Maleeha Mansur – Hayes, UK
لا الہ الا اللہ محمد رسول اللہ
“There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”
This is the most sacred declaration of a faith whose very name means ‘peace’ and ‘submission’ – the religion of Islam. However, today the written form of this declaration, which every Muslim professes from the depths of their hearts, is deeply alarming for a growing number of people in the Western world. Why? Because some who profess to be of this faith have chosen to abuse this blessed declaration for their own vested interests and display it on their flag. I speak of none other than ISIS – the self-proclaimed, so-called patrons of Islam.
I am one of those who make this proclamation with every atom of my being so please allow me to explain what I mean when I say “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His servant and His messenger”. You see Allah is my Creator, my Friend, my Helper, my Provider, my Beloved, my everything. Thus I make the choice to worship Him and to wholly submit to Him. But how have I come to know about this Gracious God? By learning about His wonderful attributes from the Holy Qur’an and then witnessing and experiencing His truth for myself. But let me ask, what does ISIS know about the Lord of Islam Whose mercy encompasses everything? How does ISIS interpret God’s command: “There should be no compulsion in religion…” (Holy Qur’an 2:257)? Quite to the contrary we have learnt from journalists who have been held captive by ISIS that this blessed Book is nowhere to be found in their terrorising camps. On what basis then does ISIS wave this declaration pretending to be its dutiful followers?
The blessed Messenger of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is much misunderstood and maligned. But for this blessed Messenger I would not have known how to be a true servant of God. But for this Messenger women would not have been given the right to education, inheritance, divorce, a dignified existence and equality 1400 years ago. It was this beloved of God who tirelessly championed the rights of women, orphans, widows, slaves and the poor. But ISIS, whose rights do they uphold? There is nothing but chasms of disparity between their actions and those of my beloved Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
So when I proclaim “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is His servant and His messenger” not only do I commit myself to God and His Messenger but also to His creation. Is it possible to love the artist without loving his art?
But ISIS – who do they submit to? Who do they really believe in? The Word of God which is the only way through which we can truly understand God and learn of His teachings is not to be found in their camps; the teachings of the Holy Qur’an are not to be found in their actions; the beautiful society built in the town of the Messenger of God is poles apart from the terrifying destructive landscape of ISIS territories. So there is no room for doubt that the use of this proclamation by ISIS is nothing but abuse. Never shall the blessings of لا الہ الا اللہ محمد رسول اللہ
descend on the terrorism that is ISIS.
Like millions of sincere Muslims around the world I want to reclaim the sacred symbolic Arabic text of this declaration that the barbaric group ISIS have used and abused by putting it on their flag to meet their own ulterior motives; motives which do not have any semblance whatsoever with the beautiful religion of Islam.