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Allah in His infinite mercies forgive all sins. But He says He doesn't forgive the offence of dying upon shirk or anything amounting to it. Allah is certain in His promises and He will not be unjust to anyone. 

Today, there many who claim to be Muslims, but unfortunately they do not know what it takes to be a Muslim. They abandon the knowledge of Taoheed which happens to be the foundation of Islam. Some don't even want to hear it at all because they feel that matters of 'ibaadah are more important. A lot of people worship Allah with ignorance thinking Allah will take it from them. When you try to explain to them what can vitiate their eeman in Allah based on the provisions of the Qur'an and Sunnah, they will say "leave us alone, don't judge us. Go and meet the Christians, Jews and Idol Worshippers and convert them to Muslims. Leave us alone, we are already guided". Sometimes they say: "teach us how to perform ablution, how to pray, how to fast and how to perform hajj". They do not know that other aspects of 'ibaadah would be void if the first aspect (taoheed) is defective. 

Anytime one hears this from a Muslim, one feels so bad because these kind of people are wallowing in error thinking they are doing the right thing. If they think da'wah should only be for the non-Muslims, why then did Allah says,

"And remind one another, for remembrance benefit the believers" [Q51:55]

It follows therefore, that anyone who does not benefit from the reminders of the words of Allah and His Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم is not a believer.

Today, many people bear Muslim by name, but they don't understand the fact that everything has foundation and Islaam is not an exception, it has its foundations too. The foundations of Islaam are things that has to do with "At-taoheed"(" Al-eeman" or "'Aqeedah"). By Allah, if anyone fails to resolve this matter within his or her heart before embarking on any act of worship of Allah, he or she is only wasting his or her time. May Allaah save us from the pain of embarking on a fruitless mission.

Today, many people worship Allah with ignorance and they hope that Allah would accept it from them. If a Muslim does not seek the knowledge of taoheed very well, he or she might not know what constitutes shirk or kufr that Allah says He would never forgive if someone dies upon it. Allah says, 

"O you who believe, fear Allah in the best way He should be feared and DO NOT DIE EXCEPT IN A STATE OF TOTAL SUBMISSION" [Q3:102]

If just bearing Muslim by name is sufficient to make one a Muslim in the true sense of it, Allah would not have emphasised that we must die in a state of total submission to His will. In the relevant verse, He address the believers ("O you who believe") and not the entire mankind, meaning that it is possible for people to think they are Muslims when they are actually not. This is the reason why it is incumbent upon us to check our state of belief time from time.

Let us all remember, this is likely to be time when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم says: people would sleep as believers and wake up as kuffar, a time when people would wake up as believers, but before the sun sets, they become kuffar. [The hadith is Saheeh, it was reported by highly ranked companions like Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari, Abdullahi Bin 'Umar and Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with them. The hadith is reported in Sunan Abu Dawood and Musnad Imam Ahmad]. At the end of the hadith, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم says: sticking to his Sunnah will be like holding a burning ember. So, we should fear the fitnah of this era and guard our faith jealously.

A lot of persons who bear Muslim by name engage in acts amounting to pure shirk and still think Allah would accept their solaah, saum, zakah and hajj. The articles of faith and the pillars of Islaam are interwoven and their order of priority are so important. For instance, if the belief in Allah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم is not firm in the heart (and not just by words of mouth), the solaah which is the second pillar of Islaam cannot stand.

If a person does not pray five times daily (thinking prayers is not really important), his zakah, sawm (fast) and hajj (pilgrimage) will be futile. This is due to the fact that whoever does not perform solaah is a kafir because solaat is the main feature that differentiate a believer from a kafir. In the same vein, anyone who does not perform the solaat cannot fast, he will just be starving himself unnecessarily. So, the foundation of Islaam (Taoheed) must be properly constructed in our hearts before anything and we must always guard it from crumbling. We must not even allow it to shake talkmore of crumbling. That is what will make our solaat, zakah, sawm, hajj and several acts of 'ibaadah stand properly.

Taoheed, the foundation of Islaam is just like the foundation of a house. If the foundation of a house is not properly constructed based on the knowledge of the engineers, any house built on it may collapse at the end of the day. So, we should always question ourselves: "do I really believe in Allah and His Rosul, صلى الله عليه وسلم?" Please note that we are not only expected to believe in Allah and His Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم, our words and actions must not contradict these twin beliefs. Once you utter any word or do any act that amounts to shirk, you have to take the shahaadatain (testimonies) again.

Concerning the articles of faith, for a person to be a Muslim, he must believe in Allah, His Messengers, عليهم السلام, the revealed Books, the Angels, the Day of Judgment and Qadar (preordainment). A Muslim must believe in all these articles without any exception. We are not allowed to affirm some and reject some. All of them must have a comfortable place in our hearts. Unfortunately, the aspect of eeman that gives a lot of people problem today is qadar. People don't want to believe that whatever happens to them, whether good or bad, is from Allaah. Some people are fond of attributing their misfortunes to human beings like them. If anything happens to them, they will say it is from so or so who caused it to happen to them. Whereas, it is Allaah Who does His things the way He likes. He can question us, but we cannot question Him.

We see Muslims relying on other than Allah whenever they are faced with any difficulty. So, what is the essence of "it is You we shall worship, and it is from You we shall seek help" [Q1:5] that we recite in Suratul Faatihah all the time? Some Muslims even go to Churches for help. Some Muslim visit the idol worshipers, soothsayers and traditional herbalists in search of solution to their problems. Many Muslims, including those who claim to be scholars perpetrate and condone acts of bid'ah and glorified shirk in the name of jalabi business.

There are many dubious Assalatu groups in the Muslim communities in Nigeria and abroad. Many people are being lured into innovations in the Deen. And when they are told to refrain from them, they would say: "We know the Prophet didn't do it, but we would do it". That is not Islam. That is something else. These and many more are things that nullify the beliefs of a Muslim. The implication of bid'ah is like one who says Allah did not complete His religion before the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم died. Our women are the major victims in this regard. They are being misled by the people of innovations because most of them are ignorant and their attitude towards knowledge is very poor. Yet, when they are corrected, they do not change. 

The solution to these problems is that we should attend gatherings of knowledge (managed by people who are upon the sunnah) with our families and be informed of the nullifiers of faith. This would make it easy for us to abstain from them. 

May Allah guide us aright.

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