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(Declaration of Faith in Islam)
"There is no deity [worthy of worship] except God, and Muhammad is His messenger."
This declaration of faith is called the shahadah, a simple formula which all of the faithful pronounce.
The concept of "no deity except God" is always alive in the Muslim's heart. He recognizes that God alone is the Creator, that He alone is the Provider and Sustainer, that He is the true Reality, the source of all things - of all benefit and harm. This requires that He be worshiped and obeyed.
Islam emphasizes the unity of divinity (tawheed) as opposed to the concept of trinity in Christianity and plurality of gods in other religions. God is the original source of all occurrences and actions. He is completely superior to and unlike anything He has created, He is not in any way a part of His creation, nor is it a part of Him. Therefore, although God has revealed to us certain qualities of His, they are not like those found in man. No one is able to imagine God because He is completely above and beyond His creation. This concept of the uniqueness of God the Creator is found only in Islam. The significance of that uniqueness is that He alone can rightfully be worshiped. In addition, no other creature or human being has the right of intercession between man and God. Instead, the Muslim's relationship with Him is direct and personal.
"No deity except God" includes the question of authority. The right to govern man belongs to the One who created him. When one is guided to the true path of God, all other ways of life lose their place in his heart and are replaced by a desire to please Him alone in anticipation of thejudgment and full compensation in the next life.
Belief in God's Messenger means accepting Prophet Muhammad as the last messenger sent by Him. While previous messengers were sent to peoples at different times to guide and reform them, the "Seal of the Prophets," Muhammad (peace be upon him and upon all of God's messengers), was sent with the final revelation (i.e., the Qur'an) to all of mankind as guidance for humanity until the Day ofJudgment.
Prophet Muhammad is the spokesman for God by His authority. Muhammad's duty was not only to deliver the message which God revealed but also to explain it and put it into practice as an example to be followed by mankind. Thus, the Qur'an and theSunnah (the Prophet's sayings and examples) are the two main sources of Islamic law.
In the Qur'an, God has made obedience to the Prophet incumbent upon the believers. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad are available today in the form of hadith, i.e., his sayings and traditions related and recorded by those who witnessed or heard them. Scholars have carefully scrutinized the reliability of the transmitters of these traditions, accepting only thoseahadith (pl. hadith) whose chain of narrators is known to be completely reliable and sound.
Acceptance of Prophet Muhammad as the final messenger sent by God to complete His religion upon the earth eliminates belief in any claim to prophethood after him. Thus, a Muslim completely rejects the claims of all false prophets. The Qur'an states:
"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things." [Qur'an: Surah al-Ahzab 33:40].
A few examples of the prophet's sayings are as follows:
"God will not have mercy upon one who does not have mercy for others." [Bukhari, Muslim and at-Tirmidhi].
"None of you [truly] believes until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself" [Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasai and Ibn Majah]
"He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbor remains hungry" [Al-Hakim, at-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi]
"He is not strong who knocks the other down; but strong is the one who controls himself when angry" [Bukhari and Muslim]
"God does not look at your bodies and faces but He looks at your hearts." [Muslim]
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