I recently just heard a good lecture from a Shiekh about one's Islam being a house. I haven't finished the series of lectures but I wanted to share this little bit with you:
And the lecturer said, every house has a foundation first. Without a strong foundation, no house can stand. With a bad foundation, the house will not stand long.
In Islam, the foundation of that house is "tauhid". Tauhid is belief and practice and action of "la illaha il allah, muhumad abdu rasoolulah". It is the thing that makes you a Muslim/Muslimah or not. You have to testify and live believing/knowing "there is no God but Allah alone, and Muhummad is Allah's servant/slave and messenger."
You have to believe this, to be a Muslimah/Muslim.
The thing about tauhid, like the thing about the foundation of a house is, the foundation for the house of Islam (an Individual's belief and intention to understand tauhid) cannot be seen by others. Only by Allah subhanhu wa ta'ala.
Which is why in Islam, we are never allowed to judge the intentions of other Muslims, only their ACTIONS. Which is a mistake many Muslims these days are making when we jump into the the subject and issue of sects in Islam. ***I admit, before a more thorough Islamic education, this was also a mistake of my own.***
But what makes me feel better [and maybe you also, if you've ever been rowing the same boat] is that I am not the *only* Muslim to have made this mistake. :):
Usama ibn Zayd said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent us to al-Huraqa, a sub-tribe of Juhayna, and we came upon the people in the morning at their springs. A man of the Ansar and I overtook one of their men. When we descended on him, he said, "There is no god but Allah." The Ansari held back from him, but I stabbed him with my spear until I had killed him. When we arrived in Madina, that reached the Prophet and he said, "O Usama, did you kill him after he had said, "There is no god but Allah"?" I said, "Messenger of Allah, he was only trying to save himself out of fear from our weapons." He said, 'Did you then split open his heart so that you know whether he truly meant it when he said it or not?' He continued to repeat it until I wished that I had only become Muslim on that day." [Agreed upon]
Jundub ibn 'Abdullah reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent an expedition of the Muslims against some of the idolaters and they encountered them. There was one of the idolaters who, whenever he wanted to aim for one of the Muslims, went straight for him and killed him and then one of the Muslims went for him and killed him. We heard that it was Usama ibn Zayd. When he raised his sword, [the man] said, 'There is no god but Allah,' but he killed him anyway. When the man bringing news of the victory came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he questioned him. He told him what had happened, even telling him the story of the man and what he had done. He summoned him, questioned him and said, 'Why did you kill him?' He said, 'Messenger of Allah, he had hurt the Muslims and killed so-and-so and so-and-so,' and he named a group. 'I attacked him. When he saw my sword, he said, "There is no god but Allah"' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Did you kill him?' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'What will you do with 'There is no god but Allah' when it comes on the Day of Rising?' He said, 'Messenger of Allah, ask forgiveness for me.' He said, 'What will you do with 'There is no god but Allah' when it comes on the Day of Rising?' He did not add anything to his words: 'What will you do with 'There is no god but Allah' when it comes on the Day of Rising?'" [Muslim]
The foundation of the House of Islam is Tauhid, and belief and intention of tauhid, cannot be seen by others.
As the Sheikh continued, Tauhid is the foundation of the house, and those who correct their tauhid as is spelt out plainly in the Qu'ran and authentic sunnah as agreed upon by those who can verify the histories and narrations, will have a strong foundation to build the walls of their house upon. The House of Islam has four walls. Those walls are 1.) salat, 2.) paying zakat, 3.) fasting the month of Ramadan, 4.) making hajj if at all humanly possible.
If your understanding of Tauhid is incorrect, you will have walls that sink in places, or that are not strong enough to hold up a roof, or the wiring and plumbing [the rest of the Muslim ummah] will not fit in your house. If you do not believe in Tauhid, you will have no foundation whatsoever, and you will have walls that do not stand at all, unless you stand behind them before other's eyes, propping them up, like a cardboard set on a stage.
And the Sheikh went on to say, that the Muslim Caliphate, which is commanded upon all of the Muslims, is the roof of the House of Islam. Without a firm foundation in tauhid, without quality walls designed in the manner commanded of mankind in the Qu'ran [including Islamic knowledge thereof] that include the wiring and plumbing of all facets of the ummah, then that roof, that roof will not stand.
These days we have Muslims trying to build walls without foundations. These days we have Muslims trying wire the ummah to a roof that has nothing to rest itself upon.
The foundation is very important. Without it, the walls are to be dust that was nothing.
Abu 'Abdullah Tariq ibn Ashyam said "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'If anyone says, "There is no god but Allah" and rejects everything that is worshipped other than Allah, his property and life are inviolate and his reckoning is in the hands of Allah Almighty." [Muslim]
Abu Ma'bad al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'What do you think if I meet a man of the unbelievers and we fight and he strikes one of my hands with his sword and cuts it off and then takes shelter from me behind a tree and says, "I have surrendered to Allah." Should I kill him, Messenger of Allah, after he has said that?' He said, 'Do not kill him.' I said, 'Messenger of Allah, he cut off one of my hands and then said it after he cut it off!' He said, 'Do not kill him. If you kill him, then he is in the position you were in before you killed him and you are in the position he was in before he said the words he said.'" [Agreed upon]
We cannot see the foundation other Muslims are building upon, i.e we cannot judge their intentions or belief, but we can percieve the aboveground structure, their salat, their zakat, their fasting, and their effort to make hajj, as an indication of the existance and quality of their foundation. As fasting can be done for Allah alone, and hajj is allowed to be left off for those who are not able to, salat and zakat are two parts of Islam [ACTIONS, NOT INTENTIONS] Muslims may judge other Muslims on, because the Qu'ran says:
"If they repent [say the shahada] and establish the prayer and pay zakat, let them go on their way." (9:5)
Which means, we may judge Muslims for the actions of NOT PRAYING AND NOT PAYING ZAKAT. This is reinforced by various ahadith.
Ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and establish the prayer and pay the zakat. If they do that, their lives and property are protected from me except for the right of Islam, and their reckoning is in the hands of Allah." [Agreed upon]
Abdullah ibn 'Utba ibn Mas'ud reported that he heard 'Umar ibn al-Khattab say, "Some people were dealt with by the revelation in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The revelation has ceased. Now we deal with you according to what is clear to us from your actions. If anyone shows us good [doing the things enjoined upon him by the Qu'ran and the Messenger of Allah], we trust him and honour him. We know nothing of his inward. Allah will call him to reckoning in respect of his inward. If anyone shows us evil [partaking in that was forbidden to humanity in the Qu'ran and evidenced in the sunnah], we do not trust him and do not believe him, even if he says that his inward is good." [al-Bukhari]
Thus Muslims are forbidden to judge eachother's intentions, only their actions.
I hear alot of Muslims judging eachother's intentions, because they have NO KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER of another person's actions, or of their own religion they are making judgement's in the name of. That has to stop.
THE CURE IS TAUHID UNDERSTOOD<>
Maybe one day the HOUSE OF ISLAM could have a roof again, if we could do that.
It's a beautiful dream, now isn't it?
Love you all for the sake of Allah,