The Meaning and Significance of Shahadah

A-úthu billáhi minash shaytánir rajeem. Bisilláhir rahmánir raheem.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

“He is Allah, than whom there is no other God, the Knower of the invisible and the visible. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful * He is Allah, than whom there is no God, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him) * He is Allah, the Creator, the Shaper out if naught, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.” 59:22-24

All praise is due to Allah alone. We praise Him, thank Him, seek His forgiveness and repent unto Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls and our sinful deeds. Whomever Allah guides none can misguide and whomever Allah misguides, then he has lost life on this earth and in the Hereafter. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone without partners and bear witness that Mohammed is His Servant and Messenger; may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his noble family, his honourable companions and all that follow his guidance.

Amma ba’ad:

Allah, The Exalted, states in the Holy Qura’an (the meaning of which reads);

“ And remind, for reminding benefits the believers.” 51:55

Every so often we need to remind ourselves of the fundamentals of our Deen so that we do not lose sight or waver, taint our beliefs or simply become relaxed in its application. Today let us remind ourselves of the meaning and significance of Al-Shahadah:

“La ilaha illa Allah”

“There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone”

We negate the attribute of godliness to all and affirm it to Allah alone: there is no god but The One God- Allah, Most High. This is the simple but extremely important concept of Tawheed. It is so important that one third of the Holy Qura’an is devoted to it. Moreover, it is the very essence of all messages from the time of Adam, peace be upon him, to our beloved Prophet and Messenger of Allah Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him.

“Not a messenger did We send before you (O Mohammed) without this inspiration by Us to him: that there no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me.” 21:25

The following ayah from Surat Al-Imran says it all (the meaning of which reads):

“There is no god but He: that is the witness of Allah, His Angels and those endued with knowledge, standing firm in justice. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Power, the Wise.” 3:18

If Allah, the Most High, His Angels and those with knowledge witness to this, those who do not are either ignorant or transgressors. Allah might forgive the former group depending on whether they did seek the knowledge and He knows best but the latter group may not be forgiven for we read in Surat Al-Nisa’a (the meaning of which reads):

“Allah forgives not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him but He forgives whom He pleases lesser sins than this. He who joins other gods with Allah has strayed far, far away (from the right path)” 4:16

And in Surat Al-Maaidah, we read (the meaning of which may be translated as follows):

“Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him Paradise and Hell Fire will be his abode. There will, for the wrongdoers, be no help”. 5:72

The Word of Allah is the Truth, the whole Truth, the Pure Truth which falsehood does come into from near or far, from left or right. Yet, Allah, the Exalted in Power, the Wise, invites us to witness the proof, to see for ourselves, learn a lesson remember it well.

“ For We assuredly sent amongst every people a messenger (with the command): ‘Serve Allah and eschew evil’. Of the people were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became (inevitably) established. So travel in the lands and see what was the end of those who denied the Truth.” 16:36

[End of first khutbah]

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

“By those who set the ranks in battle order * And those who drive away (the wicked) with reproof * And those who read (the Word) for a reminder * Lo! Your Lord is surely One * Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and Lord of the sun’s risings * 37:1-5

And all praise is due to Allah alone. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his noble family, his honourable companions and all that follow his Guidance. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Mohammed is His servant and Messenger.

Amma ba’ad:

When Mousa, peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Mohammed and upon him, asked Allah, The Exalted to teach him a prayer to recite when remembering Allah, thanking Him or calling upon Him, Allah, Most High, said to him: “O Moses, say la ilaha illa Allah”.

Mousa said: “ O Lord, all your servants say these words.”

Allah, subhanah explained: “ If the seven heavens and all they hold and the seven earths as well were weighed against this ‘Word’ (meaning la ilaha illa Allah) the latter would outweigh the former,”

But let us see what else Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, say about the excellence of this Word.

“Allah will establish in strength those who believe with the Word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter.” 14:27

We ask Allah, subhanah, to make stand firm by the blessings of this Word in this life, at the hour of death and on the Day of the Resurrection, Ameen.

Let us also remind ourselves of the supplication of Yunus, also known as Thal-Noon (man of the whale), peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammed and upon him:

“ He cried through the depths of darkness: ‘ There is no god but You. Glory be to You. I was indeed of the wrongdoers * So, We answered his prayer and delivered him from distress. And thus do We deliver the believers.” 21:87-88

Allah, The Exalted, promises to deliver the believers from distress if they call upon Him with similar words.

“La ilaha illa Anta, Subhanak, inna kunna mina al-dhalimeen. There is no god but You, Glory be to You, We are indeed of the wrongdoers”

We ask Allah, Most High, to deliver and the Muslim Ummah from the distress that has befallen us, indeed You have Power over all things.

And as would be expected, there are numerous ahadeeth of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, about the excellence of “ la ilaha illa Allah”.

“ Whenever a servant recites with heartfelt conviction that there is no god but Allah, the doors of the heavens are opened for him, so much so that he reaches The Throne provided he has not committed major sins.”

“ On the Day of Judgment, the people who have affirmed with heartfelt conviction that there is no one worthy of worship save Allah, will receive the benefit of my intercession.”

“ Allah, The Almighty declares: ‘ O son of Adam, if you keep calling upon Me and have hope of My forgiveness, I shall forgive every sin you have committed. O son of Adam, if you come to Me with your sins that are about the size of the earth and meet Me in the state that you never did associate partners with Me, I shall come to you with equal forgiveness.”

And in the famous and long hadeeth about al-isra’a:

“ And I saw a man of my Ummah come to the gates of Al-Jennah, and they closed as he approaches. His witness of la ilaha illa Allah comes to him, opens the gates and lets him in.”

[Closing Dua’a]

Ameen! Aqeemus salaah!