honor, well-being and benefit are to be found and where disgrace, failure and loss.

We Muslims have given up looking for answers to these important questions in the Qur’an. Instead, we now ask kafirs (unbelievers), idolaters, misguided, selfish people, even our own ego and desires and follow what they advise.

What invariably happens to those who ignore Allah and follow the precepts of others has happened to us too. We are reaping only what we have sown everywhere in the world in Palestine, the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia and many other places.

The Qur’an is the source of every good: it will give whatever and as much as you ask from it. If you seek from it such trivial, frivolous and spurious things as how to scare away jinns and ghosts, how to cure coughs and fevers, how to succeed in litigation and find a job – then you may get them, but only them. If you seek supremacy on earth and the power to rule the world you may get that too. And if you wish to reach near God’s throne (`arsh), the Qur’an will take you there.

If you receive only a few drops from the ocean, do not blame the Qur’an, blame yourselves. For the whole ocean is there waiting for him who knows how to take it.

Incomprehensible Contradictions

The cruel jokes, brothers, which we Muslims play with the Book of Allah are so inane that if we saw someone else doing such things in any other sphere of life, we would mock them and even brand them as lunatics.

Tell me, what would you say if somebody got a doctor’s prescription and hung it round his neck after wrapping it in a piece of cloth or washed it in water and drank it? Would you not laugh at him and call him a fool?

Yet this is the very treatment being given before your eyes to the matchless prescription written by the greatest of all doctors to provide a cure for all your ailments – and nobody laughs! No one even reflects that a prescription is not meant to be hung round the neck nor are its words to be washed in water and drunk.

Tell me, what would you think if someone who was ill picked up a book on medicine and began to read it, believing, thinking that this would cure him? Would you not say that he was deranged? Yet this is how we treat the Book which the Supreme Healer has sent for the cure of our diseases.

We think that just by flicking through all its pages, our diseases will disappear without our following the directions given in them or abstaining from the things which they pronounce harmful. Are we not in the same situation as the man who considers that reading a book on medicine will cure his illness?

If you receive a business letter in a language you do not know, you go to a man who knows the language to find out what it says. You remain anxious and restless until you have found out what the letter says, even though it will bring only some paltry worldly profit.

But the letter sent to you by the Lord of the worlds which can bring you all the benefits of this-world and the eternal life is carelessly set aside. You do not show any uneasiness at not understanding its contents. Is this not astonishing?

I am not trying to make you laugh. Reflect for a while on these facts and your hearts will tell you that the greatest possible injustice is being done to the Book of Allah.

Ironically, the culprits are the very people who proclaim their faith in it and proclaim their readiness to sacrifice their lives for it. No doubt they do have faith in it and love it more than their lives, but the pity is that it is they, more than anyone else, who treat it outrageously.

reading qur'an at mosque

Qur’an is the matchless prescription written by the greatest of all doctors to provide a cure for all your ailments.

And the consequences of such treatment are quite plain to see.

The Consequences

Understand fully that Allah’s word does not come to bring misery, disgrace and suffering to man:

We have not sent down the Qur’an upon you that you be wretched. (Ta-Ha 20:1-2)

On the contrary, the Qur’an is the source of happiness and success. It is impossible for a people to possess God’s word and yet suffer disgrace and ignominy, live under subjugation, be trampled on and kicked around, and carry the yoke of slavery on their necks, being led by the nose like animals. People meet this fate only when they do injustice to the word of God.

Look at the fate of the Israelites. They were given the Tawrah and the Injeel, and were told:

ad they established the Torah and the Gospel and what was sent down to them by their Lord, they would surely have partaken of all the blessings from above them (heaven) and beneath their feet (earth). (Al-Ma’idah 5:66)

But they adopted a wrong attitude towards these Books of Allah, and reaped the consequences:

An ignominy and helplessness were laid upon them, and they were laden with the burden of God’s anger. That, because they used to disbelieve God’s messages and slay the Prophets against all right; that, because they disobeyed and were transgressors. (Al-Baqarah 2:61)

If people possess Allah’s Book and still live in disgrace and subjugation, they are surely being punished for doing injustice to Allah’s word. The only way to save yourselves from

Allah’s anger is to turn back from this grave sin and start trying to render His Book its due. Until you do, your condition will never change – even if you open colleges in each and every village, all your children graduate from universities, and you amass millions through unscrupulous means.

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The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s book “Let Us Be Muslims”. 

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Punctuality: The Norm of Muslim

Punctuality: The Norm of Muslim

punctuality is respectful of people's time

Punctuality is respectful of people’s time

 

You might think that because the day of a Muslim is built around prayers which need to be performed at specific times, that Muslims would be fairly punctual people as a rule.

But this seems not to be the case, even though I’ve heard several scholars remind listeners of the importance of being on time. I remember Sheikh Yaser Birjas indicating to students at a seminar that they should arrive for class like a muezzin arrives for prayer. (He has to arrive early enough to be ready to call as soon as the time for prayer comes in.) This suggests that Muslims should be acutely aware of time as part of their preparation for prayer, or class, or anything else.

After becoming Muslim, though, I started hearing plenty of jokes about a tendency of Muslims towards tardiness. Although, the observation relates mostly to religious and social functions as late arrivals to work or school often result in disciplinary action. I find American society generally to be less tolerant of tardiness than Muslims (so kudos to the Muslims for being so forgiving) but this can result in some confusion for the American Muslim community.

I heard the story of a convert who made the observation, on his first visit to Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer, that when he arrived- at the indicated time- only a few people were present, but during the sermon people continued arriving until the hall was filled by the time of the prayer. Yet I don’t think this experience is rare.

Similarly, I’ve noticed that when attending Islamic lectures and classes, most respected teachers endeavor to begin and end on time. While helping to organize a 4-week da`wah training program a few years ago, I learned an important lesson regarding punctuality.

The class was supposed to begin early on a Saturday morning, and though a few people showed up early, there were crowds coming through the door even after the ‘start’ time. I wanted to wait for the students to settle in, and that was a mistake. The imam of the masjid (mosque) told me that even if some people were still arriving, I should still start on time, and end on time.

To start with, punctuality is respectful of people’s time; if they showed up on time, they shouldn’t have to wait for the program to begin. Moreover, ending on time allows people to leave for other engagements they may have planned, instead of detaining them longer than they expected. And also, if an event fails to start on time, what incentive is there to arrive on time?

Since my own lesson on punctuality, I’ve made a point of observing when speakers (scholars, imams, community leaders, teachers, etc.) deliberately start on time- or as best they are able, when faced with logistical delays- and end on time.

I understand it to be a part of the etiquette of being a speaker; of being a teacher, or an imam, and have found that the more knowledgeable, respected, and elder teachers usually strive for punctuality, even when students are late. For that reason, I don’t accept that tardiness is religiously appropriate behavior since it’s not from the etiquette which I have witnessed from religious scholars.

I’ve even seen some scholars who seem to be as strict about punctuality as my high school band director. For us, it was an enforced rule. Students late to rehearsal would have to perform push-ups or run laps. Arriving late for a trip would mean getting left behind; nobody would wait. And if our rehearsals ran over schedule, even by as little as five minutes, the director would shorten the next day’s rehearsal by the same amount. Breaks came regularly, and if they were delayed, then they were extended also. (Noting that breaks were usually barely 3-5 minutes, enough time to sit and drink water.)

When I’m in a class or a lecture where the speaker goes on- beyond an hour, sometimes beyond two, I find myself becoming irritated and even resentful towards the speaker, while my concentration plummets, especially when scheduled breaks have been neglected by the speaker.

How is a student supposed to feel after arriving on time and waiting over an hour or more for an instructor, who then proceeds to lecture for an hour or two without giving students a break? I think the only way a student can feel, in that situation, is that the instructor lacks respect for his time, leading the student to not respect the instructor.

So I’ll emphasize again why tardiness is not something seen in the most erudite of scholars, and why I don’t believe that it is religiously appropriate. And I maintain that view despite the prevalent disregard for time in some Muslim cultures.

Unfortunately, punctuality can even be an inconvenience in a culture with more lenient and flexible schedule. My husband stresses the importance of arriving promptly to dinner parties, that is, he wants to arrive at the time indicated on the invitation. However, I find myself stalling our departure in order to avoid inconveniencing the hostess. Since most guests tend to arrive 30 minutes or more late, she might not be fully prepared for guests if we arrive ’on time’, and she might struggle trying to make conversation with me while still cooking and cleaning, leaving me in an awkward position while he goes off to another room with the host.

On the other hand, an American crowd might be expected to arrive 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time. That’s why there can be some confusion.

Of course, punctuality should be the norm for all events, but I’m not sure what it would take for people to accept that on a wide scale. It’s not easy to enforce it with other people, but the least we can do is enforce it on ourselves and make punctuality a fixed attribute for which we are known.

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Source: ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com.

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Islam and People with Disabilities

Islam and People with Disabilities

 

helping hand

It is duty of we Muslims to shoulder the responsibility of showing the utmost care to those people

Man’s life is a full record of hardships and tribulations. In this sense, Allah says:

We create man from a drop of thickened fluid to test him. (Al-Insan 76:2)

When man looks upon these tribulations and afflictions as being a test from Almighty Allah to see his true colors, he will come to know that there is a great divine wisdom behind all these tests. This is surely an absolute fact, whether we know it or not.

It is also a great thing that Almighty Allah, when depriving a person of a certain ability or gift, compensates him for it, by bestowing upon him/her other gift, with which he excels others. That is why we see that those people who are deprived of sight, have very sensitive ears that they can hear very low beats or movements around them. They are given excellence in many other abilities to compensate their imperfection.

If a person adopts this view, he will surely find rest and get contented with the test posed on him by Almighty Allah. Every person should bear in mind that he can never change his inability or escape Allah’s fate and thus he should try his best to make his life better and turn this sore lemon into sweet honey.

This inability should be a motive to creativity and excellence in any field of life. A disabled person should make his condition an impetus towards being distinguished and prominent in the society.

How to Overcome Disability, Become an Active Member in the Society

In order to be an active member in the society, a disabled person needs to be fully aware of his surroundings and the nature of his disability. In addition, it is incumbent on the society to offer a helping hand to all those people.

Islamic history has a shining record of many examples of people who, while having some kind of disability, occupied very excellent positions and prominent status in the society. `Atta’ ibn Abi Rabah, who was known of being black, lame and paralyzed person, was the greatest Mufti in Makkah. He was highly honored by `Abdul-Malik ibn Marawan, the Muslim caliph of that time. His vast knowledge earned this prestige.

Also, we know the story of the great Companion `Amr ibn Al-Jamuh, who was also lame. His four sons, when participating in Jihad, said to him: ‘You have an excuse to remain at home, for you are old and you have a kind of disability.’ With full confidence and trust in Allah, he said to them: ‘Nay, for I hope to walk in Paradise with my lame foot.’ Commenting on this, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to them: ‘Leave him! He is a man who seeks martyrdom.’

Almighty Allah guides all Muslims not to leave those disabled in isolation lest they fall a prey to despair and psychological ailments. They should be welcomed to the open society and be dealt with in the kindest way.

Society’s Duty towards People with Disabilities

people with disabilities

In Islam, we are commanded to show mercy to everything in this world.

Now, it is the duty of the whole society to establish schools for those persons and secure them due care so that they become good members of the society and that they benefit themselves and their families. In the West, great care is shown to the disabled.

It is duty of we Muslims to shoulder the responsibility of showing the utmost care to those people, for, according to the teachings of our religion, those persons are sources of divine mercy and blessings being showered on us now and then. They are the weak for whose sake we are given sustenance and made victorious.

In his hadith, our Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “You are given sustenance and victory for the virtue of those who are weak amongst you.” (Abu Dawud)

If those Westerners show mercy and care to the disabled out of human motives, we, Muslims should do so out of both human and religious motives. In Islam, we are commanded to show mercy to everything in this world. Remember the words of the Prophet:

“Show mercy to those on earth so that He Who is in the heavens (i.e., Allah) bestow mercy to you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

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Source: onislam.net.

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The Declaration of Faith: Between Text and Meaning

The Declaration of Faith: Between Text and Meaning

Islam is a spiritual reality that when embraced should be expressed quite naturally with no confusion.

Islam is a spiritual reality that when embraced should be expressed quite naturally with no confusion.

 

We have all witnessed the declaration of faith administered to a new Muslim and it is generally accepted as a compelling occasion. Naturally, some will be surprised by my usage of the phrase ’generally accepted as compelling‘ to describe the administering of the declaration of faith.

Don’t get me wrong, someone being guided aright is indeed a blessed and joyous occasion, but that phrase is indeed the subject of this article. That’s why we attempt to challenge accepted norms of practice here in the West regarding the Arabization of our identity. When judging anything, we should undoubtedly look to the pristine legacy of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and the distinguished tutelage of his noble companions.

In the time of the Prophet, there were multitudes of men, women, and children who were graced by divine light in embracing the absolute truth of our very existence, ‘I declare that there is no deity other than God and that Muhammad is His messenger’.

But the question is how did that take place? Did it ever happen that someone who indicated their interest in Islam would come to the Prophet or his Companions and then be brought in front of the people and be administered word for word the declaration of faith? The answer of any student of the Prophet’s biography and the early history of our lofty predecessors is no.

This article is not by any means attempting to call the declaring of faith in front of a crowd an innovation. Rather the hope is to reform the practice to make it in line with the example of the Companions of the Prophet, about whom Almighty God has stated:

God is pleased with the early Muslim immigrants, their helpers in Madinah and those who follow them to the best of their ability and God is pleased with them… (At-Tawbah 9:100)

Islam is a spiritual reality that when embraced should be expressed quite naturally with no confusion. It should appear as a sincere conviction coming from the heart of the person. The current process of the declaration of faith has an element which takes away from its glory. It brings down the person taking that great leap of faith, especially in today’s world.

By giving him/her the idea that although you have ratified your innate knowledge of Islam through the Qur’an and prophethood of Muhammad, you can’t truly express that unless it is in Arabic. Of course since he or she does not know Arabic this is often the beginning of an inferiority complex that is thrust upon the fresh revert from the get go.

One time in Kuwait, I administered a declaration of faith in front of an audience at a large mosque. The audience was about 200, maybe a quarter of them spoke English fluently and the majority understood basic conversational English. So first, in Arabic I summarized for the crowd his story and that the brother was going to declare his newfound faith. Then I asked him to repeat after me in English, ‘I declare that there is no deity other than God and Muhammad is His Messenger’.

Many people were elated and came to embrace their new brother while you can hear some objections rustling through the crowd. The Imam of the Mosque took me aside and began telling me that it is a condition or obligation for the declaration to be in Arabic. I asked the sheikh for some evidence and he said that it is well known. Of course well known is not a proof of Islamic Law so I researched the matter and, until now, to my surprise, I have found no such claim in the books of Islamic jurisprudence. That said, it is confirmed by various sheikhs as being ‘well known’.

Of course it doesn’t make sense to have someone declare their faith in a language that they don’t have the slightest clue about, but we should be fair to our legal tradition and not use our logic as an indisputable gauge. That being said, with the absence of any text or juristic precedence, I will now suggest how and why it should be done differently than the ‘well known’ way we are accustomed to.

In the history of our pious predecessors we find that the people who declared their faith to the Prophet and his Companions did so without any coaching necessary. It came naturally as a result of the certainty of their heart. Since they were Arabs that declaration was in their own language.

As mentioned before, the scholars of usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) say: ’That which is significant is not in names or titles rather the meaning and implication behind them’. The meaning is completely rendered in the English translation and thus the intended action has been performed.

In reflection, the form which I followed in Kuwait is still faulty! The Prophet said something quite crux to this article:

“Anyone who declares that there is no deity other than God and that and that Muhammad is the messenger of God genuinely and sincerely from his or her heart will be saved from the Hellfire.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is my hope that when someone enters Islam they do so with conviction and sufficient knowledge and understanding. So if they feel comfortable with it, I would encourage them to stand in front of the Muslims and tell their story and make their declaration in confidence and clarity without the help of any Imam.

This would be keeping in line with the generation that carried and conveyed this message which is, after divine blessing, why we are all able to be Muslim in the first place.

All praise and gratitude go to our beloved Guide and may He bestow His peace and blessings upon the Prophet and the early generations!

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Source: suhaibwebb.com

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