Faith provides the ideological foundation for human existence and the criterion through which to categorize good from bad, right from wrong and righteousness from impropriety. All the Prophets of Allah SWT happened to be highly influential and the most devoted individuals among the rest of the population. That is why they were also awarded some miracles from the Almighty Lord to distinguish them even more than the normal ones. Allah says:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
“Exalted (is) the One Who took His servant (by) night from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa which We blessed its surroundings, that We may show of Our Signs. Indeed He, He (is) the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Surah Al-Israqq, 17: 1)
Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ also had extraordinary personality features like revelations of the Holy Quran, transforming lives of people around Him, placing Barakah into food items, splitting of the moon, etc. One of such miracles of Rasulullah ﷺ is the occurrence of Isra (Visiting Bait al-Maqdas, Masjid al-Aqsa) and Miraj (Ascending to the Heavens and Meeting the Creator of the universe) only in one night time. Allah says:
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
“The One Who created death and life that He may test you, which of you (is) best (in) deed. And He (is) the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Mulk 67:2)
When one testifies that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, he is stating his belief that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen by Allah to be His Messenger and to convey His Message. Allah specifically chose the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be His Messenger. Allah says,
وَإِذَا جَاءَتْهُمْ آيَةٌ قَالُوا لَن نُّؤْمِنَ حَتَّىٰ نُؤْتَىٰ مِثْلَ مَا أُوتِيَ رُسُلُ اللَّهِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ سَيُصِيبُ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُوا صَغَارٌ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَعَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَمْكُرُونَ
“And when comes to them a Sign they say, “Never we will believe until we are given like what was given (to the) Messengers (of) Allah.” Allah knows best where He places His Message. Will afflict those who committed crimes a humiliation from Allah and a punishment severe for what they used to plot.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:124).
This implies some characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as obviously Allah, due to His justice, wisdom, and mercy, would not choose one who is treacherous or lying to be His Messenger. Allah would not choose anyone for such an important mission whom He knew would not convey the message or who would use the position to his advantage. Allah says:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“Those who believed and find satisfaction their hearts in the remembrance (of) Allah. No doubt, in the remembrance of Allah find satisfaction the hearts.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:28)
When this complete and clear guidance from the Prophet (peace be upon him) is present, there is no need for any Muslim to turn to other sources for guidance. Allah says:
وَإِن تُكَذِّبُوا فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ أُمَمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
“And if you deny then verily, denied (the) nations before you. And not (is) on the Messenger except the conveyance clear.” (Surah Al-‘Ankabut 29:18)
If anyone claims that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not convey the entire message or that he distorted it in any way, he is saying that Allah did not know who was the correct or best person to be a messenger. When one makes the testimony of faith, he is also testifying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been sent for all of mankind until the Day of Judgment. Allah says in the Quran.
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِيِّ الْأُمِّيِّ الَّذِي يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَكَلِمَاتِهِ وَاتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
Say, “O mankind! Indeed I am (the) Messenger (of) Allah to you all, the One for Whom (is the) dominion (of) the heavens and the earth. (There is) no god except Him, He gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered [the] Prophet the one who believes in Allah and His Words, and follow so that you may (be) guided.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:158).
It is obligatory upon everyone from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) until the Day of Judgment to believe in and follow the Prophet (peace be upon him). This also implies that the Prophet’s teachings and his Sunnah are valid and obligatory upon all of mankind until the Day of Judgment.
Central to Islamic beliefs are the Five Pillars of Faith, which all followers of Islam — called Muslims — must follow:
- There is only one universal God: Allah.
- Followers of Islam (Muslims) are expected to pray five times each day while facing Mecca.
- All Muslims are expected to pay a yearly tax that is mostly intended to help the poor and needy.
- For the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims must not eat, smoke, drink, or have sexual relations from sunrise to sunset.
- All able Muslims must make a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca at least once in their lifetimes.
إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
“Only His Command when He intends a thing that He says to it, “Be,” and it is.” (Surah Yasin. 36:82)
It is very strange that some people state the testimony of faith and declare that Muhammad is the Messenger and Prophet of Allah yet at the same time they do not consider him an example of the way of life that a believer should follow.
In the Quran, Allah encourages us to use our minds and realize he has created the world around us:
- “God creates what He wills for verily God has power over all things.” (Surah Al-Nur. 24:45)
- “Or were they created by nothing? Or were they the creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and Earth? Rather, they are not certain.” (Surah Al-Tur. 52:35-36)
- “And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed, that is a sign for a people who listen.” (Surah Al-Nahl. 16:65)
- “Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” (Surah Ale Imran. 3:190)
- “This is the creation of Allah. So, show Me what those other than Him have created. Rather, the wrongdoers are in clear error.” (Surat Luqman. 31:11)
In these Quranic lines, the Most Merciful describes the account of Prophet ﷺ embarking on an emphatic trip right from all heavens into Paradise where He saw many of the Signs of Allah SWT, which is generally known as “Miraj”. He also met particular Prophets on all seven levels of heavens, i.e. Adam, Isa, Yousaf, Idris, Harun, Musa and Ibrahim (May Allah be pleased with them all) in an order of heavens from first to seventh. Allah says:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Say, “If you love Allah, then follow Allah will love you and He will forgive for you your sins. And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al Imran 3:31)
Not only do they not take him as an example for themselves, but they also oppose others who do take the Prophet (peace be upon him) as their example. This is nothing but a clear sign that such a person does not have a clear understanding of the meaning and implications of the testimony of faith that he made.