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Shahadah - The First Pillar of Islam: The Spiritual and Political Significance

Updated on September 25, 2016

Contents Of Subjects Covered

  1. Summarising The First Pillar Of Islam - The Shahadah
  2. Understanding the Shahadah In a Western Context?
  3. Is There a Conflict of Interest In A Muslim’s Shahadah Whilst Living As A Citizen Of An Non-Islamic State?
  4. Why is the Shahadah Important To A Muslim?
  5. Mankind Undertook The Shahadah At The Time Of Creation
  6. Mankind Has Forgotten The Shahadah Undertaken At The Time Of Creation
  7. Why Is the Shahadah A Muslim’s Last Words Before Death?
  8. There Is A Battle With The Devil At The Time Of Death
  9. Saying The Shahadah In Times Of Fear, Sadness And Sin
  10. Should An Apostate Who Breaks the Oath Of The Shahadah And Becomes a Non-Muslim Be Executed?
  11. What Are The Theological Evidences That Allow Apostates to Be Executed?
  12. What Are The Theological Evidences That Allow Apostates to Live?
  13. How To Reconcile Conflicting Views On Muslim Apostasy?
  14. What Was Muhammad (saw) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?
  15. What Was Abu Bakr (ra) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?
  16. What Was Umar (ra) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?
  17. What Was Ali (ra) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?
  18. Understanding Islam’s Attitude Towards Apostasy Within a Western Context
  19. Conclusion

1) Summarising The First Pillar Of Islam - The Shahadah

Islam is the five Pillars:

  • Shahadah - to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah;
  • Salat - to establish the Salât,
  • Zakat - to pay the Zakat,
  • Fasting - to fast (the month of) Ramadhan; and
  • Hajj - to perform pilgrimage to the House (the Ka’ba), if you have the means.

The Shahadah is: ‘La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah’ which means: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah’. The Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam[2] and is ones declaration, intention and proclamation to join or be a part of the Islamic faith. The Shahadah serves both a religious and political purpose. Religiously the utterance of the Shahadah instils strength and hope to a Muslim in times of fear, sadness and general adversity. Politically the Shahadah is an individual’s solemn pledge and oath to God; and loyalty to God implies goodness of intent and action in serving humanity.

…The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Islam means to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah; to establish the Salât, to pay the Zakat, to fast (the month of) Ramadhan and to perform pilgrimage to the House (the Ka’ba), if you have the means…

— REFERENCE: SAHIH MUSLIM HADITH NUMBER: [93] 1 – (8) [1]

2) Understanding the Shahadah In a Western Context?

In order to understand the first pillar of Islam (the Shahadah) in a Western context, see it as an oath of allegiance similar to a ceremonial citizenship ceremony that takes place in various parts of the world. During a State citizenship ceremony, an individual becomes a member of a State by swearing allegiance to a new authority and/or country.

In the UK, the oath of allegiance is:

‘I [your name] swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law’. Furthermore, after swearing allegiance to the Queen [and her heirs and successors], a further pledge of commitment is made to the UK via the following vow: ‘I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.’ .[3]

Likewise, similar to a British citizens oath of allegiance which is made to the Queen [and her heirs and successors] followed by a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom; the first pillar of Islam (the Shahadah) is a Muslim’s sworn oath and pledge of allegiance to Allah and Muhammad (saw) by saying:

‘La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah’Which means: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah. [4]

3) Is There a Conflict of Interest In A Muslim’s Shahadah Whilst Living As A Citizen Of An Non-Islamic State?

Is there a conflict of interest in a Muslim’s Shahadah whilst living as a citizen of a Non-Islamic State? It all depends on your outlook and world-view. The Shahadah is a Muslim’s sworn oath and pledge of allegiance to Allah and Muhammad (saw) by saying:

La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah’ which means: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah’

The UK oath of allegiance is:

‘I [your name] swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law’. Furthermore, after swearing allegiance to the Queen [and her heirs and successors], a further pledge of commitment is made to the UK via the following vow: ‘I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.’ .[5]

My personal opinion is that if you as an individual view that the State in which you live is in conflict and at odds with Allah and Muhammad (saw), then, there is a conflict of interest in a Muslim’s Shahadah whilst living as a citizen of a non-Islamic State. If you on the other-hand view that the non-Islamic State in which you live is impartial, and both fair and just in treating all of its citizens with equality, then, there is no conflict of interest in a Muslim’s Shahadah whilst living as a citizen of a non-Islamic State.

An example of a State that is in conflict and at odds with Allah and Muhammad (saw) would be a nation with extreme right-wing tendencies that revokes the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.[6] If however you view that the State in which you live adheres and abides by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, then, there is no conflict of interest in a Muslim’s Shahadah whilst living as a citizen of a non-Islamic State.

4) Why is the Shahadah Important To A Muslim?

The most obvious reason that the Shahadah is important to a Muslim is because it is the first of five pillars of Islam.[7]

However, the recitation of the Shahadah is not merely a verbal utterance but entails much more.[9] The Shahadah is a Muslim’s sworn pledge and oath of allegiance to Allah and Muhammad (saw). With the Shahadah, a Muslim vows to follow the teachings and edicts of Allah and Muhammad (saw). Whether one truly succeeds in honouring this vow to follow the teachings and edicts of Allah and Muhammad (saw) will only be known to you if you sense a feeling of happiness and contentment whilst alive, because the feeling of happiness and contentment is a sign of guidance.

…'There is no one among you, no living soul, but Allah has decreed his place in Paradise or the Fire, and it has been decreed whether he is miserable or happy.' A man said: '0 Messenger of Allah, shouldn't we rely on our destiny and stop striving?' He said: 'Whoever is one of the happy, he will find himself doing the deeds of the happy, and whoever is one of the miserable, he will find himself doing the deeds of them miserable.' He (saw) said: 'Do good deeds, for everyone is helped (to do their deeds). The happy are helped to do the deeds of the happy, and the miserable are helped to do the deeds of the miserable.'…

REFERENCE: SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH NUMBER: [6731] 6 – (2647) [10]

Quite what it means to follow the teachings and edicts of Allah and Muhammad (saw) is open to interpretation and a lifelong journey as you search for the meaning of life. You may only know the true meaning of life, and the significance of this vow (of the Shahadah), if you are fortunate enough to attain a level of Taqwa. Whereby Taqwa is to become curiously conscious of your conscience hidden within yourself, because hidden within your conscience and attached to your soul is where you will find God.

5) Mankind Undertook The Shahadah At The Time Of Creation

During the creation of Adam (as); Allah also bought forth from within Adam (as) all of our souls. Allah then spoke to our souls directly [11] and posed a rhetorical question by saying:

‘Am I not your Lord?’ We said: ‘Why not! You are. We bear witness (that You alone are our Lord)…’

— (Quran 7:172)

Essentially, the Shahadah is the reaffirmation of a testimony that every soul has already undertaken. We testified in the presence of God that Allah is our Lord on the day that Adam (as) along with our souls was created. However, none remembers the day that Adam (as) along with the rest of our souls were created, nor do we remember the testimony we undertook in the presence of God.

In essence, the Shahadah is a reaffirmation and reminder of a testimony which every soul has already undertaken in the presence of God on the day that Adam (as) along with rest of our souls were created. Whether one truly succeeds in striving to honor the Shahadah and search for the purpose of life will be a matter for Allah to judge in the afterlife, but the Shahadah nonetheless is a vow that humanity vowed to uphold on the day Adam (as) along with the rest of our souls were created.

And (call to mind) when your Lord brought forth the human race from the loins of the Children of Adam and made them bear testimony to their own souls (and said:) ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They (all) said: ‘Why not! We bear witness (that You alone are our Lord.’ This He did) lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘We were unaware of this promise.’

— REFERENCE: QURAN, SURAH AL-ARAF, 7:172 - TRANSLATED BY: MUHAMMAD TAHIR-UL-QADRI [12]

6) Mankind Has Forgotten The Shahadah Undertaken At The Time Of Creation

On the day our souls were created; Dawud (David [as]) was given a sixty-year lifespan, and Adam (as) was granted a one-hundred year lifespan. Adam (as) looking upon the souls of his children through the gaze of a fathers love, was particularly impressed by Dawud (David [as]) whom had an astonishing ray of light beaming from between his eyes. Adam (as) upon becoming impressed by Dawud (David [as]) ray of light beaming from between his eyes; lovingly offered to give Dawud (David [as]) an additional forty-years of life which was to be deducted from Adam (as) one-hundred year grant. Such was our father Adam (as) love for his son Dawud (David [as]) that he (Adam [as]) sacrificed part of his life for his child (Dawud/David [as]). Likewise, I suppose, good fathers to this day sacrifice a part of their own lives working for the betterment of one’s children?

Allah granted Adam (as) request to give Dawud (David [as]) an additional forty-years of life, thus, Adam (as) sacrificed forty-years of his own life in order for his son Dawud (David [as]) to live longer. However, on the day that Adam (as) died, at the ripe old age of sixty, Adam (as) could not remember giving his son Dawud (David [as]) an additional forty years of life. Therefore, Adam (as) queried why the ‘Angel of Death’ had come early, as Adam (as) was expecting to live for another forty years.[13]

Considering Adam (as) forgot that he had given Dawud (David [as]) an additional forty years of life from his own lifespan, but did remember God initially granting Adam (as) one-hundred years; likewise, mankind to this day has a spirit/soul within reminds man of something and that is to yearn God. But the mind has forgotten about the day our souls were created and the solemn oath we pledged whereby we said: “…We bear witness (that You alone are our Lord)…’ (Quran 7:172).

…(Allah said) This is a man from the latter nations of your offspring called Dawud(as).' He (Adam(as)) said: 'Lord! How long did You make his lifespan?' He (Allah) said: 'Sixty years.' He (Adam(as)) said: '0 Lord! Add forty years from my life, to his.' So at the end of Adam's(as) life the Angel of death came to him, and he (Adam(as)) said: 'Do I not have forty years remaining?' He (Angel of death(as)) said: 'Did you not give them to your son Dawud(as)?" He (Muhammad (saw) said: "Adam(as) denied, so his offspring denied, and Adam forgot and his offspring forgot…

REFERENCE: TIRMIDHI - HADITH NUMBER: 3076 - GRADED: HASAN [14]

7) Why Is the Shahadah A Muslim’s Last Words Before Death?

The Shahadah is:

La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah’, which means: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah’ [15]

However, on one’s dying deathbed it is sufficient to just say ‘La ilaha illallah’, which means: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah.[16]

Muhammad (saw) said that the one whose last words are La ilaha illallah (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)[17] will enter Paradise. Therefore, Muslims on their dying deathbed ultimately trust this statement of Muhammad (saw), and having faith in Muhammad (saw) instruction implies acceptance of Muhammad (saw) prophethood, which is perhaps why there is no further need to say Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah’ as part of a dying persons Shahadah.

Muhammad (saw) instruction was to say La ilaha illallah on ones deathbed; and La ilaha illallah to a dying person is a comforting and soothing statement because it carries the belief and hope that the one who utters La ilaha illallah as their last words will enter Paradise.

…The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘The one whose last words are La ilaha illallah will enter Paradise’…

— REFERENCE: SUNAN ABU DAWUD - HADITH NUMBER: 3116 - GRADED: HASAN [18]

8) There Is A Battle With The Devil At The Time Of Death

Keep the Shahadah on your tongue and in your heart at all times. If you do not keep the Shahadah alive whilst you are well, able and healthy; then, what guarantee do you have that you will remember or want to or even be able to say it on your death bed? In essence, if the Shahadah is unimportant to you whilst you are alive, well, and healthy, then, it may become difficult for you to say ‘La ilaha illallah’ at death as it will not be a priority or come naturally. Therefore, keep the Shahadah on your tongue and in your heart at all times; whether you are happy, sad or scared.

‘Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due, die not except as (true) Muslims.’

— QURAN, SURAH AL-IMRAN 3:102 - TRANSLATED BY: SAFIUR-RAHMAN AL-MUBARAKPURI [19]

…preserve your Islam while you are well and safe, so that you die as a Muslim. The Most Generous Allah has made it His decision that whatever state one lives in that is what he dies upon and is resurrected upon. We seek refuge from dying on other than Islam…

— REFERENCE: TAFSIR IBN KATHIR - 3:102 [20]

At the time of death; Satan will have one last attempt to digress and convince your mind that Allah and the afterlife does not exist. The Devil may fill your mind with much regret, sadness, doubt and sorrow but do not be fooled by his evil whispering; remember to die as the Muslim that you came by saying:

La ilaha illallah (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)’ [21]

Have firm belief in Muhammad (saw) words that:

“…the one whose last words are La ilaha illallah will enter Paradise’…”

— (Sunan Abu Dawud, 3116, Hasan)

Muhammad (saw) himself would supplicate and seek refuge in Allah from the confusion that Satan causes at death, therefore it is paramount that lesser mortals such as ourselves are aware of the devils trick prior to our appointment with the Angel of Death (as).

…And I seek refuge in You from the Satan confusing me at (the time of any) death. And I seek refuge in You from dying while turning away from Your path…

— REFERENCE: SUNAN ABU DAWUD - HADITH NUMBER: 1552 - GRADED: HASAN [22]

9) Saying The Shahadah In Times Of Fear, Sadness And Sin

I find that to say the Shahadah in times of fear instills bravery. I also find that to say the Shahadah in times of sadness, sorrow and depression brings hope. But I find it difficult to say the Shahadah when sinful thoughts appear, perhaps I or the devil reminds me of the mercy of Allah so as to justify the sin? I suppose I am an ungrateful slave that only turns to Allah when I need Him. Nonetheless, even though I struggle to say the Shahadah when an evil thought appears, Allah says to remember Him in order to see sense.

Surely, those who have adopted piety, when some temptation from Satan touches them, they actively remember (the commands and prohibitions of Allah and the wickedness and hostility of Satan). So, the eyes (of their hearts) open up right away.

— REFERENCE: QURAN, SURAH AL-ARAF, 7:201 - TRANSLATED BY: MUHAMMAD TAHIR-UL-QADRI [23]

10) Should An Apostate Who Breaks the Oath Of The Shahadah And Becomes a Non-Muslim Be Executed?

The Shahadah is a Muslim’s sworn oath and pledge of allegiance to Allah and Muhammad (saw). For a Muslim to become apostate is to break this sacred vow and covenant with Allah and Muhammad (saw). Therefore, if a Muslim becomes non-Muslim, he has broken his sacred vow of allegiance to Allah and Muhammad (saw). I do not know the answer to the question of ‘if a Muslim apostates whether he should be executed or not’; because the matter is rather complex with valid theological arguments both ‘for’ and ‘against’. I will however provide both sides of an argument with the intention of trying to shed some light on this intricate issue. Firstly so as to be clear, below is the English definition of ‘apostate’.

Apostate: A person who abandons his religion, party, cause, etc.

— REFERENCE: COLLINS DICTIONARY [24]

11) What Are the Theological Evidences That Allow Apostates to Be Executed?

Evidence One:

The most obvious theological argument to justify the killing of Muslim apostates can be seen in Muhammad (saw) own words whereby he said:

“…Whoever changes his religion, execute him.”

— REFERENCE: SUNAN IBN MAJAH - HADITH NUMBER: 2535, GRADED: SAHIH [25]

Evidence Two:

Another obvious theological argument justifying the killing of apostates can be seen in the example below whereby a Jewish man had become a Muslim but then apostatized from Islam thus executed.

…Mu'adh came to 'Ali while I was in Yemen, and there was a man who had been Jewish, then he accepted Islam, then he apostatized from Islam. When Mu'adh came he said: 'I will not dismount until he is executed, so he was executed.'" One of them said: "And he had been asked to repent before that.’

— REFERENCE: SUNAN ABU DAWUD - HADITH NUMBER: 4355, GRADED: HASAN [26]

Evidence Three:

A further theological argument justifying the killing of apostates can be seen in the example below during the Riddah war whereby a group of Muslims were deemed to have apostatised and subsequently attacked because of their refusal to pay Zakat (tax) during the reign of Abu Bakr (RA). I call this type of apostasy subtle because some of those attacked by Abu Bakr (RA) during the Riddah war considered themselves to be Muslims, whereas Abu Bakr (RA) disagreed due to their refusal to pay Zakat (tax) which Abu Bakr (RA) considered amounted to apostasy. This type of apostasy whereby one group claiming to be Muslim but another disagreeing is an internal conflict / dispute, and this is somewhat different to an outright proclamation of apostasy. Notwithstanding, the Riddah war of 632CE in itself was a complex politico-religious mess that centred on tax evasion, rebellion and the false claims of the prophet Musaylimah and his followers in Al-Yamamah; [27] but, nonetheless, some of those killed by Abu Bakr (RA) during the Riddah war did profess to saying ‘La ilaha illallah’ yet deemed apostates.

…When the apostates apostatised at the time of Abu Bakr, 'Umar said: How can you fight the people, 0 Abu Bakr, when the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: "I have been commanded to fight the people until they say La ilaha illallah (there is no god but Allah), and whoever says La ilaha illallah, his wealth and his life are protected from me except in cases dictated by Islamic law, and his reckoning will be with Allah"? Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I will most certainly fight those who separate prayer and zakah, for zakah is what is due on wealth, By Allah, if they withhold from me a small she-goat that they used to give to the Messenger of Allah (saw) , I will certainly fight them for withholding it… REFERENCE: MUSNAD AHMED - HADITH NUMBER: 239, GRADED: SAHIH [28]

Evidence Four:

Lastly, during the reign of Ali (RA) a group of people following Abdullah-bin-Sabbah apostatized by considering Ali (RA) to be Divine. Ali (RA) burnt some members of this group alive so as to send out a strong message of deterrence to others. [29]

…Ali (RA) burnt some people who apostatized from Islam…

— REFERENCE: TIRMIDHI HADITH NUMBER: 1458 GRADED: SAHIH [30]

12) What Are the Theological Evidences That Allow Apostates to Live?

Evidence One:

During the lifetime of Muhammad (saw); a man by the name of Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (ra) converted to Islam and migrated to Abyssinia along with his Muslim wife, Umm Habiba (ra). When Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (RA) arrived in Abyssinia, he adopted Christianity and parted from Islam. After Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh’s (RA) conversion to Christianity, the Muslim’s that were in Abyssinia would say to Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (RA): ‘We see clearly, but your eyes are only half open,’ i.e. ‘We see, but you are only trying to see and cannot see yet.’ Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (RA) lived the remainder of his life in Abyssinia and died as a Christian without returning to Islam. When Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (RA) died of a natural death, Muhammad (saw) married his wife Umm Habiba (ra) who had remained a Muslim. [31] The point I am making is that Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (RA) apostatized from Islam but he was not killed nor attacked by Muhammad (saw) or his followers.

Evidence Two:

According to the Quran there is no compulsion in religion. Therefore, if someone is a Muslim and then decides to become an apostate, there can be no coercion forcing him to remain a Muslim. Likewise, non-Muslim’s cannot be forced into becoming Muslim.

There is no compulsion in din (Religion)….

— REFERENCE: QURAN, SURAH AL-BAQARAH 2:256, TRANSLATED BY: MUHAMMAD TAHIR-UL-QADRI [32]

"…The verse means that the system of Islam, embracing belief, morals and practical conduct cannot be imposed by compulsion. These are not things to which people can be yoked forcibly..."

— REFERENCE: SAYYID ABUL A’ALA MAWDUDI, TAFHIM AL-QURAN - 2:256 [33]

"Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam..."

— REFERENCE: TAFSIR IBN KATHIR - 2:256 [34]

13) How to Reconcile Conflicting Views on Muslim Apostasy?

On the one hand there is a clear edict from Muhammad (saw) directed towards the Muslims [35] that states:

“…whoever changes his religion, execute him…”

— (English Translation Of Sunan Ibn Majah - Hadith 2535, Sahih). [36]

Yet, Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh (RA) apostatized and was not executed (The Life of Muhammad A Translation of Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah - p.99).[37] The question therefore is, how do we reconcile two views that seemingly conflict?

I think the edict relating to the execution of Muslims whom apostatise relates to acts of treason whilst living in Muslim lands under Islamic jurisdiction. In essence, if a Muslim apostasies and behaves in a manner that is deemed mischievous and treacherous to the State, then he is to be executed if found guilty of causing civil-unrest after undergoing a fair legal process. However, if a Muslim apostasies and keeps himself to himself without causing any harm nor mischief, then, he is to be left alone in-line with the edict of the Quran that states ‘…there is no compulsion in din (Religion)…’ (Quran 2:256). Below I have provided the English definitions of ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ so as to contextualise Islam’s attitude towards Muslim apostates that seek to cause civil-unrest.

Treason: (a) violation or betrayal of the allegiance that a person owes his sovereign or his country, especially by attempting to overthrow the government; high treason; (b) any treachery or betrayal [38]

Traitor: a person who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause or trust, etc.[39]

14) What Was Muhammad (saw) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?

Evidence of Muhammad (saw) attitude towards Muslim apostates that betrayed trust can be seen in the Prophet (saw) own words; whereby Muhammad (saw) expands to explain that a Muslim apostate that wages war on an Islamic State should be killed, crucified or banished from the land. In essence, Muslim apostates who commit acts of aggression against an Islamic State are considered traitors and put under trial for treason. Treachery in many civilisations is a punishable crime, thus Islam’s edict to execute or banish traitors that declare war on the State is not unusual nor unorthodox.

"…A man who left Islam and waged war against Allah… and His Messenger… should be killed, or crucified, or banished from the land..."

— REFERENCE: SUNAN AN-NASAI, HADITH NUMBER: 4053 - GRADED: SAHIH [40]

Further evidence of Muhammad (saw) dealing with Muslim apostates that acted treacherously can be seen in the manner in which the Prophet (saw) punished a group of eighty Muslim apostates from Ukl whom came to Madinah but fell sick due to the climate. Muhammad (saw) arranged medical care and provisions for the Ukl people and they soon recovered from their illness. However, once the Ukl people had recovered from their ailment they apostatised and murdered an innocent herdsman by tearing his hands and feet whilst poking his eyes with heated iron. Furthermore, the Ukl people cast the guiltless herdsman upon burning rocks thus leaving him for dead to die a slow death. Muhammad (saw) captured the murderous Muslim apostates and gave them an equally horrific death due to their betrayal of trust. [41]

… a group of eighty people from 'Ukl came to the Prophet (saw) but the climate of Al-Madinah did not suit them and they fell sick. They complained about that to the Messenger of Allah (saw) and he said: "Why don't you go out with our herdsmen and drink the milk and urine of the camels?" They said: "Yes (we will do that)." They went out and drank some of the (camels') milk and urine, and they recovered. Then they killed the herdsman of the Messenger of Allah (saw) so he sent (men after them) and they caught them and brought them back. He had their hands and feet cut off and branded their eyes, and left them in the sun to die... REFERENCE: SUNAN AN-NASAI, HADITH NUMBER: 4029 - GRADED: SAHIH [42]

Muhammad (saw) was also known to have shown mercy to Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) whom was found guilty of high treason. According to the terms of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Arab tribes were given the option to either forge an alliance with the Muslims of Medina, or, the Quraish of Makkah. Should any of these tribes suffer aggression, then, the party to which it was allied would have the right to retaliate. As a consequence, Banu Bakr joined the Quraish of Makkah, and Khuzaah allied with the Muslims of Medina. There was relative peace for some time but ulterior motives stretching back to the pre-Islamic period ignited by unabated fire of revenge which triggered fresh hostilities. Banu Bakr, without caring a bit for the provisions of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, attacked Banu Khuzaah in a place called AI-Wateer in 629AD/8AH. Quraish helped Banu Bakr with men and arms taking advantage of the dark night. Pressed by their enemies, the tribesmen of Khuzaah sought the Holy Sanctuary, but here too, their lives were not spared, and, contrary to all accepted traditions, Nawfal, the chief of Banu Bakr, chased them into the sanctified area - where no blood should be shed – and massacred his adversaries.[43]

When the Khuzaah sought justice from their Muslim allies, the Prophet (saw) demanded an immediate redress for not only violating the treaty of Hudaibiyah but also slaying men allied to him in the sanctified area. Three demands were made to the Quraish:

  1. To pay blood money for the victims of Khuzaah;
  2. To terminate their alliance with Banu Bakr; or
  3. To consider the truce to have been nullified.[44]

This behaviour on the part of Quraish was clearly a breach of the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyah and was obviously an act of hostility against the allies of the Muslims, i.e. Banu Khuzaah. Quraish immediately realized the grave situation and feared the horrible consequences looming on the horizon. They immediately called for an emergency meeting and decided to delegate their chief Abu Sufyan (RA) to Madinah for a renewal of the truce. He directly headed for the house of his daughter, Umm Habiba [ra] (whom was Ubaydullah-Bin-Jahsh [RA] former wife but was now the Prophet (saw) wife). But as he went to sit on the Messenger (saw) carpet, Umm Habiba (ra) folded it up. "My daughter," said Abu Sufyan (RA), "I hardly knew if you think the carpet is too good for me or that I am too good for the carpet." Umm Habiba (ra) replied, "It is the Messenger of Allah's (saw) carpet, and you are an unclean polytheist."[45]

Being disgusted at the curt reply of his daughter, Abu Sufyan (RA) stepped out of her room and went to see Muhammad (saw), but the Prophet (saw) was well aware of Abu Sufyan (RA) tricks and did not give him any reassurance. Abu Sufyan (RA) then approached Abu Bakr (RA) but the latter too declined to interfere. He contacted 'Umar (RA) to intercede but this great Companion made a point-blank refusal. At last he saw 'Ali bin Abi Talib (RA) and began begging him in the most humble words, cunningly alluding to the prospects of mastery over all the Arabs if he were to intercede for the renewal of the treaty. 'Ali (RA) also briefly regretted his inability to do anything for him.[46]

Abu Sufyan (RA) turned his steps back to Makkah in a state of bitter disappointment and utter horror. There he submitted a report of his meeting with his daughter, Abu Bakr (ra), 'Umar (ra) and 'Ali (ra) reaction and the meaningful silence of the Prophet (saw) . The Makkans were dismayed, but did not expect imminent danger.[47]

Muhammad (saw) had asked his wife, Aishah (ra) three days prior to receiving the news relating to the breaching of the Hudaibiyah covenant, to make preparations peculiar to marching out for war. Abu Bakr (RA), meanwhile, came in and asked 'Aishah (ra) what the matter was, showing surprise at the preparations being made as it was not, as he said, the usual time for war. Aishah (ra) replied that she had no idea. On the morning of the third day 'Amr-Bin-Salim-Al-Khuzai (RA) arrived in the company of forty horsemen to brief the Prophet (saw) on the plight of his people and seeking Muslim help for retaliation. People of Madinah then got to know that the Quraish had breached the covenant.[48]

With the view of securing a complete news black-out concerning his military intentions, the Prophet (saw) despatched an eight-man platoon under the leadership of Qatadah-bin-Rabi (RA) in the direction of Edam, a short distance from Madinah so as to divert the attention of the people and screen off the main target with which he was preoccupied.[49]

There was so much dread and fear everywhere that Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA), one of the most trusted followers of the Prophet (saw) secretly dispatched a female agent with a letter to Makkah containing information of the intended attack. The Prophet (saw) received news from the heaven of Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) treachery and sent 'Ali (ra) and Al-Miqdad (ra) with instructions to go after her. They overtook the female agent, and after a long search discovered the letter carefully hidden in her locks. The Prophet (saw) summoned Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) and asked him what had induced him to this act of treachery. Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) replied, "0 Messenger of Allah (saw) I have no affinity of blood with the Quraish; there is only a kind of friendly relationship between them and myself. My family is at Makkah and there is no one to look after them or to offer them protection. My position stands in striking contrast to that of the refugees whose families are secure due to their blood ties with the Quraish. I felt that since I am not related to them, I should, for the safety of my children, earn their gratitude by doing good to them. I swear by Allah that I have not done this act as an apostate, forsaking Islam. I was prompted only by the considerations I have just explained."[50]

'Umar (RA) wanted to cut off Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa’s (RA) head considering him to be a hypocrite, but, the Prophet (saw) accepted Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) excuse and granted him pardon. Muhammad (saw) then addressed Umar (RA) saying: " Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) is one of those who fought in the battle of Badr. How do you know that he is a hypocrite? Allah is likely to look favourably on those who participated in that battle. Turning then, to Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA), the Prophet (saw) said: "Do as you please, for I have forgiven you." [51]

…Allah's Messenger (saw) said, 'O Hatib رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه! What is this?' Hatib RAreplied, '0 Allah's Messenger! (saw) Don't hasten to give your judgement about me. I was a man closely connected with the Quraish, but I did not belong to this tribe, while the other emigrants with you had their relatives in Makkah who would protect their dependents and property. So, I wanted to recompense for my lacking blood relation to them by doing them a favour so that they might protect my dependents. I did this neither because of disbelief nor apostasy nor out of preferring Kufr (disbelief) to Islam.' Allah's Messenger (saw) said, 'Hatib RAhas told you the truth.' Umar RAsaid, '0 Allah's Messenger! (saw) Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite.' Allah's Messenger (saw) said, 'Hatib RAparticipated in the battle of Badr, and who knows, perhaps Allah has already looked at the Badr warriors and said: 'Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.' REFERENCE: SAHIH BUKHARI, HADITH NUMBER: 3007 [52]

15) What Was Abu Bakr (ra) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?

With the death of the Prophet (saw) in 632AD/11AH, the situation for Muslims changed completely. I am not referring here to the sadness that Muslims felt upon the death of the Prophet (saw); instead, I am pointing to how a great many Arabs in neighbouring lands apostatized. Some of them outright apostatized,[53] becoming followers of other prophets that Muslims refer to as false-prophets; whilst others apostatised by refusing to pay Zakat.

The core of the Muslim community that resided in Mecca and Medina decided to remain under the united leadership of Abu Bakr (RA), but many other communities in various parts of Arabia whom the Prophet (saw) held during his lifetime and brought under his wing, decided to end their alliance and allegiance with Medina. Some tribes claimed that they wished to remain Muslim in the religious sense by performing prayer, but refused to pay their tax (Zakat) to Abu Bakr (ra) now that Muhammad (saw) had passed away. Others it seems denied both the political and the religious authority of Abu Bakr (RA) and simply wished to go their own way now that Muhammad (saw) was dead. Others, it seems, hoped to simply take advantage of the turmoil and pillage. [54] In essence, the death of Muhammad (saw) led to a power vacuum in Arabia and paved the way for civil-unrest and political strife; the civil wars that ensued become known as the Riddah (apostasy) wars.

Abu Bakr (RA) did not distinguish between different kinds of apostates, since all apostates in his view had one abhorrent crime in common: they all, after having been Muslims, rebelled against the State either by taking up arms or refusing to pay tax. Thus, Abu Bakr (RA) as the appointed Head of State (from his power-base in Mecca and Medina) took a decisive decision to re-unify Arabia into a single entity by waging war on all those that rebelled or sought to break away from the State of Medina.

16) What Was Umar (ra) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?

Umar (RA) attitude towards Muslim apostates seems to be mixed. On the one hand Umar (RA) is seemingly unforgiving towards Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa’s (RA) treachery towards the State of Medina during the lifetime of the Prophet (saw). Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) was a Muslim resident of Medina and was caught attempting to provide classified military Intel to Muhammad (saw) enemies in Makkah. Umar (RA) wanted Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) executed for treason, but, Muhammad (saw) intervened and forgave Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa’s (RA) treachery. The point I am making is that Umar RA on this occasion wanted Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa (RA) executed for treason due to Hatib-Bin-Abi-Baltaa’s (RA) treacherous act in attempting to provide classified military Intel to an enemy State.

…Allah's Messenger (saw) said, 'O Hatib What is this?' Hatib RAreplied, '0 Allah's Messenger! (saw) Don't hasten to give your judgement about me. 1 was a man closely connected with the Quraish, but I did not belong to this tribe, while the other emigrants with you had their relatives in Makkah who would protect their dependents and property. So, I wanted to recompense for my lacking blood relation to them by doing them a favour so that they might protect my dependents. I did this neither because of disbelief nor apostasy nor out of preferring Kufr (disbelief) to Islam.' Allah's Messenger (saw) said, 'Hatib RAhas told you the truth.' Umar (RA) said, '0 Allah's Messenger! (saw) Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite.' Allah's Messenger (saw) said, 'Hatib (RA) participated in the battle of Badr, and who knows, perhaps Allah has already looked at the Badr warriors and said: 'Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.' REFERENCE: SAHIH BUKHARI, HADITH NUMBER: 3007 [55]

On a separate occasion Umar (RA) is seemingly sympathetic towards those Muslim apostates that remained Muslim in the religious sense but refused to pay Zakat tax to Abu Bakr [RA] (during Abu Bakr [RA] reign). Notwithstanding, after a brief exchange between Umar (RA) and Abu Bakr (RA) concerning those Muslim apostates that were Muslim in the religious sense yet refused to pay Abu Bakr (RA) Zakat; Umar (RA) opinion swayed in-line with Abu Bakr (RA) whom did not distinguish between different kinds of apostates during the Riddah war.[56]

"…When the Prophet (saw) died and Abu Bakr (RA) became his successor and some of the Arabs reverted to disbelief, ‘Umar (RA) said, “O Abu Bakr! (RA) How can you fight these people…"

— REFERENCE: SAHIH BUKHARI, HADITH NUMBER: 6924 [57]

The first decision that Umar (RA) took as ruler was the decision to return the female prisoners captured from the apostates to their tribes. He said: "I would not like the taking of female prisoners to become a custom among the Arabs." This courageous step made the Arabs feel that they were all equal before the law of Allah, and that no tribe was superior to another, except in terms of how much they strove for the sake of Allah and the services that they offered to Islam and the Muslims. He followed this step with another, namely allowing those former apostates who had repented openly to play a role in the wars against the enemies of Islam. They proved their courage in war and were steadfast in combat, and they demonstrated unmatched loyalty to the state .[58]

17) What Was Ali (ra) Attitude Towards Muslim Apostates?

During the reign of Uthman RA there appeared a group called the Saba’is led by a man called Abdullah Ibn Sabah. Some Orientalist historians such as Caetani and Bernard Lewis suggest that Abdullah Ibn Sabah’s existence is doubtful or no more than a myth. Other Orientalist historians such as Fred Lander is unsure of Abdullah Ibn Sabah’s existence. However, most Orientalist historians such as Julius Falhausen, Van Fulton, Levi de la Vida, Goldziher, Ronald Nicholson, and Dwight Ronaldson are of the view that Abdullah Ibn Sabah was an actual historical figure. More importantly, earlier and latter Sunni and Shia sources make mention of Abdullah Ibn Sabah’s existence;[59] therefore I am inclined to believe that Abdullah Ibn Sabah was as an actual historical figure, notwithstanding there is a slight doubt because not everyone agrees to the existence of Abdullah Ibn Sabbah.

Assuming Abdullah Ibn Sabbah existed; he was a Yemeni Jew from Sana. He converted to Islam during the reign of Uthman (RA).[60] He created a group called the Saba’is [61] whom theologically believed in the divinity of Ali (RA) [62]; and politically believed that Uthman (RA) had seized or usurped power from Ali (RA).[63] In essence, politically the Saba’is believed that Ali (RA) should have been appointed Caliph instead of Uthman (RA). In light of these beliefs, the Saba’is began to spread propaganda that criticised Uthman (RA) government [64] whilst praising Ali (RA).

Between 655AD/35AH – 656AD/36AH, Uthman (RA) was murdered / assassinated [65] by members of the Saba’is [66] and Ali (RA) was subsequently appointed Caliph. Ali (RA) reign was plagued with infighting among Muslims who were aggrieved at the assassination of Uthman (RA). Some prominent Muslim figures such as Aisha (RA) and Muawiyah (RA) wanted retribution by bringing the murderous Saba’is to justice; some of whom (Saba’is) had become a part of Ali (RA) army [67]. Ali (RA) too wanted to bring the murderous Saba’is to justice, but Ali (RA) was of the opinion that justice should be sought once things had settled down; whereas other prominent Muslim figures such as Muawiyah (RA) wanted justice for Uthman (RA) prior to swearing loyalty or allegiance to Ali (RA). [68]

In 657AD/37AH [69] the battle of Siffeen ensued between the armies of Ali (RA) whom numbered in the region of 50,000 men;[70] versus the armies of Muawiyah (RA) whom numbered between 60,000 – 120,000 men. [71] The battle of Siffeen raged for three days with the loss of approximately 70,000 lives. [72] The battle of Siffeen eventually ended in a stalemate with neither side having claimed victory; instead terms were agreed and the battle of Siffeen ended. During the negotiations between Ali (RA) and Muawiyah (RA) the Saba’is attempted to persuade Ali (RA) to continue with the fighting, because reconciliation would mean reaching a deal to bring them (Saba’is) to justice for their part in Uthman (RA) assassination.[73] Once the dust had settled, Ali (RA) gathered and burnt some of the Saba’is alive[74] because of the turmoil they caused.

"…Ali (RA) burnt some people who apostatized from Islam…"

— REFERENCE: TIRMIDHI - HADITH NUMBER: 1458, GRADED: SAHIH [75]

18) Understanding Islam’s Attitude Towards Apostasy Within a Western Context

Islam’s attitude towards apostasy considers apostates to be traitors guilty of treason. Islam’s edict to either execute or banish traitors that take up arms against the State (Sunan An-Nasai, Hadith 4053, Sahih)[76] is common practice in many civilizations albeit today or in yesteryear. In Britain up until 1998AD, treason was a crime punishable by death.[77] Below is the British definition of treason as defined in the Treason Act 1351.

…Compassing the Death of the King, Queen, or their eldest Son; violating the Queen, or the King’s eldest Daughter unmarried, or his eldest Son’s Wife; levying War; adhering to the King’s Enemies; killing the Chancellor, Treasurer, or Judges in Execution of their Duty.…

— REFERENCE: TREASON ACT 1351 [78]

The point I am making is that Islam’s attitude towards apostasy is similar to Britain’s view of treachery. In the future, a Muslim judge working under Islamic jurisdiction will need to consider political freedom in cases dealing with Muslim apostasy. There is a clear-line that distinguishes between political freedom and militant insurgency. The onus will always be on a competent judge to identify the political freedoms that are conducive to a democratic society, whilst curbing the militancy that causes civil-unrest. The onus will always be on a judge to maintain justice without impeding on civil liberties or an individual’s freedom of political thought whilst curbing hate-speech.

19) CONCLUSION

The Shahadah is: ‘La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah’ which means: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I testify that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah’. The Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam and is ones declaration, intention and proclamation to join or be a part of the Islamic faith. The Shahadah serves both a religious and political purpose. Religiously the utterance of the Shahadah instils strength and hope to a Muslim in times of fear, sadness and general adversity. Politically the Shahadah is an individual’s solemn pledge and oath to God; and loyalty to God implies goodness of intent and action in serving humanity.

REFERENCES

[1] Al-Hajjaj, Imam Abul Hussain Muslim Ibn. English Translation Of Sahih Muslim. Ed. Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Zai, Abu Khaliyl and Nasiruddin al-Khattab. First. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2007. p.95 Vol.1.

[2] Ashath, Imam Hafiz Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin. English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud. Ed. Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Zai, et al. First. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2008. p.578-579 Vol.5.

[3] ROYAL BOROUGH OF GREENWICH (2015). Citizenship ceremonies. [online]. http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/852/citizenship_ceremonies/607/citizenship_ceremonies

[4] (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud 578-579, Vol. 5) op. cit., note 2,

[5] (Royal Borough of Greenwich) Op cite., note 3,

[6] UNTED NATIONS (2015). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [online]. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

[7] (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud p578-579, Vol. 5) op. cit., note 2,

[8] (English Translation Of Sahih Muslim p.95 vol.1.) op. cit., note 1,

[9] Muhammad Aashiq Elahi Muhajir Madani. Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Quran (Tafsir Anwarul Bayan). Ed. Afzal Hussain Elias and Muhammad Arshad Fakhri. First. Karachi: Darul-Ishaat, 2005. p.403, Vol.1.

[10] (English Translation Of Sahih Muslim p.20 vol.7.) op. cit., note 1,

[11] Katheer, Ibn. Early Days (Stories Of The Begining Of Creation And The Early Prophet From Adam to Yoonus) Taken From Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah. Ed. Abdul Malik Mujahid, Research Department of Darussalam and Yoosuf Al-Hajj Ahmed. First. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2010. p.166.

[12] altafsir.com. 2015. Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. <http://www.altafsir.com>

[13] (Early Days (Stories Of The Begining Of Creation And The Early Prophet From Adam to Yoonus) Taken From Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah p163-164) op. cit., note 11

[14] AT-TIRMIDHI, Imam Hafiz Abu Eisa Mohammad Ibn Eisa (2007). In: ZAI, Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali, et al. (eds.). English Translation of Jami At-Tirmidhi. First ed., Riyadh, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, p.385, vol.5

[15] (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud p578-579, Vol. 5) op. cit., note 2,

[16] Ibid.,

[17] Ibid.,

[18] Ibid., p565. Vol.3

[19] Kathir, Ibn. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged). Ed. Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri. Second. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2003. p.228 vol.2.

[20] Ibid.,

[21] (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud p578-579, Vol. 5) op. cit., note 2,

[22] Ibid., p232. Vol.2

[23] altafsir.com. 2015. Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. <http://www.altafsir.com>

[24] DICTIONARIES, Collins (2015). Collinsdictionary.com. [online].

[25] AL-QAZWINI, Imam Muhammad Bin Yazeed Ibn Majah (2007). In: ZAI, Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali, et al. (eds.). English Translation Of Sunan Ibn Majah. First ed., Riyadh, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, p.453 Vol.3.

[26] (English Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud p558, Vol. 5) op. cit., note 2,

[27] BRITANNICA, The Editors Of Encyclopaedia Britannica (2015). Encyclopaedia Britannica, Riddah. [online]. Last updated May 2009. http://www.britannica.com/topic/riddah

[28] ASH-SHAIBANI, Abu Abdullah Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Hanbal (2012). In: AL-KHATTAB, Huda, DARUSSALAM and AL-KHATTAB, Nasiruddin (eds.). English Translation of Musnad Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal. First ed., Riyadh, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, p.152 Vol.1.

[29] (At-Tirmidhi p.244 Vol.3) op. cit., note 14

[30] Ibid., p.243, vol.3

[31] ISHAQ, Ibn (2004). In: GUILLAUME, A (ed.). The Life of Muhammad (saw) A Translation of Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah. Karachi, Oxford University Press, p.99.

[32] altafsir.com. 2015. Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. <http://www.altafsir.com>

[33] MAWDUDI, Sayyid Abul A'la (1988). In: ANSARI, Zafar Ishaq (ed.). Towards Understanding The Quran Abridged Version of Tafhim al-Quran. London, The Islamic Foundation, p199, Vol.1.

[34] (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) p30, Vol. 2) op. cit., note 19

[35] AN-NASAI, Imam Hafiz Abu Abdur Rahman Ahmad bin Shuaib bin Ali (2007). In: ZAI, Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali, KHATTAB, Huda and KHALIYL, Abu (eds.). English Translation of Sunan An-Nasai. First ed., Riyadh, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, p.60, Vol.5

[36] (English Translation Of Sunan Ibn Majah p.453, Vol.3) op. cit., note 25

[37] op. cit., note 31

[38] DICTIONARIES, Collins (2015). Collinsdictionary.com. [online].

[39] Ibid.,

[40] (Sunan An-Nasai p.56 Vol. 5) op. cit., note 35

[41] Ibid., p.45, vol.5

[42] Ibid., p.44-45, vol.5

[43] AL-MUBARAKPURI, Safiur-Rahman (1996). In: MUJAHID, Abdul Malik (ed.). Ar-Raheequl Makhtum The Sealed Nectar Biography of the Noble Prophet First ed., Riyadh, Dar-us-Salam, p388.

[44] Ibid., p389

[45] Ibid.,

[46] Ibid.,

[47] Ibid.,

[48] Ibid., p390

[49] Ibid.,

[50] Ibid.,

[51] Ibid., p391

[52] Bukhari, Muhammad Ibn-Ishmaiel. The Translation Of The Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari Arabic-English. Ed. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, et al. 2nd. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 1997. p.154 vol.4.

[53] AS-SALLAABEE, Ali Muhammad (2007). In: SHAFEEQ, Faisal (ed.). The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq. First ed., Riyadh, Darussalam, p.317.

[54] AL-TABARI, Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Jarir (1993). In: DONNER, Fred M, et al. (eds.). The History of al-Tabari Volume 10 the Conquest of Arabia. New York, State University of New York Press, Albany, p. xii-xiii.

[55] (The Translation Of The Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari Arabic-English p154, Vol. 4) op. cit., note 52

[56] (The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq p359) op. cit., note 53

[57] (The Translation Of The Meanings Of Sahih Al-Bukhari Arabic-English p47, Vol. 9) op. cit., note 52

[58] AS-SALLABI, Ali Muhammad (2007). In: AL-KHATTAB, Nasiruddin (ed.). Islamic History - The Rightly guided Caliphs (2) - Umar Ibn al-Khattab - His Life and Times. Riyadh, International Islamic Publishing House, Volume 1, p180.

[59] SALLABI, Ali M (2011). In: AL-KHATTAB, Nasiruddin (ed.). Islamic History Series Part III - The Rightly Guided Caliphs 3 - Ali Ibn Abi Talib رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه. Riyadh, International Islamic Publishing House, Vol. 2, p30.

[60] AL-TABARI, Abu Jafar Muhammad b. Jarir (1990). In: HUMPHREYS, R Stephen, et al. (eds.). The History of al-Tabari - Volume 15 - The Crisis Of The Early Caliphate. New York, State University of New York Press, p.145.

[61] (Islamic History Series Part III - The Rightly Guided Caliphs 3 - Ali Ibn Abi Talib vol. 2, p.26) op. cit., note 59

[62] (English Translation of Jami At-Tirmidhi Vol. 3, p244) op. cit., note 14

[63] (Islamic History Series Part III - The Rightly Guided Caliphs 3 - Ali Ibn Abi Talib vol. 2, p.32-33) op. cit., note 59

[64] Ibid., Vol.2, p33

[65] AS-SALLABI, Ali Muhammad (2007). In: KHATTAB, Nasir and KHATTAB, Hoda (eds.). The Biography Of Uthman Ibn Affan Dhun-Noorayn. First ed., Riyadh, Darussalam, p.579.

[66] Ibid., p583

[67] (Islamic History Series Part III - The Rightly Guided Caliphs 3 - Ali Ibn Abi Talib vol. 2, p.40) op. cit., note 59

[68] Ibid., Vol.1, p37

[69] Ibid., Vol.2, p142

[70] Ibid., Vol.2, p149

[71] Ibid., Vol.2, p151

[72] Ibid., Vol.2, p177

[73] Ibid., Vol.2, p181

[74] (English Translation of Jami At-Tirmidhi Vol.3, p.244) op. cit., note 14

[75] Ibid., Vol.3, p243

[76] (Sunan An-Nasai p.56 Vol. 5) op. cit., note 35

[77] Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and Cabinet Office. (2015, November 16). Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Retrieved from legislation.gov.uk: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/37/section/36

[78] Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and Cabinet. (2015, November 16). Treason Act 1351. Retrieved from legislation.gov.uk: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Edw3Stat5/25/2/section/II

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    • profile image

      Norine Williams 18 months ago

      You are the "Religious Hypocrite" and an "Unbeliever" when I have given HIS WORD saying "HE is a "JEALOUS GOD" who "WILL NOT SHARE HIS GLORY!"

      Again, there is "Good" in ALL of us, even "Atheist!" JESUS continue to tell us we should BE BETTER than the "Good Samaritan" (if "IN CHRIST") yet you are bogged down in "twisted belief" and FALSE DOCTRINE, although Scriptures have been given to show you are a LIAR!

      You said, "You are clinging to ancient Mosaic laws and ideas which were perfected and changed by JC. His law is Love."

      You apparently have not heard me preach? My constant Message is Galatians 1:6-9 {paraphrasing} "If you preach any other "gospel," you will be "ACCURSED!" The "gospel" referred to is the "Gospel of Christ," which is AFTER THE CROSS or AFTER THE DAY OF PENTECOST!

      Now who is "clinging to ancient Mosaic laws?" Have you been baptized according to Acts 2:38? I doubt it! Then "YOU" are "clinging to ancient Mosaic laws" and do not live under what CHRIST DIED FOR - The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16)!

      SAD!

      You've been "brainwashed" thinking GOD "loves" those who DISOBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS!

      YOU FOOL!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Norine

      JC has certainly held up a follower of another religion as a perfect example of a good person: for all eternity as well as the Bible will last as long as the world does. JC criticized religious hypocrites most of all. He had little time for them as they were filled with intolerance and cruelty.

      You are clinging to ancient Mosaic laws and ideas which were perfected and changed by JC. His law is Love.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 18 months ago

      "Off the mark?" Have you forgotten why we are supposed to be worshiping GOD? If so, let me remind you! It's to be "reconciled" unto HIM or "ETERNAL LIFE!" How then do you "think" anyone can be "reconciled" unto HIM "IF" we

      DON'T "OBEY "ALL" OF HIS COMMANDMENTS?"

      AGAIN, "Do you really NOT know Scripture? Why does HE say "no other gods before me"(Exd 20:3=Prophet Muhammad)? Why does HE say "I will not SHARE my Glory" (Is 42:8=Mary)? Why does HE say "Don't bow down to graven images" (Exd 20:4=Buddha)? Why does HE say "HE is a JEALOUS GOD" (Exd 34:14=ANY (Hindu & others too) but HIM)?

      RELIGIONS who "VIOLATE" just ONE of these commandments DEFY GOD!"

      ALTHOUGH IN SCRIPTURE, YOU SEE HOW THE WORLD HAS BEEN "BRAINWASHED" TO BELIEVE "Tolerance, love, patience, kindness, etc are the signs of a real Christian" which is easier to do since we have the Spirit of God in us and everyone (Even Atheist) can continue to do "their own" thing!

      You asked, "Remember JCs story of the Good Samaritan? JC held up a follower of the Samaritan religion as a good person too. Ask yourself why."

      OZ, JC "did not" hold up a follower of the Samaritan religion as a good person," HE showed us that HIS SPIRIT (Good) is in ALL of us, even Atheist! Unfortunately, our spirit lies dormant in "Unbelievers" because of the "Choice" (Joshua 24:15) HE'S allowed us and we usually choose "Unbelief" as mentioned in Hebrews 3:19 (or have allowed "TWISTED" Religions or doctrine teach us not to obey ALL of HIS commandments (II Kings 17:29-41)! When GOD breathed the breathe of life into man (ALL men) in Genesis 2:7, HE breathed HIS SPIRIT into us but, unfortunately, we were born into a sinful world (Psalm 51:5) and given a "choice!" It is now our position to "OBEY" HIM (Which means "ALL" of HIS commandments!) for "reconciliation" (II Corinthians 5:11-21) unto HIM!

      If HE "upheld the good Samaritans' religion," HE would've contradicted HIS WORD (Numbers 23:19) when he said {paraphrasing} "If ANYONE preach ANY OTHER "Gospel" unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE "ACCURSED" (Galatians 1:6-9)!

      SATAN IS SAYING "THANK GOODNESS FOR RELIGIONS!"

      Do you see why you should read my HUB "I HATE ALL RELIGIONS?"

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Norine

      If you take the time to study other religions you will see they all put the main emphasis on love and tolerance. If we try to shift the emphasis onto hatred and brimstone we are way off the mark.

      Tolerance, love, patience, kindness, etc are the signs of a real Christian.

      Remember JCs story of the Good Samaritan? JC held up a follower of the Samaritan religion as a good person too. Ask yourself why.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 18 months ago

      OZ: Have you ever heard of "THE WRATH OF GOD" (Romans 1:18)?

      That's what's wrong with "proclaimed" Christians, they "Don't Fear GOD!" Proverbs 9:10 says "The FEAR OF THE LORD is "the beginning of wisdom:" and the KNOWLEDGE of the HOLY is "understanding."

      What do you mean "GOD doesn't HATE?" Why is there a Lake of Fire for all you "Unbelievers?"

      "ALL Scripture is "INSPIRED BY GOD"... (II Timothy 3:16) then why did HE allow David ("A man after GOD'S own heart" (Acts 13:22) say in Psalm 139:22 "I hate them with perfect hatred:..." Therefore, GOD loves for us to HATE those that HATE HIM!

      Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us "GOD HATES!"

      See what RELIGION has done to you because "you allowed" by NOT "STUDYING" (II Timothy 2:15)?

      I feel a HUB coming on!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Norine

      God is Love. Remember?

      God doesn't hate, people do.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 18 months ago

      OZ: You have gone "blind" to HIS WORD! GOD HATES "RELIGIONS" which the Scribes and Pharisees represented.

      Give Scripture where "all "religions" are equal in the sight of GOD?" I can give Scripture where "all races are equal..." (Galatians 3:28) but not "religions" so please provide? Otherwise, you are a LIAR and John 8:44 applies!

      Do you really NOT know Scripture? Why does HE say "no other gods before me"(Exd 20:3=Prophet Muhammad)? Why does HE say "I will not SHARE my Glory" (Is 42:8=Mary)? Why does HE say "Don't bow down to graven images" (Exd 20:4=Buddha)? Why does HE say "HE is a JEALOUS GOD" (Exd 34:14=ANY but HIM)?

      RELIGIONS who "VIOLATE" just ONE of these commandments DEFY GOD!

      How many of these "Religions" have DEFIED HIS WORD? Think!

      II KINGS 17:33 says "They feared the LORD, and served their "own gods," (Buddha, Mary, Prophet Muhammad, etc) after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. (v 34) UNTO THIS DAY they do after the former manners: they fear NOT the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, of after the law and commandment which the LORD "commanded" the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel."

      Give Scripture where "religion intolerance as racial intolerance" is NOT acceptable to GOD?

      Sounds like you are a little "racially" and definitely "religiously" offtrack!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Norind

      Stop it before you go blind.

      All races and all religions are equal in the sight of God.

      The Muslim religion is a beautiful religion and equal in the sight of God to all other relgions. Expand your mind. Realise how close religious intolerance is to racial intolerance.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 18 months ago

      WHY?

      Why do you go against Scripture? Do you not worship GOD? You can call HIM "Allah" because of your native language but the CREATOR of the heavens and earth, the GOD of Abraham, Issac and Jacob said in John Matthew 11:13 "For ALL THE PROPHETS and the law prophesied UNTIL "John!" Who then is "Muhammad?" He defies Scripture! Furthermore, Revelations 22:18-19 says {paraphrasing} "If ANY MAN "add" from what IS WRITTEN in this Book (Bible), GOD shall add unto him the plagues that are WRITTEN in this Book or "take away" GOD shall "take away" his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are WRITTEN in this Book!" Don't you care?

      GOD (Allah) also said in Romans 3:4 "...Let GOD (Allah) be true and EVERY MAN (which includes Muhammad) a liar!" HE also said in Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony: (LISTEN!) "If they speak not according to THIS WORD, it is because THERE IS NO LIGHT IN THEM!"

      I realize this is your "tradition," but TRUTH is TRUTH (ALLAH'S WORD)! It seems you have fulfilled Scripture! II Kings 17:29 says "Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. READ verses 32-41! You fear Allah, but worship Muhammad (your god)!

      Did not Exodus 20:3 say "Thou shalt have no other gods before me?"

      Why then? WHY? REMEMBER: "GREATER LOVE hath no man than this, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE ("TRADITIONS") FOR HIS FRIENDS (ALLAH)!"

      Galatians 4:16 "Am I therefore become your "enemy," because I tell you TRUTH?"

      Allah says in Leviticus 19:17 "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise REBUKE thy neighbor, and NOT SUFFER SIN UPON HIM!" This I will do - REGARDLESS - which shows LOVE!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      This was a very good explanation of the 'Shahada' and it's importance.

      Your second point about 'conflict' between the practicing Muslim and the place where they live brings to mind a story in the Bible where the Apostles Peter and John were commanded by the authorities of the day not to speak about Jesus, their reply was "Judge for yourselves, should we obey God or man"

    • Sadaf99 profile image

      fathima 2 years ago from india

      I completely agree with you. . People just point out that islam is intolerant towards other religions. Whch is completely incorrect.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Sada

      I am not hurt at all.

      The idea that each religion regards itself as superior is an ethical mistake. Hindus for example regards all religions as equal as do Bahais.

      It is a step closer to God to dismiss all notions of superiority of religion as this can breed misunderstanding between religions.

      There is in fact no superiority of one religion over another just as there is no superiority of one race over another.

      Do you understand that "Allah" can be translated in various languages? (: in English Allah is translated as "God", in Hindi Allah is translated as Brahma etc.)

    • Sadaf99 profile image

      fathima 2 years ago from india

      @ oztinato

      its true there are many great other Prophets. and we muslims are doing nothing but following these Great Prophets and this great religion which all the other prophets followed. To simply put we believe in the Lord of Adam, Abraham, Joseph, Mosses, Jesus and Muhammed ( peace be upon them).

      islam as other religions intolerant religion is a misconception created by the media. This terrorism in the name of islam which is completely wrong and a grave sin. I'd say they are not muslims or people who have gone astray.

      If you ask a christian he would say my religion is greatest and so does Buddhist or any other person of any religion. So one should come out of this and search out for the truth. I do believe that they are many other great religions in this world and also have read and understood things from their scriptures and then selected the most best religion among them. My apologies if i hurt anyone's sentiments.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Very interesting information. Widens the horizon

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this summary.

      Do you understand that "Allah" is just the Arabic word for "God"? This same word can be translated into many other languages eg the Hebrew word for God is YWHA, the Hindu word for God is BRAHMA etc.

      Also, its OK to be fond of Mohammed (and He was certainly a prophet), but we all need to accept there are are many other great prophets and many other great religions. If we fail to do this we could look like intolerant people and religious intolerance is a very serious sin.