Is belief in the Prophet unnecessary?
Question: A friend of mine says, “In order to have îmân, it is not necessary to say the phrase ‘Muhammadun Rasûl-Allah’ in the Kalima-i shahâdat. Saying only ‘Lâ ilâha ill-Allah’ will suffice.” Is the phrase “Muhammadun Rasûl-Allah” not included in the Kalima-i shahâdat, which is the first of the five fundamentals of Islam? Do we not say “Ash-hadu an lâ ilâha ill-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ’abduhû wa rasûluh” when we are reciting the Âmantu? Is such an îmân valid? What is the meaning of Kalima-i shahâdat?
The meaning of Kalima-i shahâdat is as follows:
(I bear witness, that is, I know and confirm by word of mouth as if I saw, that there is no ilâh save Allah, and again I bear witness that Muhammad “alaihis-salâm” is His human slave and Messenger.)
Belief in prophets is one of the fundamental principles of îmân. A person who disbelieves in even one of the prophets, e.g., a person who says “Hadrat Âdam is not a prophet,” is not a Muslim.
Excluding the part “Muhammadun Rasûl-Allah” is a roundabout way of saying “Do not believe in the rules Islam has communicated,” because such a thought comes to mean ascribing ignorance to Allah (never!). If it were unnecessary, it would not have been stated again and again in the Kalima-i shahâdat, (the prayer) Attahiyyâtu, adhân, âyat-i karîmas, hadîth-i qudsîs.
Yet another meaning of believing is approving. If one disapproves of a rule of Islam though one believes it, this act causes disbelief. For example, if one believes the fact that it is sunnat to grow a beard but does not approve it, one becomes a renegade. The situation being so, we omit to mention the credal state of a person who disapproves the owner, the Prophet of the religion.
Does considering the phrase “Muhammadun Rasûl-Allah” to be unnecessary come to mean that “Allah’s Mercy” is not needed? Or does it come to mean “Do not believe in Allah, the Qur’ân and the Prophet”? The Holy Qur’ân, from beginning to end, exalts our Master Rasûlullah. As a matter of fact, the following three âyats [verses] purport:
(We have sent you as a Mercy to all classes of beings.) [Sûrat-ul-Anbiyâ’ 107]
(Say: “O people! I am the Messenger that Allah has sent to you all.”) [Sûrat-ul-A’râf 158]
(We have sent you to all people as a bearer of good tidings and as a warner, but most of them do not know it.) [Sûrat-u Saba 28]
It is necessary to obey the Messenger
Does excluding the utterance of the second part of the Kalima-i shahâdat come to mean that it is not necessary to obey the Messenger of Allah? However, Allahu ta’âlâ repeatedly orders us to believe in and follow Hadrat Muhammad (‘alaihis-salâm) and warns that those who do not follow him cannot be Muslims; they are disbelievers. Some verses from the Holy Qur’ân are as follows:
(Obey My Messenger! So, you will be guided to the right way.)[Sûrat-un-Nûr 54]
(Say: “Obey Allah and His Messenger!” If [if they do not obey] they pay no heed, [they become disbelievers and] surely Allah does not love the disbelievers.) [Sûrat-u Âl-i ‘Imrân 32]
(As for the disbelievers who do not believe in Allah and His Messenger, [they become disbelievers] We have prepared blazing fire for them.) [Sûrat-ul-Fath 13]
(When Allah and His Messenger decreed a matter, from then on, a believing man and woman do not have the right to have personal preferences or options as to that matter.) [Sûrat-ul-Ahzâb 36]