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THE MEANING OF Laa ilaaha illallah

Whenever we say laa ilaaha illallah, people think of “there is no god but Allah” but
that is not the meaning of Laa ilaha illallah.

Allah (swt) has names and attributes and functions, that we have Tawheed upon,
believing in them exclusively.

The word ilah is not god, if we were to translate it so, it would not make sense,
because there are many gods worshipped by the hindus and mushrikeen etc.

Al Ilah in the Arabic language is Al Ma’boud. Sahabah such as ibn Abbas, Zaid bin
Thaabit and many other great sahabah said that “Al Ilah is Al Ma’boud.”

Al Ilah is the singular form of Aalihah. The kalima Laa ilaha illallah, is translated as

“There is no deity worthy to be worshipped, Obeyed or followed in truth but Allah.”

‘Ibadah is a noun that combines all that Allah likes from our inner and outer sayings
and actions. So when we worship Allah (swt), we do so by offering ritual acts and
following his commands – and there is no one worthy to receive those ritual acts or
for their commands to be followed except Allah (swt).

This Ibadah, or the ritual acts include, du’a, istigatha, salah, zakat, siyam etc, and
none of these can performed for anything other than Allah (swt), this explains the
shirk of the Quraish, because the quraish believed in Allah (swt), they believed he
was the creator, Allah (swt) said in the qur’an that if you asked them who created
the heavens and the earth, they will say “Allah”, yet they were Mushrik. They were
Mushrik because they offered the ritual acts to the idols besides Allah (swt) even
though they claimed to do so only to be closer to Allah.

This is why you can be Mushrik even if you believe in Allah (swt), this is why we
must have knowledge of Laa ilaaha ilallah, Allah (swt) said,

“Be aware of Laa ilaaha illallah”

The saying of laa ilaaha illallah is a condition, to become Muslim you must
pronounce this kalima, furthermore it is condition to believe in it.

The kalima of laa ilaaha illallah, negates four and affirms four, it negates all Arbaab,
Andaad, Aalihah, Tawagheet.

Arbaab are of two, Allah (swt) informed us that “they take their Ahbaar
(rabbis/scholars) and ruhbaan (priests/worshippers/awliyaa’)”
Andaad is anything that attracts you besides Allah (swt), whether nationalism,
parents, family, children, etc. all these things are not allowed to be liked for their
sake, even your own family or wife – you must only love them for the sake of Allah
(swt).

Aalihah is anything that you seek to benefit you or prevent harm from you. We seek
Allah (swt) to benefit us with jannah and to prevent us from the harm of hellfire, we
are not allowed to look to anyone else, Allah (swt) exclusively is the only one who
can benefit or harm us.

Tawagheet are those that we obey or follow besides Allah (swt), whether we obey
man made law besides the shari’ah, or we obey man instead of Allah, or we follow
someone else instead Allah (swt).

THE CONDITION OF SAYING LAA ILAHA ILALLAH

The only way that you can enter Islam is by saying laa ilaaha illallah, it was reported
that Muhammad (saw) went to his uncle Abu Talib, and with him was Abu Jahl, and
Abdullah ibn Abu Umayyah, he (saw) said, “say laa ilaaha illallah and I will testify for
you on the day of judgement.” Abu Jahl and Abdullah said, “O Abu Talib, are you
going to retreat from the millah of Abdul Muttalib?” Abu Talib said, “O Muhammad,
By Allah I knew from the first day you came out, that what you say is Haq, but my
people do not like your call, and I will not let down my people.” Muhammad (saw)
continued to say to him “say laa ilaaha illallah” “say, laa ilaaha illallah” until Abu
Talib said, “I am on the deen of Abdul Muttalib.”

This is why the ulemah say that it is a condition to enter Islam, to pronounce the
words laa ilaaha illallah, to the point where, there is dispute over the mute person,
they say that he can write, or nod in response to the saying laa ilaaha illallah.

This is taking Andaad instead of Allah (swt), he loved his people and out of
attraction to them he retreated from embracing Islam.

There is a lesson from Abu Talib not taking laa ilaaha illallah, Muhammad (saw) was
the one who called him to Islam, and he is the best to call, and his Da’wah is the
best Da’wah, and yet he did not succeed, we learn from this that Allah (swt) is the
only one who grants hidayah, and he grants it to who we wishes, and he misguides
whoever he wills. However if you are not receptive to the hidayah, if you are not
interested in seeking and being open to the hidayah sincerely, Allah (swt) will not
give you hidayah.

The prophet (saw) said, “I have been ordered to fight people until they say laa
ilaaha illallah, if they say it, their life and wealth is protected from me except by
Haq.”
This means that to say it is a condition, and it also means that the life and wealth of
the one who has not said it (laa ilaaha illallah) has no sanctity, and the one who has
said it has sanctity, “except by Haq” so if he apostasises, then he will be killed.

Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah said,

“If someone did not declare laa ilaaha illallah by his tongue, while he is capable, …
he is kaafir and this is agreed by all muslims.”

If someone does not testify it, can the practising of Islam replace it? No, the one
who pray and fasts and practises Islam without to testitfy to laa ilaaha illallah, he is
not a Muslim.

Imam Shafi’I said, “the kalima must be said all completed, and it is not allowed to
make pause between the negation and affirmation. Nor without to say laa ilaaha
many times and then say illallah.”

If someone dies saying Laa ilaaha without to say illallah, he dies kaafir, because that
saying negates uluhiyyah.

The one who says that it is enough to say Allah is the creator or Allah is the provider
etc, without to reject taghout, is incorrect. You must fulfil the principle “Al Takhliyyah
Qabl Al Tahliyyah” to give up kufr and shirk and TAGHOUT, before taking up Imaan,
Tawheed and Allah etc.