بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ
In the Adhaan and Iqamah we recite two important principles. They are;
- Ash-hadu anla ilaha illallaah. (I testify that there is no god but Allah)
- Ash-hasu anna Muhammadar Rasuulullaah. (I testify that Muhammad is Allah's messenger)
The second testimony brings to our mind some important principles. Before the coming of Prophet Muhammad (saw), Allah sent Messengers to all the previous tribes and nations. And a series of these Messengers were sent to the Israelites’. The question arises of which one do you identify yourself with?
The coming of Prophet Muhammad (saw) put an end to this type of understanding because he is the Universal Messenger. He was sent to all tribes and nations; even those tribes and nations that were before his physical coming. He took what Allah gave to all the previous Messengers and perfected it. This is why we say that he is The Messenger. The embodiment of Prophet-hood is contained in him.
So whenever we say Ash-hasu anna Muhammadar Rasuulullaah we are testifying to the complete code that he brought with him.
With this perceptive on our beloved Prophet there is some sort of difficulty in understanding the hadith recorded in Abu Dawood; Every novelty (bid'ah) is an innovation, and every innovation is an error (which leads to the Fire). Today we see so many new things that were not present at the time of Prophet . Are these things innovations? No they are not.
What appears to be ‘new’ to us is in fact not; because if you look back in the Holy Book and the life of Prophet there would have been some kind of references about them.
For example the popular debate surrounding Maulood and Tazeem. Was it done at the time of Prophet (saw)? If you look back you will find situations where many of the blessed Companions recited poems in his praise. So if I recite a beautiful passage about him and call him by lovely names am I committing and innovation?
The question of innovation has to be really understood. Prophet (saw) is the physical be all and end all for all human beings because he has taught us how to benefit from nature, how to live a perfect moral life, how to prepare ourselves to return to Allah and about Allah Himself. He is The Messenger.
However today we have the argument: ‘if I follow Jesus (as) will I go to heaven or not’. Jesus spoke about the existence of One God. If then you follow his teachings you will have some hope of attaining paradise. But how can you be sure that which you are following are his teachings?
These uncertainties exist with the previous Messengers but Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) sunnah is well preserved for all to eternity. When he spoke about nature, for example, he may not have mentioned a specific issue; but would have identified the principle in his teaching.
If we see new things coming into the our life time and are of the view that Islam made no mention of it, it is out of our own ignorance about the Book and the Sunnah of Prophet (saw), for us to think like that, as mention would have been made in some verse of the Book about it.
These two simple principles can unite the whole world as one family. And it is best demonstrated in the Holy Land. We identify Allah and His House and Prophet Muhammad (saw) and His mosque. Two separate entities that form the focus of all our activities and beliefs. And even in our salaat we make mention of these two principles at the beginning and in the end when we recite the Tashahhud
May Allah strengthen our belief, knowledge and understanding in His Glorious Book and the ways of His Habeeb (saw). And as we enter the new Islamic year of 1433A.H may He make this year a prosperous, peaceful and fulfilling one. May He take care of our affairs throughout and continuously guide us, insha Allah.