al-Imam Ahmed Rida: …two things are necessary for faith

Listen! Verily you shall be tested; and you will be considered a Muslim only if you pass the test. In any test, it is seen  whether indeed, the thing (being claimed) is present or not, to justify that claim. We have seen earlier that the Qur’ān and Ĥadīth say that two things are necessary for faith to be real and present:

• Respect and reverence of Sayyiduna Muĥammad RasūlAllāh sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam

• Love of Sayyiduna Muĥammad RasūlAllāh sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam more than anything in this world. 

The way to test this definitively is thus: Suppose those whom you respect; no matter how much you revere them, or have a close friendship with them, or have affectionate relations with them; like your father, your teacher, your guide, your brother, your relatives, your companions; the scholar, the reader, the Muftī, the preacher – whosoever it may be; if you find them disrespectful towards Sayyiduna Muĥammad RasūlAllāh sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam then you should have no love or respect for them.

Separate from them immediately, and cast them away like you would cast a fly fallen in a glass of milk. Dislike them and do not even look at their faces. Do not bother about their relationship or friendship; or their being scholars or shaykhs; or their piety or elderliness.

All these qualities should be respected for the sake of Sayyiduna Muĥammad RasūlAllāh sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam. When such a person is disrespectful to the master himself, then what is the value of this relationship?

al-Imam Ahmed Rida, Tamhid e Iman (The Preamble to Faith), pp. 5

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