بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Man is a worshipper by nature; worship is instilled in him. So either he will worship the creator (Allah) alone, with no partner or associate, or he will worship something other than Allah, alongside Him, or instead of Him.
Shahadah “La ilaaha illa Allah” is singling out Allah Alone in ibaadah or worship and being sincere in His oneness.
The significant point which every Muslim know well is the truth that there is no God (deity) to be worshipped other than Allah. He-glory be to Him – is the only true God, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of life and Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation, with His unlimited bounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.
The word: لا إله إلا الله is divided into 2 parts.
First part: لا إله – is Negation (نفي)
and the second: إلا الله is – Affirmation (إثبات)
What are we negating and what are we affirming?
The Negation aspect means to remove every single object of worship besides Allah in all actions of worship; and the affirmation aspect means to single out the Lord of the heavens and the earth Alone for all matters of worship in the way that has been legislated in the sharia’.
In the explanation of the book of sheikh Muhammad bin Abdulwahab, sheikh Aitham bin Jameel surjaan said,
“Supposed one considers the meaning of لا إله إلا الله to be (there is no God but Allah). This meaning will be erroneous because there are other objects being worshipped besides Allah.”
If we tell idol worshippers لا إله means there’s no God, they may ask, what of their own gods?
And, if we consider the meaning of لا إله إلا الله To be لا رب بحق إلا اله “there is no true Lord, the Creator, the Sustainer and the one who regulates the affairs, except Allah”. This meaning will be right but does not give the correct meaning of لا إله إلا الله, for The Arab disbelievers at the time of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم believed in this statement, they believed Allah is the creator, the nourisher, the Sustainer, in His hands is the control of all affairs, and in His hands is life and death. “say, who provides for you out of heavens and earth, who controls hearings and sights? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who directs the whole affair? They will say ‘Allah’.” (yunus: 32).
Despite their understanding and belief in this statement, that does not enter them into Islam because they did not single out Allah alone in worship.
They worship Allah along the creations because they believe that these created beings will intercede for and bring them closer to their Lord.
Allah said, “And they worship besides Allah what harms them not nor profit them, and they say these are our intercessors with Allah” (yunus:18). The same is true of other religions other than Islam.
But what differentiate Islam from other religions is this Kalima, denouncing any other worshipped objects besides Allah, and affirming the right to be worshipped to be exclusively for Allah.
Significance of the Negation in the Kalima لا إله إلا الله
Singling out Allah in all forms of worship is the condition for acceptance of ibaadah, without which all efforts are in vain.
It was narrated by Muslim from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, says: ‘I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.’” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Zuhd wa’l-Raqaiq, 5300).
Singling out Allah in worship is the right of Allah upon His creation.
It is narrated that Mu’adh bin Jabal رضى الله عنه said: “I was riding behind the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم on a donkey and he said to me” O Mu’adh, do you know what is the right of Allah on His slaves and what is right of the slaves upon Allah?” I responded” Allah and His Messenger know best. ” He Continued. “The right of Allah upon His slaves, is to worship Him Alone and never to associate anything with Him. The right of slaves upon Him is not to punish any person who does not associate anything with Him. “I said O Allah’s Messenger, may I not give the glad tidings to the people?” He replied “No, do not inform them lest they rely on ( this promise and lapse in their service to Him)”.
Reported by Bukhari and Muslim
It is a condition for Forgiveness of sins:
At-Tirmidhi reports from Ana’s, may Allah be pleased with him: ‘he heard Allah’s messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم saying: “Allah the Most Exalted said: ‘O Son of Adam, were you to come to Me with the world full of sins, and meet Me without making anything partner to Me (shirk), I would come to you with a similar amount of forgiveness”.
It is a certificate to jannah.. Narrated by Ubadah bin As-Samit رضى الله عنه that Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Whoever testifies that there is nothing worthy of worship in truth except Allah Alone, Who is without partner, and that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is His slave and Messenger, and that ‘Eesa (Jesus) is the slave of Allah, His Messenger and His Word which He bestowed in Maryam (Mary), and a spirit (created) from Him, and that Paradise and Hellfire are realities, Allah will admit him him into Paradise whatever his deeds might be” (Sahih Bukhari)
Hell fire is forbidden for whoever testifies to the oneness of Allah.
Itban رضى الله عنه narrated that the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “indeed Allah has forbidden for Hell the person who testifies : ” There is nothing worthy of worship in truth but Allah “, seeking thereby nothing but Allah’s face (pleasure) (Bukhari and Muslim).
Kalimatu As-shahaadah is the heaviest in weight in comparison with all other creation.
Musa (Moses) عليه السلام said : “O my Rabb, teach me something through which I can remember You and supplicate to You”. Allah answered: “say La ilaaha illa Allah” Musa said, O my Rabb, all your slaves say these word.” Allah said: ” O Musa, if the seven heavens and all they contain other than Me (Ghairy), and the seven earths as well, were all put in one side of a scale, and La ilaaha illa-Allaah put in the other, the latter would outweigh them”. (Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim declared it sahih).
Having known some significance, it is pertinent to discuss briefly on some of the ways to single Allah out in worship and make religion purely for Him.
All acts of ibaadah both body and heart must be directed to Allah Alone; thus, Hope, Fear, Reliance, Refuge, protection, supplications etc should be directed to no other than Allah.
“Say (O Muhammad): Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” (al-An’aam, Verse 162).
ibaadah is not limited to a number of rituals that Allaah has commanded should be done at certain times – such as prayer, fasting and Hajj – as many think.
It takes just a while to do these rituals of worship every day and night. What about the rest of a person’s life and time? Spent In something other than worship? Then, we would not be fulfilling the purpose of our creation. “And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they worship me” (al-Dhariyat، verse 56).
Thus, when one strives in the land seeking provision, he is worshipping Allaah, because Allaah has commanded him to do that, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is bad is ibaadah, keeping family ties is ibaadah, helping one another, good words etc… Indeed the Muslim is not content unless his pleasure in eating, drinking and marital relations is counted in the scale of his good deeds.
Part of making ibaadah exclusively for Allah is to consider Everything other than Allah as سببا (instrumental).
Success or failure is not attributed to other than from Allah, actions and inactions, persons or circumstances are mere instruments in the hands of Allah. Hearts should not be attached to who causes failure or what brought success, but attached to Allah only – the, Creator, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.
“Verily, those whom you worshipped besides Allah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allah (Alone) and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back”. (Al-Ankaboot, Aya 17).
“And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is able to do all things” (Sura Al-Anaam, Aya 17).
part of sincerity in ibaadah is Unattachment to one’s Whims and Desires.
One whose heart is attached to something other than Allaah of his own whims and desires would find himself unconsciously worshipping this whims and desires. If he gets what he wants he is happy and if he does not then he is angry. So he is a slave to whatever he desires, for slavery in fact refers to the enslavement of the heart. The more he is enslaved to these desires, the weaker his submission to his Lord, so if his enslavement to these whims and desires is so strong that it prevents him from adhering to religion completely, then he will become a mushrik and a kaafir. If these whims and desires keep him from doing some of the things that he is obliged to do or they make the idea of doing some of the things that he is forbidden to do, but which do not put a person beyond the pale of Islam, seem attractive to him, then that affects his submission to his Lord and his faith, to the extent to which they keep him from fulfilling his religious commitment.
“Have you (O Muhammad) seen him who has taken as his ilaah (god) his own vain desire? Would you then be a Wakeel (a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him?” (al-Furqaan 25:43).
Allah has made devotion of worship to Him Alone one of the means of deeds being accepted without which deeds are in vain.
May He help us to obey Him by doing that which He has commanded and avoiding that which He has forbidden, whilst loving Him, fearing Him and putting one’s hopes in Him and making our worship purely for Him Alone.
1. Kitaab At-Tauhid, The Book of monotheism By Sheikh-ul-Islam: Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahab.
2. Guide to Sound Creed: Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan
3. Explanation of The Three Fundamental principles: Sheikh Haitham bin Jameel Sarjaan.
4. The Key to Paradise: Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali.
5. Conditions of Laa ilaaha illa-Allaah: Hafidh al-Hakami. Taken from his book: “Ma’arij Al-Qobool” translated by Abbas Abu Yahya.
6. Islamqa.info (authentic Islamic question and answer website)