Islam at a Glance

Admission of Unity and Prophethood

by S.D. Islahi

We gratefully acknowledge and thank Islamic Publications Ltd. 13E Shah Alam Market, Lahore, Pakistan for permission to reproduce this excerpt which is from Islam at a Glance  by S.D. Islahi © 1992
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Concept and Meaning
Religion and Politics 
Fundamental Beliefs
Islamic Law and Worship

Admission of the Unity and Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a duty which is executed verbally. It denotes much more than its literal meanings. It signifies admission of all the Prophets, Scriptures, Angels, Afterlife and Predestination. In short, it is [an] admission of all the Islamic beliefs because he who admits the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) thereby admits all those unseen realities which he has revealed to us.

To have whole-hearted belief in the unity of Allah and Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) is one thing. To admit this belief and make a verbal declaration of its truth is another. The study of traditions and the commentary of religious scholars reveal that for becoming a Muslim it is not enough that one has a whole-hearted faith only. It is equally important that he also makes a verbal declaration of it. In the absence of a verbal declaration one's faith does not become valid. This verbal declaration owes its importance to the fact that Islam is a religion and not a whispering campaign. Its duties are not performed in isolation. It is actually a religion which speaks to mankind aloud. It plants him in the midst of the tumult of life. It keeps him engrossed in a perpetual struggle between good and evil. It places him in the vanguard of an army ceaselessly fighting against disbelief and sin. This situation warranted a declaration from everyone who embraced Islam -a declaration that he was a missionary and a soldier fighting for the cause enjoined by his faith. In view of the above it should be agreed that the declaration of the Islamic beliefs is of paramount importance.

This admission and declaration will appear all the more important if we see it from a political angle. When someone openly affirms his faith in the Unity of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) he is considered a Muslim, even if he does not really believe it and fails to fulfill its practical implications. After affirming his faith he acquires the rights to which a Muslim is entitled politically and socially. On the contrary, if a person does not make a verbal admission and declaration of it, however much he believes in it, he will not be accepted as a Muslim. He will remain a non-Muslim and treated likewise.

If a person wholeheartedly believes in the veracity of Islamic beliefs, he lays a firm foundation for his faith. But he vehemently believes and also makes an open declaration of it, he completes the construction of its first pillar.