The Shahaadah and Its Importance
Summarized from a treatise done by Dr. Saleh Al-Fouzan
Adopted from HUDAA Magazine, published by Masjid Al-Istiqaamah
– Definitely there could be no greater and more important a statement than ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allah’ (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah).
– It is the statement of declaration of belief in the Tawheed of Allah which is the dividing line between Imaan and kufr – It was the call of all of the previous Messengers and Prophets.
– Allah (T) Himself attested to the importance of this statement in the Quraan:
He (T) said: “…and know that Laa ilaaha ill Allah (that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah)…” [47:19, 20:8, 3:18, 59:22-3]
As long as this statement is an obligation for an unbeliever to declare in order for him to become a Muslim, and also, since a person who pronounces it faithfully his property and life are safeguarded in this world, it becomes an obligation upon any Muslim who wants to understand the Deen of Islaam to realize its meaning, merits, principles, conditions and its place in life.
– Remembering Allah (Dhikr Allah) is one of the most important commandments of Allah. This He Himself commanded in many verses of the Quraan, especially after the performance of important religious obligations:
“…Then when you leave Arafat, remember Allah (by glorfying and praising Him) at the Mash`ar il-Haraam. And remember Allah (by invokingAllah for all good) as He has guided you…” [2:198]
“Then when you have accomplished your ‘Manasik’ (all the rights of Hajj); remember Allah as you remember your father with a strong remembrance…” [2:200]
He (T) also said:
“…and establish prayers for My remembrance.” [20:14]
The best way to remember Allah is described to us in the Hadeeth of the Messenger (S), he said:
“…and the best (supplication) I and the other prophets who were sent who were sent before me proclaimed was: There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, He is Alone and has no partner. To Him belongs the Ownership (of everything), and to Him belongs all Praise, and He has total power over all things.” [Laa ilaaha ill Allah, wah.dahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul h.amdu wa huwa `alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer.] At-Tirmidhi
The Messenger of Allah (S) also said: “The best remembrance of Allah is to say ‘laa ilaaha ill Allah’ (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah).”
All of the above points highlight the importance of this ‘kalima’ which we will try to explain in some more detail so that a clearer understanding of it can be achieved.
THE PLACE OF LAA ILAAHA ILL ALLAH IN THE LIFE OF A MUSLIM
– It is pronounced daily by him in:
(a) The call to prayer.
(b) At the beginning of their prayers
(c) During Tashahud.
(d) During times of ‘Dhikr’, which is before and after prayers, in the
late evening and also in the early mornings.
(e) With this ‘Kalima’ did Allah send all His Messengers.
(f) About it and its obligations will people be questioned
(g) To establish it when the swords of Muslims are drawn for Jihaad.
(h) The first question in the grave will be about this ‘Kalima’.
(i) It is the key to Al-Jannah.
(j) It is what the Muslims are commanded to invite to as is estbalished in the Hadeeth of Muadh when he was sent to Yemen to call the people to Islaam. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “You are going to encounter with a people of the Book, so let the first thing you call them to is the proclamation of ‘laa ilaaha ill Allah’ (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah)…” [Bukhari]
THE MERITS OF THE ‘KALIMAH’ (LAA ILAAHA ILL ALLAH)
Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri said, that the Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Moses (AS) said: O Lord! Teach me something that I can remember You with and I can supplicate You with. He (T) said: Say ‘Laa ilaaha ill Allah’, O Musaa. He (Musaa) said: All of your servants say this. He (T) said: If the seven Heavens and those who dwell in them other than Me and the seven Earths are put into one pan (of the scale) and ‘Laa ilaaha ill Allaah’ is put into the other; ‘Laa ilaaha ill Allah’ would be heavier.” [Ibn Hibbaan and Haakim]
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“The best Dhikr (remembrance) is ‘Laa ilaaha ill Allah’ (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah)…”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“A person from my Ummah will be summoned in the presence of all creatures on the Day of Judgement. Ninety-nine records (of his deeds) would be unfolded, each extending as far as the range of the vision can stretch, then he would be asked: ‘Do you deny any of these deeds?’ He will reply: ‘No, My Lord.’ He will be asked: ‘Do you have any excuse or any good deed?’ The man who will be scared will say: ‘No’ It will be said to him: ‘Yes you have some good deeds. No iniquity will befall you.’
A card wll then be shown to him, on it will be written: ‘Laa ilaaha ill Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah.’ He will say: ‘O Allah! What cards and records are these.’ It will be said to him: ‘No injustice shall befall you.’ The (ninety-nine) records will then be placed in one pan of the scale and the card on the other. The card will then outweigh the records.” [At-Tirmidhi and Al-Haakim]
All of These Merits of the ‘Kalimah’ Are Summarized by Ibn Rajab As Follows:
– Al-Jannah is its reward.
– Uttering it before death will cause one to be admitted to the Jannah.
– It is a refuge from the Fire of Hell.
– It is a cause for a Muslim to be forgiven.
– It is the best of good deeds.
– It wipes out sins.
– It traverses all bariers in order to be accepted by Allah, the Almighty
– It is a statement whose pronouncer will be accepted by Allah.
– It is the best proclamation ever uttered by the Prophets.
– It is the best celebration of His praises.
– It is the best of deeds and it multiplies into many good deeds.
– It is a protection against Satan.
– It is a safety from the darkness and the punishment of the graves and from the Day of Resurrection.
– The eight doors of Paradise will be accessible to its pronuncer.
– People who pronounce it will certain come out of the Fire of Hell, even after they have been cast into it for falling short of observing its obligations.
The Effects of Laa ilahah ilallaah
This kalimah (word) Laa ilaha ilallaah (that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah), if it said with truthfulness and sincerity from the heart, and acted upon in that which it necessitates – outwardly and inwardly – then its effect will indeed be praiseworthy upon both the individual and the society.
From the most important of its effects are:-
1) Uniting the word of the Muslims: This will result in strengthening the Muslims and assisting them in defeating their enemies – as long as they continue to follow and practise the same single religion, and as long as they adhere to the same single ‘aqeedah (belief). Allaah – the Most High – said:
|“And hold fast to the rope of Allaah and do not be divided.” [3:103]” It is He Who has strengthened you with His help and with the Believers, and moreover, He has put love and affection between their hearts. If you were to spend all that is in the earth, then never could you have united their hearts, but Allaah has united them. Indeed He is the all-Mighty, the all-Wise.” [8:62-63]|
And differing in matters of ‘aqeedah (beliefs) is the cause for splitting, disunity and hostility, as Allaah – the Most High – said:
|” Indeed those who split-up their religion and become sects, you have no part with them in the least.” [6:159]” But people have cut-off their affair of unity between them and have become sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself. ” [23:53]|
So people cannot truly be united except upon the correct concept of eemaan (faith) and the correct ‘aqeedah of Tawheed, which are both direct implications of Laa ilaha ilallaah. One need only consider the conditions of the Arabs before and after Islaam.
2) Prevalence of safety and peace in a unified society, which believes in and abides by Laa ilaha ilallaah. Since the individuals in such a society will take care in doing only that which Allaah has made halaal (lawful) and abandoning that which Allaah has made haraam (unlawful) – acting in accordance with what the ‘aqeedah necessitates upon them. So this will prevent people from enmity, oppression and injustice, whilst directing them towards co-operation, love and deep brotherhood for the sake of Allaah, acting upon His – the Most High’s saying – :
|” Indeed the Believers are but brothers.” [49:10]|
This is clearly reflected in the life of the Arabs before and after believing in Laa ilaha ilallaah. Before Islaam, they lived in hostility and insecurity, constantly fighting and killing each other. However, when they embraced Islaam all this changed, and the same people lived with each other in peace and an atmosphere of love and brotherhood prevailed, as Allaah – the Most High – said:
|“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and those who are with him are strong and mighty against the unbelievers and merciful and kind amongst each other.” [48:29]” And remember the favour of Allaah upon you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became brothers ” [3:103]|
3) Achievement of happiness, attainment of the khilaafah (succesion of power and authority) in the earth, maintaining purity of the religion and being steadfast?ness against the onslaught of false beliefs and foreign ideologies. Allaah said:
|” Allaah has promised to those among you who truly have eemaan (true faith and belief) and act in obedience to Allaah and His Messennger, that he will grant them rulership upon the earth, just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will establish their Religion for them and grant them the authority to practice their religion which He chose and ordered them with. And He will certainly change their situation to one of security, after their fear. Providing that they worship and obey Me, not associating anything else in worship with Me. Then, whoever rejects this favour by disobedience to their Lord – then they are the rebellious transgressors.” [24:55]|
So Allaah – the Most Perfect – has made achievement of these lofty goals conditional upon worshipping and obeying Him not associating any partners with Him. And this is the true meaning of Laa ilaha ilallaah.