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THE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE
OF SHAHADAH

Brother Khalid Mustafa   

Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) says in the Holy Quraan:
He is Allah, than whom there is no other Deity but Him, the Knower of the invisible and the visible. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. He is Allah, than whom there is no Deity but Him, 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)

At another point in the Holy Quraan, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) states (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 (Religion) 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: 
Laa ilaaha illAllaah

There is no Deity worthy of worship except Allah

We negate the attribute of godliness to all and affirm it to Allah alone: there is no god but The One God Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa). This is the simple but extremely important concept of Tawheed. It is so important that one third of the Holy Quraan is devoted to it. Moreover, it is the very essence of all messages from the time of Prophet Adam to our beloved Prophet and Messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa), Mohammed (SallAllaho alaihe wa sallam).

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

The following Aayah from Surah Aale-Imraan 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 (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa), 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 Sura Al-Nisaa (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 Surah 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 (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa), 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)

Moreover Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) says:
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 suns risings. (37:1-5)

When Prophet Moosaa requested Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) to teach him a Zikr (Phrase to remember Allah) to recite when remembering Allah, thanking Him or calling upon Him, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa), said to him: O Moosaa! Say Laa ilaaha illAllaah (There is no Deity worthy of worship except Allah).

Prophet Moosaa said: O Lord! All your servants say these words.

Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) explained: If the seven heavens and all they hold and the seven earths as well were weighed against this phrase, the latter would outweigh the former.

But let us see what else Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) and His Messenger (SallAllaho alaihe wa sallam), 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 beg Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) to make us firm by the blessings of this Word in this life, at the hour of death and on the Day of the Resurrection. Aameen!

Let us also remind ourselves of the supplication of Prophet Younus, also known as Thal-Noon (man of the whale)

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 (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) promises to deliver the believers from distress if they call upon Him with similar words as is given in the Quraan.

We request Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa) to deliver us and the whole Muslim Ummah from the distress that has befallen us. Indeed You have Power over all things.

And as would be expected, there are numerous Ahaadeeth of Allah (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa)s Massenger (SallAllaho alaihe wa sallam) about the excellence of Laa ilaaha illAllaah.

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 (Subhaanahu wa Taaalaa), 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-Israa:
And I saw a man of my Ummah come to the gates of Al-Jannah, and they closed as he approaches. His witness of Laa ilaaaha illAllaah comes to him, opens the gates and lets him in.

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