By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
Translated by: Ghassan RimlawiAllah say in His Glorious Book: The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His Will): “Nor did the People of the Book dissent there from except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account”. And “if anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost All spiritual good”.
Islam in its broad meaning is the single religion that comprises all messages. Islam in its unifying meaning is to submit one's force, heart mind and life to Allah, thus having nothing present in him but Allah, The Most Exalted,: Whoever submits his whole self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy hand-hold: and with Allah rests the End and Decision of (all) affairs.
Thus every religion God sent His messengers with contains the meaning of Islam. Allah wanted the Messengers to teach the people to submit themselves to Allah, and have nothing personal in their lives. This is what the Imam of the Pious, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) has expressed when he was talking to his companions as a caliph, telling them, we do not see things in the same say: "I want you to God while you want me to yourselves". I want you to unify Allah and obey him in everything you do, feel or say.
The word of Islam started with Ibrahim when his God told to submit (Aslim) and he said that he submits to the Lord of the worlds. That is I submit with all my existence which no one shares Allah in and I do not mind anyone other than Allah. The following Ayah might elaborate this: Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;No partner hath He: this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who bow to His will. All my life is for Allah and when I die it is for the cause of Allah, who has no partners.
This Islamic belief was not confined to Ibrahim, but he also enjoined his sons to believe in: And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub. O my sons! Surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims... So that all your lives in all its details and actions will be solely for God, until you die.
And this was the wish of Prophet Yusuf - O Thou Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous." Meaning that ask your God that when death comes, I will be a faithful Muslim so that I will stand before Him on the Day of Judgement as a Muslim. Jacob too wanted to make sure that his sons will follow the religion of Islam and that they will not be led astray and worship idols. Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: "What will ye worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship Thy god and the god of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma'il and Isaac, the one (True) Allah: To Him we bow (in Islam)."
And this is what Allah commanded this Prophet and the Muslims with:
Then set your face upright for religion in the right state-- the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know-- which is Islam that Allah has made innate in our souls: Our religion is the Baptism of Allah: And who can baptize better than Allah? And it is He Whom we worship.
And this is what Imam Ali described Islam with: This Islam is the religion which Allah has chosen for Himself, developed it before His eyes, and when he described the Prophet saying: Allah sent him with a sufficing plea, a convincing discourse and a rectifying announcement. Through him Allah disclosed the ways that had been forsaken, and destroyed the innovations that had been introduced. Through him He explained the detailed commands. Now, whoever adopts a religion other than Islam, his misery is definite, his stick (of support) will be cracked, his fate will be serious, his end will be long grief and distressing punishment.
There are also some sayings that determine who the Muslim is through his relations with other Muslims. They explain that in Islam it is not sufficient to say the two testimonies and perform the religious duties.
A Muslim should also be a brother of fellow Muslims. The Prophet says: The Muslim is he whom other Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand.
He also says: The Muslim is a brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong or curse him. He does not betray him or lie at him. A Muslim is the mirror of a fellow Muslim in which he sees his faults and wrongs.
The Messenger has also told us that Muslims are united in one hand against those who challenge them and their bloods are equal with no blood higher or dearer than the other.
That is why Allah has ordained punishment to a Muslim who kills another Muslim unjustly, be he a mean person or a great one. Such a great attitude is demonstrated by the Imam's position when he was stuck by Ibn Maljam.: Children of Abdul Muttaleb! Do not shed the blood of Muslims under the banner: The Imam has been assassinated! Only the assassin should be condemned to death.
If I die of this stab of his, kill him with one similar stroke. Do not mutilate him! I have heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, say: "Mutilate not even a rabid dog."
Who is this Ibn Maljam when compared by Ali. Yet the punishment is the same regardless of how mean the murderer is and how great the murdered is. This is also emphasized by the Prophet's saying that the Muslims are brothers whom do not have any advantage over other Muslim except through piety.
The Commander of the Faithful says: Islam is surrender, and surrender is certitude; certitude is authentication, and authentication is assurance; assurance is realization, and realization is work
On the negative side, the Prophet says in the context of solidarity among Muslims. Surely he is not a Muslim who does not take interest in the affairs of Muslims. And surely he is not a Muslim who hears a Muslim calling for help and does not respond to his call."
He also says: "Muslims should treat one another as a human body which if any of its organs is in pains the other organs will look after it".
The previous Hadiths explain that if a Muslim individual or a Muslim people are subjected to an aggression and they call for help then those who do not answer are not Muslims.
In the light of this, Islam orders every Muslim to support Muslims with all his capacities and whoever does not do that, will no longer be a Muslim.
* The aforementioned is an edited Friday sermon.