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 The Conditions of Laa ilaaha illa-Allaah

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

In al-Saheeh it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah :saw (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «Bear witness that there is no god except Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah, for no person meets Allaah with these two, not doubting in them, but he will enter Paradise» [Muslim]. According to another report: «No person meets Allaah with these two, not doubting in them, and is denied Paradise» [Muslim].

And it was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah in a lengthy hadeeth that the Prophet :saw (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent him and said: «Whoever you meet behind this wall who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah, believing in it with certainty in his heart, then give him the glad tidings of Paradise» ]Muslim].

Thus we see that a person’s entering Paradise for saying these words is conditional upon his believing in them with certainty in his heart, with no element of doubt. If this condition is not met the target is not met.

The third condition is acceptance and submission to what these words imply, both in one`s heart as well as verbally. Allaah has told us the stories of those who came before, who were saved by their acceptance of these words from the punishment of those who had rejected them.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
{(It will be said to the angels):{Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions (from the devils) and what they used to worship,
Instead of Allaah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell); But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned. What is the matter with you? Why do you not help one another (as you used to do in the world)?’ Nay, but that Day they shall surrender. And they will turn to one another and question one another. They will say: ‘It was you who used to come to us from the right side (i.e., from the right side of one of us and beautify for us every evil, enjoin on us polytheism, and stop us from the truth, i.e. Islamic Monotheism and from every good deed).’ They will reply: ‘Nay, you yourselves were not believers. And we had no authority over you. Nay! But you were Taaghoon (transgressing) people (polytheists, and disbelievers). So now the Word of our Lord has been justified against us, that we shall certainly (have to) taste (the torment). So we led you astray because we were ourselves astray.’ Then verily, that Day, they will (all) share in the torment. Certainly, that is how We deal with Al-Mujrimoon (polytheists, sinners, disbelievers, criminals, the disobedient to Allaah). Truly, when it was said to them: Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (none has the right “to be worshipped but Allaah),” they puffed themselves up with pride (i.e. denied it). And (they) said: ‘Are we going to abandon our aalihah (gods) for the sake of a mad poet?’} [al-Saffaat 37:22-36]Then He said concerning those who accept it (interpretation of the meaning):
{Save the chosen slaves of Allaah (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism). For them there will be a known provision (in Paradise), Fruits; and they shall be honoured, In the Gardens of Delight (Paradise)} [al-Saffaat 37:40-43].The fourth condition is following that which is indicated, as opposed to not following it.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
{And whosoever submits his face (himself) to Allaah, while he is a Muhsin (good-doer, i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allaah’s sake), then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold” – i.e., Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah – “And to Allaah return all matters for decision} [Luqmaan 31:22].What is meant by “submitting one’s face” is following, when one is also a doer of good and a believer in Tawheed. Whoever does not submit his face to Allaah and is not a doer of good has not grasped the most trustworthy handhold.

This is what is meant by the following aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
{And whoever disbelieves, let not his disbelief grieve you (O Muhammad). To Us is their return, and We shall inform them what they have done…} [Luqmaan 31:23].

According to a saheeh hadeeth, the Messenger of Allaah :saw (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «none of you truly believes until his desire is in accordance with that which I have brought This is the ultimate meaning of following» [Narrated By Al-Nawawi Ibn Ragab and was classified as weak by Al-Albanni].The fifth condition is truthfulness, as opposed to lying.
This means that one says it (Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah) sincerely from the heart, with harmony between what is in the heart and what is said on the lips.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
{Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.
And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test)} [al-‘Ankaboot 29:2-3].

And He said concerning the hypocrites who spoke these words falsely (interpretation of the meaning):
{And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: ‘We believe in Allaah and the Last Day,’ while in fact they believe not. They (think to) deceive Allaah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not! In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allaah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies} [al-Baqarah 2:8-10].

In al-Saheehayn it is narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet :saw (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «there is no one who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, sincerely from the heart, but Allaah will make him forbidden for the Fire».In al-Saheehayn it is narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allaah :saw (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: «No one of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him that his son, his father and all of mankind».