Till Muslims, individually and collectively, clear their hearts and minds of these false deities, including the deity of Muslim Nationalism – as well as all other kinds and brands of Nationalism – they will remain strangers to Islam. For Islam is not blind loyalty to geographical, tribal, ethnic or national groupings, but it is total and unreserved commitment to certain basic principles that transcend all narrow and arbitrary demarcations of race, territory and tribe.
As a result, when Muslims forsake or compromise Islam for the sake of Muslim Nationalism, they will also remain at the receiving end of the wrath of Allah and depredation of nations, societies, cultures and peoples more powerful than them. They will open themselves to domination and subjugation by others whether in science and technology or in economic, political or military matters.
Profession of Islamic Faith Begins with Complete
and Emphatic Negation
That is why profession of the Islamic faith begins with a negative statement that sweeps the table clean of all previous beliefs and commitments, allegiances and loyalties. It is represented in two earth-shaking words “Laa Ilaah.”
These two magic words mean that in our life there is no higher power; no controlling authority; no overriding presence of any kind or category. They mean no one is worthy of our full and unquestioned allegiance, loyalty, obedience or devotion.
It represents – albeit in a very specific sense – a complete break from one’s past. It means a complete cleaning of the stables.
A new convert to Islam is thus required to discard and disown all former soft spots, commitments, assertions, identities, loyalties, loves, ambiguities and allegiances. So are all those who are renewing their ongoing Islamic faith by repeating the profession.
It all begins with a clean sweep. It begins with a categorical declaration of “Laa Ilaaha.”
A Christian, thus, says goodbye to Christianity; a Jew to Judaism; a Hindu to Hinduism; an Atheist to Atheism; and a continuing Muslim to any deities whose love and veneration may have crept into his heart unbeknownst to him.
Profession of Islamic Faith
Culminates into Perfect Affirmation
Profession of Islamic faith then culminates in perfect affirmation. It takes the believer to the next higher stage of categorically declaring “But Allah.” That means a believer – new or old – having completely dissociated himself from all other claimants to influence, power, love, loyalty, allegiance, commitment and divinity is now ready to profess a new loyalty, love, commitment and allegiance.
And that new love and loyalty, allegiance and commitment is to God Almighty – none but him – whose Arabic name is Allah. Of course Allah is much more than that, but of that at some other time.
We will visit the concepts of Al-Asmaa-ul Husnaa (God Almighty’s lovely names – 99 plus more) and Ismul Jalaalah (the might, power and glory which the expression Allah stands for) at some future date, should Allah enable us to do that.
Meanwhile, by claiming that there is no God but Allah, a new convert to Islam now directs all his love and loyalty, his devotion and commitment, toward Almighty God and states clearly, firmly and categorically that Allah, God Almighty, alone is worthy of any of these.
So, the declaration of Islamic faith that began with a complete negation in the form of Laa Ilaaha now finds its culmination in the form of Illa Allah.
Most Powerful Proclamation on Earth
Once again, this positive statement also is couched in two words: Illa Allah, which means Allah is the sole exception to the earlier rejection of all deities and powers and influences in one’s life. None but Allah is left as the object of unquestioned and overriding devotion, commitment and adoration.
Thus, the positive statement that you believe in Allah does not make sense or acquire validity until it has been preceded by your unconditional rejection of all other claimants to name and fame or to authority and control over you and your life.
Now read: Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah.
Paraphrase: I put God above everything in my life. So far as I am concerned, God’s command is supreme. And everyone and everything is subordinate to that fact.
But mark you, this most powerful proclamation on earth is not for the glory of an individual, tribe, nation, race, class or gender, but purely and solely dedicated to the glory of God Almighty, who is God of everyone and everything, whether they know him or not and regardless of whether they accept him or not.
No Words More Powerful in Human Language
Laa Ilaaha Illa Allah.
No god but God!
Human language has no words that are more powerful or profound that these four words. They combine in them a profession of simple faith as well as a categorical declaration thereof.
At the same time, they also constitute a complete ideology and philosophy of life and an unreserved commitment to live life in a certain specific way: individually as well as collectively; socially as well as culturally and morally; politically as well as economically and militarily; and in every other way.
The believing individuals – who now come to be called Muslims or even Mu’mins – have made their choice and it is God. They have chosen God Almighty over and above everything and everyone else.
For them the buck stops, as someone said, with God Almighty.
A Trap Set by the Devil
But beware of the danger. Read the warning signs. And don’t rush blindly into the trap the Devil has set for those who try to escape from his grip.
The tragedy of human life is that the Devil haunts and hounds human beings all the time and tries to get them in trouble at every opportunity he gets. We should not forget that it was he, as the Qur’an tells us, and not the woman, as so many others tell us, who was instrumental in having the humankind thrown out of “The Garden” – Paradise?