Conditions and Meaning of the Shahada
La Illaaha il'Allah
It’s meaning - There is none who has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.
Its pillars are:
The negation phrase “ there is no deity worthy of worship (Laa Ilaaha)
The confirmation phrase “ except Allaah (IllaaAllaah)
The phrase: “there is no deity worthy of worship” negates all other false objects of worship while the phrase “except Allaah” confirms that there is only one true God worthy of worship who has no partners.
The conditions of the Shahaadah (testimony of Faith) are eight:
1. `Ilm (Knowledge): Knowledge of it’s meaning - what is confirmed by it and what is negated by it. As previously stated it was mentioned that the meaning of: “There is none that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah” is that all other objects of worship that mankind set up as partners with Allaah are false.
2. Yaqeen (Certainty): Certainty of it’s meaning, free from doubt or suspicion. This means on must be upon certainty that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.
3. Al-Ikhlaas (Sincerity): This means the sincerity the servant has towards only his Lord, in all acts of worship. For example, if anyone deviates from this sincerity to Allaah and directs it toward a Prophet, a walee, an idol, a king, the jinn or any other false object of worship, than certainly he is guilty of committing shirk (polytheism) and has contradicted this condition of the Shahaadah (testimony of Faith), which is Sincerity.
4. As-Sidq (Truthfulness): It’s meaning is to speak the truth in order to remove any traces of hypocrisy. This is the meaning of Sidq. It also means to observe truthfulness with the tongue as well as the heart. If sidq is only observed by the tongue and not by the heart, then this condition of sidq (truthfulness) has not been met.
5. Al-Mahabbah (Love): It’s meaning is to love Allaah. The declaration of the Shahaadah requires that the person loves Allaah. If someone declares his faith but does not love Allaah then he’s at a stage of kufr, where he doesn’t enter into Islam, as was the way of the hypocrites. The proof for this is in the saying of Allaah:
“Say (O Muhammad, to mankind) if you really love Allaah then follow me. Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Aali `Imran: 31]
6. Al-Inqiyaad (Compliance): One must comply with the obligations of the Shahaadah. This means to carry out all the obligatory duties with faith and certainty that these obligations are the rights your Lord has over you. If one fails to worship Allaah and to adhere to his Legislation, showing arrogance and animosity towards it, then he is not from the believers, as was the case with Iblees (the Devil) and others of his nature.
7. Al-Qubool (Acceptance): One must accept the Shahaadah and its meaning. This means accepting all its conditions with sincerity and worshipping only Allaah. It also entails leaving off that which is worshipped besides Allaah as equals, whilst being firm on this and pleased with it.
8. Rejection of anything worshipped besides Allaah: The meaning of this condition is that one must stay clear of and distance himself from all acts of worship other than the worship of Allaah. And he must recognize, with certainty that all acts of worship, which are not done solely for Allaah, are false and to be rejected.
Allaah says in the Qur'aan:
“Whoever disbelieves in the Taghoot (false deities and systems) and believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allaah is the All=Seeing, All-Knowing.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 256]
[‘Abdul-'Azeez bin Baaz; Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa [vol. 1, pg. 231]]
Translator: Muhammad Islam