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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Conditions of 'Laa ilaaha illallaah, Muhammadun Rasoolullaah' - Part 1

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Laa ilaaha illallaah ('There is no deity worth of being worshipped Except Allaah) is known as the first part of the Shahaadah (The Testification of Faith). It is the first principle in the belief in Tawheed (The Oneness of Allaah) and through its acceptance [1]; a person enters the fold of Islaam and his blood, wealth and property become sacred [2]. This declaration is the key to Allaah's Jannah (Paradise) and it has certain conditions which must be met in order for the gates of Jannah to be opened, as attested to by Wahb ibn Munabbih. When he used to be asked by the people, 'Is not laa ilaaha illallaah the key to al-Jannah?' He replied: 'Yes but each key must have teeth. If you come with that which has the right set of teeth, it will open for you, otherwise it will not open." [3]

The 'Ulamaa (Scholars of Islaam) have deduced from the texts of the Qur'aan and Authentic Sunnah, seven conditions of laa ilaaha illallaah [4]. They are;


Allaah, subhaanahu wa Ta'aalaa, says in Soorah Muhammad;
"So know (O Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) that laa ilaaha illallaah (None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah)" {47:19}

And the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, said;
"He who dies knowing that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah will enter Jannah." {Saheeh Muslim, no.39}

This necessitates that one must have knowledge of this declaration and understand its meaning, its pillars, and implications so that he may know what is required of him and thus benefit by it. It also necessitates knowledge of Allaah, His attributes, His actions, His commandments and prohibitions as well as the correct manner in which to worship Him. It negates ignorance and encompasses man's purpose of creation. The highest form of knowledge is that which leads to the complete dissociation from false deities and the complete devotion of intentions to Allaah alone.


The statement of laa ilaaha illallaah must be uttered with complete certainty and free from any forms of suspicion or doubt regarding its meaning. This condition is mentioned in His saying;
"Only those are the believers who have believed in Allaah and His Messenger and afterward doubt not" {49:15}

And the Hadeeth of the Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam;
"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of being worshipped except Allaah and I am His Messenger. The slave of Allaah who would meet Him without harbouring any doubts about this will enter Jannah." {Saheeh Muslim in Kitaabul-Eemaan, 1/41-42}


This condition negates shirk (the association of partners with Allaah). It calls for the acceptance of Islaam with a pure intention and for the performance of all actions sincerely for His sake.
"Say (O Muhammad , sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) "Allaah Alone I worship by doing religious deeds sincerely for His sake only and not to show-off, and not to set up rivals with Him in worship" {39:14}

He who testifies to this declaration with a corrupt intention, or having accepted Islaam, performs a deed in which he seeks some worldly gain has failed to meet this condition. The deed will be rejected and Allaah's anger would be upon him.


Truthfulness paves the way for a meaningful understanding of laa ilaaha illallaah as it strengthens the believers drive towards achieving knowledge of his Creator. In addition, the truthful believer will grow in love for Allaah and as a consequence, his heart will become sincere.
"Truly, in the body there is a flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt, and behold, it is the heart." {Saheeh Muslim, no.3882}

In contrast, the heart of the hypocrite is filled with desires and diseases due to the falsehood accompanying their testimony. Allaah says about them;
"They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts." {48:11}


This love is composed of three elements;

* That the believer loves Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, more than anyone else including his own self [5],
* That the believer loves what Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, love
* And finally, that the believer hates what Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, hate.

This is the true meaning of love in Islaam and these three elements form the foundations behind the concept of al-walaa wal-baraa [6]. It is not enough to simply claim that one possesses this love. Rather, it must be translated into actions through the limbs by following the commands of Allaah and Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam. As a consequence of this condition, the one who truly loves Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, will love His deen (religion) and his heart wil be grieved at the actions of the innovators who attempt to corrupt the religion's pure teachings by introducing foreign beliefs into it. Thus, this condition necessitates the negation of following any of the innovators.
It is reported on the authority of Anas that the Prophet of Allaah (may the Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There are three qualities for which anyone who is characterised by them will relish the sweetness of faith: he to whom Allaah and His Messenger are dearer than all else; he who loves a man for Allaah's sake alone; and he who has as great an abhorrence of returning to unbelief after Allaah has rescued him from it as he has of being cast into Hell. {Saheeh Muslim, no.67}

Love of Allaah grows in the heart of the believer as his knowledge of Allaah increases. It is only through knowing the object of love that love can be strengthened and the soul freed from the attachment to this temporal world. There are many ways to know Allaah, through reflecting over His creation and the manifest signs both in the universe and within the verses of the Qur'aan. One of the most effective ways is through studying the Names and Attributes of Allaah. [7]


The opposite which is eliminated by this condition is rejection. This is fulfilled by obeying Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam and safeguarding against that which they have forbidden. They should be obeyed without hesitation or unease, nor should their decrees be evaluated or reasoned. Rather, the true believer submits to the commandents whole-heartedly and is happy doing so, as Allaah mentions in His saying;
"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." {33:36}

And also in His saying;
"Whoever submits his whole self to Allaah, while he is doing good (i.e. obeys Allaah in all respects) has indeed grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold." {31:22}

Allaah is Our Creator and He alone is perfect in His Knowledge and Wisdom. Thus, He knows that which will benefit man and that which will cause him harm. Therefore, whatever has been sent down in the revelation of commandments and prohibitions, is for guiding the creation to the path of good in this life and the Hereafter. So it is in man's best interest to submit to these commands, to obey them and not to go against them.

adapted from message by "Islaam is for Mankind - Everyone Enter" group

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