Monday, June 5, 2006

The Meaning of the Testimony of Faith #1

The testimony of faith 'LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH' which means, 'There Is No god Worthy of Being Worshipped Except Allah", is the decisive criterion by which man is judged to be a Muslim or a Kafir (disbeliever).

This testimony is the foundation upon which Islam is based. The concept of life, the universe and man is diffused from it, and upon it is based the message of all Messengers beginning with Noah and ending with Muhammad, (peace be upon them all).

Allah, the Exalted says: "And We did not send any Messenger before you without revealing to him: There is no god worthy of being worshipped except I, therefore worship Me." (Holy Qur'an, 21:25)

Allah has created men and jinn and the rest of creation on account of the testimony of faith, there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah. Consequently everything in this universe submits in worship to Allah, to Whom belong the creation and the authority. He is aware of all things.

The Meaning of the Testimony of Faith.

The Testimony comprises two concepts: Denial and Affirmation.

First: The Testimony of Faith denies everyone and everything other than Allah, the Exalted, and the attribute of divinity. All those other than Allah, such as the angels, the Prophets, and the rest of mankind, let alone the idols and the political regimes in the world, are not gods nor do they deserve to be worshipped. Thus denial in this respect is not denial of the existence of the alleged gods, rather the denial of divinity which is attributed to them.

Second: The testimony of faith affirms and restricts divinity to Allah Alone. That is, the slave must believe that Allah is the only true God, and dedicate accordingly no act of worship to other than Allah.

Since worship with all its legitimate acts and rites must be dedicated only to the God who deserves it, therefore, the true God to whom worship must be dedicated is the one who enjoys certain attributes, some of which are:

1. Divinity, the Oneness of Allah Who is singled out as the only true God having no partner to share His divine attributes, nor His domain.

2. Self-sufficiency. Allah stands in need of no one; He needs neither a helper nor a spouse or a son.

3. The Capability of Doing Everything. There is nothing which frustrates His capability. He does anything He wishes without exhaustion or support. If He wills to do a thing, He only says to it, "Be", and it is.

4. The Absolute Life which is unaffected by Perishment. Allah is Everlasting.

5. Alertness: Allah Never Sleeps nor is He Heedless, He is neither Seized by Slumber or Sleep.

6. Inclusive Proprietorship: All existing things belong to Allah alone.

7. Knowledge: Allah's knowledge encompasses the whole universe that even an ant weight does not escape His knowledge.

8. Pride and Grandeur: There is nothing greater that Allah neither in His essence or in his grandeur, nor in his supremacy.

9. Merciful Beneficence: Allah does not wrong a thing or punish unjustly rather He loves His devotees, and forgives the sins of those who repent to Him.

[Translated by: Mahmoud R. Murad]

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