Prerequisite of the Testimony of Faith [1]

Prerequisites of the Testimony of Faith (Part 1)

The Conditions of Declaring the Oneness of God
By Jamaal Zarabozo

Saying the testimony of faith must meet certain conditions. These conditions separate the person who is sincere from the one who is not.

Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statement: "There is none worthy of worship except Allah."

Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them.

They think they will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah(declaration of faith).

There is no question that the mere saying of: "I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger," is not sufficient for salvation.

In fact, the hypocrites used to make this statement quite often yet God describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.

As many scholars state, though, this statement or testimony is the key to Paradise. The famous companion Wahb ibn Munabbih once asked Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
"Isn't the statement of la ilaha illa-llah the key to Paradise?"

The Prophet answered: "Yes, but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you." (Ibn Hajar)

That is to say, saying the testimony of faith must meet certain conditions. These conditions separate the person who is sincere from the one who is not, no matter how many times a day he may utter it.

Before discussing the conditions of the Shahadah (testimony of faith), there is one more point that I feel compelled to make:

Some people have a tendency to take one hadith or one verse and then based on that one text, they make some conclusions like, for example, “whoever simply says: ‘There is no God except Allah,’ will enter Paradise.” But, actually, we should all realize that the Quran and Hadith complement each other and explain one another. To find the correct answer for any question, one must bring together all of the related verses and hadiths and see what is the true Islamic answer to that question. The same is true for the conditions of the testimony of faith.
If we study the verses of the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), we will find that the conditions of the shahadah (testimony of faith) are seven, eight or nine in number depending on how we look at them.

It is important to make sure that we are meeting the appropriate conditions in our own lives and in our own testimony of faith. We must do our best to satisfy these conditions before it is too late and our testimony will be no avail whatsoever.

By stating the testimony properly, and by Allah's mercy, the doors to Paradise will be open for us by our key of la ilaha illa-llah.

To be continued...

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