It is a manifest reality that the significance of light cannot be fully understood till such time that one fully experiences darkness. In the same way, a picture stands out clearly against a contrasting dark background. Perhaps it is for this reason that a blackboard has been made black so that whatever words are written on it; they stand out against the background and open the eyes of the reader. In this modern age, we now have a whiteboard instead of a backboard. However experience tells us that the clarity which one achieves on a blackboard cannot be replicated on a whiteboard. This is not all. Whenever a word is not clearly understood, then one refers to its opposite to fully comprehend its meaning. The innate nature of man "fitrat" is also like this. Even those who make fiilms know that while there is the character of a Hero, there is an equal villan and depending upon how well the character of the villan is sketched out, that much more the role of the Hero stands out and the film is better understood.

The Creator of this universe has also paid attention to this fact. In the chapter of Ale’ Imran, verse 190 of the Holy Quran, Allah (Glory be to Him) says, "Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the movement of the night and the day, is a sign for the people who understanding."

This is not all. If you refer to other verses of the Holy Quran, you will find several verses of the Quran in which night and day have been mentioned in the same verse - and in most of these verse, "layl" (night) has been mentioned before "nahaar" (day). It is as if the Creator through this aspect, wants to guide us to the thought that for the creation of a strong building, it is first important to break the old and false building.

A similar tone has been adopted by Allah even when addressing disbelievers. So in the chapter of Kaferoon (Disbelievers), Allah (Glory be to Him) while addressing the disbelievers first says "La Aa’bodo Ma Ta’bodoon" - I do not worship what you all worship.

And then He says "Wala Antum Aa’bedoona Ma Aa’bod" - You do not worship what I worship. Therefore implying that Allah has commanded the bvelievers to first deny what is false (I do not worship what you all worship) and then continue the discourse.

The same practice has been adopted by Allah for His own witness and for that of His prophet (pbuh). Therefore all over the world, when Muslims acknowledge the unity of Allah, they first say, "La Ilaha" - there is no God. And then they say "Illallah" - except Allah. We know that if one only recited "Illallah" - except Allah, then the concept of the unity of Allah would not come out in the true sense and neither would His greatness be acknowledged in the correct manner.

In other words, it can be said that if a person only acknowledges the unity of Allah be saying :Illallah" - except Allah, then he would not be counted as a Muslim till such time that he first denies all other false gods and whatever else he may be worshipping by saying "La ilaha" - there is no God. If he does not deny all false gods, he will be counted either a disbeliever or as a hypocrite. In the Quran, Allah (Glory be to Him) promises redemption and forgiveness for all sins except for the sin of Shirk – polytheism, which is considered as a "Zulmin Azeem" - the greatest sin.

In the same manner, Allah has introduced his beloved prophet (pbuh). At one place He says, "Mohammed is not the father of any of the men amongst you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets."
(Holy Quran, chapter of Ahzab, verse 40).

In the above verse, there are three rejections and one acceptance for the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh).

  1. Mohammed (pbuh) is not the father of the any of the men amongst you
  2. He (pbuh) is the seal of the prophets - that is rejection of the coming of any prophet after him.
  3. Since there is no prophet to follow him (pbuh), it automatically means that there is no messenger after him.

The above points imply that it is not sufficient to only acknowledge that Mohammed is the prophet and messenger of Allah. Rather, it is imperative that a person denies all other false prophets who would have come before him and also those who will stake a false claim to prophethood and messengership after him. Therefore denying all false prophets is a true way to acknowledge the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh). History is witness to the fact that since the time of Musaymalah Kazzab, there have been several others, inclusing Musaylamah who have falsely claimed prophethood for themselves. It is not just our religious responsibility to deny all such false prophets, but it is a key part of our faith.

Conclusion: The true acceptance of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet of Islam is through the denial of all false prophets.

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