بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Not a second ticks by in 24 hours / 7 days a week, except that there is a Muslim caller to prayer somewhere in the world in the millions of masajid announcing Ash hadu an la illaha il allah, Ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah – I testify that there is no God but God and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
This is so, not because human beings gave him this authority. Nor because he himself proclaimed this for himself (saw). As the emperor of Rome – Herculias – asked the Muslim messenger in the year 679CE after he had presented Islam to him, “Which King gave Muhammad this authority?” The reply was so simple, so profound, “Allah did! God gave him this authority!”
If you asked a person in the US what is the most popular name in the world he or she would probably say David, or John or Sally or Jane. And I wouldn’t blame that person; a lot of people in North America have not traveled and experienced the treasures of culture and flavor that the nations of the world have to offer humanity.
Well I’ve been told, although I could not find the info anywhere to corroborate it, that the most popular name, worldwide is Muhammed, masha’allah. Even according to the US Social Security Administration the name Muhammad, or similarly spelled names was ranked 560th of the 1000 most popular names given to babies in the US in 2003. That is up from 711th in 1990. In England and Wales in 2003 Mohammed was the 22nd most popular name of the top 100, in France 57th in 2001. Allahu Akbar!
Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, and more so even in the world. In the past 50 years, Muslims have increased by 233%. And across the earth, from every nation, Muslims number over 1.2 Billion. And only 250millon of those live in the Middle east.
The key to Islam is the Kalima – Laa ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah – There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
This statement takes only a few seconds to pronounce, but it is the transformation point of the lives of Muslims around the world. Only the Creator deserves to be worshipped.
Let’s take an example from the lives of such people who’s lives changed with this call to worship only one God. Bilal – may Allah be pleased with him – was an Abyssinian slave for the aristocracy of Makkah in the year 623CE. When Rasul Allah (saw) – came with this message of ‘No god except Allah’, Bilal – may Allah be pleased with him – denounced the 360 statues and idols that the tribes of Makkah were worshiping and from that point on, believed in only Allah.
His enraged slave master Umayyah would take Bilal out in the sizzling noon heat because of his beliefs and burn Bilal’s back on the sand. To intensify the pain, Umayyah would bring a boulder and place it on his stomach to press him down on the grilling sand, burning the skin away.
All Bilal would whisper was, “La illaha il allah” infuriating Umayyah who would only intensify the torture.
Bilal was freed by one of Rasul Allah’s (saw) – closest friends and followers: Abu Bakr, and Bilal become the first Mu’adhdhin (the one who calls others to prayer) of Islam.
Another example is that of the Muslim women, Sumayyah – may Allah be pleased with her. She was also a slave and she and her husband and son were subjected to physical beatings because they had accepted la illaha il allah.
Her torturer Abu Jahl became infuriated one day with her soft voice repeating, “La illaha il allah” He put a spear through her and made Sumayyah the first Muslim to die in the name of “La illaha il allah” May Allah be pleased with her.
Although it was permissible for the Muslims to lie to save themselves from the torture, you’ll see example after example of Muslims who would rather die than surrender their right to believe that only Allah deserved to be worshiped.
Amongst the tyrants of Makkah was a man by the name of Umar ibn Al-Khattabh. He was so vicious with the Muslims that he would volunteer to torture Muslim slaves.
One day, he just had enough and he set on his way to the home of Rasul Allah (SAW) to slit his throat once and for all. On the way a Muslim who had been hiding his Islam – Nu’aym ibn Abdullah – inquired about Umar’s haste. “I’m off to Muhammad, that convert who cut up our tribe, belittled our gods, and mocked our religion, to kill him!” Nu’aym became afraid for the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace – so he quickly thought and said, “Why don’t you start with your family first! Your sister and her husband have accepted Islam!”
Umar became enraged and changed direction to his sister’s home. At that time, a Muslim teacher – Khabbab ibn al Arat – was at their home teaching them the word of Allah – The Qur’an – and for a few moments Umar stood there listening. Then he shouted for them to open the door, Khabbab hid in an adjacent room and Umar’s sister Fatimah hid the scroll that had the Qur’an written on it.
Umar entered and walked right up to his brother in law. “I heard you both have accepted Muhammad and are following him.” Then Umar pounded his brother in law in the face. Fatimah his sister stood to protect her husband, and when she came in the way, Umar slapped the face of his sister with all his might.
She fell to the ground, her cheek split and the blood spilt all over her cloths. She looked up at her brother and said from behind her tears, “Yes Umar we are Muslim and yes we have believed in Allah and His Messenger. Maybe you don’t have all the truth like you think you do?”
Umar was ashamed at the sight of his sister’s blood and desisted. He asked, “What was that sound I heard, that recitation.” His sister replied, “I fear for that scroll to fall in your hands.” But Umar swore by the Idols that he would do no harm. She handed him the scroll after he had cleansed himself and he recited:
020.002 مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَى
Ma anzalna ‘aalayka alqur-ana litashqa
We have not sent down the Qur’an to thee to be (an occasion) for thy distress,
020.003 إِلا تَذْكِرَةً لِمَنْ يَخْشَى
Illa tathkiratan liman yakhsha
But only as an admonition to those who fear (Allah),-
020.004 تَنْزِيلا مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ الأرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلا
Tanzeelan mimman khalaqa al-arda waalssamawati al’aula
A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the heavens on high.
020.005 الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى
Alrrahmanu ‘aala al’aarshi istawa
(Allah) Most Gracious is firmly established on the throne (of authority).
020.006 لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى
Lahu ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi wama baynahuma wama tahta alththara
To Him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth, and all between them, and all beneath the soil.
020.007 وَإِنْ تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى
Wa-in tajhar bialqawli fa-innahu ya’alamu alssirra waakhfa
If thou pronounce the word aloud, (it is no matter): for verily He knoweth what is secret and what is yet more hidden.
020.008 اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ لَهُ الأسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَى
Allahu la ilaha illa huwa lahu al-asmao alhusna
Allah! there is no god but He! To Him belong the most Beautiful Names.
Umar later that day visited the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace. When he met him, the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace – took the coat of Umar and said, “Hasn’t the time come for you to become Muslim?” And Umar replied, “I’ve only come for that reason. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
The Prophet shouted – Allahu Akbar! (God is Great!) and everyone that heard it knew that Umar had become Muslim!
I’ve been in large crowds in my life, both here in the west and in the Middle East.
But one crowd I have only heard about so far is the crowd of 3 million worshippers in one prayer at Mecca during Hajj! These people are not from one nation, nor are they from one language backround, 3 Million people lined up in perfect circles around the Grand Mosque to worship Allah (swt)!
A consistent crowd of 3 million from every nation, class, and color who do not come about without pain and struggle to assert humanities right to worship nothing but the one true God – Allah (swt)
There were times in that very same valley of Makkah when Rasul Allah (saw) would prostrate to only to Allah, avoiding all the false idols that surrounded him. The Mushrikeen of Makkah sitting there staring at him and hating what they saw. They said to themselves, “How can we sit here and allow him to prostrate to Allah in your midst. Who amongst us will humiliate him?”
One of them took the intestines of a fresh lamb that had been sacrificed to the idols and dumped it on the head of Rasul Allah (saw). The Mushrikeen fell off their seats in hysterical laughter. Rasul Allah (saw) – did not come up from his prostration.
News reached his daughter Fatimah – who at that time was still a young girl – that her Father was being ridiculed at the Ka’bah (The Grand Mosque). She raced there and when she saw her father she cried and removed the filth and swore through her tears at the Mushrikeen.
This is just an example of the ridicule the Messenger of Allah and the Muslims went through to teach humanity La illaha il allah!
The Mushrikeen of Makkah used their media – poetry and word of mouth – to sway public opinion against this call of La illaha il allah.
A doctor by the name of Damaud made pilgrimage to Makkah and when he arrived in the Holy valley the news media of Makkah warned him not listen to a word Muhammad says. “He is a magician,” they said, “He’s mad”
Damaud recalls, “They frightened me so much that I considered putting cotton in my ears. But then I said to myself, ‘I am a doctor and have healed mad men before…perhaps I may be able to cure Muhammad.”
So after completing his circumbulation around the ka’bah, he saw Muhammad – upon whom be peace – sitting peacefully in the courtyard. He approached him and said softly, “Muhammad, I administer treatment for this illness and God has allowed me to heal many people, would you wish that I nurse you?”
Muhammad – upon whom be peace – turned and said, “Verily all praise belongs to Allah; we thank Allah and seek his protection from everything; whoever Allah guides none can misguide them and whoever Allah leaves to go astray none can guide them aright. I testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that (I) Muhammad am the Messenger of Allah.”
Damaud’s mouth gapped open. He swallowed and said, “Could you repeat that for me?” Muhammad the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace – repeated it.
Then Damaud smiled and announced, “By God, I have heard the words of soothsayers, and have heard the words of magicians, and have heard the words of poets, and I have never heard words like this! Give me your hand for I am pledging allegiance to Islam. There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger!”
You’ll find in the Qur’an verse after verse opening the eyes of humanity to the reality of La illaha il allah.
Jubayr ibn Mut’em stood quietly behind the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace – at sunset prayer (in Arabic Maghrib) one day and listened to the verses of Qur’an. The Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace – was reciting the Sura Toor (chapter 52) and in it he heard him recite:
052.035 أَمْ خُلِقُوا مِنْ غَيْرِ شَيْءٍ أَمْ هُمُ الْخَالِقُونَ
Am khuliqoo min ghayri shay-in am humu alkhaliqoona
Were they created of nothing, or were they themselves the creators?
052.036 أَمْ خَلَقُوا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ بَل لا يُوقِنُونَ
Am khalaqoo alssamawati waal-arda bal la yooqinoona
Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, they have no firm belief.
052.037 أَمْ عِنْدَهُمْ خَزَائِنُ رَبِّكَ أَمْ هُمُ الْمُسَيْطِرُونَ
Am ‘aindahum khaza-inu rabbika am humu almusaytiroona
Or are the Treasures of thy Lord with them, or are they the managers (of affairs)?
Jubayr ibn Mut’em said, “When I heard these verses, it was as if my heart had wings flying swiftly and in bliss to the truth that I had found in Islam.”
Friends, where will you be in 100 years? You’ll be dead. And what were you 100 years ago? Nothing.
Allah says in the Qur’an: Has there not come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing (even) mentioned? / Indeed, We created man from a sperm – drop mixture (i.e. combination of male and female substance) that We may test him; and We made him hearing and seeing. / Indeed, We guided him to the way, to be thankful or to be ungrateful. Chapter 76/1-3
In those early days of Islam, the Messenger of Allah – upon whom be peace – would go from tent to tent, tribe to tribe, announcing to them, “Say there is no god but Allah and success will be yours!” Today, over 1400 years later as the followers of Muhammad, believers in Allah, we extend those words of our Messenger – upon whom be peace – to all whom we find and to those around us in this society and world where Islam is growing so strongly: “Say La illaha il allah and success will be yours!”
And Allah knows best.