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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Virtues of ‘Laa ilaha illallah’

Laa ilaha illallah

The meaning of ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ is that there is none worthy to be worshipped in truth except for Allah.

The two key words are:

1. illa (except)
2. ilah (god).

'Al ilah' does not mean ‘creator’, we cannot translate ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ to be there is no creator but Allah, even if the subject is correct, it is an incorrect translation.

So we understand that ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ means that there is no worship that can be performed except to Allah (S.W.T). The one who diverts the worship to other than Allah, he is Mushrik (polytheist), because he has taken someone else as Ma’boud (God to worship).

The one, who prays salah, pays zakat, fasts, arbitrates, slaughters etc. for other than the sake of Allah (S.W.T) is a Mushrik.

The conditions of ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ according to Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah are seven and the pre-requisite of it is consent by the tongue 'Al Iqraar.'

Sheikh Hakami said: “The conditions of ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ are seven, Ilm, Yaqeen, Quboul, Inqiyaad, Sidq, Ikhlas and Mahabbah.”

Laa ilaha illallah has two sides to it

1. The negation of all taghout: To make kufr (disbelief) on anything other than Allah (S.W.T).
2. The affirmation of belief in Allah: To submit and to worship Him with truth and exclusivity.

The Seven Conditions of Shahadah

1. Ilm: To have knowledge about ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ about what is worship, who is Allah.
2. Yaqeen: To have certainty.
3. Quboul: To accept it.
4. Inqiyaad: To submit to it.
5. Sidq: Believing it and accepting anything that comes with it.
6. Ikhlas: To have sincerity.
7. Mahabbah: To love Allah (S.W.T).

Some ulema add other conditions such as; to reject and disbelieve in taghout and to die on Islam.

Virtues (fadaa'il) of Laa ilaha illallah

1. It is the greatest favor (ni'mah) to mankind from Allah (S.W.T).

Allah (S.W.T) says,
1. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [Surah Al Maidah 5:3]
2. And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you; [Surah Al Imran 3:103]
3. And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that ye may receive mercy: [Surah Al An'am 6:155]

2. It is al Urwatul Wuthqa (knot that does not break).

The strongest knot of Imaan is known as al Urwatul Wuthqa, in Surah Baqarah. Allah (S.W.T) says, There is no compulsion in the deen but there is compulsion in the Shari’ah, the correct deen is clear and the deen of the kuffar is clear. Allah declared that whoever rejects all taghout and then believes in Allah (S.W.T) has grasped al Urwatul Wuthqa [Surah Baqarah 2:256]

Ibn Abbas said, “Al urwatul wuthqa is the kalimah of ‘Laa ilaha illallah’.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Qays bin `Abbad said, "I was in the Masjid when a man whose face showed signs of humbleness came and prayed two Rak`ahs that were modest in length. The people said, `This is a man from among the people of Paradise.' When he left, I followed him until he entered his house, and I entered it after him and spoke with him. When he felt at ease, I said to him, `When you entered the Masjid, the people said such and such things.'

He said, `All praise is due to Allah! No one should say what he has no knowledge of. I will tell you why they said that. I saw a vision during the time of the Messenger of Allah, and I narrated it to him. I saw that I was in a green garden, ' and he described the garden's plants and spaciousness, `and there was an iron pole in the middle of the garden affixed in the earth and its tip reached the sky. On its tip, there was a handle, and I was told to ascend the pole. I said, `I cannot.' Then a helper came and raised my robe from behind and said to me, `Ascend.' I ascended until I grasped the handle and he said to me, `Hold on to the handle.' I awoke from that dream with the handle in my hand. I went to the Messenger of Allah and told him about the vision and he said, “As for the garden, it represents Islam; as for the pole, it represents the pillar of Islam; and the handle represents the most trustworthy handhold. You shall remain Muslim until you die. This Companion was `Abdullah bin Salam.'' [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

3. It is the covenant of Allah.

1. Allah (S.W.T) says, When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful": [Surah Al A'raf 7:172]
2. Allah declared that for the one who says ‘Laa ilaha illallah’, he protects his life and property, and anyone who does not say it has no sanctity for his life or property. That protection is only for the one who says ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ or accepts to live under ‘Laa ilaha illallah’.
3. None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from (Allah) Most Gracious. [Surah Maryam 19:87]
4. Ibn Abbas said “The covenant of Allah is the testification of Laa ilaha illallah, and it to have no hawla and no quwwa.” [Ibn Kathir Tafseer Al Azeem]
5. The Messenger (S.A.W) said: “I have been ordered to fight people until they testify ‘Laa ilaha illallah’
6. Allah (S.W.T) says, Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme), and some (still) wait: but they have never changed (their determination) in the least. [Surah Al Ahzab 33:23]

This was reported only by Al-Bukhari, but there are corroborating reports with other chains of narration. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said: "My paternal uncle Anas bin Al-Nadr, may Allah be pleased with him, after whom I was named, was not present with this Messenger of Allah at Badr, and this distressed him. He said: `The first battle at which the Messenger of Allah was present, and I was absent; if Allah shows me another battle with the Messenger of Allah , Allah will see what I will do!' He did not want to say more than that. He was present with the Messenger of Allah at Uhud, where he met Sa`d bin Mu`adh, may Allah be pleased with him. Anas, May Allah be pleased with him, said to him, `O Abu `Amr! Where are you going? He replied, `I long for the fragrance of Paradise and I have found it near the mountain of Uhud.' He fought them until he was killed, may Allah be pleased with him. Eighty-odd stab wounds and spear wounds were found on his body, and his sister, my paternal aunt Ar-Rabayyi` bint Al-Nadr said, `I only recognized my brother by his fingertips.'

4. It is Al Kalimatul Husna.

1. Allah mentioned that ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ is al husna. Allah (S.W.T) says, So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah), and (in all sincerity) testifies to the best, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss. [Surah Al Lail 92: 5-7]
2. Dahaq reported that Ibn Abbas said: “He is going to get what Allah allocated for people of Jannah because he believes in ‘Laa ilaha illallah’” [Ibn Kathir v4 p119]

5. It is Kalimatul haq (truth) al ulya (highest).

1. The Messenger (S.A.W) said: “Islam is superior, nothing else will supersede it.” [Sahih Bukhari] #79
2. A man came and asked the Messenger (S.A.W) who is feesabilillah. He (S.A.W) said “Whoever fights to make Allah's word the highest then he is on the on path to Allah feesabilillah).” [Sahih Bukhari] #2810
3. A man asked the Messenger (S.A.W) which jihad is the best. He (S.A.W) replied “A word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler.” [Sahih Bukhari] #4226

6. It is Kalimatu Taqwa.

The Messenger (S.A.W) said “Fear Allah wherever you are.” [Tirmidhi] #2115

Taqwa is to save yourself from what will make you a loser or lost or from facing punishment. To follow the right path and avoiding all the muharammaat, Allah (S.W.T) says, Allah sent down His Tranquility to his Messenger and to the Believers, and made them stick close to the command of self-restraint; and well were they entitled to it and worthy of it. [Surah Al Fath 48:26]

This ayah was about the Sahabah, they are the people bound to the kalimah and the best to understand it, Ibn Abbas said, “Kalimatu taqwa is the kalimah ‘Laa ilaha illallah”

7. It is Al Qawol al Thaabit.

1. Narrated by Baraa’ bin ‘Aazib “Allah will make firm those who believe by the firm word in this world and the hereafter.” He said it will also descend on them whilst they faced with the severity of the grave.” [Sahih Muslim] #7399
2. In the grave, we will be asked ‘who is your Lord?’ and people will not be able to say, entering the grave they will shout for the dunya, for his money and family, but the mu’min will shout ‘Laa ilaha illallah’.

8. It is Kalimatu Tayyibah.

Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens, of its Lord. So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. [Surah Ibrahim 14:24]

Mujahid (R.A) and several others stated that this parable describes the believer's deeds, good statements and good actions. The believer is just like the beneficial date tree, always having good actions ascending at all times, by day and by night.

Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin Umar‎ (R.A) said, "We were with the Messenger of Allah when he asked, (Tell me about a tree that resembles the Muslim, the leaves of which do not fall in summer or winter and gives its fruit at all times by the leave of its Lord.)''

Ibn `Umar‎ (R.A) said, "I thought of the date palm tree, but felt shy to answer when I saw that Abu Bakr and `Umar‎ (R.A.H) did not talk.” When they did not give an answer, the Messenger of Allah said, “It is the date palm tree.”

When we departed, I said to Umar (R.A), “My father, by Allah! I thought that it was the date tree.”

He said, `Why did you not speak then? I said, `I saw you were silent and I felt shy to say anything.' `Umar‎ (R.A) said, `Had you said it, it would have been more precious to me than such things (i.e., would have been very precious to me).'''

9. It is the way to Jannah.

1. Allah (S.W.T) says, Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. [Surah Al Imran 3:185]
2. The prophet (S.A.W) said, “The one who testifies that ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ and Muhammad is his servant and Messenger and Isa is the servant of Allah and his messenger and he is the kalimah of Allah that he was sent to Maryam, and he is the ruh of Allah and he believes the Jannah is haq and the hellfire is haq, Allah will let him enter into Jannah, through whichever of the eight gates of Jannah he wishes.” [Sahih Muslim] #149

10. It is the cause to prevent permanent hellfire.

1. ‘Laa ilaha illallah’ will be the cause to save the Muwahhid from being punished in hellfire forever, only the kuffar will stay in hellfire forever. Allah (S.W.T) says, Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. [Surah Baqarah 2:257]
2. Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (forever). [Surah Al Abyyinah 98:6]
3. Those with iman however small will eventually be taken out of the hellfire by the intercession of the Messenger (S.A.W).
4. The prophet (S.A.W) said, “I will say O My Lord. My Ummah, my Ummah. He will say take out from it he who has an atom weight of iman” [Sahih Bukhari] #7510
5. But the good Muslim will never want to be there, he will save himself from any sin, and if he commits sin, he will repent; Allah (S.W.T) loves the servant who commits a sin and asks forgiveness.

11. Whoever says it sincerely for the sake of Allah seeking Jannah and to be saved from hellfire, he will have it.

The Messenger (S.A.W) said, “No one from amongst you testifies there is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger with sincerity in his heart except that Allah (S.W.T) forbade the hellfire upon him.” [Sahih Bukhari] #128

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