Tales From A Mosque (5): The Power of Shahadah

Imam Faraj just finished his regular lecture about basic principles of Islam for non-believers, taking place in the Islamic Cultural Centre of an Austrian Mosque every week since Monday to Thursday in the morning, and he felt quite a satisfaction.

Although it was a beautiful Spring day outside, Imam Faraj knew, how much are those lectures important, to be a firm and active part of the Austrian society, not to remain isolated, on the contrary, to take an important part, to present the Islamic faith and the mosque, adding Islamic values into the Austrian social flow softly but firmly, where these always found the right places inside hearts and minds of people.

Imam Faraj learnt a lot about persuading and influencing people, when he had to become a lecturer in front of several dozen non-believers, kaffirs, sometimes even hostile, coming here with a clear plan to disrupt the lecture somehow, simply to show their rejecting stance to Islam, or to ask extreme and misleading, provocative questions deliberately, or even to insult him directly.

But he discovered, that mass of people has certain psychological specifics, and it was possible to keep control of the situation, if he used practical examples and interesting facts, describing Islam as an exciting life adventure, so the listeners caught attention, the lecture could go smoothly until the end, and people left peaceful and enhanced.

The Imam even welcomed such challenges, as he felt, that people, who resist Islam the most, often need Islam the most, as they are missing something really important in their life. And it was his mission to offer them guidance, inspiration, walkthrough and clear, real, simple and effective solution, so they could make the most of the rest of their lives.

Before they left, he always managed to make them impressed, feeling, that there is an alternative path existing and opened widely for them, and many of them were hungry to know more: and he achieved this only by telling them the truth about Islam, about countless blessings the Straight Path brings to a believer both in life and afterlife.

When some of them returned later and asked to be accepted officially into the Ummah, the Islamic community, to become Muslims by reciting Shahadah, the first pillar of Islam, from their hearts in front of witnesses, Imam Faraj perceived this as completely natural thing, as the ultimately strong voice of Allah was heard by more and more people everywhere around the world, discovering the only perfected and complete religion, plus the immense advantages and benefits it brought to them, if they were willing to submit themselves to Allah’s will, removing their fragile and weak egos from the rule, once and forever, stopping the endless wandering and doubts about self value and purpose.

“This is the most important decision in your life,” Imam always told them, to emphasize the importance of this critical moment. “All things in the world you ever admired, all people of the world you ever loved, they are all transient, they can leave you at any moment, making you unhappy, lonely and damaged. So where to find real stability, certainty, needed by every human as water? Only Allah is eternal and omnipresent, all seeing, all hearing, all knowing.

He is the only one who can provide you with certainty and security you need, plus endless Mercy and Compassion. Allah can give you all the things you really need to become the best person you can be not only for yourself, but also for your vicinity, for the world. Following Him, doing good deeds, then you will become a subject of positive change, and He will grant you countless rewards, which you will discover every day, every minute of your life.

Have a look: you made it this far in life under His protection and blessings, and it means one thing: He has intentions with you. Serve Him with your best abilities and intentions, worship Him, keep your heart pure, preserve peace, do good things, and then you will find paradise, and life will become an ultimate adventure even without wealth and travelling far.

Every Muslim, rich or poor, man or woman, has clear and simple, but the most noble mission. As a servant of Allah, you become the voice of truth and purity, you will become the best individual you can be. You will stop living only for transient pleasures and transient satisfaction of your alleged needs, you will become a firm and important part of something much beyond worldly powers and experience, much beyond any worldly success you could ever achieve.

With every step you will make on the ground, He will watch you, He will guard you, He will remove obstacles from your path, He will enlighten your way to peace and freedom, and all He asks is to acknowledge Him and to worship Him.

If you submit to His might, if you accept the fate that He created for you without hesitation and doubts, if you will follow Him with your heart, then, your life is fulfilled and complete, there is nothing important missing, then there is nothing important to lose. You have everything, if you have Him, and you will become a respected and loved part of a large human community, where anyone is your brother or sister, where nobody is alone, despised, humiliated or forgotten.”

No wonder, that after this strong statement, no one ever stepped back to reconsider. And concurrently, no one ever returned to Imam complaining, on the contrary: they shared their exciting tales of finding the personal meaning and content of Islam.

“I always dreamed about going on a exciting journey which will never end,” a middle aged woman, originally a teacher from a high school and later a household woman from a VIP suburbs, confessed. “I visited all that attractive places around the world, and still, I felt empty. I acquired all that alleged worldly values, house, car, money, a rich husband who could fulfill my girlish dreams, and still, I was hungry for more, always searching and never finding. But as a Muslim? The life became exciting, interesting, fulfilling. I go to sleep pleasantly tired but satisfied, I wake up with joy, energy, motivation and curiosity.

There is always something to do, to improve myself, my knowledge and thus my faith: I became simply curious again, and I never expected how immensely rich this ultimate religion is, although rules are so simple.

The feeling I have is pure gratitude. How could five daily prayers be bothering for me, or my other duties as a Muslim? My prayers can’t repay all the gifts I was granted!

When I was starting to learn Salat, my whole body was so tired, like if I would be excising in a gym. But then, Allah granted my muscles to improve, my body to become more flexible, and I feel so young and fresh again. Bowing to Him, prostrating to Him, my body moves so smoothly, like if it was created for prayers.

Yes, without any doubt, I became younger, even without using all that alleged miraculous cosmetic creams…”

Against the will of her husband, she returned to learning later, choosing a school in a so called bad neighbourhood voluntarily. He told her: “You won’t return home once, these kids are dangerous, they will stab you…”

To those objections, she said: “They won’t hurt me, as it’s almighty Allah who protects me. He will help me to avoid all dangers, and even if something should happen to me, it’s only His decision, a part of the path He created for me, and I will submit to Him, always.

The time of us all humans is limited here – but there is yet another part, awaiting us, so nothing will ever end, it only changes.

If you did good deeds and you worshipped Him properly… how could you be scared of that moment, when you will pass away? On the contrary, if that moment has to come, you should welcome it, because in the afterlife, if you followed your destiny, set by Him… you will always find paradise.”

“So you don’t mind that you would leave our children, and me?” the husband was upset.

“Am I a bad wife, and a bad mother, if I say from my heart, that Allah will always be at first place of my personal values?” she asked a rhetorical, but quite shocking question. “It’s Him who teaches me, how to succeed in these most challenging tasks, so you, my beloved ones, can receive a better version of me, you can have more of my love and care, a gift from Him. But it’s only Him who will be allowed to judge me, how I took care of my beloved family.

There is always a doubt whether you could do yet more, whether you took care enough, whether you sacrificed enough for people you love, for others. But this is not what Allah wants: sacrifices and suffering and giving others everything from you to save them, and you to become dependent on me, a human with mistakes and bad moods.

Only He is almighty, taking care of us all, whether we know it or not. Any person can find balance, peace, happiness, love, if he or she follows Him.

Put Him at the first place, become only His servant, and then, you won’t be dependent on anyone, including me. You will liberate yourself, and only a free person can really love, really give.

Islam is the only way to real freedom, and for anybody; including you, me, our children.”

The second day, her husband decided to follow her into the mosque for the first time.

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