The Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith) – Meaning & Conditions

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The Shahaadah (Testimony of Faith)

أشهدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلاَّ الله
وأشهدُ أنَّ محمّدًا رسولُ الله

Ash-hadu an la ilaaha illal-laah
Wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasulullaah

I Testify That There is No Deity Worthy of Worship Except Allaah
& That Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah

What does it Mean?

Saleh As-Saleh
1427 A.H – 2006 C.E.

The Testimony of Faith
لآ اِلَهَ اِلّا اللّهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوُل اللّهِ
What Does It Mean?

This is the first principle in the belief in Tawheed (Oneness and Uniqueness of Allaah). Allaah is One in His Lordship, One in His Godship and One and Unique in His Actions and Names and Attributes. Nothing is like Allaah. When someone accepts Allaah as the only true God Who deserves to be worshipped, then he must negate all worship to anyone (or anything) other than Allaah. This is the meaning of laa ilaaha illal-laah: “There is no true God but Allaah.” It is composed of negation and affirmation statements. The statement “but Allaah” confirms that Allaah is the only true God Who deserves to be worshipped.
Allaah is All-Just and All-Wise. He created us and wants us to know of Him and worship Him alone. He doesn’t leave us without guidance. This is part of His Mercy. He, Most Exalted, sent Messengers and Prophets to convey a single message: man must submit to the Will of His Creator, Allaah, and worship none but Him.
This is the essence of Islam. It is the same message conveyed by Adam, Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), ‘Eesa (Jesus) and finally to mankind until the Day of Resurrection by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them all). These Messengers and Prophets were created human beings. They were not divine. In the final revelation to all mankind, man is called to testify that: “There is no true God but Allaah and Muhammad is the true Messenger of Allaah.” This testimony is the key to Paradise. But there is no key except that it has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you, otherwise it will not. In order to achieve Paradise through this testimony, one must fulfill certain conditions that constitute the “right ridges” for this key statement. These conditions are:

1. Knowledge (Al-‘Ilm)

Knowledge of Allaah and knowledge about the nature, concepts and methodology of worship are essential to the practice as well as the understanding of Islam. The beneficial knowledge is the one that leads to complete disassociation from false deities and to the devotion of intentions to Allaah alone. Allaah, the Most High, says:

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ

“And know that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and ask forgiveness for your sins, and also for the sin of believing men and believing women. And Allaah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest in your home”
(Qur’an, soorat Muhammad, 47:19).

The Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“He who died knowing (fully well) that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allaah entered al-Jannah (Paradise).” [Collected by Muslim].

2. Certainty (Al-Yaqeen)

The testimony has to be made without any suspicion regarding its meaning. Allaah, the Exalted, says:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

“Only those are the believers who have believed in Allaah and His Messenger and never since doubted”. (Qur’an, soorat al-Hujuraat, 49:15).

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“I bear witness that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allaah, and I am His Messenger. The slave of Allaah who would meet Him without harboring any doubt about his (testimony) would enter al-Jannah (Paradise).” [Collected by Muslim].

3. Purity and Sincerity (Al-Ikhlaas)

The intention of accepting Islam and performing all acts of worship must be purely devoted to Allaah:

قُلْ إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّينَ

“Say, (O Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم): Verily, I am commanded to worship Allaah (alone) by obeying Him and doing religious deeds sincerely for Allaah’s sake only and not to show off, and not to set up rivals with Allaah in worship.” (Qur’an, soorat azZumar, 39:11).

So, when one declares this testimony, he should be doing so solely for the sake of Allaah, not for anyone else. Purity and sincerity is the opposite of Shirk (associatin others in that which is due to Allaah alone). The one who proclaims this Shahaadah (testimony) for any worldly gain has failed to meet this condition of sincerity of woprship and has failed to meet Allaah’s command, when He says:

قُلِ اللَّهَ أَعْبُدُ مُخْلِصًا لَّهُ دِينِي

“Worship Allaah, making the Religion pure and sincere for Him.”
(Qur’an, soorat az-Zumar, 39:14)

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Allaah has forbidden the Fire upon one who says laa ilaaha illal-laah seeking by this the Face of Allaah.” [An agreed upon hadeeth].

4. Truthfulness (As-Sidq)

Truthfulness paves the way for a meaningful understanding of this declaration. It strengthens the drive of man towards achieving knowledge about his Creator, Allaah. The hypocrites utter the declaration, but they conceal rejection in their hearts:

يَقُولُونَ بِأَلْسِنَتِهِم مَّا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ

“They said with their tongues what is not in their Hearts.” (Qur’an, soorat alFath, 48:11).

The heart is like the king and the limbs are the soldiers. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Truly there is a piece of flesh in the body if it become good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body becomes spoilt.” [Part of a hadeeth collected by Al-Bukhaaree & Muslim].
When the love of Allaah fills the heart, truthfulness and honesty fill it too, but when desire gets to the heart, the way for corruption and hypocrisy becomes opened and man will utter what is not really in his heart. The whole and sound heart is the one free from:
a) association of anyone /anything in the worship of Allaah,
b) false pride and arrogance
c) envy
d) misery
e) love for this life
f) love for leadership and domination
g) lust
h) bid’ah (innovation in religion)
This is the kind of heart that fulfills the declaration of Shahaadah. This is known in the Qur’an as “Al-Qalb as-Saleem,”the clean, sound, safe and whole heart,” and it is the thing that really counts on the Day of Reckoning :

يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ

“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail except him who brings to Allaah a clean heart.” (Qur’an, soorat ash-Shu’araa’, 26: 88-89).

5. Love (Al-Mahabah)

Love means:
a) to love Allaah and His Messenger, Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم), more than all else,
b) to love what Allaah and His Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم) love and
c) to hate or dislike what Allaah and His Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم) hate or dislike in all matters that are related to Islam.
The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Whoever possesses (the following) three qualities will relish the sweetness (delight) of Eemaan (Faith): The one to whom Allaah and His Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم) becomes dearer than anything else; that he loves a person for Allaah alone (i.e. to purely seek Allaah and His Pleasure); that he hates to revert to Kufr (disbelief) after Allaah has rescued him from it as he hates to be thrown into Hell.”
[Collected by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
The love of Allaah and His Messenger Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) must be translated into following their orders. This negates following innovators and/or their innovations, those who introduce concepts and/or ways that are not according to Islamic teachings: like the mystics of Sufism and their so-called “Tareeqas (ways)” which have nothing to do with Islam. Their ideas originated from Hindu concepts. They elevate their Sufi Sheikhs and leaders (Aqtab) to divine levels. Similarly, the Raafidhah (Rejectionist Shia) elevate ‘Ali and other members of the household of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) to divine levels, invoking them besides, or to the exclusion of Allaah:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ

“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah. But those who believe love Allaah more (than anything else).” (Qur’an, soorat al-Baqarah, 2:165)

In the following narration, Abdullah bin Mas’ud () said:
“The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said one statement and I said another. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Whoever dies while still invoking anything other than Allaah as a rival to Allaah, will enter Hell (Fire).” And I said, “Whoever dies without invoking anything as a rival to Allaah, will enter Al-Jannah (Paradise).” [Collected by Al-Bukhaaree].
The Love of Allaah and His Message of Islam is related to the Knowledge of Him and of His Names and Attributes. The more the person knows of Allaah, the love of Him becomes stronger. This makes the believer eager to meet Allaah, see Him, and listen to His Words in the Hereafter. This becomes the goal and all the worldly attachment gets weaker and weaker. The spirit is lifted up. It aims high towards its Creator. It would not trap itself on any road that would lead to other than the submission to Allaah alone. The person becomes motivated to comply with Allaah’s command to the best of his abilities. This produces the true happiness in this life and in the Hereafter.

6. Compliance (Al-Inqiyaad)

The testimony is fulfilled by obedience to Allaah and His Messenger Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) and by safeguarding against what Allaah forbids:

وَمَن يُسْلِمْ وَجْهَهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

“Whoever submits his face to Allaah (i.e. follow Islam), while he is doing good (i.e. obey Allaah and His Messenger Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) in all respects) has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold” (Qur’an, soorat Luqman, 31:22).

The compliance to the declaration of the Shahaadah must be free of hesitation. Rather it is a matter of full submission. This is well illustrated in the saying of Allaah:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and his Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and his Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.”
[Qur’an, soorat al-Ahzaab, 33:36].

The decrees of Allaah and His Messenger are not subject to human evaluation. The Message is a Revelation. What it contains is for the benefit of man. Therefore, man’s submission in Islam is for his own good.

7. Acceptance (al-Qubool)

It is not enough to recognize the greatness of Islam and that it is the Truth, but this recognition must be ascertained by humble acceptance and humility. The adherence to the meaning of this declaration safeguards the believer from false pride, arrogance and disdainfulness:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

“Truly when it was said to them: laa ilaaha illal-laah (None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah), they puffed themselves up with pride (i.e. denied it).”
(Qur’an, soorat as-Saafaat, 37:35).

The Muslim must realize that this declaration stands against bigoted and blind imitation and calls for an acceptance of the teachings of Islam according to the understanding of those who followed the correct path. They are the companions and those who follow their footsteps until the day of resurrection. This path is knows as the Path of as-Salafus-Saalih (righteous predecessors).
The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) gave amazing parables for those who accept and those who reject the guidance and teachings of Islam. He said:
“The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allaah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allaah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefit). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allaah’s religion and gets benefit (from knowledge) which ِAllaah has revealed through me (the Prophet) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allaah’s guidance revealed through me (he is like that barren land). [Collected by Al-Bukhaaree].

The Second Part of the Shahaadah
مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوُل اللّهِ
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah

This is the second part of the declaration of the Shahaadah. It is the belief that Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is the final and last Messenger of Allaah. This means that:

1) Whatever Allaah told us about Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) must be true

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allaah, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins, in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-Fire), for the believers (he-صلي الله عليه وسلم-is) full of pity, kind, and Merciful.” (Qur’an, soorat at-Tawbah, 9: 128).

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا

“O Prophet (Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم)! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner, And as one who invites to Allaah {i.e. to worship none but Allaah} by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur’an and Sunnah).” (Qur’an, soorat al-Ahzaab, 33: 45-46)

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

“Say (O Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم): “I am a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (i.e., Allaah). So, whoever hopes for the meeting with his Rabb (Allaah), let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Rabb (Allaah).” (Qur’an, soorat al-Kahf, 18:110)

أَكَانَ لِلنَّاسِ عَجَبًا أَنْ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ رَجُلٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَنْ أَنذِرِ النَّاسَ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنَّ لَهُمْ قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ ۗ قَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَسَاحِرٌ مُّبِينٌ

“Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our inspiration to a man from among themselves (Prophet Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم)(saying):”Warn mankind (of the coming torment in Hell) and give good news to those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah & in His Prophet-صلي الله عليه وسلم), that they shall have with their Rabb (Allaah) the rewards of their good deeds.”? (Qur’an, soorat Younus, 10: 2).

قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ ۚ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“Say (O Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah will. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.” (Qur’an, soorat al-A’raaf, 7:188).

2) That we must worship Allaah as taught by Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم)

The obedience to Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is an Order from Allaah:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is severe in punishment.” (Qur’an, soorat al-Hashr, 59:7)

The meaning of the above ayah (verse) is very well illustrated in the following narration
Narrated ‘Alqama: Abdullaah (bin Mas’ud) said, “Allaah curses those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and those ladies who remove the hair from their faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth to look more beautiful whereby they change Allaah’s creation. “His saying reached a lady from Bani Asd called Um Ya’qub who came (to Abdullaah) and said: “I have come to know that you have cursed such-and-such (ladies)?” He replied: “Why should not I curse these whom Allaah’s Messenger cursed and who are cursed in Allaah’s Book!” Um Ya’qub said, “I have read the whole Qur’an and I have not found in it what you say.” He said, “Verily if you have read it (i.e. the Qur’an), you have found it. Didn’t you read: “And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).” She replied, “Yes, I did.” He said, “Verily, Allaah’s Messenger forbade these things.” She said, “But I see your wife doing these things?” He said, “Go and watch her.” She went and watched her but could not see anything in support of her statement. On that he said, “If my wife were as you thought, I would not keep her in my company (i.e. I would divorce her).”

مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ ۖ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

“He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم), has indeed obeyed Allaah, but he who turns away, then We have not sent you (O Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) as a watcher over them.” (Qur’an, soorat an-Nisaa’, 4:80)

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Whoever obeys me, he obeys Allaah, and whoever disobeys me, he disobeys Allaah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, he obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, he disobeys me.” [Collected by Al-Bukhaaree].
He (صلي الله عليه وسلم) also said:
“All of my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” They said: ‘O Allaah’s Messenger! Who will refuse?’ He said,”Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it).” [Collected by Al-Bukhaaree].
The matters discussing worship of Allaah, discipline, orders, advice, approvals, and recommendations as detailed by Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) are collectively known as Sunnah. The Sunnah is also meant to emphasize the correct way of understanding the Deen of Islam, in contrast with the ways of deviations and (or) innovations. The Sunnah is an Inspiration from Allaah and is not the Prophet’s idea, thought or desire:

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ

“Nor does he (Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.” (Qur’an, soorat an-Najm, 53:3-4)

So, in obeying the Prophet’s Sunnah we are obeying Allaah. There should be no resistance to the way of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم). He (صلي الله عليه وسلم) must be taken as a judge in all disputes as Allaah clearly commands:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“But no, by your Rabb (Allaah), they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) fully with submission.”
(Qur’an, soorat an-Nisaa’, 4:65).

فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment (i.e. his Sunnah, legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah befall them, or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” (Qur’an, saoorat anNoor, 24:63).

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“He who does an act which our matter (i.e. our religion) is not in agreement with, will have it rejected.” [Related by Muslim and Al-Bukhaaree with a different wording].
The Sunnah of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is surely safeguarded as Allaah promised to save the Message of Islam from any human corruption. The following of the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is the manifestation of the Declaration: “MUHAMMAD IS THE MESSENGER OF ALLAAH“:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say (O Muhammad-صلي الله عليه وسلم to all mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah then follow me (i.e. what I was trusted with, the Qur’an and Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Qur’an, soorat aal-‘Imraan, 3:31)

SUMMARY

The declaration that Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is the Messenger of Allaah is an integral part of faith. Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) must be trusted in all that he informed us about Islaam. He (صلي الله عليه وسلم) must be obeyed in all that he ordered and we must stay away from all that he forbade. The obedience to Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) is an obedience to Allaah. He left us with all that leads to Paradise and warned us from all that leads to Hell.

The Shahaadah

IS IT ENOUGH TO “SAY” IT?

The Belief in the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allaah (Tawheed) does not only mean to accept that there is no Creator but Allaah, and that Allaah is the Sovereign Rabb (Lord). The person who admits to this fact yet at the same time insists to associate partners with Allaah in worship, is a Mushrik (committing Shirk) even though he may daily utter the Shahaadah. Tawheed, however, embodies the love of Allaah alone; submission, humility, complete obedience, and sincerity of worship to Allaah alone. All of our life must be for His sake. Whoever acknowledges this meaning of Tawheed then he understands the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم):
“Allaah forbade the admittance to Hell of anyone who says laa ilaaha illal-laah ‘There is no true God Who deserves to be worshipped except Allaah,’ seeking the Face of Allaah.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Ahmad].
The hypocrites may utter the Shahaadah yet it is known that they are in the lowest part of Hell . Their declaration is not sincere:

إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا

“Verily the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.” (Qur’an, soorat an-Nisaa’, 4:145)

It is a must that the declaration of the Shahaadah be confirmed in the heart as well as by the tongue. The heart is the “king” and the rest of the body is the “army” under it command. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body if it is good the rest of the body becomes good; and if it is bad, the rest of the body becomes bad, and that is the heart .” [Part of an authentic hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Once the Shahaadah is established in the heart it will then help transform the status of the person such that the Fire of Hell will be forbidden to him. It has been narrated that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Whoever says laa ilaaha illal-laah, ‘there is no true God Who deserves to be worshipped but Allaah’ and declares Kufr (Disbelief) in whatever is worshipped besides Allaah then his money and blood are Haram (forbidden to be harmed in his money and blood) and the judgment (upon this person) is up to Allaah.” [Collected by Muslim and Ahmad].
The above hadeeth is a great explanation for the true meaning of ‘There is no true God but Allaah’. It emphasizes that there must be a complete dissociation from anyone /anything taken as a deity besides Allaah. There can be no worship offered to a righteous man, a star, moon, fire, river, cow, Buddha, Ghandi, Jesus, Khomeini, Malcom X or Y!, Farakhan, graves, statues, money, lust, heads of states, and so forth. Islaam abolishes all forms of man-made deities. When the person disbelieves in offering worship to other than Allaah, then he becomes a Muslim.
It is very clear that the disbelievers (Kuffar) of Mecca knew what the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) meant by the word he brought to them from Allaah: “There is no true God but Allaah.” They believed that Allaah was the Sustainer, the One Who gives life and causes death. But when Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) told them to say: “There is no true God Who deserves to be worshipped except Allaah,” their answer was:

أَجَعَلَ الْآلِهَةَ إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا ۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَشَيْءٌ عُجَابٌ

“Has he made the “gods” (all) into one God (Allaah) Verily, this is a curious thing !”
(Qur’an, soorat Saad, 38:5).

They knew that the declaration of the Shahaadah meant the abolishing of everything introduced between them and Allaah; an end to their intermediary “gods.” This was the reason behind their rejection.
This testimony of Tawheed is pure from any falsehood. It brings eternal abode in Paradise for those who fulfill its conditions and what it entails. Its rejection brings eternal abode in An-Naar (Hell). May Allaah guide me and you to be amongst those who love this declaration as well as abide by its meaning.


The One in need of the Mercy of Allaah
Saleh As-Saleh, May Allaah forgive me, my parents, my family, and all Muslims.
And may He reward sister Umm Ahmad al-Kanadiyyah for her excellent editing of the
text.
6th Sha’baan 1427 A.H.
August 30th 2006 C.E.