The foundations of Islam are the testimony of two sentences:
(i) Nobody has the right to be worshiped except God. (La ilaaha ‚ill-Allah), and
(ii) Muhammad is God’s Messenger. (Muhammad-ur-Rasuul-ullah).
This phrase is known as the shahaadah or testimony. By believing and witnessing to these two sentences you become a Muslim. It is the guiding principle of believers that they maintain throughout their lives, and it is the basis of all their faith, worship, and existence. This article will explain the first part of this testimony.
The importance of ‚Laa Ilaaha ill-Allah‘
As mentioned before, this testimony is by far the most important aspect of the Islamic religion, because it emphasizes the belief in Tauhid, the unity and uniqueness of God, on which the whole religion is based. For this reason it is also called “The explanation of the Tauhid”. This uniqueness and unity requires God’s sole right to worship and obedience. The religion of Islam is basically a way of life in which one person worships, serves, and obeys God and no one else. It is the only true monotheistic religion that emphasizes that no other thing or person other than God may be worshiped . The Prophet, may God praise him, said in numerous traditions that anyone who pronounces this sentence and puts it into practice will enter the Eternal Paradise;
This explanation repeats the meaning of our life, which is to worship God alone, and obviously the meaning of our existence and our being is the most important aspect of our life. God says in the Qur’an:
“And I created the Jinn and the people only so that they should serve me.” (Quran 51:56)
The message of the Tauhid that expresses this testimony is not a peculiarity of Islam. Because of the importance, reality, and truth of this message, it has been delivered by all prophets. Since the dawn of mankind, God has sent messengers to every people and country to call to serve Him alone and to reject all false gods. God says:
“And in each people We raised a Messenger (who preached there): ‚Serve God and avoid the idols.’” (Quran 16:36)
Only if this idea of tauhid is planted in the heart and consciousness of a person does he follow willing to obey God’s orders and devote all of his worship to Him alone. For this reason, the Prophet, may God praise him, called his people in Mecca to Tauhid for thirteen years, and only a small proportion of the service was compulsory at the time. Only when this idea was firmly anchored in the hearts of believers and were they willing to sacrifice their own lives out of their own free will, was the majority of the other instructions of Islam revealed. If this basis is missing, everything else makes no sense.
The meaning of Laa Ilaaha ill-Allah
La ilaaha ill-Allah, literally means: „There is no god but Allah.“ Here “God” refers to everything that can be worshiped. This statement means that although there may be other deities or idols that people worship, none of them have the right to worship. So none of these things that are viewed and worshiped as „deities“ are lawfully worshiped – except the One True God. Therefore, laa ilaaha ill-Allah means „There is no lawfully worshiped God except Allah.“
La ilaaha … (There is no legitimately worshiped God …)
These two words deny the right of every worshiped being to worship. Muslims refuse to worship anything besides God. This rejection extends to any kind of superstition, ideology, way of life or even authority figures who demand divine submission, love or absolute obedience. God mentions in many parts of the Qur’an that none of the things that people take next to Him as objects of worship are worthy of worship, nor do these things have a right to do so because they are creatures themselves and have no power to bring any benefit or avert an evil.
„And yet they took gods apart from Him who created nothing, but were created themselves, who have no power over themselves for harm and benefit, nor power over life and death and resurrection.“ (Quran 25: 3)
You usually worship an object or being because you believe that it has special powers, such as some control over the universe, to use or harm power, or that worship is due to its great nature. God denies the idea that these things that people take to be objects of worship have any power themselves, be they natural things such as wind, trees, stones, rain; or conscious beings like people, prophets, saints, angels or kings. They are mere creatures like the ones they worship themselves and do not even have the power to help their own souls. They are mere creatures with defects, subject to the will of God, and therefore they are not entitled to worship.
In reality, many believe in God’s absolute control and omnipotence, but they imagine the divine kingdom as the earthly kingdoms. Just as a king has his many ministers and confidants, they imagine „saints“ and lower deities who are supposed to be our advocates with God. They take them to mediators through which they can approach God by giving them part of their worship and service. God says,
„And if you ask them,“ Who created the heavens and the earth? “
So they’re sure to say, „God.“
Say: “Do you see what you call besides God? If God wants to harm me, can they remove the damage? Or if He wants to show mercy to me, can they (then) prevent His mercy? ”
Say: “God is enough for me. The trusting (ie the believers) trust in Him. ” (Quran 39:38)
In truth, there are no mediators in Islam. No righteous person is to be worshiped, nor is any other being to be worshiped. A Muslim directs every worship service directly and exclusively to God.
… Ill-Allah (… except Allah)
After denying the right to worship any created being, the Shahaadah confirms the divinity of God alone, with ‚except God‘. In numerous places in the Qur’an, after denying that any creature has the power to use or harm and therefore does not deserve worship, God says that he has control over the entire universe and is its owner. It is only God who cares for his creation; He’s got her under control. He is the only one who can benefit or harm, and nothing can prevent His will from becoming a reality. He alone, with his perfectionism, his ultimate powers, because of his absolute property right and his magnificence, deserves all worship, worship and worship.
„Say:“ Who is the Lord of Heaven and Earth? “
Say: „Have you taken helpers outside of Him who can neither benefit nor harm yourself?“
Say: „Can the blind and the seeing be the same?“ Or can the darkness be like the light? Or do they put God aside partners who have created a creation like his so that (both) creations appear to be the same? ”
Say: „God is the creator of all things, and He is the only, Almighty.“ (Quran 13:16)
God also says:
“You only serve idols instead of God, and you come up with a lie. Those whom you serve instead of God cannot take care of you. Therefore, seek care from God (alone) and serve Him (alone) and be thankful to Him. You will be brought back to Him (alone). ” (Quran 29:17)
And God also says,
“Who created heaven and earth and let water come down from heaven? We have grown wonderful gardens, the trees of which you could not grow. Does a god exist beside Allah? But no, they are people who equate (Him other beings). ” (Quran 27:60)
Since God is the only being who is entitled to worship, any worship other than or with Him is simply wrong. All devotion is to be directed to God. We ask him for everything we need. For all fear of the unknown, we should fear Him; and we should put all hope in Him. We should feel all divine love for Him and everything we hate we should hate for His sake. We should do all good deeds to attain His favor and benevolence; and we should avoid all bad deeds for His sake. In this way, Muslims worship and serve God alone; and with this we understand how the entire religion of Islam is built on this tauhid declaration.