REFLECTIONS ON LA ILAHA ILLAHLAH
"That is Allah, your Lord! There is no god but He, the creator of all things: Then worship you Him : and He has power to dispose of all affairs." (Qur'an 6:102)
Although all practicing Muslims repeat the shahadah many times every day, only few understand its profound meaning, and appreciate its implications. For example, how many Muslims understand why the shahadah uses the negative form - La Ilaha ha Ila Allah (There is no Ilah except Allah), instead of the affirmative form - Allah is one; and why did the Qur'anic revelations stress this concept for the thirteen years which the Prophet (saws) spent in Mecca before migrating to Medina? To help us in understanding the answer to these questions, and in better appreciating the implications of La Ilaha Illa Allah, the Qur'an provides us with the following two facts:
a.. All the prophets and messengers of Allah were principally teaching the same thing: La Ilaha lila Allah: �O my people! worship Allah! you have no other god but Him� (Qur 'an 7:59) This is precisely what Noah said; Hud declared (Qur'an 7:65); and Salih affirmed (Qur'an 7:73). Shuaib gave the same message (Qur'an 7:85). The same doctrine was repeated and confirmed by Prophets Moussa, Issa, and Mohammad (saws) �Say; Truly I am a warner: no god is there but Allah, the One, Supreme, and Irresistible." (Qur'an 38:65) "Say: Verily, I am commanded to serve Allah, and follow with sincere devotion his deen." (Qur 'an 39:11)
b.. Many of the unbelievers who opposed the prophets did not deny the existence of Allah, nor that He was the sole creator of heavens and earth; and of human beings. If you were to question them, "Who created the heavens and earth?" they would be sure to reply, "they were created by (Him), the exalted in power, full of knowledge ". (Qur 'an 43:9) "If you ask them, who created them, they will certainly say, Allah: how then are they deluded away from the truth)?" (Qur 'an 43:87)
The Muslim scholar Abul A'la Maududi explains La ilaha illa Allah by using four basic terms from the Qur'an: Ilah, Rabb, Ibadah, and deen (see the table below). The four words, and their derivatives, are repeated many times in the Qur'an; the word Ilah (147 times), Rabb (975 times), Ibadah (275 times), and deen (94 times). Note that the word deen is an all encompassing concept dealing with life as an integrated whole. It is not restricted to the so called "religious" observances, practices, and rituals.
In the light of these four basic terms, La ilaha illa Allah means: Allah is our Rabb and our Ilah; there is no Rabb and no Ilah except He. To Him alone we make Ibadah; and only His deen we adopt and sincerely follow.
In the light of this definition, it is clear that the whole dispute between the unbelievers and the Prophets centered around the uncompromising demand of the prophets that the unbelievers should recognize the very being whom they acknowledged as their creator, as their Rabb and Ilah (as defined in the table) , and should assign this position to none else.
There are many important consequences for appreciating the full meaning and implications of La ilaha illa Allah, including the following three:
a.. Absolute freedom of the human conscience from servitude to, or subjection by, anyone or anything; and realization that one's life, livelihood, and sustenance are all in the hands of Allah and Allah alone.
b.. The natural urge for making ibadah to an ilah will be directed towards the true Ilah (Allah), rather than towards one or more false ilahs (false gods), whether they be humans, or material things.
c.. Following the true deen of Allah gives a sense of direction, and a meaning to one's life in the present world, and leads to success in the Hereafter.
We pray to Almighty Allah to help us in appreciating the meaning and implications of La ilaha lIla Allah, and in translating its meaning in our daily lives. Ameen.
Four terms Needed to Understand La Ilaha Illa Allah Ilah Rabb Ibadah Deen
1.. Deity, God
2.. One to be worshipped
3.. One who has power to satisfy your needs and answer your prayer
4.. One who is in control of your affairs
5.. One who can comfort you; provide protection and support for you
a.. Lord, Master and owner
b.. Sustainer, provider and guardian
c.. Sovereign, ruler and administrator
d.. Worship and devotion
e.. Submission and obedience
f.. Subjection and servitude
h.. Government and constitution
i.. Complete system (way of life)
Allah is the Rabb and the Ilah. There is no Rabb and no Ilah except He. To Him Alone we make Ibadah. Only His Deen we adopt and sincerely follow.
THE SHAHADA AND ITS IMPORTANCE
By Shaykh Saleh al-Fouzan
Summarized from a treatise done by Dr. Saleh Al-Fouzan
Adopted from HUDAA Magazine, published by Masjid Al-Istiqaamah
Definitely there could be no greater and more important a statement than 'Laa ilaaha illa Allah' (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah). It is the statement of declaration of belief in the Tawheed of Allah which is the dividing line between Imaan and kufr. It was the call of all of the previous Messengers and Prophets. Allah (T) Himself attested to the importance of this statement in the Quraan: "...and know that Laa ilaaha ill Allah (that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah)..." [49:19, 20:8, 3:18, 59:22-3]
As long as this statement is an obligation for an unbeliever to declare in order for him to become a Muslim, and also, since a person who pronounces it faithfully his property and life are safeguarded in this world, it becomes an obligation upon any Muslim who wants to understand the Deen of Islaam to realize its meaning, merits, principles, conditions and its place in life.
Remembering Allah (Dhikr Allah) is one of the most important commandments of Allah. This He Himself commanded in many verses of the Quraan, especially after the performance of important religious obligations:
"...Then when you leave Arafat, remember Allah (by glorfying and praising Him) at the Mash`ar il-Haraam. And remember Allah (by invokingAllah for all good) as He has guided you..." [2:198]
"Then when you have accomplished your 'Manasik' (all the rights of Hajj); remember Allah as you remember your father with a strong remembrance..." [2:200]
He (T) also said: "...and establish prayers for My remembrance." [20:14]
The best way to remember Allah is described to us in the Hadeeth of the Messenger (saws), he said: "...and the best (supplication) I and the other prophets who were sent who were sent before me proclaimed was: There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, He is Alone and has no partner. To Him belongs the Ownership (of everything), and to Him belongs all Praise, and He has total power over all things." [Laa ilaaha ill Allah, wah.dahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul h.amdu wa huwa `alaa kulli shay'in Qadeer.] At-Tirmidhi
The Messenger of Allah (saws) also said: "The best remembrance of Allah is to say 'laa ilaaha ill Allah' (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah)."
All of the above points highlight the importance of this 'kalima' which we will try to explain in some more detail so that a clearer understanding of it can be achieved.
THE PLACE OF LAA ILAAHA ILL ALLAH IN THE LIFE OF A MUSLIM
It is pronounced daily by him in:
(a) The call to prayer.
(b) At the beginning of their prayers
(c) During Tashahud.
(d) During times of 'Dhikr', which is before and after prayers, in the late evening and also in the early mornings.
(e) With this 'Kalima' did Allah send all His Messengers.
(f) About it and its obligations will people be questioned
(g) To establish it when the swords of Muslims are drawn for Jihaad.
(h) The first question in the grave will be about this 'Kalima'.
(i) It is the key to Al-Jannah.
(j) It is what the Muslims are commanded to invite to as is estbalished in the Hadeeth of Muadh when he was sent to Yemen to call the people to Islaam. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "You are going to encounter with a people of the Book, so let the first thing you call them to is the proclamation of 'laa ilaaha ill Allah' (there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah)..." [Bukhari]
THE MERITS OF THE 'KALIMAH' (LAA ILAAHA ILL ALLAH)
Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri said, that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "Moses (AS) said: O Lord! Teach me something that I can remember You with and I can supplicate You with. He (T) said: Say 'Laa ilaaha ill Allah', O Musaa. He (Musaa) said: All of your servants say this. He (T) said: If the seven Heavens and those who dwell in them other than Me and the seven Earths are put into one pan (of the scale) and 'Laa ilaaha ill Allaah' is put into the other; 'Laa ilaaha ill Allah' would be heavier." [Ibn Hibbaan and Haakim]
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "The best Dhikr (remembrance) is 'Laa ilaaha ill Allah' (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah)..."
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "A person from my Ummah will be summoned in the presence of all creatures on the Day of Judgement. Ninety-nine records (of his deeds) would be unfolded, each extending as far as the range of the vision can stretch, then he would be asked: 'Do you deny any of these deeds?' He will reply: 'No, My Lord.' He will be asked: 'Do you have any excuse or any good deed?' The man who will be scared will say: 'No' It will be said to him: 'Yes you have some good deeds. No iniquity will befall you.'
A card will then be shown to him, on it will be written: 'Laa ilaaha ill Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah.' He will say: 'O Allah! What cards and records are these.' It will be said to him: 'No injustice shall befall you.' The (ninety-nine) records will then be placed in one pan of the scale and the card on the other. The card will then outweigh the records." [At-Tirmidhi and Al-Haakim]
All of These Merits of the 'Kalimah' Are Summarized by Ibn Rajab As Follows:
- Al-Jannah is its reward.
- Uttering it before death will cause one to be admitted to the Jannah. -
It is a refuge from the Fire of Hell.
- It is a cause for a Muslim to be forgiven.
- It is the best of good deeds.
- It wipes out sins.
- It traverses all bariers in order to be accepted by Allah, the Almighty
- It is a statement whose pronouncer will be accepted by Allah.
- It is the best proclamation ever uttered by the Prophets.
- It is the best celebration of His praises.
- It is the best of deeds and it multiplies into many good deeds.
- It is a protection against Satan.
- It is a safety from the darkness and the punishment of the graves and from the Day of Resurrection.
- The eight doors of Paradise will be accessible to its pronuncer.
- People who pronounce it will certain come out of the Fire of Hell, even after they have been cast into it for falling short of observing its obligations.
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