The Testimony of Faith
The testimony of faith or Shahadah is a combination of negation and affirmation. The negation comes first followed by the exception of affirmation. This is considered the strongest form of all-inclusiveness in the Arabic language. The Shahadah therefore, means: There is absolutely none worthy of worship and there is no true God except Allah and only Allah.
Muslims know that the key to Paradise is the statement, “There is no god worthy of worship except Allah”. Yet many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe that as long as they have said it, nothing will harm them. Because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah, they think they will be granted Paradise. However the mere saying of the statement is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the hypocrites used to say, “I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah” yet Allah describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.
Further, the testimony of faith denies the attributes of divinity to anyone and anything other than Allah, as well as affirming and restricts divinity to Allah alone. The second part of the testimony is a confession that none has the right to be followed after Allah, but the Prophet Muhammad (e), as he is the last of His Messengers.
Conditions of the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith):
The Shahadah has certain conditions that must be fulfilled in order to deliver one who professes it on the Day of Resurrection. These conditions are:
- Knowledge, which consists of recognizing Allah as the only true God to Whom worship must be dedicated, and denouncing all gods worshipped beside Allah as false, and that they can neither extend benefit nor cause harm.
- Certainty, that the belief in Allah must be unblemished with any doubt.
- Acceptance, that is to accept all its conditions.
- Submission, that is to fulfill its conditions submissively and willingly being content with Allah as the Rabb (only Lord) and Mohammad (e) as His last Prophet and Messenger.
- Truthfulness, that is to fulfill its requirements truthfully.
- Sincerity, that is to be sincere in worshipping Allah, dedicating all acts of worship to Him alone.
- The love of Allah – the Exalted, and the love of His Messenger Muhammad (e), and the love of Allah’s devotees and the people of His obedience, which means love of all Muslims.
Finally it should be borne in mind that Allah must be obeyed, by following His commands and refraining from His prohibitions. Obedience to Allah must be associated with loving Him, fearing His punishment, and hoping for His reward, seeking His forgiveness and adhering to the teachings of His Prophet Muhammad (e) who is the last of Allah’s Messengers and his Shari’ah (the laws and religious rites), which abrogates all other preceding laws and religious rites.
Violating the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith):
Anyone who knowingly and willingly violates the Shahadah becomes a disbeliever. In order to know whether you are violating the Shahadah or not, you must first understand the true meaning of “Laa illaha illallah”. The word illah means anything that you regard as a god (which you worship). There are many gods as Allah tells us in the Qur’aan about the various gods people have. Now the true meaning of “Laa illaha illallah” is not ‘There is no God but Allah’ as many books translate, but it should be “There is no god worthy of worship except Allah”.
Many people and religions say that they don’t worship their priests or if they ask something of somebody other than Allah, they aren’t worshipping them.
New Words and Expressions
Shahadah Testimony of Faith.
Shari’ah Islamic Law.