Friday, May 22, 2009

Kalimah Tayyabah

A few days ago I was saying my prayers, after my prayers I sat on the carpet and started saying Kalima Tayyabah (without voice). Then I started to think how much important this 24 letter Kalimah Tayyabah is in our lives. (please don't take me as a barailvi follower who use to recite Kalimah Tayyabah with high voice after every prayer like a poem or something 'no offense')

Kalimah Tayyabah is the basic of Islam. The first 12 letters are always the most important. But the last 12 letters are also most important for us as we are the ummah of Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon Him). (Hazrat is a word used in repect).

As I'm writing I'm very upset that some readers might take me wrong at some places so if it is so, please be patient and if I forget to clear-up anything, please tell me, and it'll all be cleared at the end InshaALLAH.

So, let's talk about the first 12 letters first. It means:

None worshipable but ALLAH


Worshipable isn't the correct word here by the way, and that makes all the confusion. There is no substitute for the arabic word ilah in English. Ilah is not only the one who is worshipable. Ilah is everything. If someone say it means the one who is worshipable I would say that's right. If someone say it means the one you remember when you are in desperate need I'd say "that's right". If someone say that It means the one who rules us and everything around us and beyond, I'd say "yes ofcourse". But that's not all. The meanings are great and huge in number. So, in short, Kalimah Tayyabah can't be translated.

When we read something (some book etc. ) we, mostly can, understand it fully when reading. Our brains can process everything in the sentence. While reading, we create sceneries or places in our mind, the people are created and they start talking to eachother like it is written in the book (a novel or some story etc.) because the contents of the book are small (though the book is big). But Kalimah Tayyabah is the other way round. Our brains cannot process it. At least my brain can't.

When we look around ourselves we see people, animals, birds, plants, tables, chairs, the sun and the stars and so on. We pay attention to them because they are visible to us and we, somewhat, start liking them. For example, someone say, I like my computer, I like it's keyboard, I like this I like that etc. etc. This is because they all have somewhat a place in his/her heart. But if you watch these things closely, these are all idols and some people, kind of, worship them.


Take this computer for example. You might have heard scientists say, "If there had been no computer it wouldn't have been possible to create a space shuttle." or "If there had been no computer we wouldn't have been able to find and create new elements" or "Computer makes our lives easier, without a computer life today would've been miserable". If you look closely, aren't they worshipping it when they say computer is the need of 21st century, computer is a need of every house and we cannot live without it etc. etc.??

They have, this way, created an idol in their heart. An idol of computer. Similarly there are many idols like Idol of America, Idol of a Lion, Idol of a Superman or Spiderman etc. etc.


But ALLAH and Ghair ALLAH(anything/anyone other than ALLAH) cannot live in the same heart at once. So we need to get rid of these Idols so that our heart becomes a place for ALLAH.

Do you think I'm asking you to become a monk or a priest or something??? No! Absolutely not! InshaALLAH I'll show you what it actually means.

If you're confused about how can ALLAH live in a heart??? Ok, let me tell you a few things. You know that Masjid is a House of ALLAH. You know that Ka'abah is House of ALLAH, so if they can be a house of ALLAH why can't a heart be a house of ALLAH? If you ask me how can ALLAH live in a place so small??? Then I say, physically Ka'abah isn't big either. So please don't waste your time in thinking about physics. It's worthless and it's wastage of time.

In Qur'an-e-Majeed, ALLAH says:
"They love them like love of ALLAH and those who have faith love ALLAH the most"


Before this ayah in the Qur'an ALLAH says,
"Their hearts are filled with that Ijl (cow child)" (this ayah continues to above ayah)


The above ayah is about bani Israel who started to worship a cow child made of gold

So, ALLAH says in the above ayah that their hearts are filled with that cow child. If we see, haven't people filled their hearts with many worldly things too?? In the ayah above ALLAH says They love them like love of ALLAH. If someone have filled his/her heart with things other than ALLAH, isn't he/she conforming to this category of people too? But we love ALLAH more than anything else we fill our hearts with ALLAH and this is what we learn from Kalima Tayyabah.

As it is a common rule to introduce the problem first and give the solution later. I hope that I have introduced the problem. Almost all worldly things around us are a fitna as Our Last Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be upon him) said after he picked up Hazrat Imam Hassan (RA) and Imam Hussain (RA):


ALLAH rightly says "Your assets and your children are a fitna (test)"


If you look closely, Kalima Tayyabah is an answer, a solution, to almost all the fitnas.

When we say La ilaha illa ALLAH we reject the love of all the worldly things and accept ALLAH as our lord.

If you see the wording of Kalimah Tayyabah, the sequence is somewhat like this:

"None worshippable" is the first part
"but ALLAH" is the next part.

Have you ever thought that it could've been like this too:
"ALLAH is the one and only ila"

This is also correct meaningwise but why the sequence of Kalimah Tayyabah is like the above one. That first it say No-one is worshippable and then except (but) ALLAH?

There may be many good reasons some of which I know and some of which I don't. But the remarkable reasons here are two.

1. ALLAH and Ghair ALLAH (anyone/anything other than ALLAH) can not live in the same heart. This is only demonstrated by Kalimah Tayyabah (the sequence I created doesn't demonstrate this). If we are saying Kalimah Tayyabah with our heart conforming with our tongue, it means we are negating everything except ALLAH.


You see some people they say if they see a miracle they will accept Islam (they want ALLAH to come and clean up the mess in their hearts). But if something/someone other than ALLAH lives in someone's heart, ALLAH doesn't live in that heart at all. When their heart is empty and cleaned-up from everything else only then that heart can become the home of ALLAH.


2. It also demonstrates to us that we are worshipping ALLAH only if we are not worshipping anyone/anything else. If we worship anything else then we are not worshipping ALLAH no matter if we think we are.
If one doesn't fulfil the first phrase he/she cannot move to the second one. i.e. If La ilaha is not fulfilled il-ALLAH isn't conformed with either.

A related fitna (related to point number 2) will rise to it's extreme in the time of dajjal. RasooluLLAH Mohammad (Peace be upon him) said that if a Mo'min will face dajjal he will not remain a mo'min no matter if he thinks he is, except Hazrat Issa (Alaih-e-As-SALAM)(Jesus). So, if we hear that dajjal is coming, all we can do is run away as fast as we can.


So, when a man says La ilaha il'ALLAH he first rejects everything ( whether it is a mountain or a stone or the sun or the moon or the stars or the solar system or the universe or the angels or the prophets or his own self whatever the thing and how powerful the thing may be other than ALLAH) from worshipping and accepts only ALLAH Almighty as his Lord.

This is Tazkia (cleaning one's heart). Cleaning one's heart from all kinds of dirt and idols. This is what this small Kalima Tayyaba teaches us. This is what makes us a Muslim.

He is successful who did the tazkia and remembered the name of his Lord. So, offered prayers Surah Aa'la


As Kalima Tayyabah is a great gift of ALLAH to us Muslims in particular to clean our hearts from idols that we create for ourselves. We should not take it lightly and pay it the due respect. Often remember this Kalimah Tayyabah not only with our tongues but our hearts too. Hazrat Issa (Alaih-e-As-SALAM) informed their people about the ummah of Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) that Kalimah Tayyabah (which is there since long) would be easy for the ummah of Mohammad (Peace be upon Him). So, if Kalima Tayyabah is a small and easy Kalimah for you, then this doesn't mean this is easy for everyone. This is a gift of ALLAH to you. Pay it the respect it deserves and remind yourself (your heart, your body, your soul) often with Kalimah Tayyabah that there is none worshippable but ALLAH.

2 comments:

Umm Omar said...

Excellent post, brother! I just learned recently this concept of negating all other things when we say the kalima. The shikh who was talking about it described it like this-if one person says, "Mohammed is standing" we know Mohammed is standing-ok-but we don't know if anyone is standing with him, maybe yes, maybe no. But when it's said like this-"no one is standing but Mohammed" we are denying that anyone else is standing and confirming that only Mohammed alone is standing.
Anyway, on a different point, I don't see how the kalima should not be considered a pillar, because prayer, hajj, zakat, and fasting can all be done over and over without any sincerity (May Allah protect us from that). On the other hand, the kalima adds a quality of sincerity to our actions and practice of Islam.
Again, great post!

Aurangzeb said...

Thanks Umm-e-Omar you've taught me the meaning of the First ayah of Surah-e-Fatiha. JazakALLAH!

I'm altering my post and removing those lines about Kalimah Tayyabah being a base soon InshaALLAH and I shall elaborate what I've learned and how I was wrong.