The Conditions of ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah, Muhammadun Rasoolullaah’

The Conditions of ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah, Muhammadun Rasoolullaah’

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 believer?s 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.

The recognition that Islaam is the Truth must be fulfilled with acceptance against false pride, arrogance and disdainfulness. Adherence to the Qur?aan and the authentic Sunnah (way of the Prophet, sallallaahu ?alayhi wasallam) liberates the believer from blind imitation and secures for him the right approach to understand Islaam.
“And similarly, We sent not a warner before you (O Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.” (The warner) said: “Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?” They said: “Verily, We disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.” So We took revenge of them, then see what was the end of those who denied (Islaamic Monotheism).” {43:23-25}

This can only be achieved by the Mercy of Allaah and through following the example set by those whom Allaah is pleased with amongst the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the Salaf-us-Saalih (the righteous Predecessors who followed their footsteps).

These are the conditions of laa ilaaha illallaah. As for the second part of the declaration, ‘Muhammadun Rasoolullaah’, then this testimony carries with it the following two implications;


“O Prophet (Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner, And as one who invites to Allaah [Islaamic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allaah (Alone)] by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.)” {33:45-46}

“Say (O Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God i.e. Allaah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” {18:110}

“Say (O Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): “I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (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.” {7:188}

“Is it wonder for mankind that We have sent Our Inspiration to a man from among themselves (i.e. Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) (saying): “Warn mankind (of the coming torment in Hell), and give good news to those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and in His Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) that they shall have with their Lord the rewards of their good deeds” (But) the disbelievers say: “This is indeed an evident sorcerer (i.e. Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Qur’aan!” {10:2}

The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, is safeguarded by the One above the seven heavens, just as He has assured that the Qur’aan is safeguarded by Him;
“Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (the Remembrance i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” {15:9}

The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, was inspired by revelation and never did he utter a word from his desires. Allaah tells us in the Qur’aan;
“Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.” {53:3-4}

Therefore, all his actions, sayings, advice, orders, prohibitions etc. all constitute part of the revelation from Allaah which complete the religion of Islaam. Obedience to him is obedience to Allaah so his Sunnah should not be met with any resistance.
“He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), has indeed obeyed Allaah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) as a watcher over them.” {4:80}

“Whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allaah.” {59:7}

“And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” {24:63}

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” {4:65}

It is through his, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, example that we will gain the love of Allaah, subhaanahu wa Ta’aalaa;

“Say (O Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam to mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah then follow me (i.e. accept Islaamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” {3:31}
[1] Along with the acceptance of the second part of the Shahaadah (Muhammadun Rasoolullaah).

[2] This is referring to the Hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, radhiyallaahu Ta’aala ‘anhu, in which he narrates that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said;

“I have been ordered to fight against people until they testify that there is no God worthy of being worshipped but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah and until they perform the prayers and pay the Zakaah, and if they do so, they will have gained protection from me for their lives and property unless (they do acts that are punishable) in accordance with Islaam, and their reckoning will be with Allaah, the Exalted.”
{Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, no.33}

[3] Tayseerul-Ilaah bi-Sharhi adillati shurooti laa ilaaha illallaah (Facilitation by Allaah in explaining the evidences of the conditions of laa ilaaha illallaah) by Shaykh ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Abdullaah al-Jaabiri. Narrated by Imaam al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh under the chapter ‘Whoever’s last words are laa ilaaha illallaah’.

[4] Some of the ‘ulamaa, such as Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, add an eighth condition that all other deities worshipped besides Allaah must be rejected.

[5] It is reported on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said: “None of you is a believer till I am dearer to him than his child, his father and the whole of mankind.” {Saheeh Muslim, no.71}

[6] al-Walaa is defined as the allegiance to Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and it implies that the believer is loyal and loves for the sake of Allaah. Al-Baraa, on the other hand, is defined as disavowal and it implies that the believer has enmity for the enemies of Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and that he hates purely for His sake not for his own personal desires.

[7] Shaykh ‘Abdur-rahmaan as-Sa’dee, rahimahullaah, said in al-Qawlus-Sadeed (pp.161-163) in his explanation to the verse of the Qur’aan;

“So call upon Him by them.”{7:180};

‘The foundation of Tawheed is affirming whatever Allaah affirmed for Himself or whatever His Messenger affirmed for Him, as regards His beautiful Names; being aware of what they encompass as regards their majestic and beautiful meanings, worshipping Allaah by them and calling upon Him with them. So everything that the worshipper seeks from his Lord – whether regarding his worldly or religious affairs – then he seeks it by calling upon Him with an appropriate Name from amongst the beautiful Names of Allaah. So whoever calls upon Him requiring provisions and sustenance, should ask Him by His Name ar-Razzaaq (the Provider). Whoever requires mercy and forgiveness [should call upon Him with His Name] ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful), ar-Raheem (the Bestower of Mercy), al-Birr (the Most Kind), al-Kareem (the Most Generous), al-?Afuww (the Pardoner), al-Ghafoor (the oft-Forgiving), at-Tawwaab (the One who accepts repentance), and their like. What is better than this is that calling upon Him by His Names and Attributes is an act of worship providing that the meanings of His beautiful Names are acquired by the hearts, such that hearts are affected by what they signify and are filled with this awareness. So, for example, the Names [signifying] greatness, pride, magnificence and dread, should fill hearts with awe of Allaah and reverence to Him. The Names [signifying] beauty, goodness, kindness, compassion and munificence should fill the heart with love of Allaah, a yearning for Him, praise of Him and gratitude to Him. The Names [signifying] might, wisdom, knowledge and power should fill the heart with submissiveness to Allaah, fear of Him and humility to Him. The Names that [signify] knowledge, being informed, omnipresence, watchfulness and witnessing, should fill the heart with an awareness that Allaah watches over every movement and moment of stillness, and thus makes one guard against having evil thoughts and corrupt intentions. The Names signifying self-sufficiency, richness and beneficence should fill the heart with a realization of being dependant and in great need of Him, turning to Him at all times and under all circumstances.’
PRODUCED BY: Al-Muflihoon.Com {Translation taken from ‘The declaration of Faith’ by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan.}


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