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…
Allah sent His Messenger and Prophet to guide mankind and if man believes and obeys him giving him all his due rights, Allah has promised success in this life and the Hereafter as a reward. These rights are summarized in the Testimony of Faith (There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah). Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the slave and Messenger of Allah).”
This declaration requires the following:
– A Believer must comply with the commands of the Prophet and must strive to avoid acts of disobedience as Allah says in the Qur’an:
So take what the Messenger gives you, and abstain from that which he forbids you. And fear Allah, verily Allah is severe in Punishment. (Al-Hashr 59:7)
– A Muslim must follow the authentic traditions of the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) to the best of his ability. No one has any authority to alter, add or omit any of the Sunnah traditions of the Messenger of Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an:
Say: ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Aal `Imran 3:31)
– A Believer must honor the special status and dignity bestowed by Allah to His Prophet (peace be upon him). No one must adulate or degrade this status. The Prophet said:
“Do not adulate me as the Christians adulated the son of Maryam; (as) I am no more than a salve of Allah…so say: Allah’s slave and His Messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)
And he (peace be upon him) said:
“O people! Say what you have to say, and do not allow yourselves to be seduced by Satan. I am Muhammad, the slave and Messenger of Allah. I do not like you to elevate me above the status assigned to me by Allah the Almighty.” (An-Nasa’i)
And he is reported to have said:
Do not praise me more than I deserve. Allah (Exalted be He) created me as a slave before calling me a Prophet and Messenger.” (At-Tabarani)
– A Muslim must show acceptance and satisfaction of any verdict passed by the Prophet of Allah as Allah (the Exalted) says in the Qur’an:
But no, by Your Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions and accept them with full submission. (An-Nisaa’ 4:65)
– Belief in the universality of the Message of Prophet Muhammad to all humanity. Islam is not oriented to a specific category of people, as it was the case with previous Prophets and Messengers. This is derived from the verse of the Qur’an:
Say: “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa (there is no god but He); It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His Words, the Tawrah (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also Allah’s Word: “Be!” – and he was, i.e. `Isa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), and follow him (Muhammad) so that you may be guided. (Al-A`raf 7:158)
– Belief that Allah’s Prophet and Messenger Muhammad has been protected by Allah against possible human errors in relation to his mission to mankind. This includes the belief that the Prophet never omitted or added anything to the complete Message of Allah. This is based on the verse of the Qur’an:
Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. (An-Najm 53:3)
– Belief that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet and Messenger of Allah to mankind, and that no Prophet or Messenger will come after him. Allah says in the Qur’an:
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Last of the Prophets. (Al-Ahzab 33:40)
And the Messenger of Allah said: “…and there’s no prophet after me.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
– Belief that the religious duties and divine commands Allah sent to mankind are complete, and that the Prophet has delivered the Message of Allah in its entirety, and gave the best advice to his Ummah (nation) and the best guidance to do all good and to avoid all evil. This is based on the verse of the Qur’an:
This day, those who rejected Faith have given up all hopes of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)
– Belief that the laws legislated in Islam are approved by Allah, and that all the various types of worship are based upon and revolve around these divine laws. Independent human actions will not be accepted, Allah knows best, unless and until they are in conformity with these divine laws. This is based on the verse:
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Aal `Imran 3:85)
– A Muslim must offer the proper greeting to Allah’s Prophet and Messenger (peace be upon him) when his name is mentioned as a form of respect, as instructed in the verse of the Qur’an:
Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you who believe! Send your blessings on him, and salute him with all respect. (Al-Ahzab 33:56)
– A Believer must have true love and affection for the Prophet and Messenger of Allah above the love of all others, since information and practices of the true religion of Allah and the many blessings that the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought as guidance, are the only means of salvation by the will of Allah. This is based on the instruction of Qur’an:
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 striving hard and fighting in His cause- then wait until Allah brings about His decision. And Allah guides not the rebellious. (At-Tawbah 9:24)
– A Muslim must devote every possible effort and opportunity available to him to call, with wisdom and patience, all others to the Message of Muhammad (peace be upon him). He should strive to inform those who are unaware and misinformed and strengthen the faith of people with weak, wavering faith. As Allah (the Most Wise) says:
Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in a way that is better and most gracious. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Most Aware of those who are guided. (An-Nahl 16:125)
This is also based on the statement of Allah’s Prophet and Messenger: “Propagate, on my behalf, even if one verse.” (Al-Bukhari & At-Tirmithi)
Source: The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptions”.