Allah has created people to be different in their living; some are rich and some poor, some well-off, affluent and high-esteemed, and others indigent, miserable and astray in life.
That is great wisdom decreed by Allah so that people would exchange work, cooperate with one another, and use one another to achieve their requirements and needs: the rich person spends his money, and the poor person exerts his effort in labor for remuneration. In confirmation of that, Allah Almighty Says (what means):
“Do they distribute the Mercy of your Lord? It is We Who Have Apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and Have Raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the Mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” (Quran 43:32)
Hajj as a shift against Racism:
Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.
Had the difference been limited to the exchange of benefits, it would have been good. But some rich people exalt themselves above the poor, and their arrogance produces hatred among the poor.
On the other hand, some poor people envy the rich, with the result that the rich boycott and neglect them; arrogance among some rich people versus hatred among some poor people, and haughtiness among some dignitaries versus envy among some of the common people.
In this way, the social classes of the same nation have mutual aversion to each other, cooperation disappears, bonds are undone, and production decreases.
A Remedy of Racism
The remedy of that disease lies in the religious acts of worship in general, and Hajj in particular, which has a practical healing and effective decisive medicine to put an end to haughtiness, and lay the foundation for equality between all people in the form of (putting on the same clothing of) Ihram, performing Tawaaf, Sa‘y, and so on.
In Hajj, no one could be distinguished from others with a particular uniform, clothing, appearance or adornment, because all of them are equal in their simple united appearance. That is indeed equality between individuals as well as between races and peoples, in compliance with what Allah Says (which means):
“O mankind, indeed We Have Created you from male and female and Made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (Quran 49:13)
Islamic views on piety:
Our Messenger, God bless him and grant him peace, said: “No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, nor a white-complexioned to a black-complexioned except by virtue of piety.”
Is Hajj then, from this point of view, worthy of the care of reformers, the concern of the sincere and the effort of the passionate?
We are all subject to our habits and governed by our traditions as a result of the house in which we live, the school in which we learn, and the environment surrounding us.
A lot of our customs and habits are bad and harmful, the majority of our traditions are invalid and superstitious, and the greater part of what we agree upon is false and ignorant. Worship, as they said, is a second disposition, and to be released from traditions is very difficult upon a lot of people.
When a reformer likes to straighten the crookedness of his nation, and push it towards the pathways of perfection, he encounters the rocks of habits and traditions. He may perish and die before changing his people from a familiar habit, given that “people are slaves of their traditions”.
Hajj comes to release the individual from his habitual customs, and change his familiar traditions. Hajj, in this way, enables the pilgrim to govern himself, control his deeds, give up bad customs, and come away from awful traditions to the immense field of piety, virtues and spiritual elevation.
That is because the pilgrim becomes a sovereign over his own self after having been a slave of his habits.
In confirmation of that, Allah Almighty Says (what means):
“Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of Ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah Knows it.” (Quran 2:197)
The Messenger of Allah, God bless him and grant him peace, stated that Hajj brings the Muslim out of his sins, misdeeds, bad customs and habits, saying:
“Whoever performs Hajj during which he does not have sexual intercourse (with his wife) nor commit wickedness, will become (as sinless) as he was on the very day his mother gave birth to him.”
Is Hajj, in this sense, not worthy of the care of educationalists and psychologists?
What is worthier of care than a worship-based practical system that releases man from the slavery of loss, and joins him to (Allah) The Most Merciful with a strong bond of truthfulness, certainty and faith?
Countries allocate money to physical sports and military exercises, a system for which our youth in schools are preparing. Without doubt, sport is a source of strength, valor, courage and gallantry, and an important support pillar in the construction of the glory of the Ummah.
Islam was a forerunner in recognizing the virtue of sport, when it commanded people to learn racing, archery, horsemanship, swimming and sword fight to prepare for Jihaad in the way of security, truth and peace. It joined sport with acts of worship, so that the emotion and feeling would share with the heart in performing it. Thus, sport becomes a physical power and a spiritual worship which has its glorious benefits in this world, and its great reward in the Hereafter.
Source: britishhajtravel website with some modifications.
Nothing occurs in the heavens or on earth without the Will of God.
The sixth and last article of Islamic faith is belief in divine decree which means that everything good or bad, all moments of happiness or sorrow, pleasure or pain, come from God.
First, God’s foreknowledge is infallible. God is not indifferent to this world or its people. He is Wise and Loving, but this should not make us fatalists, throwing up our hands and saying, ‘what’s the point of making any effort?’
God’s foreknowledge does not compromise human responsibility. God holds us accountable for what we can do, what is within our capability, but He does not hold us accountable for things we cannot do. He is Just and, as He has given us only limited responsibility, judges us accordingly.
We should think, plan and make the right choices, but, if sometimes things do not turn out the way we want, we need not lose hope or get depressed. We should pray to God and try again. If in the end we still do not achieve what we wanted, we should know we have tried our best and are not responsible for the results.
God knows what the creatures will do, encompassing everything by His knowledge. He knows all that exists, in entirety and totality, by virtue of His eternal foreknowledge.
Truly, nothing is hidden from God, in the earth or in the heavens. (Aal `Imran 3:5)
Whoever refuses this denies God’s perfection, because the opposite of knowledge is either ignorance or forgetfulness. It would mean God would have been mistaken in his foreknowledge of future events; He would no longer be omniscient. Both are deficiencies which God is free of.
Second, God has recorded everything that will occur until the Day of Judgment in the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz). The life spans of all human beings are written and the amount of their sustenance apportioned. Everything that is created or occurs in the universe is according to what is recorded there. God has said:
Did you not know that God knows (all) that is in the heavens and the earth? It is (all) in a record. Surely that is easy for God. (Al-Hajj 22:70)
Third, whatever God wills to happen happens, and whatever God does not will does not happen. Nothing occurs in the heavens or on earth without the Will of God.
Fourth, God is the Creator of everything.
…He has created everything, and has ordained for it a measure. (Al-Furqan 25:2)
In Islamic doctrine every human act both in material and spiritual life is predestined, yet it is incorrect to believe the action of fate is blind, arbitrary, and relentless. Without denying divine interference in human affairs, human liberty is kept intact. It does not discount the principle of man’s moral freedom and responsibility. All is known, but freedom is also granted.
Man is not a helpless creature borne along by destiny. Rather, each person is responsible for his acts. Lethargic nations and individuals indolent to ordinary affairs of life are to blame themselves, not God. Man is bound to obey the moral law; and he will receive merited punishment or reward as he violates or observes that law.
However, if such is so, man must have within his power the ability to break or keep the law. God would not hold us responsible for something unless we were capable of doing it:
God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear. (Al-Baqarah 2:286)
Belief in divine decree strengthens one’s belief in God. A person realizes that God alone controls everything, so he trusts and relies on Him. Even though a person tries his best, at the same time he relies on God for the final outcome. His hard work or intelligence does not make him arrogant, for God is the source of all that comes his way.
Finally, a person attains peace of mind in the realization that God is the Wise and His Actions are dictated by wisdom. Things don’t happen without a purpose. If something reached him, he realizes it could never have escaped him. If something misses him, he realizes it was never meant to be. A man achieves an inner peace, inwardly at rest with this realization.
Here are the six principles of Guidance Surat Al-Fatihah introduces…
It is not enough that one merely utter the Shahadah for it to be accepted by Allah. It is the key to the gates of Paradise, but in order for it to work, it needs to have the right ridges.
The Shahadah must meet the following conditions for it to be accepted by Allah:
One must have knowledge that all other deities worshipped besides Allah are false, so there is no deity worshipped in truth except Allah. Never should anyone else be worshipped, even if he be a prophet, a messenger or an angel. Allah is the only one who deserves all types worship, such as salah (prayer), du`aa’ (supplication), hope, sacrificial slaughtering, making oaths, etc.
Whoever directs any type of worship to other than Allah has committed kufr (disbelief), even if he uttered the Shahadah.
One must have certainty in the Shahadah. Certainty is the opposite of doubt, so there is no room for a person to doubt or waver in his belief. Allah says:
The believers are only those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not, and strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful. (Al-Hujurat 49:15)
One should accept the Shahadah fully and not reject it. It is not sufficient that a person merely know what the Shahadah means and believe it with certainty. Rather he must accept it my pronouncing it openly and accepting to become a Muslim. Allah says:
Truly, when it was said to them, “La ilaha illa Allah (no deity is worshipped in truth except Allah),” they puff themselves up with pride and deny it. (As-Saffat 37:35)
It means obedience and acting upon all what the Shahadah necessitates.
A person must do according to what Allah ordered and abstain from what He prohibited. Allah, Exalted be He, says:
And whosoever submits his face to Allah, while he is a muhsin (doer of good), then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold [La ilaha ill-Allah]. And to Allah return all matters for decision. (Luqman 31:22)
We should note that the word “muhsin” in the verse literally means a person who does something well. Here it means one who does righteous deeds sincerely for Allah, according to the method the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us.
Here we see that Allah mentions both submission to Allah along with doing righteous deeds, and only if a person does this has he grasped onto the sure handhold of the Shahadah.
One must be truthful in his Shahadah. Even though a person may be doing all these things on the outside, he might be hiding disbelief in his heart, like the hypocrites.
They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. (Al-Fath 48:11)
6- Sincerity of worship
One must make his worship and obedience sincerely for Allah alone. And it may be that one fulfills all the previous conditions, but he directs worship to other than Allah at times, like supplicating to the dead, etc. He has not made his worship purely for Allah.
And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, following the religion purely and sincerely for Him, turning away from other religions. (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)
One must love Allah, His Messenger, and His righteous slaves. He must hate and show enmity towards all who show enmity to Allah and His Messenger. He must prefer what Allah and His Messenger love, even if it is different to what he desires. Allah says:
Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight… are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the rebellious and disobedient to Allah. (At-Tawbah 9:24)
Shahadah & Oneness
The Shahadah also necessitates that Allah is the only one who has the right to legislate, whether it be in matters concerning worship, or matters concerning the government of human relations in both the individual and public affairs. The act of making something prohibited or lawful is for Allah alone. His Messenger merely explained and clarified Allah’s commandments.
And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). (Al-Hashr 59:7)
The article is an excerpt from”How to Become a Muslim” by Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha.
To convert to Islam is a lie-changing decision that must be based on full conviction that Islam is the religion chosen by Allah (God) to guide humanity.
The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background.
First, we thank you for your interest in Islam. Thank you for taking the time to read about Islam and Muslims.
If you take the decision to embrace Islam, be sure that you will never regret this decision.
The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. To convert and become a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no prerequisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.
How to Convert to Islam
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahadah“, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahadah” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.
With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahadah“, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.
Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:
“Do you not know that accepting Islam wipes out all sins which come before it?” (Muslim)
When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. The new convert should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.
The Qur’an and Hadith (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:
The only religion in the sight of God is Islam(Aal `Imran 3:19)
In another verse of the Qur’an, God states:
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).(Aal `Imran 3:85))
In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:
“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet of God also reported:
“Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: “I testify that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah (God),’ seeking thereby the Face of God.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah)
To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning:
I testify “La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”
The translation of which is:
“I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God.”
When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim.
The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Qur’an:
We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me(Al-Anbiya’ 21:25)
This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone.
Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.
Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one’s family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.
The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.
One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:
And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.(Al-Qalam 68:4)
God also said:
And indeed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.(Al-Ahzab 33:21)
He was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an, in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet, when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied:
“His character was that of the Quran.” (As-Suyuti)
To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahadah is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says:
Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love God, then follow me.’(Aal `Imran 3:31)
It also means that Muhammad is the Final Prophet and Messenger of God, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him.
Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything.(Al-Ahzab 33:40)
All who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief.
We welcome you to Islam, congratulate you for your decision, and will try to help you in any way we can.
This video shows you how to practically convert to Islam…