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Mushrikoon Believed in Allah as a Rabb |

All religions for the most part at least believe in one Supreme being,
whether it be God the Father or Zeus in Greek mythology. The
mushrikoon believed in Allah as a Rabb. This therefore necessitates that
Ruboobiyyah alone is not sufficient. Abu Lahab and all of the leaders of
Quraysh believed in Allah as a Rabb. Even Iblees believed in Allah as a

[Iblis (Satan)] said: See? This one whom You have honoured above me, if
You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will
surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a
few! (17:62)

There are many clear ayaat proving that the Jahiliyyah Arabs believed that
Allah created and sustained everything, and was All-Powerful.

If you ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth, and put the
sun and the moon in your service?; they will say, Allah. Why then did
they deviate? Allah is the One who increases the provision for whomever
He chooses from among His creatures, and withholds it. Allah is fully
aware of all things. And if you ask them Who is it that sends down water
from the clouds, then gives life to the earth with it after its death, they will
certainly say, Allah. Say: All praise is due to Allah; but most of them do not
understand. (Al-Ankaboot, 29:61-63)

If you asked them who created them, they would say, Allah. Why then
did they deviate? (Az-Zukhruf, 43:87)

Say, To whom belongs the earth and everyone on it, if you know? They
will say, To Allah. Say, Why then do you not take heed? Say, Who is the
Lord of the seven heavens; the Lord of the great dominion? They will say,
Allah. Say, Why then do you not turn righteous? Say, In whose hand is
all sovereignty over all things, and He is the only one who can provide
help, but needs no help, if you know? They will say, Allah. Say, Where
did you go wrong? (Al-Muminoon, 84-89)

They have been deluded and misguided even though they accepted Allah
as a Rabb.

This shows that the Jahiliyyah Arabs believed in Allah yet committed shirk.

Excuse of the Jahili Arabs in their Worship

And they worship, instead of Allah, that which neither harms them nor
profits them; and they say, These are our intercessors with Allah.
(Younus, 10:18)
They are praying to al-Laat so that al-Laat will take it up to Allah. They
thought they were too sinful or unworthy of going directly to Allah so they
took up intermediaries. The main argument used by those who try to
justify shirk in Islam is the exact same as this.

We worship them only that they may bring us closer to Allah. (Az-
Zumar, 39:3)

Want to establish an indirect relationship with Allah. They think the others
are so beloved to Allah, and if they are loved by them, then Allah will love

Mushrikoon Believed in Allah but Still Committed Shirk

And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with
Him). (Yousuf, 12: 106)

The majority of people believed in Allah but still commit shirk. This means
the belief alone is not sufficient. Ibn Abbas interpreted this statement to
say that their belief in Allah is to say if you ask them who created the
mountains they would say Allah, yet they worship other than Him
(Tabari). This shows they had some type of Tawheed but not full Tawheed.

In fact the ayah itself shows that they believed (had emaan) but that
emaan was mixed with shirk.

One proof of this is the fact that the mushrikoon turned to Allah at times
of distress. It shows that they realized their idols were useless in matters
of life and death. It also shows the fitrah of mankind is to call out to Allah

When they ride on a ship, they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient
to Him. But as soon as He saves them to the shore, they associate others
(with Him). (Al-Ankaboot :65)

When the Prophet(saw) conquered Mecca, he granted amnesty to and

forgave everyone for their transgressions except 6 people who he ordered
to be put to death. One of them was Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl. He realized he
would not live when the Muslims came so he ran away to Abysinnia. On
his way there, on the ship, the ship entered into a storm and the waves
tossed them up and down. It was exactly as described in the Quran. The
captain of the ship called out to the people to make dua to Allah and
sincerely call out to Him because you know your idols will not save you
now. Ikrimah said that it struck him then that if his idols were of no use
now, then why did they worship them outside of that? So Ikrimah made up
his mind to accept Islam and said O Allah if you save me I will put my
hand in the hand of the Prophet (saw) and I will find him to be forgiving
and merciful.

Excuse of Jahili Arabs in not Accepting Islam

They rejected the uloohiyyah of Allah, but not the Ruboobiyyah. They
refused to single out Allah in worship.

When they were told, Laa ilaaha illa Allah (There is no worthy god beside
Allah), they turned arrogant. (As-Saaffaat, 37:35)

They wondered that a warner should come to them, from among them.
The disbelievers said, A magician, a liar. Did he make the gods into one
god (ilaah)? This is really strange. (Saad, 38:4-5)

They accused him of being a sorcerer because he made the objects of

worship into one. Their contention was not bringing another God or
anything like that, but that he made their deities of worship into only one.
Their rejection of Islam was because of tawheed of Allah in His worship.
They worshipped Allah, but they worshipped idols as well.

When one understands the religion of the Jahiliyyah Arabs, one

understands the shirk of modern Muslims.

Jahili Arabs Talbiyyah for Hajj

Narrated in Sahih Muslim they would say Labbayk Allahuma Labayk and
add to it:

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported that the polytheists also
pronounced (Talbiya) as: Here I am at Thy service, there is no associate
with Thee. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Woe be
upon them, as they also said: But one associate with Thee, you possess
mastery over him, but he does not possess mastery (over you). They used
to say this and circumambulate the Kaba.

Even in this talbiyyah, the ultimate power is being given to Allah, but it
was still shirk. This is the same as people who try to justify shirk. They will
call out to saints or the Prophet (saw) and say that they are only doing it
because Allah gave them power and that the power still goes back to
In conclusion, it can be said the Jahili Arabs accepted Allahs Ruboobiyyah,
yet they were still amongst the worst of creation.

Ruboobiyyah Necessitates Uloohiyyah

How can you admit that Allah is the true Rabb and yet direct acts of
worship to other than Him? Once it is established that Allah is the Rabb,
the next logical step is to worship Him, however many people do not take
this step. This is the basic theme of the Quran.

Allah (swt) uses their belief in His Lordship as proof against them in their
acts of shirk. He mentions their belief in Him as proof against their
worship of others in the following ayaat:

Say (O Muhammad SAW): Praise and thanks be to Allah, and peace be on

His slaves whom He has chosen (for His Message)! Is Allah better, or (all)
that you ascribe as partners (to Him)? (Of course, Allah is Better). Is not
He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and
sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow
wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight? It is not in your ability to
cause the growth of their trees. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Nay, but
they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)! Is not He (better than your
gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in
its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier
between the two seas (of salt and sweet water).Is there any ilah (god)
with Allah? Nay, but most of them know not. Is not He (better than your
gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who
removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after
generations. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Little is that you
remember! Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the
darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of
glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain)? Is there any ilah (god) with
Allah? High Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners (to
Him)! Is not He (better than your so-called gods) Who originates creation,
and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from heaven and
earth? Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Say, Bring forth your proofs, if
you are truthful. (Naml 27:59-64)

Throughout these verses Ruboobiyyah is linked to Uloohiyyah. Rhetorical

questions about Ruboobiyyah then ends it with an ayah of uloohiyyah. So
He established their Ruboobiyyah and then challenges their uloohiyyah.
There are hundreds of verses where this link is shown.

When reading through the Quraan, notice how Allah (swt) often mentions
manifestations of His lordship (ruboobiyya) after calling upon people to
worship Him alone (uloohiyyah).

O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who
were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqun. (2:21)
Ruboobiyyah Necessitates Uloohiyyah (Salih al-Fawzan)

Tawheed ar-Rububiyah Necessitates Tawheed al-Uluhiyah Saleh


The title of the chapter means that he, who declares Tawheed ar-
Rububiyah and affirms that there is no Creator, Provider or Administrator
of the Universe except Allah then he is required to proclaim that none
deserves all forms of worship except Allah, which is known as Tawheed al-

Uluhiyah means, worship, and the meaning of ilah is, mabood (one who
is worshiped). So, none is to be invoked and sought help from except
Allah, none is to be relied upon except Allah, none is to be offered
sacrifices and avowed to except Allah and no worship is performed except
to Allah alone.

Tawheed ar-Rububiyah is a proof of Tawheed al-Uluhiyah, and this is why

Allah has mainly used Tawheed ar-Rububiyah as a proof against the
deniers of Tawheed, as He says, O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah),
Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become
pious. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a
canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth
therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah
(in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be
worshiped). [Soorah al-Baqarah (3):21-22]

Thus, he ordered them with Tawheed al-Uluhiyah, which is His worship,

and presented as a proof Tawheed ar-Rububiyah, which is that He
created the people of the earlier times and the later, He created the sky
and the earth and all that is between them, the blowing of the wind,
sending down of the rain, the growing of the plants, the production of
fruits which is the provision of the slaves. So, it is not befitting for them to
associate partners, whom they know that they have not done any of the
above or anything else besides that.

So, the natural instinct is to affirm Tawheed al-Uluhiyah which is proved by

Tawheed ar-Rububiyah, because every person clings to the origin of his
creation, and the source of his benefit and harm, he then turns to the
means which bring him closer to Him, please Him and strengthen the
bond between them. Thus, Tawheed ar-Rububiyah is a door to Tawheed al-
Uluhiyah, this is why Allah used it as a proof against the Mushrikeen
(those who associate partner with Allah), Say, Whose is the earth and
whosoever is therein? If you know! They will say, It is Allahs! Say, Will
you not then remember? Say, Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens,
and (the) Lord of the Great Throne? They will say, Allah. Say, Will you
not then fear Allah. Say, In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything
(i.e. treasures of each and everything)? And He protects (all), while
against Whom there is no protector, if you know. They will say, (All that
belongs) to Allah. Say, How then are you deceived and turn away from
the truth? [Soorah al-Mu'minoon (23): 84]

Such is Allah, your Lord! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be
worshiped but He), the Creator of all things. So worship Him (Alone).
[Soorah al-An'aam (6): 102]

So, He used His Oneness in Rububiyah as a proof to establish that He

alone deserves to be worshiped, and Tawheed al-Uluhiyah is the purpose
behind the creation of the universe, He says, And I (Allah) created not the
jinn and humans except that they should yabudoon (worship) Me.
[Soorah Adh-Dhariyat (51): 56] The meaning of, yabudoon is, single Me
out in worship.

The slave cannot be a muwahhid (one who believes in Tawheed in the

correct manner) by affirming Tawheed ar-Rububiyah alone, until he
declares Tawheed al-Uluhiyah and establishes it. Otherwise, even the
Mushrikeen used to proclaim Allahs Oneness in Rububiyah but it did not
qualify them to enter Islam. The Messenger of Allah (saw) fought them,
while they were declaring that Allah is the Creator and Provider, the One,
Who gives life and death as Allah says, And if you ask them who created
them, they will surely say, Allah. [Soorah az-Zukhruf (43): 87]

And indeed if you ask them, Who has created the heavens and the
earth? They will surely say, The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.
[Soorah az-Zukhruf (43): 9]

Say, Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or who owns
hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings
out the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs? They will say,
Allah. [Soorah Yunus (10): 31]

Similar verses can be found in plenty in the Quraan. He, who claims that
Tawheed is to affirm the Existence of Allah or declare that Allah is the
Creator and the One, Who disposes the affairs of the Universe, and
restricts himself to this definition then he does not know the reality of
Tawheed to which the Messenger called. Because he has halted at the
affair, which necessitates (i.e., Tawheed ar-Rubibiyah), and he has
abandoned what it necessitates (i.e., Tawheed al-Uluhiyah) or he has
stopped at the proof and abandoned what it proves.

Important points of Tawheed al-Uluhiyah

Absolute perfection from all aspects without any flaw from any angle
necessitates that all worship should be for Allah alone; glorification,
reverence, hope, supplication, repentance, seeking aid, reliance, seeking
help, utmost humbleness with utmost love. All this should be necessarily
performed for Allah alone, and this is proved by the intellect, Shareeah
and the natural instinct. It is against the intellect, Shareeah and the
natural instinct that any of these should be performed for someone other
than Him.

(*translated by Shawana A. Aziz, as-Sunnah vol. 2, issue 8.)

Blessings of the Shahadah

It is the essence of tawheed, and why creation was created. It is because

of this that mankind is divided into Muslim and Kafir, it is why books were
revealed, and prophets sent. It is the first phrase that the Muslim child
hears when it is born.

Related Abu Raafi who said, I saw the Prophet give the aadhaan for
prayer in the ear of al-Husayn ibn Alee when his mother Faatimah gave
birth to him. (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

It is the goal of every Muslim that it be his last phrase as well as the
heaviest phrase in the Scale.

Whoever says as his last words La ilaaha ill-Allah, will enter Paradise.
(Abu Daawood)

Musa said: O my Lord, teach me something by which I can remember

You and supplicate to You. Allah answered: Say, O Musa, La ilaaha illAllah
(none has the right to be worshipped but Allah). Musa said: O my Lord,
all your slaves say this. Allah said: O Musa, if the seven heavens and all
of their inhabitants besides Me, and the seven earths were in a pan (of a
scale), and La ilaaha illAllah was in (another) pan, La ilaaha illAllah would
outweigh them. (Ibn Hibbaan and Al-Haakim)

The shahadah is a means of forgiveness for ones sins.

Anas (ra) said, I heard Allahs Messenger saying, Allah the Most High
said, O son of Adam! If you came to Me with sins filling the earth, then
you met Me without associating anything with Me, I would come to you
with its (the earths) fill of forgiveness. (At-Tirmidhi)
It is the best phrase all the prophets uttered.

The best of my sayings and of the sayings of all Prophets before me is:
There is no god but Allah alone, without partner, to Him belong all
sovereignty and glory, and He has power over all things. (At-Tirmidhi)

And it is the highest of the branches of emaan.

Belief is seventy and some branches. Its lowest branch is the removal of
harm from the road while its highest is to say: There is no deity worthy of
worship but Allah. (Muslim, At-Tirmidhee, An-Nasaaee, Ibn Majah, and

Meaning of Ilaah and defining the Shahadah

Shahadah: No Ilaah except Allah.

Ibn Abbas said ilaah is one whom everything turns to and worship.

Ar-Raghib al-Asbahanee (d.425) wrote a dictionary of the Quran and said

ilaah is a name given to every object that is worshpped.

Ibn Mandhoor (d. 711) defined it as any object that is taken as an object of
worship (Lisaan al-Arab).

All the classical dictionaries defined it as an object of worship.

If ilaah meant Rabb, then the mushrikoon would have been Muslims. Some
later groups in Islam tried to define ilaah as creator, but this is not an
interpretation found in the first centuries of Islam.


Laa ilaah negatory laa. When negating, there must be a being and the
concept being negated from that being. It is like saying There is no
person inside the house. You cannot have There is no person or inside
the house by itself. There must be 2 things after the negatory laa. In
arabic this is an ism (noun) and a khabar (description). The noun here is
ilaah, but there is no description. The description is understood by the
context and therefore there is no need for it to be stated (this is a simple
point of grammar). The description here would be worthy of (bi-haqqin).
So the complete phrase Laa ilaah is There is no deity that is worthy of
When the shahadah is completed then, it is There is no deity that is
worthy of worship except Allah. The first half of it is negation, and then
there is an affirmation.

The affirmation and negation gives us 1) exclusivity, and 2) it is the height

of praise. Something that is negation only would be like saying, there is
no one who is intelligent. There is no exclusivity or praise. To say so and
so is intelligent, is to give praise, but not exclusivity. But if the two are
combined and you say there is no one who is intelligent except so and
so then it results in exclusivity and it is the height of praise. There is
nothing else that can be done to praise more than that. This is how the
shahadah is, there I nothing at all worthy of any worship at all, except

Conditions of the Shahadah (Overview)

Someone asked Wahb ibn Munnabih (d. 110), Is not laa ilaaha illa Allah
the key to Jannah? He replied, Yes, but every key has ridges, so if y ou
come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will be opened for
you, otherwise not.

Hasan al-Basree said whoever says the kalimah and fulfills its conditions
will enter Jannah.

1. Knowledge (ilm, not jahl)

So know that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah. (Muhammad,


Whoever dies knowing that there is no one worthy of worship except

Allah shall enter Paradise. (Muslim)

So if someone repeats the kalimah without knowledge of it, it does not

bring any benefit. One must have knowledge of it.

2. Certainty (yaqeen, not shaqq)

The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His
messenger and afterward doubt not (in their Eemaan) (Al-Hujuraat,

No one meets Allah with the testimony that there is none worthy of
worship but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah, and he has no doubt
about that statement, except that he will enter Paradise. (Muslim)
3. Acceptance (qabool, not rejection or arrogance).

For when it was said to them, There is no god save Allah, they rejected.
(As-Saaffaat, 37:35)

Do you believe in part of the book and reject part of it? (Al-Baqarah,

Some people like Iblees know the shahadah is true, but have not accepted

4. Submission (inqiyaad, not leaving it and not acting upon it).

The acceptance is in the heart, and submission is with the body.

Turn to Him repentant, and surrender to Him. (Az-Zumar, 39:54)

5. Truthfulness (sidq, not lying).

And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day
when they believe not. They desire to deceive Allah and those who
believe, and they deceive none but themselves; only they perceive it not.
(Al-Baqarah, 2:8-9)

No one bears testimony to there being no one worthy of worship but

Allah, truthfully from his heart, except that Allah makes the Hellfire
forbidden for him.

6. Sincerity ikhlaas and without nifaaq or shirk.

Worship Allah, making religion pure for him. (Az-Zumar, 39:2)

Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated, I asked the Messenger of Allah, peace be

upon him: Messenger of Allah! Who will be most fortunate to enjoy your
shafaaah (intercession) on the Day of Resurrection? The Messenger of
Allah, peace be upon him, said: I was certain that no one else would ask
me about this other than you, because I have noticed your keenness for
hadeeth. The most fortunate of men who will enjoy my shafaaah on the
Day of Resurrection is the one who says: (La Ilaaha Illa Allah) None has
the right to be worshipped except Allah, sincerely from his heart.
(Related by Al-Bukhari)

You should be truthful to yourself, and then have sincerity to Allah.

7. Loving it and its people, and hating those who oppose it (vs.
hating its people).

You wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day and
yet they love those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though
they be their fathers, or their sons, or their brethren, or their kindred.
These are they in whose hearts Allah has inscribed true faith and whom
He has strengthened with inspiration from Himself. And He will admit them
into Gardens through which streams flow. Therein they will abide; Allah is
well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. They are
Allahs party. Surely, it is Allahs party who are the successful. (Al-
Mujaadilah, 58:22)

Conditions of the Shahadah (Details) by Jamal Zarabozo

The Prerequisites of the Declaration of Faith

al-Basheer Magazine (Vol. 7, no. 5, Jan-Feb 94)

Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statement, There is
none worthy of worship except Allaah. Yet too many Muslims simply rely
upon this statement and believe that as long as they have made this
statement, nothing will harm them. They think they will be granted
Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah. There is
no question that the mere saying of, I bear witness that there is none
worthy of worship except Allaah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His
servant and messenger, is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the
hypocrites used to make this statement quite often yet Allaah describes
them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the

As many scholars state, though, this statement or testimony is the key to

Paradise. The famous follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked, Isnt
the statement of la ilaha illa-llah the key to Paradise? He answered, Yes,
but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right
ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges
the door will not open for you. That is, the statement must meet certain
conditions. These conditions are what will differentiate the person who will
benefit from his making of that statement from the one who will not
benefit from that statement, no matter how many times a day he may
have made that statement.

Before discussing the conditions of the Shahadah, there is one more point
that I feel compelled to make. That is, some people have a tendency to
take one hadeeth or one verse and then based on that one text, they will
make some conclusion that, for example, whoever simply says, There is
no God except Allaah, will enter Paradise. But, actually, we should all
realise that all of the Quraan and Hadeeth complement each other and
explain one another. To find the correct position on any one question, one
must bring together all of the related verses and hadeeth and see what
the true Islaamic position is of that question. The same is true for the
conditions of the shahadah.

If we study the verses of the Quraan and the Hadeeth of the Prophet
(peace be upon him), we will find that the conditions of the shahadah are
seven, eight or nine in number depending on how we look at them. It is
important that all of us make sure that we are meeting these conditions in
our own lives and in our own testimony of faith. We must do our best to
satisfy these conditions before it is too late and our testimony will be of no
avail whatsoever. It is not simply for the sake of teaching these conditions,
indeed there is no benefit to that. But it is, instead, for all of us to look to
ourselves and to make sure that we are actually meeting these conditions
so that, by Allaahs mercy, the doors to Paradise will be open for us by our
key of la ilaha illa-llah.

The FIRST of these condition is KNOWLEDGE. That is, one must have the
basic and general knowledge of what is meant by the shahadah. One must
understand what the shahadah is affirming and what the shahadah is
denying. Allaah says in the Quraan,

So know that there is no God save Allaah, and ask forgiveness

for your sin (Muhammad : 19)

Similarly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Whoever dies

knowing that there is no one worthy of worship except Allaah
shall enter Paradise. (Recorded by Muslim). In fact, the shahadah itself
is a testimony. When one testifies to something, one must know what it is
that he is testifying concerns. Obviously, a testimony about something
that one does not have any knowledge about is absolutely unacceptable.
Allaah says in the Quraan,

Save him who bears witness unto the truth knowingly (al-
Zukhruf : 86).

Now this condition probably sounds obvious; if someone said to you,

There is no God except Allaah, and then said that what he meant by
Allaah was Jesus, you would immediately tell him that this shahadah is
nonsense. Yet can you imagine that there is a Muslim country in the world
that until recently used to have a yearly week-long celebration to the
Gods of the Sea! All along they call themselves Muslims and they make
the shahadah numerous times a day. This clearly shows that they have no
idea what the meaning of their shahadah is. Do you think that this kind of
shahadah will open the doors to Paradise for them? Today, there are many
Muslims who wonder why we should not accept secularism. They think
that there is nothing wrong with secularism! Many of these Muslims pray
five times a day and utter the shahadah repeatedly. Yet they see nothing
wrong with accepting a Lawgiver other than Allaah? What kind of
shahadah are these people making?

All of us do our best to learn at least the basics of Islaamic beliefs, the
basics of what shahadah means. In this way, Allaah willing, we will be
making the correct shahadah. We will be witnessing to the truth as we are
supposed to be witnesses to it.

The SECOND condition of the shahadah is CERTAINTY (or al-yaqeen). This

is the opposite of doubt and uncertainty. In Islaam, in fact, any kind of
doubt is equivalent to Kufr or disbelief. We must, in our hearts, be
absolutely certain of the truth of the shahadah. Our hearts must not be
wavering in any way when we testify to the truth of, There is none worthy
of worship except Allaah. Allaah describes the believers in the Quraan as
those who have belief in Allaah and then their hearts waver not. Allaah

the (true) believers are those only who believe in Allaah and His
messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth
and their lives for the cause of Allaah. Such are the sincere (al-
Hujuraat : 15)

Similarly, the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said, No one

meets Allaah with the testimony that there is none worthy of
worship but Allaah and I am the Messenger of Allaah, and he has
no doubt about hat statement, except that he will enter
Paradise. (Recorded by Muslim.) Indeed, Allaah describes the hypocrites
as those people whose hearts are wavering. For example, Allaah says,

They alone seek leave of thee (not to participate in jihad) who

believe not in Allaah and the Last Day and whose hearts feel
doubt, so in their doubt they waver (al-Tauba : 45).

Many scholars have stated that the diseases of the heart, or the doubt
and suspicions that one allows into ones heart, are more dangerous for a
persons faith than lusts and desires. This is because lusts and desires
may be satisfied at some time yet the person still knows them to be
wrong and he may control himself and repent and give up that evil deed.
On the other hand, the doubts and suspicions may linger in the heart, with
no cure, until the person finally leaves Islaam entirely or continues to
practice Islaam while, in fact, in his heart he does not have the true faith.
The greatest cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is through
sound knowledge of the Quraan and the sunnah that most of these doubts
will be removed. By study and understanding, one will attain certainty.
And as one studies and learns more, his certainty will be made firmer and
firmer. I will give you just one example on this point; this is related to all of
the doubts, suspicions and misconceptions that are circulating about the
authenticity of the hadeeth literature. For example, some Muslims even
claim that hadeeth were not recorded until at least 200 years after the
death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Indeed, there are Muslims who
seem to have a great deal of doubt about hadeeth and very quick to reject
hadeeth on that basis. But, in fact, if one actually takes the time to study
the history and preservation of hadeeth, one will immediately recognise
that all those claims and charges against the hadeeth are not based on
anything scientific whatsoever. They are nothing but false claims that
come from Satan and which Muslims with poor understanding and
knowledge have allowed to creep into their hearts. Let me make one last
point about this condition of certainty. As I alluded to earlier, doubts and
misconceptions are very dangerous for a persons faith. Doubt and
wavering are tantamount to apostasy in Islaam, as I mentioned earlier.
Hence, every Muslim should do best to safeguard himself from such
doubts and remain away from the sources of doubts- especially if they are
not well grounded in the Islaamic sciences and do not have the knowledge
to refute such doubts and misconceptions. Hence if a person has an
associate or friend, even if he be a Muslim friend, who is always making
him doubt Allaah or the religion, then he should remain away from that
person in order to safeguard his own religion. Many Muslims nowadays
study courses on Islaam taught by Orientalists and because of their weak
backgrounds in Islaamic studies, they are influenced by the nonsense that
some of these Orientalists are teaching in the name of science.
Similarly, many brothers and sisters nowadays are spending hours at a
time with the computer news groups and bulletin boards. A lot of
nonsense and falsehood are posted on those news groups and bulletin
boards. Again, the one who is not very knowledgeable of his religion may
easily be influenced and affected by the misconceptions and false
arguments that he reads in those bulletin boards. He should remain away
from those things and get a deeper knowledge of Islaam through the
authentic sources of the religion. Again, the greatest counterforce that can
defeat doubts and misconceptions, after the bounty and guidance of
Allaah, is sound knowledge and understanding of the religion. When a
person has that, he will not be affected by the weak arguments put out by
the enemies of Islaam and he will be, Allaah willing, from among those
described in the Quraan,

It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear
Allaah (Faatir : 28)

The THIRD condition of the shahadah is ACCEPTANCE (or al-qabool). If a

person has knowledge of and certainty in the shahadah, this must
followed by acceptance, with the tongue and heart, of whatever that
shahadah implies. Whoever refuses to accept the shahadah and its
implications, even if he knows that it is true and certain about its truth,
than he is a disbeliever. This refusal to accept is sometimes due to pride,
envy or other reasons. In any case, the shahadah is not a true shahadah
without its unconditional acceptance. The scholars all talk about this
condition as a general condition in the way that I have just stated.
However, there is also a more detailed aspect that we must all be aware
of. The believer accepts whatever the implications of the shahadah are.
This also means that he believes in whatever is stated in the Quraan or
stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him), without any right to choose
what he wants to believe and what he wants to reject. Allaah says in the

Do you believe in part of the book and reject part of it? And what
is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the
world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be consigned to
the most grievous doom (al-Baqara : 85)

This is one aspect that the Muslims must be aware of. Although it is not
the same as the complete refusal to accept the truth, by rejecting part of
the truth that has come from Allaah, one also negates his testimony of
faith. Unfortunately, many Muslims are doing this nowadays in various
ways. Although not all of these forms may necessarily be considered
apostasy, they are still very dangerous. For example, if they do not like
what is stated in a verse in the Quraan, they simply reinterpret the verse
according to their liking. If they do not like what is stated in a hadeeth,
they simply state that the hadeeth must not be authentic although they
are not scholars in that area. This kind of behaviour is the antithesis of the
behaviour of the true Muslims. Whatever comes from Allaah and His
Messenger (peace be upon him), the true Muslim believes in as the truth.
This goes hand in hand with their testimony of faith.
The FOURTH condition of the shahadah is SUBMISSION and
COMPLIANCE (or al-inqiyad). This implies the actual physical enactment
with our deeds of our shahadah. In fact, this is one of the main meanings
of the word Islaam itself, the submission to the will and commands of
Allaah. This is what Allaah commands in the Quraan,

Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unto Him (al-Zumar :


Allaah has praised those who submit to His command by their actions.
Allaah says,

Who is better in religion than he who surrenders his purpose to

Allaah while doing good (al-Nisa : 125).

Actually, Allaah has clearly made it a condition of faith that one submits to
the command of Allaah and His messenger. Allaah says,

But nay, by your Lord, they will not truly believe until they make
you [the Messenger of Allaah] judge of what is in dispute
between them and find within themselves no dislike of which you
decide, and submit with full submission (al-Nisa : 65)

Unfortunately, there are many who claim that there is no relationship

between faith and deeds. You can even hear one Muslim saying about
another, That is the best Muslim I have ever met, yet the other person
performs scarcely any of the deeds of Islaam whatsoever. This incorrect
understanding of faith has spread throughout the Muslim world. Indeed,
our shahadah or testimony of faith must be implemented or realised in our
hearts, tongues and actions. In our hearts, we must have love for Allaah,
fear Allaah and hope in Him. With our tongues we must testify to the
shahadah. And with our actions, we must implement what the testimony
of faith requires from us. Anyone who claims to be a Muslim and yet does
no deeds, either does not understand Islaam whatsoever or is bearing
testimony against himself that his testimony of faith is not a true and
correct testimony of faith. This does not mean that the true believer never
commits a sin. Indeed, true believers do commit sins, but as long as they
recognise that what they did is not correct and it is inconsistent with their
obligation of submitting to Allaah, then they have not violated the
soundness of their testimony or shahadah. But do not forget, they are still
sinners. And what is the minimum of submission that is required from a
person beyond which there can be no claim to faith? For those scholars
who say that the abandonment of prayers is infidelity, it is the five daily
prayers. Whoever does not perform, at least, the five daily prayers has
gone beyond the limit that is acceptable for lack of deeds. Allaah knows

The FIFTH condition is TRUTHFULNESS (or as-sidq), as opposed to

hypocrisy and dishonesty. This means that when we say the shahadah, we
are saying it honestly. We actually mean it. We are not lying when it
comes to our testimony of faith. The Prophet (peace be upon his) said,
No one bears testimony to there being no one worth of worship
save Allaah, sincerely from his heart, except that Allaah makes
the Hell-fire forbidden for him. (Recorded by al-Bukharee and
Muslim.) We are all familiar with those who say the testimony of faith yet
they are not saying it honestly. They do not believe in it but they are
simply saying it in order to protect themselves or to get some gain from
doing so; these are the hypocrites. Allaah has described them in the
opening of the Quraan with the following words,

And of mankind are some who say, We believe in Allaah and the
Last Day, when they believe not. They think to beguile Allaah and
those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves, but
they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allaah
increases their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie
(al-Baqara 8-10).

Obviously, the shahadah of those who become Muslims simply to benefit

from being Muslim and not because they believe in Islaam will be rejected
by Allaah in the Hereafter. They will face a painful punishment due to their

The SIXTH condition is SINCERITY (or al-ikhlaas). That is, when we make
the shahadah, we must do so solely for the sake of Allaah. We must not do
it for any other reason. And we must not do it for anyone elses sake. In
this manner, the meaning of sincerity is opposite of Shirk or ascribing
partners with Allaah. We became and remain Muslims solely for Allaahs
sake. Allaah says in the Quraan,

Worship Allaah, making religion pure for him (al-Zumar : 2).

And Allaah also says,

And they are ordained not else than to serve Allaah, keeping
religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright and to establish
worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion (al-
Bayyinah : 5)
And the Prophet (peace be upon him) added, Allaah has forbidden for
the Hell-fire anyone who says, There is no one worthy of worship
except Allaah, and say so desiring the face [and pleasure] of
Allaah. (Recorded by Muslim). This is something that we should all think
about, especially those of us who grew up in Muslim families and were
born Muslim. We should make it very clear to ourselves that we are
Muslims only for the sake of Allaah. We are not Muslims for the sake of our
parents, friends, family or community. It must be clear in our minds that
we are Muslims for the sake of Allaah first, last and only. One of the signs
that we are Muslims for the sake of Allaah is that we do whatever Allaah
asks of us, regardless of what anybody else desires or wants from us. That
is, in the same way that we are Muslims solely for the sake of Allaah, all of
our actions are done for the sake of Allaah. However, sometimes one
begins to wonder whether this condition is met by some people. Some
people from the Muslim world practice Islaam to the extent that it is
pleasing to their families. If there is anything in Islaam that their families
do not like- although their families are Muslim and therefore they actually
should like all of Islaam- then they do not practice that aspect of Islaam.
One common example of that nature is mixing between men and women.
Sometimes a brother, here in the U.S., will not mix with women and his
wife will remain separate from the men. Yet, when they return to their
homes, because this is not pleasing to their families who want to mix
between men and women, they easily, simply and happily compromise
their religion for the sake of their parents. These people must sincerely
ask themselves why they are Muslims. Are they Muslims for the sake of
their parents and therefore whatever their parents like they will do and
whatever their parents do not like they wont do? Or are they Muslims for
the sake of Allaah and therefore whatever Allaah dislikes they will not do
and whatever Allaah is pleased with they do?

The SEVENTH condition is LOVE (or al-mahabbah). That is, the believer
loves this shahadah, he loves in accordance with the shahadah, he loves
the implications and requirements of the shahadah and he loves those
who act and strive for the sake of this shahadah. This is a necessary
condition of the shahadah. If a person makes the shahadah but does not
love the shahadah and what it stands for, then, in fact, his faith is not
complete. It is not the faith of a true believer. And if he loves something
more that this shahadah or if he loves something more than Allaah, then
he has negated his shahadah. The true believer, the one meeting the
conditions of the shahadah puts no one whatsoever as an equal to Allaah
in his love. Allaah says in the Quraan,
Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of
worship which they set as) rivals to Allaah, loving them with a
love like (that which is due to) Allaah only. However, those who
believe are stauncher in their love of Allaah (al-Baqara : 165).

And elsewhere Allaah says

Say: If your fathers, or your sons, or your brethren, or your

wives, or your tribe, or the wealth you have acquired, or
merchandise for which you fear that there will be no sale, or
dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allaah and His
Messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allaah brings His
command to pass. Allaah guides not wrongdoing folk (al-Tauba :

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Whoever has three

characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith. [The first of
these] is that he loves Allaah and His Messenger more than he
loves anyone else (Recorded by al-Bukharee and Muslim.). This is
one of the most important aspects of Islaam yet, for some reason, it is
missing from the lives of many Muslims. They act in Islaam as if Islaam
were a chore instead of doing things out of the love of Allaah. When Allaah
orders us to do something, like bear witness to the faith, we should realise
that that thing is pleasing to Allaah and, therefore, out of our love for
Allaah, we should be very pleased to do the acts that are pleasing to
Allaah. But, as I said, this feeling is missing from many, many Muslims

The EIGHT condition of the shahadah is that the person who makes the
that is clear in the words of the testimony of faith, it does not seem clear
to everyone who makes that testimony. Therefore, I am mentioning it
explicitly here. In Surah al-Baqara, Allaah clearly reminds us of this
important aspect of the shahadah, the shahadah is not merely an
affirmation but it is both and affirmation and a negation. Allaah states,

And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allaah has

grasped a firm handhold which will never break (al-Baqara : 256).

Perhaps the Prophet (peace be upon him) made this point even clearer
when he said, Whoever says there is no one worthy of worship
except Allaah and denies whatever is worshipped besides Allaah,
then his wealth and blood are protected and his accounting will
be with Allaah. (Recorded by Muslim). Although this condition should
be obvious to everyone who says the words of shahadah, you can still find
Muslims who say the shahadah and then make acts of worship for beings
or things other than Allaah. You will find them going to the graveyards and
worshipping those in the graves. They will perform acts of worship, not for
the sake of Allaah, but for the sake of the dead saints in the grave. What
kind of shahadah have these people made? Do you really think that their
shahadah will mean anything on the Day of Judgement as long as they
believe that acts of worship may be done for other than Allaah?

The NINTH condition of the shahadah is that the Muslim ADHERES to the
shahadah until he dies. This is must if the shahadah is to mean anything
for you in the Hereafter. You cannot rest on your laurels of what you may
have done in the past. No, indeed, the shahadah must be your banner
until your death. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, A man spends
a long time doing the deeds of the people of Paradise and then he
ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire. And
a man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of the
Hell-fire and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people
of Paradise. (Recorded by Muslim) In another hadeeth, the Prophet
(peace be upon him) said, By the One whom there is no other God,
one of you does the actions of Paradise until there is just a
handspan between him and Paradise and then the book
[preordainment] overtakes him and he does the actions of the
people of Hell and he enters into it (Recorded by al-Bukharee and
Muslim.) And Allaah says in the Quraan,

O believers, observe your duty to Allaah with right observance,

and die not save as Muslims [surrendering yourselves to Allaah]
(al-Imran : 102).

Dear brothers and sisters, these are the conditions of the shahadah. These
are the aspects of the shahadah that each and every one of us should look
to in ourselves and ask ourselves, Is my shahadah meeting those
requirements? Am I saying it sincerely, honestly and out of love for Allaah?
Am I saying it based on what it really means? Am I denying all other false
objects of worship?

These questions we should ask ourselves now before we meet Allaah.

Allaah willing, we shall ask ourselves these questions now and we shall
find that we have all the right answers for them. Or, if we find we have
some deficiency, we shall work to remove that deficiency. Such that, by
Allaahs mercy, in the Hereafter, our shahadah will be the key to Paradise
for us and the gates of Paradise will swing wide open for us and we will be
able to live forever in the bounties of Paradise, with Allaah being pleased
with us.

Again, it is not simply a matter of knowing these conditions. Indeed, one

can meet many Muslims who have these conditions memorised, yet when
one looks to their deeds and behaviour, one can see that these conditions
have no effect on them. This means, in fact, no matter how well he knows
and can rattle off these conditions, he, in fact, is not fulfilling them. In the
Hereafter, his knowledge of these conditions will be of no avail to him.
Indeed, his knowledge will be a proof against him as he clearly knows
what the conditions are that he must satisfy yet he has shown that he is
not willing to satisfy them in his life.