by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi
Laa ilaaha illa ‘llah Muhammadur Rasool-lullah
"There Is no God except Allah. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
You become Muslims by reciting a few words called the Kalimah.
On pronouncing these words a man is supposed to have radically changed; he was a kafir, now he is a Muslim.
In social life, this Kalimah becomes the basis for differentiating one man from another. The power of the Kalimah is so strong that it takes precedence even over blood ties; it can join strangers together into a nation; it can severe members of the same family off from each other.
However, idol worshipers think they can open their mouth and utter a few holy words and mountain can then moved. This is not the Islam as espoused. The effectiveness of words lies in their meaning. The meaning must penetrate deep into the hearts and have such an impact powerful enough to effect a change in the thoughts, in the moral behaviors and actions and change a person's life.
As such, when reciting the Kalimah, the person must be conscious of what an important commitment he has made to Allah with the whole world as his witness, and what a great responsibility he was taking on as a result of his commitment.
After affirming this Kalimah a person is not at liberty to do as he like, behave as he like, and act as he like - he has to follow what is prescribed and renounce what Islam forbids.
Saying La ilaha illa 'llah means two things: First, you have acknowledged that the world has neither come into being without a God, and there is no other God except Allah; Second, you have accepted that Allah is your Lord and Master, and that you yourself and each and every thing you possess or desire to possess, belongs to Him alone. He is the Creator and the provide; life and death are under His command; both trouble and blessings come from Him and whatever you received or inflicted is given by Him or by His command. He alone should be feared and from Him alone should we ask any and everything.
Your duty is to obey Him and abide by His law and covenant and the Quran is his words which is already perfected by Him and given through his Messenger to you. Thus after reciting La ilaha illa 'llah, you recite 'Muhammadu 'r rasulu 'llah: this means that you accept Muhammad as the man through whom Allah has sent you His guidance. You thus pledged to follow the way and law given by Muhammad and to reject anything which runs counter to his teaching as recorded in the Quran.
Tell me, for the sake of Allah, that if this be so, what justification have you Muslims for complaining that you are not prospering despite believing in the Kalimah Tayyibah? First you should become true believers in the Kalimah Tayyibah and model your lives on the pattern it lays down. For material prosperity is not real prosperity in Islam. There is no Kalimah except the Kalimah Tayyibah by following which man may achieve glory in this world and happiness in the world-to-come. Seek as you will, you will never be able to find any fault with it.
Is Islam a Birthright?
The greatest danger of a Muslim lies in his ignorance of Islamic teachings and in his unawareness of what the Quran teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet.
But the usefulness of the Book consists only in keeping it in the house 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 intended meanings in the hope of receiving earthly rewards and positions of wealth and lordship over the others. No longer do they seek guidance from it for their lives, except to use it on others, to gain their support and membership and probably to masquerade as an Ummah to instill fear on others in order to frightened them from exposing their sins, and hence, to keep the loots.
A-oothu billah hi-minash shaytaanir rajeem
"I seek protection in Allah from the Syaitan, the cursed one."
Reference and acknowledgement:
Fundamentals of Islam is an English edition of the critically acclaimed Khutubah (originally written in Urdu). He has authored more than a hundred works on Islam and his writings have been translated into 40 languages around the world.