بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

“Oh you who believe! Fear ALLAH as He should be feared, and die not, except in a state of Islam (as Muslims), with complete submission to ALLAH. And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope (i.e., this Quran) which He streches out for you. And be not divided among yourselves: and remember the Favour of ALLAH upon you, for you were enemies and HE joined your hearts in love, so that by HIS Grace you became brothren. And you were on the brink of the Pit of Fire, and HE saved you from it. Thus does ALLAH make HIS Signs clear to you, that you may be guided. Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity;” [Quran 3:102-105].

The call to what is good, to right, to reality has been done by all the prophets of ALLAH, and, by other men who called to what is proper for the cultivation of society. Prophet Musa (Moses), (upon him be peace), called to Pharoah and demanded that he look at the condition of the people of Israil whom he held in bondage. Look at their social and economic condition; let these people go in the name ALLAH. They are not your slaves to spend their every wakeful moment thinking of the toil they must endure for the Pharoah. No! The Prophet Musa, unlike ordinary men who are inspired to take on the task of righteousness for alleviation social/economic wrongs against their people. ‘The Prophets’ have direct help from ALLAH by way of revelation.

The people of Moses, their faith had not yet become strong, and in the absence of his leadership, the people threw away their most cherished possession, i.e.Taqwa, exclusive devotion to ALLAH and worship of HIM alone by their fashioning for themselves an image of a calf to worship. This is a big, big sin. It is a sin for the Muslim: (4:36) “Serve (worship) ALLAH, and do not join any partners with HIM”; as it is also a sin for the Christian who is told: “You shall not have any god before ME. You shall not make any graven images, or any likeness of anything in the heavens above, or the earth below, or that is in the water under the earth. You are not to bow down to them, nor serve them,” [Exodus 20:3-5].

These two references tell us in no uncertain terms, that worship and prayer is for ALLAH, and HIM alone:

“To ALLAH belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth,” (2:284).

So no matter if it is of the earth, or out in the vast reaches of space, any and everything comes within the flawless plan of The Planner, ALLAH. And ALLAH says:
“Or have they taken (for worship) gods from the earth who can raise (the dead)? If there were in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides ALLAH there would be confusion in both! But Glory be to ALLAH, The Lord of the Throne! High is HE above what they attribute to HIM! He ‘cannot’ be questioned about what HE does while they can be questioned.” [Q 21:21-23]

So, look at that; the First Commandment as it is referred by the Christian; ‘first things first.’ You cannot get a High School Diploma without ‘first’ going through the first grade. And you cannot get to five without ‘one.’ It is the Unity of worship, the Uniqueness of ALLAH Who is One. “Ahad!” “One Lord!” as Bilal cried when he was tortured for merely adoring his Lord, ALLAH (may ALLAH be pleased with him). “Ahad!” “One Lord!” This is the basis of the Deen Al-Islam, and refers to what we term the first pillar, or requirement of each and every individual. We cannot blame it on our Imam, sheik, or whomever because on ‘that’ Day when we are all called to account for how we lived our lives in this world; the first question put to each soul will be; who is your Lord? ALLAH-u-AKHBAR!

When we come to this understanding, we testify, first inwardly as a belief, but ALLAH requires that HIS Will be manifested throughout the world, and as HIS servants our testification, more properly called Shahada-tain is also outwardly as we pray (salat) five times a day, we pay zakat (charity), we fast (saum) during the month of Ramadhan, and we make hajj (pilgrimage) once in our life. “I openly testify that there is none that has the right to be worshipped except ALLAH, and I openly testify that Muhammad is HIS Last Servant and Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him).” And all is done following the example of the Prophet Muhammad to whom the Quran was revealed, may the peace and blessings of ALLAH be upon him, and I pray that ALLAH grant to HIS Servant Muhammad Ibn Abdullah the highest place in the Paradise.

“Say! HE is ALLAH, The One. ALLAH, The Eternal, Absolute. HE begets not, nor was HE begotten. And there is nothing like unto HIM,” (Q 112:1-4).

`ALLAH is Totally Independent, free of any need. HE has no need of our prayers. It is for our benefit that we worship HIM. Prayer, worship, in all aspects of our daily lives (‘ibada) is to ALLAH alone. By being conscious of those things that ALLAH forbids, while exhorting ourselves’ and others to do good, to enjoin righteousness. Invite to what is good and enjoin, “no,” demand what is proper with what is right, good and beneficial for the cultivation of man and society. It is my duty before ALLAH to read, to edify myself intellectually as well as spiritually. Ma’ruf (مَعْرُوْف) is to be aware, cognizant: aware of myself and my position and responsibility to ALLAH, while also, being cognizant of myself, and my interactions within the society. The Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), he saw the idolatry practiced by his people. He saw the infanticide, the gambling and adultery, and he spoke out against those things, while imploring the people to righteous living by purposely changing their lives with conscious moral living. And as such, taking on the duty of calling all mankind to the same, for the betterment of society by the proper worship in prayer to ALLAH Who has no partner, nor needs any aid of any sort. Everything is dependant upon Him, ALLAH {G-D}, The Lord Cherisher and Sustainer of all, The One Who gives Life and Death. The Most Merciful. All Praise belongs to ALLAH. ALLAH is The Greatest. So tell that sister or brother who you know are giving themselves to the devil using the crack, or alcohol. Wasting all their time scheming on how to get their next fix. Tell them to come to conscious living, to HIM Who Created us and nourishes all – “ALLAH.” Tell the young brother on the verge of dropping out of school, and that sister before she has a child her own age. Let them know that they will not have anything coming as far as work, or any meaningful means of advancement, without their education. And the education should first begin with a proper understanding of our Lord and our responsibility to HIM. Then we will have another person working, trying to make his or her life better, working to get an A grade if they had been getting B’s. Working to improve his or her skills in order to get a better job, to be able to take care of themselves and their families. This is what ALLAH Most High calls us to. The true Khalifa or servant of ALLAH: to the cultivation of ourselves, and the advancement of society.

Mr. Harun Jihad Bilal

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