La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah
(None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad SAW is the Messanger of Allah).
It has been noticed that most mankind, who embrace Islam, do not understand the reality of the meaning of the first fundamental principle of Islam, i.e. La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad SAW is the Messanger of Allah). So it is essential to explain something of the meanings of this great sentence (principle) in some detail:
La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah
“None has the right to be worshipped but Allah… and Muhammad SAW is the Messanger of Allah” has three aspects: a, b and c.
a. It is that you have to pledge a covenant with (Allah), the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Ruler of all that exists, the Lord of Majesty and Highness, on four points (or conditions):
Point I: A confession with your heart that the Creator (of everything) is Allah; it is that you have to say: “I testify that the Creator of all the universe including the stars, the planets,the sun, the moon, the heavens, the earth with all its known and unknown forms of life , is Allah. He is the organizer and Planner of all its affairs. It is He Who gives life and death, and He (i.e. Allah Alone) is the Sustainer, and the Giver of security.” And this is called (your confession of the) “Oneness of the Lordship of Allah,” – Tauhid-ar-Rububiyyah.
Point II: A confession with your heart that: “I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone.” The word “worship” (i.e. ‘Ibadah) carries a great number of meanings in Islamic terminology: it conveys that all kinds of worship are meant for Allah Alone (and none else, whether it be an angel, Messenger, Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair (Ezra), Muhammad, saint, idol, the sun, the moon and all other kinds of false deities.) So pray to none but Allah, invoke none but Allah, ask for help from none (unseen) but Allah, swear by none but Allah, offer an animal as sacrifice to none but Allah,…etc, and that means, – all that Allah and His Messenger Muhammad SAW order you to do, in the Quran and in the Sunnah (legal ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW) you must do, and all that Allah and His Messenger Muhammad SAW forbid you, you must not do. And this is called (your confession for the) “Oneness of the worship of Allah”, – Tauhid-al-Uluhiyyah. And that you (mankind) worship none but Allah.
Point III: A confession with you heart that: “O Allah! I testify that all the best of the names and the most perfect qualities with which You have named or qualified Yourself in Your Book (i.e. the Quran) or as Your Prophet Muhammad SAW has named or qualified You, with his statement, I believe that all those (names and qualities) are for You without changing their meanings or neglecting them completely or likening them (giving resemblance) to others.” As Allah says:
“There is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (V. 42:11)
This only verse confirms the quality of hearing and the quality of sight for Allah without likening them (giving resemblance) to others, and He also says:
“To one whom I have created with Both My Hands,” (V. 38:75)
And He also says:
“The Hand of Allah is over their hands.” (V. 48:10)
This confirms two Hands for Allah, but there is no similarity for them. Similarly Allah says:
“The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).” (V.20:5)
So He rose over the Throne really in a manner that suits His Majesty. And Allah is over His Throne over the seventh heaven, as the slave-girl pointed towards the heavens, when Allah’s Messenger (Muhammad SAW) asked her as to where Allah is. He comes down over the first (nearest) heaven to us during the last third part of every night and also on the day of ‘Arafat (Hajj, i.e. the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), as mentioned by the Prophet SAW, but He is with us by His Knowledge, not by His Personal-Self (bi-Dhatihi). It is not, as people say that Allah is present everywhere – here, there, and even inside the breasts of men. he sees and hears all that we do or utter. And this is called (your confession for the) “Oneness of the Names and Qualities of Allah,” – Tauhid-al-Asma’ was-Sifat and this is the right belief, the belief which was followed by the Messengers of Allah [from Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Isa (Jesus) to Muhammad, peace be upon them all, and the Companions of Prophet Muhammad SAW] and the righteous followers of these Messengers AS.
Point IV: A confession with your heart: “O Allah! I testify that Muhammad SAW is Your Messenger”. That means that none has the right to be followed after Allah, but the Prophet Muhammad SAW as he is the last of His Messengers. As Allah says:
“Muhammad (SAW) is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.” (V. 33:40).
“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it,” (V. 59:7)
And Allah says:
“Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow The Quran and The Sunnah)’.” (V. 3:31)
As for others than Muhammad SAW, their statements are to be taken or rejected as to whether these are in accordance with Allah’s Book (i.e. the Quran) and with the Sunnah) legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) of the Prophet SAW or not. As the Divine revelation has stopped after the death of Prophet Muhammad SAW and it will not resume except at the time of the Descent of Isa (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary) and he (i.e. Jesus) will rule with justice according to the Islamic laws, during the last days of the world as it has been mentioned in the authentic Hadith (i.e. the narration of Prophet Muhammad SAW). (Sahih-Al-Bukhari, Vol.3, Hadith No. 425).
b. It is essential to utter: La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad SAW is the Messanger of Allah.) As it has come in the statement of the Prophet Muhammad SAW to his uncle Abu Talib at the time of the latter’s death: “O uncle, if you utter it (La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad SAW is the Messanger of Allah), then I shall be able to argue on your behalf before Allah, on the Day of Resurrection.” Similarly, when Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari embraced Islam, he went to Al-Masjid-al-Haram and he proclaimed it loudly in front of the Quaraish infidels until he was beaten severely.
c. It is essential that the limbs and all other parts and organs of one’s body testify to it, and this is very important as regards its meaning (i.e. the meaning of La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad SAW is the Messanger of Allah). So whoever has confessed this (to his Lord), he shall not commit sins like robbing, killing, stealing, illegal sexual intercourse, eating pig meat, drinking alcoholic beverages, taking undue advantage of orphan’s property, cheating in trade, bribery and earning money through illegal means, telling lies, backbiting or otherwise the limbs and all the other parts and organs of his body will testify against him that he was a liar in his words which he pledged to Allah. In case he commits the above sins, he should know that it is a sin that obliges him to repent to Allah, and ask His forgiveness, as (his) body parts (i.e. skin, private parts, hands, tongue, ears) will testify to the above mentioned crimes (i.e. actions) against himself on the Day of Resurrection.
And with the confession of this great sentence (i.e. principle) a person enters in the fold of the Islamic religion accordingly, it is essential for him to believe in all the Messengers of Allah and not to differentiate between them. As it is mentioned in His Book. Allah says:
“Do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My slaves [i.e. the angels; Allah's Messengers; Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] as Auliya (lords, gods, protectors) besides Me? Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism).
“Say (O Muhammad SAW): ‘Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds?’ “Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought they were acquiring good by their deeds! “They are those who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight. “That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery. “Verily! Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (Paradise) for their entertainment. Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have to be removed therefrom. “Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely the sea would be exhausted, before the Words of my Lord would be finished even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid”. Say (O Muhammad SAW): I am only a man like you, it has been revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as partner in the worship of his Lord.” (V. 18:102-110).
This introduction is necessary for anyone who wishes to embrace Islam. After this confession he (or she) should take a bath (i.e. Ghusl) and then offer a two Rak’at prayer, and act upon the five principles of Islam, as narrated by Ibn ‘Umar RA in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.1 Hadith No.7:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar RA: Allah’s Messenger SAW said: Islam is based on the following five (principles):
- To testify La ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah).
- To perform (Iqamat) As-Salat.
- To pay Zakat.
- To perform Hajj (i.e. pilgrimage to Makkah).
- To observe Saum (fast) during the month of Ramadan.
and must believe in the six articles of Faith, i.e. to believe in:
(1) Allah, (2) His angels, (3) His Messengers, (4) His revealed Books, (5) the Day of Resurrection, and (6) Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments i.e. whatever Allah has ordained must come to pass)
The acceptance of the righteous deeds depends on the following two basic conditions which must be fulfilled:
(1) The intentions while doing such deeds must be totally for Allah’s sake only without any show off or gaining praise or fame, etc.
(2) Such a deed must be performed in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the last (end) of all the Prophets and the Messengers AS.