Islamic Philosophy| The Virtues of La ilaha illa Allah
La ilaha illa Allah negates everything that is worshipped besides Allāh, whether that be a person, angel, jinn, animal, rock, tree, planet, star etc because these things are not deserving or worthy of worship.
Hello, Dear Readers and followers, welcome back to my new story, I hope all’s well. Today I planned to talk about the Islamic philosophy on the meaning of the Statement of Tawhid; La ilaha illa Allah (there is no deity but Allah).
As Muslims, we all know that The Arabic phrase lā ilāha illā allāh is one of the major pillars of the Muslim faith. The first pillar of Islam is the “Shahadah”, also spelled “The Shahada”. It comes from the Arabic word “الشَهَادة” which means “The Testimony”, the testimony simply states that “There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” It underscores the monotheistic nature of Islam. It must be recited by every Muslim at least once in a lifetime, aloud, correctly, and purposively, with a full understanding of its meaning and with an assent of the heart.
Shahadah is the term given to making a declaration of faith and dedication to your belief that there is only one God, Allah SWT, and that he sent His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to guide us.
As the First Pillar of Islam, Shahadah is one of the most important and acts as your first submission to Islam and announcing your intention as a true follower.
It is the most sacred statement in Islam and must be recited with sincere belief from the bottom of the heart and true feeling with complete understanding and mindfulness of its meaning to become a Muslim.
Actually, true belief in the content of the Shahada is the foremost distinguishing characteristic that defines a Muslim as a Muslim. A Muslim is simply one who bears witness and testifies that “nothing deserves worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” One becomes a Muslim by making this simple declaration.
It must be recited by every Muslim at least once in a lifetime with a full understanding of its meaning and with an assent of the heart. Muslims say this when they wake up in the morning, and before they go to sleep at night. It is repeated five times in the call to prayer in every mosque. A person who utters the shahada as their last words in this life has been promised Paradise.
Read on to learn more about Islam’s First Pillar: Shahadah (Profession of Faith)
Islam's First Pillar: Shahadah (Profession of Faith)
‘Shahadah’, the testimony of faith, is among the five main pillars of Islam. It is this very declaration of faith that…
Meaning of La Ilaha illallah
After having understood the precise meaning of the Shahādah, it is essential to point out that there are pillars to Lā ilāha illa Allāh (there is none worthy of worship except Allāh) which are known in the Arabic language as: أَرْكَانُ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا الله, Arkānu Lā ilāha illa Allāh.
La Ilaha illallah means there is nothing deserving to be worshipped except Allah Sub’hana Wa Ta’ala. We all know that there are other ilah (deities) that are worshipped in the current world. But are they deserving of your worship? No. They have no rights to be worshipped.
“La ilaha illallah” means that you have to abandon worshipping anyone besides Allah and also abandon making Dua to anyone except Allah. You have to abandon trusting anyone the way you trust in Allah, abandon loving anyone the way you love Allah, and you have to abandon fearing anyone the way you fear Allah.
In Quran Allah Says;
And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakāh. And that is the correct religion.( Quran 98:5)
The La in “La Ilaha illallah”:
La (in Arabic) means negation (known as the “La” of negation). The “La” is of two types:
- The first “La” resembles what ‘Laisa’ does in Arabic grammar. This means it does not negate completely or is not a strong negation as it only negates one (thing/item/person) and not all (things/items/persons).
- The second “La” is the opposite of the above and resembles “Inna” in the Arabic language. The second type of “La” actually negates everything, how much ever a number of people, things are there. This is the ultimate negation.
The “La” in Kalimathu Tawheed is the second type as it negates fully. This means no one, no deity is ever worthy of worship except Allah.
Illa Allāh affirms all forms of worship for Allāh the Exalted alone as He is the Only One deserving and worthy of worship without any partners in His worship at all.
The Importance of “Lá iláha illalláh”
The belief in the words of “Laa ilaaha illAllah Muhammadun Rasoolullah” cause one to enter Islam, to refute all deities and accept Allah (Subhaana-hu Wa Ta’aalaa) as the only God and Lord of the Universe and what it contains. No one can be a Muslim without believing and adhering to the tenets of this pledge: “Laa ilaaha illAllah Muhammadun Rasoolull-ah” (There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
The first part of this pledge, “Laa ilaaha illAllah” is the belief in the divine lordship of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) (referred to as “ruboobiyyah”), meaning believing that Allah is the only one power who creates, gives life and death, and maintains the affairs of all that’s in this universe.
“Laa ilaaha illAllah” is the belief in the divine nature (referred to as “uloohiyyah”), meaning believing that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is the only one to whom people should devote their words and actions of worship. None therefore should be worshipped but Him.
“Laa ilaaha illAllah” is the belief in the names and attributes of Allah (referred to as “al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat”), which means affirming what Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has affirmed for Himself of names and attributes, and denying any attributes that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has said are not His, without denying any of His attributes or likening any of His attributes to the attributes of any of His creation.
When our Prophet Muhammad PBUH came to the people of Makkah and he started his message, he first called them to La ilaha illallah. After 10 years of his prophecy, the Salah was made obligatory although the prophet was in Makkah for 13 years. But for the first 10 years, he was calling to Tawheed “La ilaha illallah” only. And thereafter, Salah was made mandatory, and Salah is the manifestation of “La ilaha illallah”.
Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:
“Remind those who are on their death bed of the Shahadah “La’Ilaha illall-ah.” (for them to say it, hoping it will be their last words)”
That is the position of La ilaha illallah. The one who wants to become a Muslim says this as his or her first Kalimah (declaration of faith) and it is hoped that a Muslim be able to recite this Kalimah as his last words. It is hoped that La ilaha illallah will take you to Jannah, In Shaa Allah.
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said of the Day of Arafah dua:
“The most excellent dua is the dua on the Day of Arafah, and the best of what I and the prophets before me have said, is “There is nothing that deserves to be worshiped in truth except Allaah, He is Alone and has no partner, to Him belongs the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is All-Powerful over all things.’” (Muwatta)
‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr narrated that The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:
“A man from my nation will be called before all of creation on the Day of Resurrection, and ninety-nine scrolls will be spread out for him, each one extending as far as the eye can see. Then Allah will say: “Do you deny anything of this?” He will say: “No, O Lord.” He will say: “Have My recording scribes been unfair to you?” Then He will say: “Apart from that, do you have any good deeds?” The man will be terrified and will say: “No.” (Allah) will say: “Indeed, you have good deeds with Us, and you will not be treated unjustly this Day.” Then a card will be brought out on which is written Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluhu (I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger). He will say: “O Lord, what is this card compared with these scrolls?” He will say: “You will not be treated unjustly.” Then the scrolls will be placed in one side of the Balance and the card in the other. The scrolls will go up (i.e., be light) and the card will go down (i.e., will weigh heavily).”
All praise is due to Alláh, Who opened the doors of knowledge to those who strived in His worship by granting them the key that is Lá iláha illallah (there is no deity worthy of worship except Alláh).
He resurrected the hearts of the knowledgeable worshippers and filled the cups of those who always remember Him from the fountain of Lá iláha illallah. He perfected the creation, brought them into existence, and sealed this perfection with Lá iláha illallah. He created the fetus from a worthless fluid (semen) so that mankind may worship Him with Lá iláha illalláh. He sent the Messengers to deliver the good news of this Word Lá iláha illalláh and to warn against whatever contradicts it and to understand its implications.
Lá iláha illalláh is the pillar of the religion and the Thick Rope of Alláh; those who adhere to Lá iláha illalláh will never earn failure. Verily, the minds of the ignorant ones have been led astray and the hearts of the stubborn infidels have earned misguidance on account of their taking two gods, even after the full moon of Lá iláha illallah has risen.
“So know (O Muhammad SAW) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women.” Quran (47:19)
The common message of all the Prophets is the same message (laa ilaha illal-lah) conveyed by Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), ‘Eesa (Jesus), etc, and finally to mankind until the Day of Resurrection by the Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
This testimony is the key to Paradise. But there is no key except that it has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will be open for you. Otherwise, it will not open for you. In order to achieve Paradise through this testimony, one must fulfill certain conditions that constitute the “right ridges” for this key statement.
“Whoever disbelieves in everything worshiped other than Allah, and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is the All-Hearer All-Knower”. (Qur’an 2: 256 )
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:
“He who died knowing (fully well) that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allah entered al-Jannah (Paradise).”
Another place The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:
“I bear witness that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allah, and I am His Messenger. The slave of Allah who would meet Him without harboring any doubt about his (testimony) would enter al-Jannah (Paradise).”
Truthfulness paves the way for a meaningful understanding of this declaration. It strengthens the drive of man towards achieving knowledge about his Creator, Allah. The hypocrites utter the declaration, but they conceal rejection in their hearts:
“They said with their tongues what is not in their Hearts.” (Qur’an , 48:11)
The heart is like the king and the limbs are the soldiers. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:
“Truly there is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body becomes spoilt.”
When the love of Allah fills the heart, truthfulness and honesty fill it too, but when desire gets to the heart, the way for corruption and hypocrisy becomes opened and man will utter what is not really in his heart.
The Love of Allah Allah and His Message of Islam is related to the Knowledge of Him and of His Names and Attributes. The more the person knows of Allah, the love of Him becomes stronger. This makes the believer eager to meet Allah, see Him, and listen to His Words in the Hereafter. This becomes the goal and all the worldly attachment gets weaker and weaker. The spirit is lifted up. It aims high toward its Creator. It would not trap itself on any road that would lead to other than submission to Allah alone. The person becomes motivated to comply with Allah’s command to the best of his abilities. This produces true happiness in this life and in the Hereafter.
Benefits Of La Ilaha Illallah
Among the virtues and benefits of La Ilaha Illallah are:
1. The Best Zikr
The best dhikr is la Ilaha Illa “The best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is: la Ilaha Illa.
2. Ascends To The Throne Of Allah
When a servant of Allah utters the words sincerely, the doors of Paradise open up for these words until they reach the Throne of Allah, so long as its utterer keeps away from the major sins.
3. A Renewer Of Faith
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said: “Renew your faith.” The companions asked: “How can we renew our faith?” The Prophet Muhammad PBUH replied: “Be frequent in saying La Ilaha Illallah.” (Ahmad)
4. Makes Hell Unlawful
Allah has made Hell-fire unlawful for the one who, seeking His pleasure, says. (Bukhari)
5. Last Words Paradise
He whose last words are la Ilaha will enter Paradise.” (Abu Dawud)
6. Means Of Intercession
The most fortunate person who will have my intercession on the Day of Judgement will be the one who said la Ilaha sincerely from his heart. (Bukhari)
7. Outweighs The Seven Heavens And The Seven Earths
When death approached Allah’s Prophet Nuh, he said to his son: ‘… I command you with la. Surely if the seven heavens and the seven earths were placed on a pan of a scale, and la Ilaha was placed on the other pan, it would outweigh them.’” (al-Adab al-Mufrad)
8. Outweighs All Sins
Indeed Allah will choose a man from my ummah in front of all of creation on the Day of Judgement. He will lay out 99 scrolls for him; each scroll will be as far as the eye can see.
Then He will ask: ‘Do you deny any of this? Have my assiduous scribes wronged you?’ He will reply: ‘No, O Lord!’ He will ask: ‘Do you have an excuse?’ He will reply: ‘No, O Lord!’ So He will say: ‘On the contrary! Certainly, you have a good deed with us, and you shall not be wronged today.’
Then a card will be brought out and it will contain la Ilaha. Then He will say: ‘Bring your scales.’ He will say: ‘O Lord! What good is this card next to these scrolls?’ He will say: ‘You shall not be wronged.’
The scrolls will be put on one pan of the scale, and the card on the other. The scrolls will be light, and the card will be heavy, as nothing is heavier than the Name of Allah.” (Tirmidhi)
The Secret of La Ilaha Illallah
“ Whoever says it with faith will enter Jannah”
This is evidenced by the story of a disbeliever who said: There is no god but Allah, and his companion Osama bin Zaid killed him after that in the battle, thinking that he had said it out of fear.
Narrated Usama bin Zaid: Allah’s Prophet Muhammad PBUH sent us towards Al-Huruqa, and in the morning we attacked them and defeated them. I and an Ansari man followed a man from among them and when we took him over, he said, “La ilaha illal-Lah.”
On hearing that, the Ansari man stopped, but I killed him by stabbing him with my spear. When we returned, The Prophet Muhammad PBUH came to know about that and he said, “O Usama! Did you kill him after he had said “La ilaha ilal-Lah?”
I said, “But he said so only to save himself.” The Prophet (SAW) kept on repeating that so often that I wished I had not embraced Islam before that day. ( Sahih Bukhari)
Means Of Intercession
The intercession of the Prophet on the Day of Resurrection for those who said it sincerely from his heart.
Narrated Abu Huraira: I said, “O Allah’s The Prophet Muhammad PBUH! Who will be the luckiest person who will gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?”
The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said, “O Abu Huraira! I have thought that none will ask me about this Hadith before you, as I know your longing for the (learning of) Hadiths.
The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,’ sincerely from the bottom of his heart.” ( Sahih Bukhari)
The Best Speech
It is considered the best speech because
It is the highest and best branch of faith. He, may God bless him and grant him peace, said:
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said:
Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path: and modesty is the branch of faith.( Sahih Bukhari)
It is The Supplication of The Prophets
Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported: The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said, “The best supplication is that which is made on the day of Arafat. The best of it is what was said by myself and the prophets before me:
There is no God but Allah alone, without any partners, unto Him belong the dominion and all praise and He has power over all things.”( Tirmidhi)
The answer to the question” What is it to be a Muslim?” is not as complicated as you may think. To be a Muslim you must sincerely believe in the absolute oneness or uniqueness of God, this is an Islamic concept known as Tawhid. A true believer sees Allah as the only entity worthy of worship, there’s no other, no partnership, nor idols that are deserving of praise.
Allah is the ultimate creator, there’s no close second. It is only through his will that things happen. The other condition of being a Muslim is the belief in his messenger, Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
That’s all there’s to it. At the heart, this is what Islam is about. This concept is known as Shahada and is emodied by the saying “la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasulullah”.
that is for bringing the whole of humanity into oneness and removing all differences. differences in the name of God have to be removed, that was the goal of this message for all ages. an expression to say to all of humanity that whatever name and form you are calling God, the Essence is One.
the sacred formula holds this Ultimate Secret, that is why Prophet Muhammad said that on one side of the Divine scale if you put this sacred formula and on the other side everything that is in the creation, yet La ilaha illaAllah will weigh more in terms of what it beholds inside of it.