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Many Muslims today believe that by just saying “La ilaha illAllah”, it is enough for them to enter paradise and all their sins will magically disappear. We need to understand that if we as Muslims say La ilaha illAllah but do not believe in it or practice it properly; our statement really holds little or no weight.
What is the meaning of La ilaha illAllah? La ilaha illAllah (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah) is a: 1. Statement with the tongue 2. Belief in the heart 3. Actions of the limbs
It is true that La ilaha illAllah is the key to Paradise but with every key there are teeth. These teeth are what the scholars of Islam refer to as the the conditions of La ilaha illAllah and conditions are as follows:
1-Knowledge: Allah says:“So know (O Muhammad) that La ilaha illAllah (none has the right to be worshipped in truth except Allah).”(Surah Muhammad: 19)“Allah bears witness that nothing has the right to be worshipped except Him. The Angels and those havingknowledge (also give this witness) (He always maintains His creation in justice. Nothing has the right to beworshipped in truth except Him, the All Mighty the All Wise.” [Surah Al „Imraan: 18]“Are those who know equal to those who do not know?‟ It is only men of understanding who will remember(i.e. get a lesson from Allah‟s Signs and Verses)” (Surah Zumar: 9)Messenger of Allaah (pbuh) said: “Whoever dies knowing ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ will enter Paradise.” (Bukhariand Muslim)The key word here is “know” not “say”. How can we worship our Lord if we know nothing about Him? It ismandatory for every Muslim to know who Allah is and why we should worship Him. Does Allah have a face orhands, does he see or hear and if so how? Where is Allah? Is He the creator of all things and how do we know?One of the first questions in the grave will be “Who is your Lord? We will all be questioned on our knowledgeof our Lord, ignorance is not an excuse.
2-Certainty: Allah say “Only those who are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger,and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.Those! They are the truthful.” [Surah Hujaraat: 15]The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “I testify that none is worthy of worship in truth exceptAllah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. There is no servant of Allah who meets Allah withthese two testifications, not doubting in them, except that he enters Paradise.” (Muslim)It is clear that a Muslim after saying La ilaha illAllah must have no doubt about what he or sheis testifying to.
3-Sincerity: Allah say “So worship Allah by doing righteous deeds sincerely for Allah‟s sake only.” [SurahZumar: 2]The Prophet (pbuh) said “Of those people happiest with my intercession is the one who said „Lailaha ‘illa Allaah’ sincerely from his heart or from his self.” (Bukhari)Muslims must worship Allah with sincerity and not for the people to see or to gain some sortbenefit.4-Truthfulness:The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever testifies that none has the right to be worshipped in truthexcept Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger truthfully from his heart, exceptthat Allah makes haraam for him the fire.” (Bukhaari)When Muslims speak on behalf of Allah and His Prophet, is must be the truth and notsomething made up or fabricated as to please the people or themselves.
5-Love: Allah says:“And of mankind there are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (toAllah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (thananything else). (Surah Baqarah: 165)“Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilâh (god), and Allaah knowing(him as such) left him astray and sealed his hearing and his heart and put a cover on his sight.Who then will guide him after Allah?” [Jaathiyah: 23]The Prophet (pbuh) said “If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you andforgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.‟ Say: „Obey Allaah and theMessenger.‟ But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers.” [Al-„Imran: 31]Muslims must love all that Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) commanded to do and hate what Heand the Prophet (pbuh) has commanded us to abstain from.
6-Submission/Compliance: Allah says “And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah;and he is a muhsin (a gooddoer). (Surah Nisaa: 125)Muslims, who say La ilaha illAllah and believes in it, must then comply with Allah‟s rules andregulations in ways of their actions.7-Acceptance:Allah says “Whoever disbelieves in everything worshiped other than Allah, and believes inAllah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah isthe All Hearer All Knower” [Surah Baqarah: 256]Acceptance is saying La ilaha illAllah and then believing it in the heart.