IMAN means Belief.  That is to have Faith.  To believe that

Allah Ta’ala is One.  That He has no partner, no father, mother, wife and so has no

son or daughter; and that there is nothing else that is worthy of

praise, or worship except Him ‑Alone and to equally testify that

Muhammed (S.A.W.) is His servant and messenger.

      This Kalimah is simple and can be uttered in a few sentences

which can easily be pronounced by anybody without much difficulty.

The Kalimah is:

"La ilaha Illa Allah Muhammad Rasulu llah" (SAW).


Meaning:    There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that

Muhammad (S.A.W.) is the messenger of Allah.

      Anyone who pronounced this has legally become a Muslim, and a

member of that noble Din, Al‑Islam.  But the question is, "What

difference does this Kalimah create?"

      On pronouncing these words a man is expected to have radically



      A few moments ago he was a 'kafir,' now he has become a

Muslim.  He was impure, now he is pure.  He hated Allah and His

Apostles and the Holy books, but now he declares his love for them.

He deserved Allah's wrath and displeasure, now he deserves to be

loved by Him (SWT).  He was going into Hell, now he is on his way

to paradise because the gates of heaven are now opened for him.  He

was a drunkard, a drug trafficker, an armed robber, a liar, an

oppressor, a backbiter, a fornicator and all what have you, but now

he is innocent of all these vices.


      He has neither fasted before nor given Zakat but he is now

ready to do them in good faith.  He was an adulterer and a fornicator

but today he says no to all these.  He has purified himself from

all these impure, inhuman, animalistic, nonsensical behaviours, he

is now a reformed man, like a new born baby, free of sins.  He was

Samson but today he is Shamsudeen.  He was Jackson but today he is

Abdul Jabbar.  He was Cat Stevens but today he is Yusuf  Islam.

She was Cecilia but today she is Fatimah.  She was Margaret Marcus

of New York but today she is Maryam Jameelah.  What a big

difference can this few words create!


      On a more concrete level in social life, this Kalimah becomes

the basis for differentiating one man from another. (By way of

dressing, behaviour, utterances, and morality)  Those who recite it

constitute a nation while those who reject it form another.  If a

father recited it and the son refuses to do so, the father is no

longer the same father nor the son the same son (there is a big

difference between them).  This son will not inherit anything from

the father.  His mother and sisters may even observe purdah from

him.  On the other hand, if a total stranger (not same family,

tribe, state or same nation) recited the Kalimah and marries into

a Muslim family, he and his son become eligible for inheritance.


      The power of the Kalimah is thus so strong that it takes

precedence over tribalism, statism, nationalism and even blood ties.

 It can join strangers together to form a family, a community and

nation.  Equally, it can cut members of the same family off from

one other.  It has separated Prophet Nuh from his son, it has

separated Prophet Lut from his wife.  It has united Prophet

Muhammad (S.A.W.) an Arab from Makkah with Bilal, a slave and a

black African.  It has seperated Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.) and Abu

Jahl (both Arab).  Have you seen the power of the Kalimah?  How

powerful it is?


      Now another question: Is mere pronounciation of this Kalimah

enough to create all these differences?  Why‑ should there be such

a big difference between man and man, father and son, mother and

daughter, husband and wife?  What is so special about this Kalimah?

Do the words have the power to work magic so as to radically change

a man?  Can mere saying of a few words create such enormous



      The answer is No.  For, the effectiveness of the words lie in

understanding their meaning.  If they do not penetrate deep into

the hearts and have an impact powerful enough to effect a change in

your thoughts, in your morale and in your actions then their

utterances is meaningless and ineffective just as someone who is

hungry says food! food!! food!!! cannot be satisfied.


      This is exactly the position of the Kalimah.  Mere utterances

of these few words can neither transform a Kafir into a Musiim nor

an impure person to be pure or damned person to be favoured one,

nor can it send a person due for hell to paradise.  The

transformation is possible only after one has understood the

meaning of these words and have it penetrated into his hearts and

moulds his life according to its dictates.  Once affirmed

consciously, the Kalimah must reform all your thoughts and reign

supreme in your WHOLE life.  No idea contrary to it should form

part of your mental furniture.  Whatever runs counter to the

Kalimah must be considered false and only the Kalimah must be true.

You are no longer at liberty like the unbelievers.


      It is only when you recite Kalimah in this manner that you are

a true Muslim.  Only then that overwhelming differences between man

and man, father and son, mother and daughter, that we have been

saying, come in.


      The literal meaning as earlier explained is simple: "There is

no god but Allah and Mohammed (S.A.W) is His messenger" It meant

that only that Being can be our God who is the Master, Creator,

Nourisher and Sustainer, who listens to our prayer and grants them

and who alone is worthy of worship and obedience.


      Saying the Kalimah invariably means two things: that the world

and everything therein has come into being as Allah wishes and is

done; thus He alone is God and no other being except Him possesses

such divinity.


      Secondly, with this pronouncement one has accepted that this

same (God) Allah is our Lord and Master as well as of the whole

Universe.  Everything belongs to Him and he is the provider of

everything.  Everything is under His command.  He alone should be

feared and adored.  He alone should be asked for help.  And before

Him alone should our heads bow.  We are slaves to no one but Him

and He alone is our Master.  Thus, our duty is to obey Him SWT and

abide by His laws.


      This is the true meaning of Kalimah ‑ the Covenant which you

make wih Allah SWT as you proclaim the word and while so doing you make

the whole world your witness.  If you violate this covenant which

you made under no compulsion ( as there is no compulsion in Islam)

your hand, feet and even the thiniest hair on your body as well as

everything on earth and in the heavens will testify against you in

the 'court' of Allah.  On that day you shall be helpless without

any aid, so empty words or mere verbal pledge shall not profit you.


      As part of the pledge, you have to accept that Mohammad

(S.A.W) is the prophet through whom Allah has sent you 'His

guidance.  So you cannot blindly, after accepting the Kalimah,

follow your desires.  You must follow a code.


      To anybody who thinks that it is easy to break the laws  of

Allah because His police, court or Army is not visible (when he

finds it difficult to even break the earthly man‑made laws, because

of fears of various earthly punishment) the affirmation of the

Kalimah of such a person is simply not truthful.  You are merely

trying to deceive Allah, (and can you?) the whole world, all the

muslim and even your own self.


      For you to have accepted Allah as your Master as declared in

the Kalimah, it meant that in totality your life is not your

personal property which you can utilize anyhow.  It belongs to

Allah! So also are your hands, eyes, legs and any other part of

your body.  The animal you utilize, the crops you use for your

food, the wealth you derive from them and all other things therein

belong to Allah.  They have ONLY been given to you as a TRUST and

you will be questioned into each and everyone of them.  That is the

implication of Kalimah!


      You, therefore, have no basis for any personal claim like;

'this life is mine or this wealth is mine".  It is absurd to claim

such ownership after having, accepted Allah as being the real

owner.  So, since Allah is the real owner' and you are 'merely a

trustee' of things owned by Him, you must use these things strictly

as He has told you.


      If you do otherwise you are abusing your trusteeship ‑ this

will amount to cheating Allah (but can you?).  You have no right to

move your hands and feet against his wish nor to make your eyes see

what He dislikes.  You posses no right over lands and children,

whom you assume belong to you only because they have been given to

you by your Master – Allah SWT.  Even they, therefore, must be treated

not as you desire but as directed by Him.


      If you contravene His directions, you make yourself an

usurper. If you look at the gifts of Allah as your own properties

you are dishonest and selfish.


      On a more serious note, if you suffer hardship by acting

according to the wish of Allah, so be it.  If lives are lost,

bodies are injured, families are broken or properties are destroyed

in the process, why should you grieve?  Of course, if you suffer

any hardship as a result of going against His Wish, you will

undoutedly be guilty, because you would have damaged His properties

since your life belongs to Allah.  If you give away your life

according to His wishes, you will only be rendering His due.  "We

are all from Allah and to Him we shall be returned".  So says Allah

in the Holy Quran.


      Yet another implication of the Kalimah is that you do no

favour to Allah nor to any one else, if you spend something given

by Him in His cause.  You may give anything, do any duty or even

pay the supreme sacrifice (death), which to you are very dear, but

you are not doing Him a favour.  The most you have done is to have

rendered His due for His favour done to you.  Is this an

achievement to boast about?  Should people be praised just because

they have repaid a favour?


      Despite all these, Allah (S.W.T) asked you for things which

really belong to him and yet promises that it is a purchase He will

pay you for, What an unbounded generousity!

       nAllah has bought from the believers their live’s Possessions

      in return for paradisen (Q.9:111)


Such is the kindness of Allah, an extra‑ordinary kindness.

      Why then do you re‑sell your life to others?  The life which

was given to you by Allah and which He had bought back from you.

What a paltry price you accept for a precious thing (paradise)?

The "buyers" (Shaitan and his allies) make you wish against the

wishes of Allah but you serve them as if they are your sustainers.

You sell to them your brain and bodies‑ indeed all that these

rebels of Allah wants to buy.  Yet they promise you nothing but

frustration, suffering, and hell fire and you follow them

forgetting the good and eternal promise of Allah ‑ Paradise.  What

a disgrace; can anything be more immoral than this?  To sell a

thing already sold?  It is a legal moral crime in this world.

Those guilty of such crimes are tried in courts for cheating and

fraud.  But then do you think you will escape trial in the court of

Allah on the Day of Judgement?


      It is thus a miserable price to sell your life to this world

and loose the life hereafter.  So you are warned.  Hold fast to

Kalimah and do not afterwards deviate.  It is only when Kalimah is

recited and acted upon in this manner that one shall be free from

sins and will become INDEED A BORN AGAIN.



Aminu Ali and Lami M. Ghandi.