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AQEEDAH (Beliefs) - The Meaning of the Dual Testimony of Faith (Shahaadatain)

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    AQEEDAH (Beliefs) - The Meaning of the Dual Testimony of Faith (Shahaadatain)

    AsSalaamu 'alaikum warahmtullaah,

    All Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and on his family and all of his Companions.

    How many times have you heard or even said the following words? Ash hadu allaa ilaaha illallaahu wa ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasoolullaah. [I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah]. Yes indeed, it is the two-part testimony or declaration of faith by which the one who utters it enters into the fold of Islaam.

    More importantly however, is whether we as listeners or as the ones who have made this declaration have really considered the meaning of this great declaration and its implications for the one who utters it?

    We shall try and have a look at this through a series of posts Insha'Allaah.

    [This message has been edited by Hasnain (edited March 03, 2002).]

    Importance of Understanding The Testimony

    This testimony of faith is the foundation upon which Islaam is based. The concept of life, the universe and man is diffused from it, and upon it is based the message of all Messengers (‘alaihimus salaam) beginning with Noah (‘alaihi salaam) and ending with Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), peace be upon them all. The first half of the testimony constitutes what is also known as al-kalima, which literally means ‘the word’ Laa ilaaha illallah.

    Allaah the Exalted says: And we sent not before you any Messenger except that We reaveled to him that: "There is no deity worthy of being worshiped except I, so worship Me." [Al-Anbiyaa - 21:25]

    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."


      The Testimony Comprises Two Pillars: Denial And Affirmation.

      1. The first half of this first part Laa ilaaha - There is no Ilaah (deity) - denies everyone and everything other than Allah, the Exalted, the attribute of divinity. This is known as 'nafy' (negation) in Arabic.

      2. The second half of this declaration illallah (except Allah) affirms and restricts divinity to Allah alone. That is, the slave must believe that Allah is the only true God, and therefore must not dedicate any act of worship to other than Allah. This is known in Arabic as 'ithbaat' (affirmation).

      "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it,"

      [This message has been edited by Hasnain (edited March 04, 2002).]


        Conditions Of The First Half Of The Declaration

        Confessing the testimony of faith must be coupled with fulfilling its seven conditions. Every door has a key that unlocks it.

        These conditions may be analogized with the teeth of that key in order that it functions properly. Though one may have indeed entered Islaam upon uttering the words it can also be said that complete faith cannot be attained unless he fully understands the implications of his testimony.

        1. Knowledge which negates Ignorance. Allaah states: So know (O Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), Peace be upon him) that La ilaaha Illa-Allah.(There is no God but Allah). [Soorah Muhammad 47:19]. The more a believer knows about Allah and His Deen the less likely is he to fall prey to the traps of Satan and more likely to benefit himself and others.

        2. Certainty which negates Doubt. Only those are the believers who have believed in Allaah and His Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives in the Cause of Allaah. They are the truthful. [Soorah Al-Hujuraat - 49:15]. The declaration should be made with the fullest conviction and confidence that Allaah is One and Alone and Islam is indeed the true religion.

        3. Sincerity and purity of intent which negates Shirk. Unquestionably, for Allaah is the pure religion. [Soorah Az-Zumar - 39:3]. No deed will be accepted if it is not done with pure intent and aim to please Allaah.

        4. Truthfulness which negates Hypocrisy. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say ‘We believe’ and will not be tested? And we indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make known those who are true and will certainly make known those who are liars. [Soorah Al-Ankabut - 29:2,3]. It is very simple for one to feign belief but it is Allaah who indeed knows the inner truthfulness of all who claim to believe in Him.

        5. Love and devotion which negates disdain of Allaah’s religion. And to mankind are some who take some (associates for worship) besides Allah as rivals; they love them as they love Allaah. But those who believe love Allaah more (than anything else). [Soorah Al-Baqarah - 2:165]. Loving Allaah necessitates that the believer put full trust in him and loves all that he learns of what Alalah has commanded and forbidden. Therefore the true believer loves each and every aspect of Islaam and he loves those others who likewise do so.

        6. Submission which negates Disobedience. And turn in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him. [Soorah Az-Zumar 39:54]. To willfully disobey when Allaah’s commands have been made clear is to belie the declaration of faith.

        7. Acceptance which negates Rejection or Denial. Truly when it was said to them: ‘There is no God except Allaah’, they puffed themselves up with pride (i.e. denied it). And (they) said : ‘Are we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet? [As-Saffaat 37:35-36]. There can be nothing but full acceptance of the truth of the declaration. Partial acceptance is like no acceptance at all.

        "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

        [This message has been edited by Hasnain (edited March 10, 2002).]


          The Second Half Of The Testimony: Muhammadar-Rasoolullaah

          This is the declaration that "Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the Messenger of Allaah". The Companions of the Prophet (salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) understood and interpretd this as Muhammad (salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) being the "final" Messenger of Allaah. This second part of the testimony of faith is no less important than the first. In fact. It is impossible for one to be a true believer in the first part without also believing in the second. It necessitates belief in the following:

          1. Total obedience to Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in whatever he ordered. Allaah states: But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept them with full submission. [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:65] and He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allaah [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:80]

          2. Avoiding what he (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade. And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). [Soorah Al-Hashr 59:7].

          3. Believing in all those matters he informed us about. The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him form his Lord and so do the believers. [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:285]

          4. Loving the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). The Prophet has said about himself None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his parents, his children and all of mankind. [Al-Bukhaari]

          "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."


            A Sobering Thought

            Allaah states: O Prophet, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of glad tidings and a Warner. And as one who invites to Allah (i.e, to worship Him Alone) by His Leave and as a Lamp spreading Light (through your instructions). [Al-Ahzaab 33:45-46]

            In an age when there is actually controversy over whether or not a Muslim must actually obey Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and adhere to his way, no true Muslim should remain ignorant of the great meanings contained within the two-part testimony by which one joins this great Deen of Islaam. It may well be true as is said by some "There are many who have been Muslims for all of their lives who are really in need of taking the Shahaadatain all over again."

            The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is the one who brought us Islam in its final form and exemplified it in his speech and character. Though him (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) Allaah has spread His light all over this earth and surely in such a dark place as the world can at times be, there is nothing more needed than a beacon to show us the way .


            "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."


              Jazak'Allah Khair brother...this is a VERY important post, we all should first build a strong base for our beliefs and then worry about who is right or wrong.

              The one who does not call to Tawheed and the correction of the Aqeedah, is like the one ....."who seeks to cure a body whose head has been cut off, since the place of the Aqeedah in the religion is like the head with regards to the body" [Sheikh Rabee' ibn haadee al-madkhalee, in al-manhaj al-anbiyaa fee Dawaah ill-allaah]