Miracle of Double Testimony:
What Muslims Must Do To Qualify as Muslims?
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And which One Does Not?)
Shahaadats or the Double Testimony
Here is a simple truth that Muslims - and everyone else - must know: To be considered Muslims, Muslims must bear testimony to two basic facts:
The first is the fact that God Almighty is one, and that he has no partners, equals, relatives or associates of any kind.
The second is the fact that Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) is God's messenger to all of humanity and to all the worlds.
Categorically, unconditionally and unequivocally asserting the truth of these two fundamental facts is what qualifies a person to be considered a Muslim. The technical expression Islam uses for this assertion is Shahaadat.
That is the word that occurs in that famous Hadith in which Angel Gabriel comes to the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in human form, and, in public view, explains to him what it means to be a Muslim.
So, the way to become a Muslim is not through a mysterious act of baptism, or anointment, or proclamation, or certification by a holy person of some kind, or by the accident of birth in a Muslim family, but by a deliberate act of a double testimony on the part of the individual concerned, be it a man or a woman.
Thus, a person becomes a Muslim by a clear and considered assertion of two simple facts about this world, about reality, about life as well as about one's own place and role in life and in relation to that reality.
Subhanallah! Allahu Akbar!
What do you call this if not a miracle?
In one clear assertion of the heart, mind and the tongue, this miraculous double testimony sweeps aside all the intermediaries and all the pretenders to a private connection with God Almighty and connects the individual human being directly and immediately with God Almighty himself.
And by doing this, it instantaneously makes all human beings equal to one another; frees them from all forms of fetters and tyranny over their bodies and minds; ushers in a new moral, social, spiritual and political order of perfect human equality and opportunity in the world; and lays the foundation of complete emancipation and empowerment for all human beings everywhere.
But What on Earth Is "Shahaadah"?
One way to render that Arabic expression of the Hadith - "Shahaadah" - in English is to say it means to provide testimony. Another is to render evidence.
Other ways of translating it may include the following: to assert; to proclaim; to announce; to make plain; to make a case or an argument.
Now the all important question is this: Just how does one do all that stuff? How does one bear testimony; provide evidence; announce and proclaim to the whole world; and make a convincing case that God is one and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) is God's messenger?
Does one do that by words and speech; by thoughts and ideas; by feelings and emotions; by reason and logic; by actions and deeds; by policies and programs - just how and using what means and methods does one do that?
And then again, those actions, those thoughts and proclamations, and those arguments and assertions, could they just be random and sporadic activities on the part of individuals or do they have to be systematic, collective and organized?
And do they also have to be institutional, cultural, political, economic and societal?
And does this testimony have to be open and public or behind closed doors?
So, how does this testimony business really work?
How Many Muslims Are Doing that Right Now?
And then there is the other question: How many Muslims have you actually seen or heard bearing this witness or providing this testimony or making this case?
How many Muslims have you encountered in the actual process of giving this evidence or making this double declaration or proclamation that God is one and Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) is his messenger?
And just how, and using what means and methods, are entire Muslim societies and cultures - qua societies and cultures - and the institutional structures of those societies and cultures, are engaged in the process of making this twin testimony and this double declaration of Divine Unity and the Divine Messengership of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, to the whole wide world?
At the level of communication, speech and words, how many newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, Internet sites and arrangements have Muslims put in place that perform the task of this twin testimony?
What is the quality of those organizations and arrangements? And what is the extent of their infrastructure and support base?
As nations and societies, and as a collective global Ummah together, how many institutions have Muslims established to train the human resources that are needed for this mammoth undertaking? And what is the level and nature of training that is provided?
How many specialists have Muslims trained in this field? And what is the quality of the head and heart of those individuals?
How do the social, political, economic and cultural establishments and institutions of these societies and cultures measure up on this account?
Anyone can see that Muslims have a problem on all these fronts. Their claim to be Muslims is not backed up by evidence on the ground except in small, narrow, limited and mostly individual and personal ways.
Where is the surprise if the twin message of Divine Unity and Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam's Divine Messengership has failed to penetrate the world's consciousness or illumine its trajectory or fire up its imagination?
Let me point out what really lies behind the broad Muslim failure to fulfill their role and destiny in this world.
Forgetting Allah Leads to Forgetting Self
The Muslim problem at bottom is one of forgetting self - forgetting their own true identity and nature. It is one of failing to come to grips with who they really are and what precisely the purpose of their life and the nature of their mission on earth are.