Purity for a Believer

Purity for a Believer

Update: Again my practice has evolved. To me there is a supplication or a turning point but it doesn’t involve any specific words. There is, however, a central idea. Mine was essentially something along the lines of “God guide me to you and take away EVERYTHING in my life that gets in the way, no matter how personal/intimate. I don’t care if you have to drag me kicking and screaming by one leg. Don’t stop until I am there, even if I beg you to stop.

So that was it for me. Until that point I couldn’t perform parts of my practice without feeling them as a sacrifice of obligation. Those “obligations” became more of a gift that was given to me. I still feel the same way of receiving gifts but what I am guided to do is different. It’s much more intimate yet more universal.

Old Version below.

I need to clarify something before we go further in talking about the Shahada. We cannot use the version that we “Bear Witness” that Muhammad is the messenger/prophet/slave of God. That is an outright lie.

We didn’t witness the Prophet becoming a messenger. We weren’t there with Muhammad and Gabriel when he was told to recite/read. Muhammad, Gabriel and God (as far as I know for certain) are the only ones that can bear witness to that. But what about bearing witness that God is The God? Well we did before this world; though we don’t have a memory of that. That is why, I believe, people who claim to not believe in God or follow religion still reach out to God in hardship.

And (remember) when thy Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves, (saying): Am I not your Lord? They said: Yea, verily. We testify. (That was) lest ye should say at the Day of Resurrection: Lo! of this we were unaware;

So be careful of your oath when it comes to the Shahada.

Allah will not take you to task for that which is unintentional in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which your hearts have garnered. Allah is Forgiving, Clement.

Here we see that the spirit of your Oath is what counts.If you believe in God above all else and do not ascribe ANY partners or Allies the Shahada with Muhammad, for Allah, is not a conflict of interest between God and the messenger. Even if you do it to bring you closer to God

Absolutely, the religion shall be devoted to GOD alone. Those who set up idols beside Him say, “We idolize them only to bring us closer to GOD; for they are in a better position!” GOD will judge them regarding their disputes. GOD does not guide such liars, disbelievers.

Then there are those, like myself, who fell in love with the type of man that the Prophet was. I intertwined the two in my mind and saw Muhammad as an integral part of the religion. Without him, I falsely believed, there would be no Islam.

Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye will turn back on your heels? He who turneth back on his heels doth no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful.

We see time and time again that Muhammad, like the other messengers, is nothing more than a warner. 

Stir not thy tongue herewith to hasten it. Lo! upon Us the putting together thereof and the reading thereof. And when We read it, follow thou the reading; Then lo! upon Us the explanation thereof. 

17:105 Truthfully, we sent it down, and with the truth it came down. We did not send you except as a bearer of good news, as well as a warner.

Say, “I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a profound warner.”

Links are to Corpus Quran

Looking back at my life there were times that I wasn’t praying regularly but I felt a strong connection to God. Then there were times that I was praying and doing everything that I was “supposed” to and yet, I felt very distant.

The obvious reason is the purity of my relationship with God. Without Salat I would talk to God regularly and be thankful and ask things of Him and KNEW that He would be listening and granting me those things. I would be constantly grateful for his blessings. We had a good relationship. It was me and God.

Unfortunately the common practices of Sunni Islam and maybe all sects of Islam (I speak from my experience as a former Sunni) add Muhammad in wherever they can. Some add Abraham or others.

The problem is adding people lessens the intimacy we share with God only. You can’t want to have an intimate relationship with a person and add another person there. The same with your relationship with God. We lose that intimacy and that is why, I believe, we aren’t supposed to add anyone into the Shahada, Salat, or Athan. 
God knows what’s in our hearts. There are those who may say the Shahada but only think of God so maybe they are rightly guided. I don’t think I have attained that level of purity. 

Remember that purity is what connects us to God and understanding His message(s?) to us.

 I swear by the positions of the stars. This is an oath, if you only knew, that is awesome. This is an honorable Quran. In a protected book. None can grasp it except the purified. A revelation from the Lord of the universe. Are you disregarding this narration? Do you make it your business that you disbelieve? When the time comes and it (your soul) reaches your throat— you will then look around. We are closer to it than you are, but you do not see. If it is true that you do not owe any accounting— why do you not restore (your soul), if you are truthful? If he is one of those close to Me— then joy, flowers, and gardens of bliss. And if he is one of the right—peace is the lot of those on the right. But if he is one of the disbelievers, the strayers—then an abode of inferno—and burning in Hell. This is the absolute truth. You shall glorify the name of your Lord, the Great.

Now I don’t believe that we shouldn’t know about the Prophet’s character but to what end. If you are looking for the life of the messenger as a sort of WWMD (What would Muhammad Do) a kind of guidance through examples then you should know this. There is very little about Muhammad in the Qu’ran but there are verses said to Muhammad that start with “Say” and we know he said this. This is his Sunnah. The rest of what you hear may or may not be right. Muhammad was averse to having his records recorded for fear of being ascribed as partner to God. Muhammad knew very well how easily people turned to worship other than God.

What a lot of people don’t realize is Muhammad was actually commanded to follow another Prophet. A Prophet who is spoken of vastly in the Qur’an. Abraham.

You shall strive for the cause of GOD as you should strive for His cause. He has chosen you and has placed no hardship on you in practicing your religion—the religion of your father Abraham. He is the one who named you Muslim originally. Thus, the messenger shall serve as a witness among you, and you shall serve as witnesses among the people. Therefore, you shall observe the Salat(Ritual Prayer) and give Zakat (obligatory charity), and hold fast to GOD; He is your Lord, the best Lord and the best Supporter.

When looking for what Muhammad would do we can look at Muhammad and Abraham’s examples in the Qur’an.

In case this resonates with you then talk to God and set your intention to purify your religion and ask for guidance. I made my intention to keep God high above all else no matter the cost. It is, to me, the right thing to do as a subject and benefactor of He who created me and everything I love. I can’t express my gratitude for my children or my life but I can follow what He says. The beauty is when I follow what he tells me to do it will also benefit me directly. How’s that for Beneficent?

I also want to add one final verse

The human being is impatient by nature. I will inevitably show you My signs; do not be in such a hurry.

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