The Two Testimonies of Faith
These are the testimonies that no one has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad (s) is His slave and messenger. This is a verbal pillar of Islam, but one must also follow it with belief and action. This is the key to enter Islam.
The Meaning of the First Testimony:
This is the phrase of Tawheed. For this concept, Allah brought the creation into being, and for this concept He created Paradise and Hellfire. Allah (y) says: And I have created neither the Jinn nor mankind except to worship Me. [51:56]
This is the belief to which all Prophets and Messengers called their peoples, may Allah praise them and keep them safe from all evil. Allah (y) says: And we have not sent before you any messenger except that We have revealed to him that there is no god that is worshipped in truth except Me, so worship and obey Me. [21:25]
The first testimony, that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, includes the following meanings:
- Allah is the Creator of all that exists. Allah (y) says: Such is Allah, your Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but Him, the Creator of all things. So worship and obey Him Alone, and He is the Guardian over all things. [6:102]
- Allah is the Proprietor of all that exists, and the Disposer of all affairs. Allah (y) says:Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all that exists]! [7:54]
- Allah is the One who deserves to be worshipped. Allah (y) says: Unquestionably, to Allah belongs whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth. And those who invoke other than Allah do not actually follow His alleged partners. They follow not except assumption, and they only invent lies. [10:66]
- To Him belong the beautiful names and perfect attributes. Far removed is He from every imperfection. Allah (y) says: And all the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do. [7:180]
The Conditions of the Testimony:
It is not enough to merely say this testimony for it to be accepted by Allah. It is a key to the gates of Paradise, but in order for the key to work, it needs to have the right ridges. This Testimony must meet the following conditions for it to be accepted by Allah:
- Knowledge: This comprises knowing that all things worshipped besides Allah are false. There is no god worshipped in truth except Allah, even if it be a prophet, a messenger or an angel. Allah is the only One Who deserves all types of worship, such as prayer, supplication, hope, sacrifice, fasting, etc.
Whoever assigns any act of worship to other than Allah while that person intends to worship or aggrandize the one who he assigned it to, has committed an act of disbelief, even if he uttered the two testimonies.
- Certainty: The heart must be firmly certain of the meaning of the two testimonies. Certainty is the opposite of doubt, so there is no room for a person to doubt or hesitate in his belief. Allah (y) says: The believers are only those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not, and strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those are the truthful. [49:15]
- Acceptance: One should accept the testimony fully, and not reject it. Allah (y) says: Truly, when it was said to them, “There is no true deity worshipped except Allah,” they puff themselves up with pride in denial. [37:35]
- Submission, obedience and acting upon all what the testimonies necessitate. A person must do what Allah ordered and abstain from what He prohibited. Allah (y) says: And whosoever submits his face to Allah, while he is a Muhsin then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah return all matters for decision. [31:22]
- Truthfulness: One must be truthful in professing the testimonies . Allah (y) says: They say with their tongues what is not within their hearts. [48:11]
- Sincerity of worship: One must sincerely dedicate all acts of worship to Allah alone . Allah (y) says: And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, following the religion purely and sincerely for Him, turning away from other religions. [98:5]
- Love: One must love the testimonies and all that they necessitate. He must love Allah, His Messenger, and His righteous servants. He must hate and show enmity towards all who show enmity to Allah and His Messenger. He must prefer what Allah and His Messenger love, even if it differs from his desires.
Allah (y) says: Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people. [9:24]
These testimonies also necessitate that Allah is the only One Who has the right to legislate, whether it be in matters concerning worship or those concerning human relations, in both individual and public matters.
The act of making something prohibited or lawful is for Allah alone. His Messenger sake, that they are done according to what He legislated, and that you spend your time in Allah’s (s) obedience. Take account of yourself, before you are taken to account, and let Allah see you doing what He commanded not what He merely explained and clarified Allah’s commandments. Allah (y) says: And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, refrain from it. [59:7]
The Meaning of the second Testimony, that ‘Muhammad is His Messenger’
To bear witness that Muhammad (s) is the Messenger of Allah necessitates the following:
- To believe that he is a Messenger, and that he is last of the Messengers; no Messenger will come after him. Allah (y) says: Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. [33:40]
- To believe that he is infallible in the teachings he conveyed from Allah (y). Allah, the Exalted, says:
Nor does he speak of his own inclination. It is only an Revelation that is revealed to him. [53:3-4]
As for the affairs of this world, he was a human, and he had his own opinions. The Prophet (s) said: “Indeed I am only a human. It may be that a claimant comes to me with a dispute, and due to one of them being more convincing in speech than the other, I may rule in his favor. Whoever was ruled in his favor while he is wrong, what he is receiving without right is only a portion of the Hellfire, so let him take it or leave it.” [Muslim]
- To believe that he is a Messenger to all creation; to Jinn and to humans until the Final Hour. Allah (y) says: And We have not sent you [O Muhammad (s)] except to all of mankind, as a giver of glad tidings and a warner, but most people know not. [34:28]
- To obey the Prophet (s) in what he ordered, to believe in everything he said, and to refrain from what he forbade and warned against. Allah (y) says: And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, refrain from it. [59:7]
- To follow and adhere to the Prophet’s (s) Sunnah, without innovating matters in it. Allah, the Exalted, says: Say [O Muhammad (s)]: If you truly love Allah then follow my example, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [3:31]
THE MERITS OF IMAN (BELIEF) IN ALLAH
- When one fulfills the conditions of the Shahadah, he would free himself from worshipping man and devote all acts of worship to the Creator of man. This would lead one to being independent.
Allah (y) says: (Say: “Then have you considered what you invoke besides Allah ? If Allah intended me harm, are they removers of His harm; or if He intended me mercy, are they withholders of His mercy?” Say, “Sufficient for me is Allah ; upon Him [alone] rely the [wise] reliers.”) [39:38]
- Peace of heart, mind and soul. Allah (y) says: (Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.) [13:28]
- Sense of security through the knowledge that there is someone to turn to in times of hardships. Allah (y) says: (And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him. But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away [from Him]. And man is ever ungrateful.) [17:67]
- The feeling of spiritual joy in worshipping Allah. This is due to the fact that the goal which he is trying to achieve (Jannah) cannot be reached except after death. So you see him persistently striving to achieve this goal by doing righteous deeds, rendering all acts of worship sincerely and purely to Allah alone.
Allah (y) says: (Say: ‘Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.) [6:162-163]
- The guidance and success which is granted by Allah to those that believe in Him. Allah (y) says: (…and whosoever has faith in Allah, He guides his heart.) [64:11]
- The love of doing righteous deeds and its propagation amongst the masses. Allah (y) says:
(So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.) [99:7]
The Prophet (s) said: “Indeed the one who leads another to do a righteous deed is like the one who actually does it.” (Tirmidhi #2670)