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Monday, 23 April 2007

Shahadah from a Jewish Perspective

The Muslim declaration of faith (Shahadah = testimony, and from the same root as ‘shaheed’ which you can roughly translate as ‘martyr’) runs thus: “There is no divinity but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. At one time I used to wonder about this — question why we took the name of the Prophet alongside that of God. Why, if we submitted to God, did we have to declare our allegiance to a man chosen by God to spread the word? It felt almost like ‘shirk’ to me (the association of partners with God).

Eventually I came to accept this as the best summation of our religion of Islam. We submitted wholly to Allah in the ‘latest format’ as preached by Muhammad . It suddenly made sense to me. We simply declared our worship of Allah and how it related to the final message delivered to the Seal of the Prophets.

But then I read this today, and some of the old thoughts (…and doubts) came flooding back:

Yiddishe Kopf

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Join Date: Nov 2003
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From this Jewish perspective, the elevation of prophets, and in Islam,
specifically of Muhammed, to a "superhuman" status (sinless, perfect, etc.)--the
elevation of his name to be said adjacent to Allah/G-d in the Muslim's
declaration of faith (i.e. "There is no god but G-d and Muhammed is His
prophet"), the examples of world-riots and deaths through perceived "insult" to
a man, even a revered man of G-d, is "associating partners with G-d",
is "worship", is blasphemous ("shirk"). Regardless of what is
claimed to the contrary, the actions of Muslims define their beliefs (which is
true of all human beings).

Always doubts. My entire life seems plagued with one consistency only: Doubt about everything. Does my entire life, my whole being, my religious feelings, my love for my family, my fiancée, my belief in myself… does all of it centre on an empty void of Doubt? Does everything = Doubt to me?

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