The Testimony of Tawheed
” لا إله إلّا الله محمد رسول الله”
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 is His Godship and One 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 phrases. The phrase “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 be open for you. Otherwise, it will not open for you. 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 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:
“قال تعالى:فاعلم أنه لا إله إلا الله واستغفر لذنبك وللمؤمنين والمؤمنات والله يعلم مُتقلبكم ومثواكم” (سورة محمد، 19)
“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 () said:
” من مات وهو يعلم أن لا إله إلا الله دخل الجنة” رواه مسلم
“He who died knowing (fully well) that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allaah entered al-Jannah (Paradise).” [Reported by Muslim].
2. Certainty (Al-Yaqeen)
The testimony has to be made without any suspicion regarding its meaning. Allaah, the Exalted, says:
قال الله تعالى: “إنما المؤمنون الذين آمنوا بالله ورسوله ثم لم يرتابوا وجاهدوا بأموالهم وأنفسهم في سبيل الله أولئك هم الصادقون” (سورة الحجرات، 15).
“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 ():
“أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأني محمد رسول الله، لا يلقي الله بهما عبدٌ غير شاكٍ فيحجب عن الجنة” رواه مسلم
“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.” [collected by Muslim].