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Posts Tagged ‘the muslim scale’

HAJJ MUBARAK! (Three stages of the Muslim Faith; Part III)

In Islam, Quran on November 26, 2009 at 7:17 am

Hajj is the last point on the Muslim scale that we have been following through the previous two posts of the series. [Link to Part I and Part II]

Just like Ramazaan, Hajj also comes with a season all its own starting from 1st Zil-Hajj. The seasons are experienced distinctly by the aspiring Hujjajs and the rest of the Muslim world. Both flavors though are intoxicatingly enticing!

In the families applicant to be Hujjaj, the season is marked by their Hajj classes, their preparations and arrangements for the auspicious journey, congratulations and farewells from friends and relatives and finally by the Sacred Hajj itself and topped with Qurbani and the pilgrimage to the Prophet’s Mosque.

The rest of us also have many opportunities to share in the sanctity of the occasion. Regarding the first ten days of Zil-Hajj it was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no days that are greater before Allaah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him…” Narrated by Ahmad, 7/224.

This hadith assures us that whichever of our many options of worship we are able to avail during this period will be valuable for us. Thus we may fast, offer more than the obligatory salat, read, recite and learn Qur’an, and engage in a constant remembrance of our Maker.

In the same hadith as above, the Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa aalihi wasallam) instructs us to: recite a great deal of tehleel, takbeer and tehmeed in (these days).

Today’s day, the Day of Arafah is of particular significance with reference to fasting. According to a hadith in Muslim: The Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) used to fast on the ninth day of Dhu’l Hijjah and he said: “Fasting the Day of Arafah is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and an expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.”

And, of course, we share in the spirit of Qurbani, thus directly participating in one of the most important of Sunnahs in our religion. In Sura Kausar, Allah Subhanahu gave a direct command for this sacrifice to our Prophet (salla Allahu alaih):

110:2

In a hadith narrated by Hazrat Aeysha (razi Allahu unhaa) and quoted in Tirmizi and Ibne-Maja, our Prophet (salla Allahu alaih) says:

There is no dearer deed of ibne Adam in the days of Qurbani than flowing the blood (i.e. doing Qurbani) and that animal will come with his horns, hair, and hooves on the day of Qayamat. The blood of the Qurbani reaches the stage of acceptance before it reaches the floor.

Our precautions

Since, it’s the intentions behind our actions, that are of real worth; there is cause for a lot of care in removing any hint of pretentiousness in our Zil-Hajj worships. Both the act of Qurbani and the act of Hajj have unfortunately been embellished with a lot of pomp and show in recent times which hurts the intended purity of the acts.

Regarding Qurbani, Allah Subhanahu says in ayah 37 of Sura Hajj:

لَن يَنالَ اللَّهَ لُحومُها وَلا دِماؤُها وَلٰكِن يَنالُهُ التَّقوىٰ مِنكُم ۚ كَذٰلِكَ سَخَّرَها لَكُم لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلىٰ ما هَدىٰكُم ۗ وَبَشِّرِ المُحسِنينَلَن

It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah. it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news to all who do right.

Similar care needs to be applied when going for Hajj. The attitude of the Hujjajs and their acquaintances should be one of humbleness; the spirit should be of a loving entreaty to Allah Subhanahu that He accept this worship.

In some part of the worlds, the Hujjah karam are made into sanctified personas whose departures and arrivals are celebrated with pomp and they are glorified to an extent which is rather opposite to the picture of humility and earthliness that might be expected in a person who has just returned from the House of God.

We should remember at all times, that by offering Qurbani or by going for Hajj, we are not (naoozubillah) doing some ‘favor’ to God Almighty. It is rather for the sakes of our own spiritual welfare. In ayah 17 of Suray Hujarat, Allah Subhanahu has used very strict words against such an attitude of ‘favor-boasting’.

يَمُنّونَ عَلَيكَ أَن أَسلَموا ۖ قُل لا تَمُنّوا عَلَىَّ إِسلٰمَكُم ۖ بَلِ اللَّهُ يَمُنُّ عَلَيكُم أَن هَدىٰكُم لِلإيمٰنِ إِن كُنتُم صٰدِقينَ

 Translation: They impress on thee as a favour that they have embraced Islam. Say, “Count not your Islam as a favour upon me: Nay, Allah has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if ye be true and sincere.

At the other end of the continuum, there are also people who are extremely lackaidaisical regarding their obligation towards Hajj. The obligation from Hajj is proved from Sura Al-i-Imran, ayah 97:

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النّاسِ حِجُّ البَيتِ مَنِ استَطاعَ إِلَيهِ سَبيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ العٰلَمينَوَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النّاسِ حِجُّ البَيتِ مَنِ استَطاعَ إِلَيهِ سَبيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ العٰلَمينَ

Translation: Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures

There are many people out there who clearly have the means to perform Hajj at least once, but they ignore it. In order to clarfiy this topic, first let us review the conditions which make the Hajj obligatory.

When does Hajj becomes obligatory?

1. When we attain physical maturation.

2. When we own enough money to afford the journey of Hajj after i) fulfilling all the needs of our dependents in our absence and after ii) paying any due debts.

3. When we are physically capable of making the journey. Physical or mental illness/injury, or physical dangers in the way to Mecca will rule out the Hajj for us.

4. When, as a female, a Mahram male is also available to accompany us with the Hajj.

[Source: http://www.alminbar.com/khutbaheng/444.htm ]

Neglecting Hajj

If we refer to the ayah quoted above, the term of kufr has been applied when warning those who ignore the commandment for Hajj. Remember that Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, the last member of the group of obligations which completes our identification as a Muslim. Anyone who deliberately and clearly negates that Hajj is one of the obligations when its prerequisites (as referred above) are met is NOT a Muslim. And anyone who does not so negates but still ignores the execution of the duty despite affording it, is seriously hurting his/her status as a Muslim.

May Allah shower his many blessings on his House and all those members of the Muslim Family who are there prepared to encircle the Ka’aba in their loving devotion. May Allah accept their Hajj and their Qurbani and all of their worships obligatory or nafil.

May Allah accept the efforts of the rest of the Muslim world, accept our worships, our remembrance of His Being, of the Hujjaj and the House, and of that glorious Abrahamic history which was the origin point of this major Sign of the Muslim Faith. May He also accept our Qurbani. And may He remove and ignore our ills in our performance of worships, qurbani and Hajj. Finally, may He count this little effort of my writing about Hajj  among those special worhips of the first ten days of Zil-Hajj. Ameen.

 

THE FAITH: The Three Stages of being a Muslim – Part II

In Islam on August 9, 2009 at 6:46 am

In the previous post, we have seen how reciting the kalimah is merely a stepping stone to becoming a full Muslim. Once you proclaim the kalimah, you are legally a Muslim and it certainly suffices for all earthly . Still, as the ayah, Al-An’aam 158 testifies, it is not the sole stamp needed on our passport to a happy hereafter.

The four minimum obligatory good deeds, identified in the hadith previously referenced, are well-known. The purpose in this post, however, is to review the inherent demands of these obligations; especially those that highlight the common neglects people today show in the performance of these deeds.

The Muslim scale: Salat

إِنَّ الصَّلوٰةَ كانَت عَلَى المُؤمِنينَ كِتٰبًا مَوقوتًا

The prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times. [An-Nisa, 103]

Five prayers in a day are one of the many gifts that our beloved prophet Mohammad (sallah Allahu alaihi wa sallam) brought back from his night of ascension (lailat-ul-mi’raj) [Bukhari, 1.8.345]. And not only that, they are supposed to be all offered on their appropriate times (as the above ayah testifies); the ones Angel Jibrail himself taught to the Prophet [As stated in a Tirmizi hadith. Reference here].

So an important question for us is:

  • Do we say our prayers five times a day?

This question actually boils down to a series of component questions. So here goes..

  • How frequently can you bring yourself up for faj’r?
  • Out working or studying, care to find time for zuh’r?
  • What about as’r, right in the middle of the afternoon nap?
  • Are you really able to catch your maghrib amidst all that evening fun?
  • And how late is your isha and with how much struggle with sleep?
  • Finally, when you miss one, do you bother to offer it’s qaza before the next prayer due?

Another important issue is the quality of your salat, most effectively summarized in the following verse from Sura Ankaboot:

إِنَّ الصَّلوٰةَ تَنهىٰ عَنِ الفَحشاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلَذِكرُ اللَّهِ أَكبَرُ

Translation: Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. [Sura Al-Ankaboot, 45]

So:

  • Is your salat really bringing any change in your life? (If not, your heart is really not into it.)
  • and, Do you understand, approach and experience your salat as an act of relating to God? (If not, you are missing on a quality time you may have never experienced in your life.)

The Muslim scale: Saum

شَهرُ رَمَضانَ الَّذى أُنزِلَ فيهِ القُرءانُ هُدًى لِلنّاسِ وَبَيِّنٰتٍ مِنَ الهُدىٰ وَالفُرقانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهرَ فَليَصُمهُ ۖ وَمَن كانَ مَريضًا أَو عَلىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِن أَيّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُريدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ اليُسرَ وَلا يُريدُ بِكُمُ العُسرَ وَلِتُكمِلُوا العِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلىٰ ما هَدىٰكُم وَلَعَلَّكُم تَشكُرونَ ﴿١٨٥

Translation: The month of Ramazan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks. [AL-Baqarah, 185]

Al- Muslim, Book 006, Number 2566, Hadith-e-Qudsi, narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira:

Fasting is a shield. When any one of you is fasting on a day, he should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise the voice; or if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him he should say: I am a person fasting. By Him, in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah on the Day of judgment than the fragrance of musk. The one who fasts has two (occasions) of joy, one when he breaks the fast he is glad with the breaking of (the fast) and one when he meets his Lord he is glad with his fast.

Al-Muslim, Book 006, Number 2567:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Every (good) deed of the son of Adam would be multiplied, a good deed receiving a tenfold to seven hundredfold reward. Allah, the Exalted and Majestic, has said: With the exception of fasting, for it is done for Me and I will give a reward for it, for one abandons his passion and food for My sake.

Lailat-ul-Qadar:

Al-Muslim Book 006, Number 2619:

Salim reported on the authority of his father that a person saw Lailat-ul- Qadr on the 27th (of Ramadan). Thereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: I see that your dreams agree regarding the last ten (nights of Ramadan). So seek it on an odd number (of these ten nights).

Al-Muslim Book 006, Number 2621:

Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Seek it (Lailat-ul-Qadr) in the last (ten nights). If one among you shows slackness and weakness (in the earlier part of Ramadan), it should not be allowed to prevail upon him in the last week.

No need to give the technical definition of a saum; we all know that. But in this modern, fast-paced, hip-hop world, do we really find time (or concern enough) to try to live the spiritual definition of the exercise?

This saum section deserves a special place both from the writer and reader point of views – not just because Ramadhaan is approaching but because of our growing neglect in observing the spirit of Ramazaan in our individual fasts and in the general society’s attitude during this best of months.

Many years ago when I (along with my siblings) was a ‘conventional’ Muslim in the truest possible sense of the word, I remember we used to watch a music programme Top of the Pops every week… Ramadhaan or not. The last programme that month fell (and was let fallen) on the 27th night, the most reverred of Ramazaan nights by all conventions. Did this fact made us not watch it? I sadly confess, it didn’t. The tentacles of music do not let go hold of the soul so easily unless you start thinking deliberately about your faith.

Last year I was shocked to discover that the advertisement for a certain “Ramazaan festival” proudly displayed a semi-naked dancing woman in a larger-than-life sized poster form. The ad was promptly in place by first Ramazaan on the facade of a major shopping centre in my city (one of the busiest thoroughfares, of course) – and I don’t know where else – and remained dutifully up till Eid. Just who were they trying to mock? Allah? Muslims?

The saddest reflection must be saved for the strength of faith in a society whose passivity allows its business class to knowingly and willingly soil the sanctity of the once in a year month – blatantly in defiance of the warning in Sura Noor:

إِنَّ الَّذينَ يُحِبّونَ أَن تَشيعَ الفٰحِشَةُ فِى الَّذينَ ءامَنوا لَهُم عَذابٌ أَليمٌ فِى الدُّنيا وَالءاخِرَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَعلَمُ وَأَنتُم لا تَعلَمونَ ﴿١٩

Translation: Those who love that indecency should be broadcast about those who believe – theirs is a painful punishment in this world and in the Everlasting Life. Allah knows, and you do not know.

The authorities in the council where my aunt lives, suddenly decided the last week of Ramadhaan must be made use of with a ‘farewell’ festival. Each night  (including, of course the odd nights and right through till faj’r) the makeshift market in the midst of a residential area was in full blast with music, singing and wild announcements celebrating its own insensitivity and shamelessness.

These were a few stark examples. As for the routine stuff [TV schedules, shopping sprees, behind-the-back talk gatherings, etc.] I remember it took us the 8th October earthquake (in 2005) to induce that true mood of refrain,  abstinence and virtue that a fast alone induces in a truer Muslim.

My western readers shouldn’t feel too smug. These are points to ponder for all of us. So this year,

  • Do you vow to keep all the fasts (if you aren’t fasting regularly still…)?
  • Will, this year too, your Fasts be an occasion for Fun (festivals), Food (‘tablefuls’ of iftari and sehri), and Fluid Money (shopping, redecorations, etc)?
  • What mental preparation are you going through right now to keep yourself away from all those nasty habits (dishonesty, occasional lying, backbiting, being jealous, wishing somebody bad, etc. etc.)?
  • Any more fights with parents (or spouse)?
  • If you are unable to keep a fast due to a valid reason, how long will it take you to make it up (that is execute it’s qaza as clearly mentioned in the ayah above)?
  • What about all that count of qaza fasts from the previous years ever since the saum obligation is due on you?
  • Will you be watching DRAMAS and listening to MUSIC, thereby helping promote unbashful and indecent attitudes (as warned against in Sura Nur) knowing full well that the activities involved in both are also haram?
  • And finally what about the last week – will it succeed in bringing out more from us compared with the rest of the Ramadan?

We all strive to do more in Ramadhan SOME way, so:

  • What about attempting to remove your up-till-now mistakes or neglects in the way of salat and zakat?
  • Are you saving your pocket money and personal savings ONLY for your own myriad expenses OR you care for somebody else’s hunger?
  • Will you be focusing on ‘completing” Quran’s recital as quickly & conveniently (which often means ‘soullessly’) as possible, or will you be including some tajweed or tafseer or hadith?
  • What about taraweeh? Will you wrap it up in ‘7-day’, ‘6-day’, ‘5-day’, ‘4-day’ or ‘3-day’ contrived taraweeh to have it out of your way for the rest of the month?

Finally, the spiritual duties of Ramadan are not actually over after the last saum, so :

  • Will Eid see the complete reversal of our good strivings through the month (like discarding a garment one has had to adorn for the past long hours…)? Unfortunately, the way we live, Eid does have the worse of temptations to overthrow all the lessons and progress we have made in Ramadan. So if you are serious about things this Ramadan, plan ahead of your Eid.
  • The same can be said for the rest of the year… Ramadan is not meant to be a show – a month-long once-in-a-year spiritual festival. Rather, it should be the beginning of an year-long spiritual odyssey. So don’t spend your Ramadan like a month-long once-in-a-year festival. There must be (at the very least) ONE character weakness that we can identify in ourselves and that we can resolve to correct (and to develop the correction into a practise) in Ramazan  and then to keep this new, better and higher level of attitude alive even after Ramadan…

May Allah make this Ramadan an occasion for all of us for our physical, spiritual, psychological, religious, economical, societal, and national (I mean both the nation of Muslims and the nation of Pakistan) well-being! Ameen.

The Muslim scale: Zakat

فَإِن تابوا وَأَقامُوا الصَّلوٰةَ وَءاتَوُا الزَّكوٰةَ فَإِخوٰنُكُم فِى الدّينِ ۗ وَنُفَصِّلُ الءايٰتِ لِقَومٍ يَعلَمونَ ﴿١١﴾ وَإِن نَكَثوا أَيمٰنَهُم مِن بَعدِ عَهدِهِم وَطَعَنوا فى دينِكُم فَقٰتِلوا أَئِمَّةَ الكُفرِ ۙ إِنَّهُم لا أَيمٰنَ لَهُم لَعَلَّهُم يَنتَهونَ ﴿١٢

Translation: If they repent and establish the prayer and pay the obligatory charity, they shall become your brothers in the religion. So We make plain Our verses for a nation that knows (11). But if, after coming to terms with you, they break their oaths and revile your belief, fight the leaders of the disbelief – for they have no oaths – in order that they will desist (12). [Sura Tauba]

Zakat is the 2.5% of our assets that we are required to pass over to the needing ones every year. Since it is farz (i.e. obligatory) utmost care must be excercised in the execution of this duty…

  • How many of you pay out zakat every year with your heart truly in it?
  • Have you bothered to every year to reacquaint yourself with all the delicate issues in the paying out of zakat (some of which are hinted below)?
  • How many execuses your family has created up till now so as to ‘minimize’ the total value of the assets on which you have to calculate the payable dues?
  • Do you carefully bother to count and estimate the current value of the totality of your assets (each and every pair of your gold earrings, for instance) so that you are missing out on nothing?
  • After learning of your errors in the past years, do you intend to correct the mistakes and to carefully reevaluate the amount of zakat unpayed over those past years? Remember all that zakat is still due.
  • Finally, do you just give it away whichever way or do you first investigate whether the subject receiving your zakat is really a legitimate recipient or not? Or, whether the institute you are trusting your zakat with is TRULY forwarding it where it belongs?

Remeber Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique’s first jihad as a Caliph was to fight those who had refused paying zakat after our Prophet’s (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) death, deciding from the ayah referenced above.

In the next edition of THE FAITH, I will go over a quick overview of the last point on the Muslim Scale and then move over to the Mo’min and Mohsin stages, InshaAllah.

Click here to read other posts from the Islam category in this blog.


THE FAITH: The Three Stages of being a Muslim – Part I

In Islam, Quran on August 2, 2009 at 8:04 am

quranWhile I was reading the Qur’an some days ago, with  tafseer by Maulana Taqi Usmani, I came across an ayah in Sura Al-Maida which reminds us of the progressive stages of a Muslim’s faith.

In view of the coming Ramadaan, it seemed to be an excellent topic of presentation and preparation.

Here is the ayah.

Al-Maida, ayah 93

Translation: On those who believe and do good there is no blame for what they eat, when they are careful (of their duty) and believe and do good deeds, then they are careful (of their duty) and believe, then they are careful (of their duty) and do good (to others; and Allah loves those who do good (to others).

The context

This ayah appears in the context of the prohibition of drinking wine in a previous ayah (#90). When the commandment was received and announced by the Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam), some Sahaba came and inquired what of those who had drunk and have already died before its prohibition. This ayah explains that since those Muslims had eaten only what was not forbidden according to the Allah’s commandments up till then, and that they had done this in sincerity towards Him while standing in fear of displeasing him, they do not deserve any penance; rather they deserve reward in the hereafter.

Stages of faith

However, what inspires me to write about today is the simple gradation of the Muslim faith that is provided in this ayah and against which we can measure ourselves.

In this and many other verses of the Qur’an, the Believers are called upon to believe. What does it mean? Why the apparent repetition? Why tell those who already believe to believe…?

Tafaseer confirm what the common sense points to: the belief that is being demanded of the Believers is of a different and higher kind than that more basic and lower rung of the ladder that they have already climbed. At various points in Qur’an and hadith, as here, this second stage of Faith is further distinguished from a third, higher one. The three stages in succession are:

1. Islam – 2. Iman – 3. Ihsan

Below follows a hadith that verifies the authenticity of these concepts.

The hadith

On the authority of Omar [razi Allahu unh] who said:

One day while we were sitting with the messenger of Allah there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of journeying were to be seen on him and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet [salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam].

Resting his knees against his and placing the palms of his hands on his thighs, he said:

“O Muhammed [salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam], tell me about Islam“.

The messenger of Allah said:

“Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is the messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadhan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.”

He said: “You have spoken rightly”, and we were amazed at him asking him and saying that he had spoken rightly. He said:

“Then tell me about eman.”

He [Prophet Mohammad salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam] said:

“It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.”

He said: “You have spoken rightly”. He said:

“Then tell me about ehsan.”

He said: “It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not yet, truly He sees you”.

[Reference: Hadith #2 in Al-Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths, taken from Muslim]

[Note: The narration continues to a discussion of signs of qiyamah and Hazrat Omar asking and finding out that the strange person asking questions and talking freely to Prophet Mohammad was Hazrat Jibrail (Angel Gabriel).]

Stage 1: Islam

Many of us assume (with a simple-minded ignorance) that if we have recited the kalima thus claiming our Muslim faith we have indeed attained the first stage.

Not so fast..

Look again at the first section of the reference ayah and you will find the phrase wa ‘amilu-ssalihaat (“and they perform the good deeds”) attached as an essential characteristic of the first stage. Even if you are a perfunctory reader of the Qur’an you will testify that this little phrase accompanies the phrase allazina amanu (“those who believe”) nearly all the places in Qur’an, except where they are simply being addressed (i.e., as ya ayyuh-allazina amanu).

Now look at the first section of the reference hadith wherein our Prophet Mohammad (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) replies to Jibrail the meaning of Islam. Therein we find the full requisites of falling in the “Muslim” category; the most basic definition of ‘good deeds’. And why not? Of course, ‘deed’ means action and ‘testifying’ to the basic components of faith is merely an intellectual act, not a behavioral one.

So here’s an opportunity for us to compare ourself with the following four-point scale of being a true MUSLIM (forget, for the time being, about being a Mo’min and next a Mohsin; that will come later).

The Muslim Scale: the starter

first_kalimah

Before the actual four deeds that are the minimum requirements for our Muslim faith having any validity in the hereafter, of course their is the prerequisite testimony. The common mistake is to invoke the testimony as Enough! No. Think of this testimony (the kalima) as a prologue. Suppose you go to your favorite bookshop and buy a novel by your favorite author. You don’t look into the book then (being in a hurry), and bring it home. At home a big disappointment awaits you. The novel only has a prologue! Where’s the rest of the story? It’s outrageously blank! [Or more typically, keeping in mind the actual case we are following, filled with irrelevent rubbish..] So what do you do? Placidly- patiently- rather helplessly- accept your position to be content with a mere two-page prologue? Never! Surely your dignity is of higher sensitivity. YOU WANT YOUR MONEY BACK! So you return to the bookstore as soon as you can and return this INVALID case of a novel with disgust. So what are we expecting from our Lord, the Almighty? This ayah (translation here) is a clear eye-opener if any doubts still remain:

Do they, perchance, wait for the angels to appear unto them, or for thy Sustainer [Himself] to appear, or for some of thy Sustainer’s [final] portents to appear? [But] on the Day when thy Sustainer’s [final] portents do appear, believing will be of no avail to any human being who did not believe before, or who, while believing, did no good works. Say: “Wait, [then, for the Last Day, O unbelievers:] behold, we [believers] are waiting, too!” [Al-An’aam, 158]

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In the next post InshaAllah, I will go through the other four points of this first stage.

Note: Read the Part II of this post here.