In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
THE ISLAMIC CREED: LAILAH ILA ALLAH MUHAMMAD ROSULULLAH
All praise is for Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of the universe. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever Allah guides, cannot be lead astray and whomever Allah does not guide, none can guide him. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone without associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, his companions and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Allah, the Exalted, says: “There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects Taghut (false deities, evils, false judgment, etc) and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” Q2:256
“Verily this is My Way (Islam) leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you that ye may be righteous.” Q6:153
“O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Evil One; for he is to you an avowed enemy.” Q2:208
"Verily those who say, "Our Lord is Allah" and remain firm (on that Path) on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. Such shall be Companions of the Garden dwelling therein (for aye): a recompense for their (good) deeds.” Q46:13-14
"Those who reject (disbelieves in) Allah, hinder (men) from the Path of Allah and OPPOSE the Apostle after Guidance has been clearly shown to them will not injure Allah in the least but He (Allah) will make their DEEDS FRUITLESS. O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and MAKE NOT VAIN YOUR DEEDS. Those who reject Allah and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah then die rejecting Allah, Allah will not forgive them." Q47:32-34
Whoever believes and proclaims the Islamic Creed, "There is no other deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" is declaring that he/she has accepted the superiority of Allah, His commandments and the superiority of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Sunnah over every other thing including but not limited to his/her personal DESIRES. That he/she has accepted Allah as the creator of everything and has SUBMITTED to HIS commandments and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). That his/her worship, supplications, invocations, sacrifice, vows, hope, fear, seeking help, trust, etc are exclusively to Allah and these will be done according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He/she is expected to fully understand the implications of the affirmation of oneness of Allah (Tauhid Ar-Rububuyah), affirmation of oneness of Allah's worship (Tauhid Al-Uluhiyah) and Names and Attributes of Allah (Tauhid Al-Asma-was-Sifat). The reward of acts of worship (Salat, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj, etc) depends on the correct understanding of Islamic monotheism and intentions.
While it is not compulsory on anybody to believe in Islamic Creed, it is a serious thing for a person that proclaims the creed to act contrary to its teachings, campaign or relegate Islamic teachings and values. Allah says:
"Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day" but they do not (really) believe. Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe but they only deceive themselves and realize (it) not! In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease and grievous is the penalty they (incur) because they are false (to themselves)." Q2:8-10
Belief or faith in Allah requires that ones personal desires or principles should not be placed over the commandments of Allah. Faith implies loving Allah and His Messengers above every other thing. Islam teaches that we should be kind to our parents and people in general but we should not love them when they oppose Allah and His Messengers. This means we should not prefer them to Allah and His Apostle, it does not mean we should deny them their rights or fight them, we should tolerate them without compromising Islamic values. Allah says:
"And We have enjoined on man to be good to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command) "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge obey them not; Yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration) and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love): in the End the return of you all is to Me and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did." Q31:14-15.
“Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His Apostle even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow to dwell therein (for ever). Allah will be well pleased with them and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity.” Q58:22
Anas narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Whoever possesses the (following) three qualities will have the sweetness of faith (1): The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else; (2) Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's Sake; (3) who hates to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the Fire." (Bukhari 9.74)
Allah, the Exalted, says in Qur'an Chapter 5:
44.It was We who revealed the law (to Moses); therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews by the Prophet who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah's will by the Rabbis and the doctors of Law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. If any do FAIL TO JUDGE by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) UNBELIEVERS.
45. We ordained therein for them: "Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal." But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any FAIL TO JUDGE by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) WRONG-DOERS.
46. And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary confirming the law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light and confirmation of the law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.
47. Let the PEOPLE OF THE GOSPEL JUDGE by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do FAIL TO JUDGE by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) THOSE WHO REBEL.
48. To thee We sent the Scripture in truth confirming the scripture that came before it and guarding it in safety; so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed and follow not their vain desires diverging from the truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed He would have made you a single people but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.
49. And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed and follow not their vain desires but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away be assured that for some of their crimes it is Allah's purpose to punish them. AND TRULY MOST MEN ARE REBELLIOUS.
50. DO THEY THEN SEEK AFTER A JUDGMENT OF (THE DAYS OF) IGNORANCE? BUT WHO FOR A PEOPLE WHOSE FAITH IS ASSURED CAN GIVE BETTER JUDGMENT THAN ALLAH?
Nowadays, many people oppose laws of Allah but promote laws made by human beings and their personal opinions and desires yet they proclaim the Islamic Creed. We should be very careful on this in order not to render our hard-earned good deeds fruitless (Q47:32-34). Allah, the Exalted, warns:
“…Then let those beware who OPPOSE the Apostle's order lest some trial befall them or a grievous Penalty be inflicted on them.”Q24:63
"It is not fitting for a believer man or woman when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Apostle to have any option about their decision: if anyone DISOBEYS Allah and His Apostle he is indeed on A CLEARLY WRONG PATH.”Q33:36
“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves refer it to Allah and His Apostle if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best and most suitable for final determination.” Q4:59
Brothers and sisters in Islam, let us purify our faith in Allah and follow His commandments and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). May Allah have mercy on us and increase us in faith in Him. May Allah count us among the people that will witness the coming Ramadan and forgive our shortcomings.
Peace be on you