What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim ? one should then know the real concept underlying this testimony which means the oneness of Allah and meet its requiremants. One must behave accordingly, applying this true faith to every thing one speaks or does.
What do the words of the “Shahada” signify? The significant point which every Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He-glory be to Him – is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.
The second part of the Shahada “i.e., Wa Ash-hadu anna Mohammadan abduhu wa rasuluh” means that Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter. In fact the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), to believe him in what he has said, to practise his teachings, to avoid what ha has forbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealed to him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelation and inspirations conveyed to him by Allah.
What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service, showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies total submission and complete obedience to Allah’s commandments both in utterances and actions of man whether explicit or implicit.
Worship fall into two categories :
Visible (manifest or outward). Invisible (concealed or inward).
Visible worship includes acts such as uttering the two parts of the “Shahada”, performing prayers, giving Zakah (the poor-due), recitation of the Holy Qur’an, supplication, adoring Allah by praising Him, purifying our bodies before prayers, etc.
This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of the human body.
Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgement (in the Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets of Allah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determined by Allah alone).
This type worship does not involve movement of parts of the body but it surely has bearing on one’s heart which subsequently affects one’s way of life.
It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alone will be rejected as one form of polytheism and this causes apostasy from the Islamic fold.
The next step for a newly revert to Islam is the purify himself by taking a cmplete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principles and rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheism and false beliefs. He should reject evil and be rigtheous. Such rejection of evil and being righteous is one of the requisites of the motto of Islam – that is, Laa ilaha illallah.
Allah states in the Holy qur’an :
“…whoever rejects evil and believes in the Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy Hand-hold, that never breaks…” (Qur’an 2:256).
We have to consider that when declare from our heart that “ there is no god (deity) worthy to be worshipped but Allah”, it implies on our part love, devotion, faith and obedience to the rules of Islamic legislations which are legally binding on all Muslims. It is a requiremant of “there is no god worthy to be worshipped but Allah” to love for the sake of Allah and to reject for the sake of Allah.
This is the firmest anchor of belief which materialise the meaning of “AL WALA” and “AL BARA”. It means that a Muslim should love and be loyal to his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practise, dissociate himself completely from the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in wordly and religious matters.
We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the hearts and souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless the community of believers.