The Testimony of Tawheed – the Shahada. The testimony of La ilaaha illa Lah, Muhammed Rasul Allah which means that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammed is Allah’s Slave and Messenger.
The meaning of La ilaaha illah lah is to believe in the firm attestation that no one deserves to be worshipped except Allah and abiding by that and acting accordingly. Worshipping Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and staying away from associating partners with Him in worship. This is the real meaning of La ilaaha illah. Allah asserted to his Prophet sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam the importance of knowing the meaning of la ilaaha illah lah when He said:
Muhammed (47)-19: So know (O Muhammad ) that Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), and ask forgiveness for your sin.
This means that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah the true God. And therefore seek him for forgiveness. The pillars of La ilaaha Illa lah has 2 pillars. First, a negation and second an affirmation. The negation is when we say La ilaaha- there is no god. This negates the ascription of any partner to Allah in any shape or form and rejecting disbelief in anything worshipped or to the exclusion of Allah. After the negation comes the affirmation- illah lah meaning except Allah. This affirms that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah. The meaning of this came in the book of Allah:
Al-Baqqarah (2)-256: Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
This is the meaning of La ilaaha illa lah. What it he meaning of shahadatun Muhammedan Rasul Allah-the testimony that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah. It means obeying him in that which he commands and believing him in that which he reported and keeping away from that which he forbade and called us to stay from, and that Allah is to be worshipped only in that which he (Muhammed sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam) prescribed. This is the meaning of Muhammedan Rasul Allah. And again this meaning is understood only by the few.
The obedience of the Messenger sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam is from the obedience to Allah. Allah says:
Al-‘Imran (3)-31: Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
This is a test and commandment from Allah to the believers to follow the one that they claim to love in all that he prescribes; the consequence of which is the Love and Forgiveness upon the believers from Allah.
Also it means ‘Tasdeeq Al-Rasul’- believing in the Messenger in that which he related and informed of the past and future news that which he told about the matters of the unseen which Allah informed him either in detail with respect to some cases or in general with respect to other cases, and this is from the great obligations. Also to keep away from that which he salla Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam commanded us to stay from. This is vividly stated by Allah’s saying:
Al-Hashr (59)-7: And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad ) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) , and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment.
The Prophet sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam said:
In any matter which I command you to do, then do of it which you are able to do. And that which I forbid for you, then stay away from it.
From this meaning we can extract the fact that we only worship Allah how the Prophet sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam worshipped Him. The second condition of acceptance of deeds is the following of the Messenger sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam. The first is sincerity in deeds for Allah alone.
The Prophet sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam said:
Whoever does something that is not in accordance with our way will have it rejected.
Therefore this is the meaning of the full shahada. La illaha illah lah, Muhammed Rasul Allah. This testimony that Muhammedan Rasul Allah has 2 pillars as well:
- Attesting and ascribing to his message
- Believing that he is a slave-worshipper of Allah as he asserted in the hadith: and verily I am a slave so therefore say the slave of Allah and His Messenger (when referring to him).
So we don’t raise him above his honorable rank, and we don’t exaggerate in him and one should not be excessive in him ‘alayhi salaatu wasalaam as those who give him divine attributes for example: they fall in the same error done by others who ascribe divinity to certain objects of worship or to humans or angels or other created objects. So we know that the Prophet ‘alayhi salaatu wassalam is a human and a slave of Allah and a Prophet. And we believe that he causes no harm nor brings a benefit when one calls upon him for help so as to execute certain things or lift certain calamities and we believe that he does not know of the unseen in the absolute sense, rather we believe that he knows from that unseen that which Allah enabled him to know. Therefore, this is the real position of the believer towards the Prophet Muhammed sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam and this is the great honor and respect that is due to the Messenger sallah Allahu ‘alayhi wassalam from the believers.