by Fatima Barkatulla
Brother ARG I have to tell you about this because I've learnt many da'wah points of wisdom from you and other Du'at:
The message of the Prophet reaches another heart:
Ma sha Allah a few weeks ago in Birmingham I had the opportunity by the grace of Allah to take a sister's Shahadah. It was the first time somebody repeated the Shahadah after me and so I found it very moving as I had been making du'a that Allah would give me that chance. It went something like this (I've called her 'D'):
D had been told that she could attend the tarbiyah programme to get to know more about Muslims, so she was sitting in the tarbiyah programme hall and had been observing us teaching salaah, wudhu and recitation of Suratul Fatiha with Tajweed. Then after my talk I was walking past her when it looked like she wanted to say something. So I went over to her and asked her if all was OK.
"How are you finding it?"
"Good...yeah....er...I just wanted to ask you what a person has to do to become a Muslim."
"Oh." I said, "you think you might like to?"
"Well, I don't really know how to do anything and I don't know if I could do it all..."
"Well you know, it takes time and slowly slowly you learn more everyday and do more. You can't be expected to do everything all at once or know everything all at once. Look at us....even we are still learning." I said. She nodded. "So look, do you believe that there is only One God and He alone deserves to be worshipped?"
"Yeah" she said...she had been reading and learning and she was definitely sure about that one.
"OK, and do you know about the Prophet Muhammad?"
"Well, I've read about him"
"OK, so are you convinced that he was a Prophet of God. The last messenger?
"You accept that?" I was getting excited by now!
"Then you are already a Muslim. You just need to declare it so that you acknowledge it to God and to us Muslims. That's the Shahadah, you're testifying that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, the One and Only God and that Muhammad is the messenger of God." She nodded sweetly. "So, D, are you ready? You don't have to do it on the microphone or anything."
"The most important thing now is to declare what you believe. So that you'll be counted as a Believer. Because we don't know what could happen to any one of us when we walk out of this place tonight. May Allah protect us but we don't know when death will come."
She looked down, nodding and then raised her head and said "Yeah. I'm ready."
Then I sat down next to her. Some sisters had figured out something big was going on and had begun to congregate around us. Some sat next to her.
"Could you explain what I have to say first."
"Yeah. You say Ash hadu Allaa ilaaha illallah. Wa Ash hadu anna muhammadan rasoolullah. Which means, I bear witness or I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. OK?" She nodded. "What was your religion before this?" I asked.
"Nothing" she said. I'd asked her, to make sure that if she had been a Christian, that she definitely believed that Jesus was a Prophet and not the son of God. Sometimes Christians find that concept hard to let go of, but in her case it wasn't an issue.
"OK so repeat after me. We'll say it in Arabic and then in English."
Then she repeated the Shahadah after me in Arabic. In the middle of it I couldn't stop the tears flowing and had to stop for a moment to gather myself. I found it so moving at that moment to feel that the message of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) had indeed reached so far, over the world and that we, in the middle of Rum (Rome as the Arab's called Europe at that time) were sitting here taking a persons declaration of faith in the message that that kind shepherd, the orphan who became the leader and liberator of Arabia had come with (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) How truly momentous each and every Shahadah is. It reminds me of the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam at his farewell pilgrimage when he was so careful to ask the people gathered at Arafah "Have I conveyed the message?" And they replied in unison "Yes!" And he said to Allah "Oh Allah bear witness!"
And in this Hadeeth: One day when the Prophet returned from a journey and went to Fatima’s house, Fatima welcomed him and kissed his face, his mouth and his eyes and wept. “Why do you cry?” the Prophet asked. “I see you, O Rasul Allah,” she said, “Your colour is pale and sallow and your clothes have become worn and shabby.” “O Fatima,” the Prophet replied tenderly, “don’t cry for Allah has sent your father with a mission which He would cause to affect every house on the face of the earth whether it be in towns, villages or tents (in the desert) bringing either glory or humiliation until this mission is fulfilled just as night (inevitably) comes.”
How I wished I could tell the Prophet how far his message had come! "Yes! Oh Prophet of Allah...you indeed conveyed the message! The whole world testifies!"
Then she completed repeating the Shahadah after me in Arabic and then in English. By now a large crowd of sisters had gathered around us. All silently observing this miracle. The miracle of Hidaayah or guidance. How Allah turns a person towards Him and guides them and makes them into our Sisters and Brothers in Islam. The sisters embraced her and called out Takbeers. One sister who had embraced Islam just a few months earlier said to her "You've made the right decision sister. You won't regret it!"
I encouraged the sisters not to allow this to be the end of their love and enthusiasm for this sister. That is was our responsibility to open up our homes, to really make this sister a member of our families.
Some responsible sisters took on the role of being mentor to her and exchanged email addresses and phone numbers. We emphasised Salah to her (even just doing the actions and reciting some basic things like Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah and Allahu Akbar during salah until she learns it properly and keeping away from Major sins....insha Allah over time, by keeping to Salah she will become stronger and do more and more.
I felt like it was the best day of my life so far and when I got home I did Sajdah of Thanks to Allah.