Prayer Time

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Dr. Benoist is a doctor and he came from a fanatically Catholic family. Yet his ‎‎vocational choice, medicine, provided him a career in positive, experimental, ‎‎and natural sciences.

Let us listen to Dr. Benoist as he speaks about his story himself: ‎‎

With ‎‎respect to religion, I was at complete loggerheads with the other members of ‎‎my family. Yes, there was a great Creator, and I believed in Him, i.e. Allah. Yet ‎‎the absurdities concocted by Christians, especially by Catholics, various ‎‎mysterious gods, sons, holy ghosts, the preposterous fibs fabricated for the ‎‎purpose of proving that Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him), is the son of God, a myriad of other ‎‎superstitions, ceremonies and rites pushed me away from Christianity, instead ‎‎of attracting me towards it. 

Because I held the belief in one God, I would never accept trinity, nor would I ‎‎by any means recognize Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) as the son of God. That means to say that, long before knowing Islam, I had already accepted the initial half of the ‎‎Kalimat-ul-Shahada (the testimony of faith), i.e. the part that says, “LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH ... (There is no God but Allah...)” When I began to study the Islamic religion and read Surah Ikhlas‎‎ (chapter) of Qur'an, which purported:

{قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ * لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ * وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ}.

[Say: He, Allah, is One * Allah is He on Whom all depend * He begets not, nor is He begotten * And there is none like Him]. (Qur'an:112).

said: O my Allah. My belief is exactly the same. I felt immense relief. I ‎‎realized that it is of paramount importance to study Islam more deeply.

And as I studied Islam I saw with admiration that this religion was completely ‎‎agreeable with my ideas. Islam looked on religious men, and even on prophets ‎‎‎(peace be upon them), as ordinary people like us; it did not divinize them. Giving a priest authority to forgive people's sins was something which Islam would never accept. The Islamic religion did not contain any superstitions, any ‎‎irrational rules, or any unintelligible subjects. The Islamic religion was a logical ‎‎one, exactly as I wanted.

Contrary to the Catholics, it did not smudge human beings with the ‎‎‎consequences of the so-called original sin. It enjoined physical and ‎‎spiritual cleanliness on human beings. Cleanliness, which is an essential ‎‎principle in medicine, is in Islam a commandment of Allah. Islam ‎‎commanded to clean oneself before acts of worship, and that is a quality which I had never seen in any other religion.

In some Christian rites, such as Baptism and the Eucharist, people consume ‎‎the bread and wine offered by the priest in the name of the flesh and blood of ‎‎Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him), which is intended, so to speak, as a simulated unity with Isa ‎‎(Jesus, peace be upon him), i.e. with God, (may Allah protect us from holding such beliefs!). I saw ‎‎the resemblance between these rites and those of the most primitive heathens, ‎‎and hated them.

My mind, which had improved under the guidance of positive science, ‎‎‎vehemently rejected these puerile rites which did not suit to a true religion. ‎‎Islam, on the other hand, did not accommodate any of those things. There was ‎‎only truth, love, and cleanliness in Islam.

Eventually, I made up my mind. I visited my Muslim friends and asked them ‎‎what I should do to become a Muslim. They taught me the ‎‎(statement called) ‎‎Kalimat-ul-Shahada (the testimony of faith), how to say it and what it meant. As I have mentioned earlier, before becoming a Muslim, I had accepted its first half, i.e. the part that meant, “There is no God but Allah ...” It was not difficult, therefore, to accept the remaining part, which said: "...and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger". I was now studying momentous books written about the Islamic religion.

When I read one of them, namely, 'Le Phénomène Coranique', a very lovely ‎‎book prepared by Malik Bannabi, I saw with amazement and admiration what a ‎‎tremendous book Qur'an was. The facts written in that book of Allah which was revealed fourteen centuries before now are in precise conformance with the results of today's scientific and technological research. Both from scientific and technological points of view and with respect to sociological activities, the Qur'an is a guide book not only today, but also forever.

On the twentieth day of February, 1953, I went to the Paris mosque and ‎‎‎accepted Islam officially in the presence of Mufti Effendi and the witnesses, and ‎‎I was given the name Ali Salman.  

I love this new religion of mine. I am very happy and I emphasized the firmness ‎‎of my belief in Islam by frequently saying the (statement called) Kalimat-ul-‎‎Shahada (the testimony of faith) and pondering over its meaning.

Furthermore, the testimony of faith (LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH), “There is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah", is the decisive criterion by which ‎‎man is judged to be a Muslim or a disbeliever. This testimony is the foundation upon which Islam is based. The concept of life, the universe and man is diffused from it, and upon it is based the message of all Messengers beginning with Noah and ending with Muhammad, (peace be upon them all). 

Allah, the Exalted says:

{وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ}.

[And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, "There is no deity except Me, so worship Me"]. (Qur'an 21:25).

Allah has created men and jinn and the rest of creation on account of the ‎‎testimony of faith, there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah. ‎‎Consequently everything in this universe submits in worship to Allah, to Whom ‎‎belong the creation and the authority. He is aware of all things. 

The testimony comprises of two concepts: denial and affirmation.

First: The testimony of faith denies everyone and everything other than Allah, ‎‎the Exalted, and the attribute of divinity. All those other than Allah, such as the ‎‎angels, the Prophets, and the rest of mankind, let alone the idols and the ‎‎political regimes in the world, are not gods nor do they deserve to be ‎‎worshipped. Thus denial in this respect is not denial of the existence of the ‎‎alleged gods, rather the denial of divinity which is attributed to them. 

Second: The testimony of faith affirms and restricts divinity to Allah Alone. That ‎‎is, the slave must believe that Allah is the only true God and dedicate ‎‎accordingly no act of worship to other than Allah. 

Since worship with all its legitimate acts and rites must be dedicated only to ‎‎the God who deserves it, therefore, the true God to whom worship must be ‎‎dedicated is the one who enjoys certain attributes, some of which are: 

1. Divinity: the Oneness of Allah Who is singled out as the only true God ‎‎‎having no partner to share His divine attributes, nor His domain. 

2. Self-sufficiency: Allah stands in need of no one; He needs neither a helper ‎‎nor a spouse nor a son. 

3. The capability of doing everything: There is nothing which frustrates His ‎‎capability. He does anything He wishes without exhaustion or support. If He ‎‎wills to do a thing, He only says to it, "Be", and it happens. 

4. The absolute life which is unaffected by perishment: Allah is Everlasting. 

5. Alertness: Allah never sleeps nor is He heedless, He is neither seized by ‎‎slumber nor sleep. 

6. Inclusive proprietorship: All existing things belong to Allah alone. 

7. Knowledge: Allah's knowledge encompasses the whole universe that even ‎‎an ant weight does not escape His knowledge. 

8. Pride and grandeur: There is nothing greater that Allah neither in His ‎‎‎essence or in his grandeur nor in his supremacy. 

9. Merciful beneficence: Allah does not wrong a thing or punish unjustly rather ‎‎He loves His devotees, and forgives the sins of those who repent to Him.

However, the second half of the testimony of faith is “Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God”. It means that Prophet ‎‎Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. 

One must therefore worship Allah only according to his teachings alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah.

One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. Allah says:

{وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ}.

[And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character]. (Qur’an 68:4).

Allah also said:

{لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا}.

[And in deed you have a good and upright example in the ‎‎Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and remembers Allah much]. (Qur’an 33:21).

He was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an, in his sayings, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied:

[كَانَ خُلُقُهُ الْقُرْآنَ].

[His character was that of the Qur’an]. (Recorded by Ahmad 42/183).

To truly adhere to the second half of the testimony of faith is to follow his example in all walks of life. Allah says:

{قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي...}.

[Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you ‎‎(really) love Allah, then follow me…]. (Qur’an 3:31).

It also means that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Final Prophet and Messenger of Allah, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him. Allah says:

{مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا}.

[Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything]‎‎(Qur’an 33:40).

All those who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are ‎‎imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief.

 

 

References:

1. Allah's miracles in the Qur'an, by Harun Yahya.

2. The Cross and the Crescent: Understanding the Muslim Heart and Mind, By Phil Parshall.

3. Islam Our Choice.

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