THE CONDITIONS OF TAWHEED OR THE 7 CONDITIONS OF LAA ILAHA ILLALLAH
A condition is a necessary requirement for something to be or happen. The conditions of Tawheed are of great importance, it is compulsory on every Muslim to know and implement them in their daily lives. This is because if a person breaks one of these conditions, his Islam is nullified. Look at Prayer for example, if one of its’ conditions like facing the Qibla (direction towards which Muslims pray) or covering the Awra is violated, then the whole Prayer is invalid. There are seven conditions of Tawheed.
It is mandatory upon every individual who pronounces the Shahaada to know what it means. Allah the Glorious says: "So know that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah…" (Qur’an.Surah Muhammad 47:19)
Therefore if anyone ignores that Allah the Almighty is the only One Worthy of Worship, then his Islam is nullified, and due to this reason knowledge is considered as a basic condition in the acceptance of one’s Islam. Uthman (radhiAllahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (May the Blessings and Peace of Allah be upon him) said: "He who dies knowing ‘La ilaha illallah’ that there is no ilah (god, lord, power) worthy of worship except Allah, shall enter Al-Jannah (Paradise)." [Reported by Muslim]
Abdur Rahman Bin Hasan Aal AsSheikh (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: "The scholars of Ahl Sunnah Wal Jama’ah have stated while discussing the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’ and what makes it and breaks it, that knowledge with absolute belief has been made compulsory by Allah upon everyone and that it is one of the conditions that can make or break the Shahaada".
Al-Wazir (Abul Muthafar) stated in his book Al ifsah: That to testify that there is no ilah but Allah requires that the witness should know fully the meaning of it. As Almighty Allah says: "So know that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah…" Qur’an.Surah Muhammad, Ayah 19. Abul Muthafar also stated that this declaration of faith (La ilaha illallah) consists of the rejection of Taghut and the belief in Allah, therefore when one rejects all ilah’s (gods, deities) other than the Almighty Allah and then affirms that worship should be directed to no one but Allah the Glorious, he has disbelieved in Taghut and believed in Allah the Almighty Alone." (Copied & Translated from Adurur Assaniyya 2/216)
Abdullah Bin Abdur-Rahmaan Aba Batteen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Allah the Most High says: "This is a message to mankind in order that they may be warned thereby and that they may know that He is One and that the people of understanding may take heed." (Ibrahim 14:52)
It is very important to note that Allah the Most High didn’t say-"… and that they may say that He is One" - He the Almighty said "…and that they may know that He is One." Allah Almighty also says: "...except those who bear witness to the truth and they know" (Zukhruf 43:86)
That is to say they should know in their hearts what they gave witness to with their tongues. The Prophet of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Whoever dies with the knowledge that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah shall enter Jannah." [Muslim]
The scholars referred to the previous Ayah and others like it as evidence to prove that the first obligation on a person is to know Allah Almighty. This Ayah proves that the largest of obligations is the knowledge of the meaning of Laa Ilaha Illa Allah and that the greatest form of ignorance is to be ignorant of the meaning of Laa Ilaha Illa Allah. Yet surprisingly, we still find that there are people who if they hear someone talking about the meaning of Laa Ilaha Illa Allah as rejection and affirmation, they disagree because they think it is not their duty to judge people.
We answer them by saying that everyone is entrusted to learn Tawheed, for which Allah The Most High created both the Jinn and the Ince (mankind), and sent all His Prophets and Messengers to call to. You are required to know the opposite of Tawheed, which is Shirk, that Allah the Glorious does not forgive nor excuse out of ignorance, and it is also forbidden to blindly follow on this matter because it is the corner-stone and root of one’s Islam. Therefore anyone who does not enjoin the good and forbid evil is surely led far astray especially because the greatest good is Tawheed and the worst evil is Shirk." (Copied & Translated from Addurar Assoniyya 58/12)
Abdul Latif Bin Abdur-Rahmaan Bin Hasan Aal Ashaikh (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahab (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "Anyone who says the Shahaada without knowing its meaning and without living or acting according to it is not a Muslim. In fact it would be used against him unlike Al Karamiya who claim that Iman is fulfilled by mere acknowledgement or Al Jahriyya who claim that iman is achieved simply by belief." (Copied & Translated from Addurur Assaniyya 535/12)
Allah the Almighty called the Munafiqeen liars after they came with false testimony claiming to be Muslims. They had verbally accepted Islam but Allah Almighty exposed them as liars when He the Glorious said: "If the hypocrites come unto you and say: we bear witness that you are a Messenger of Allah: and Allah knows that you are his Messenger and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars." (Munafiqoon 63:1)
And from this we conclude that iman is achieved through belief in theory and practice. As for the one who says ‘La ilaha illallah’ and then goes and worships others besides Allah, his Shahadah is invalid even if he prays, gives Zakat (alms), fasts and implements all the other Islamic rituals. Allah azawajal addresses him in the Quran and says: "Do you believe in part of the book and disbelieve in another part…" (Baqarah 2:85)
After a person learns Tawheed and understands the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’, he must have absolute certainty about the fact that all forms of worship should be directed to Allah Almighty Alone and entertain no doubt or hesitation about it. Allah The most High says: "Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and his Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! they are the truthful people." (Hujraat 49:15)
In a hadith of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him), he is reported to have said: "I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship other than Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. Any slave who meets Allah and has no doubt about the truth of those two statements shall be placed in Jannah." [Bukhari and Muslim]
Once a person has learnt Tawheed and the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’ and has Al-Yaqeen, he must next verbally acknowledge that he has accepted the Shahaada and never deny it for any reason other than Ikrah (Compulsion). Allah Taala said: "Truly when it is said to them La ilaha illallah, they puffed themselves up with pride. And they would say "Are we going to abandon our alihah (gods) for an insane poet." (Safaat 37:35-36)
After a person has learnt Tawheed and the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’ and has Al-Yaqeen and has passed Al-Qubool, he next has to strive towards ‘La ilaha illallah’ with his actions and comply with what it requires. They should reject all false deities and direct all forms of worship to Allah the Glorious Alone. Allah Taala says: "But no by your Lord they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept them with full submission." (Nisaa 4:65)
Note that the difference between Al-Qubool and Al-Inqiyaad is that Al-Qubool is accepting the Shahaada verbally but Al-Inqiyaad is acting according to what the Shahaada requires.
Abdur-Rahman Bin Hasan Al Ashaikh (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) said: "It is not enough to claim to be a Muslim or to verbally declare ‘La ilaha illallah’. What Islam really means is to assert Allah the Almighty’s Oneness and submit fully to Him in terms of Lordship and worship both theoretically and practically. Allah Taala Says: "And whoever rejects the Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold…" (Baqarah 2:256)
And He The Most High also says: "…Verily Hukm (Legislation) is for none but Allah, He has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the just Religion, although most men know not." (Yusuf 12:40) (Addurar Assaniyya- The Book of Tawheed 264/2)
Once a person has understood Tawheed and the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’ and accepts it with full certainty and absolute compliance to its requirements, he should be truthful in what he has done. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Allah shall forbid the fire from anyone that bears witness truthfully from his heart that there is nothing worthy of worship except for Allah and that Muhammed is his slave and messenger." [Bukhari and Muslim].
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: "Whoever says La ilaha illallah truthfully shall enter Jannah." [Reported by Ahmad] As for someone who declares Tawheed with his tongue and then rejects what it means in his heart then his Tawheed will not be accepted and it will not save him as Allah The Almighty clearly states about the Munaafiqeen when they said: "we bear witness that you are a Messenger of Allah" (Munaafiqeen 63:1)
Allah Taala answered them by saying: "And Allah knows that you are His Messenger and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars." (Munaafiqeen 63:1)
Allah the Glorious has also called them liars by saying: "And of the people are those who say - we have believed in Allah and in the final day while in fact they believe not." (Baqarah 2:8)
After a person has learnt Tawheed and the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’ and has Al-Yaqeen, Al-Qubool, Al-inqiyaad and has done it with As-Sidq he next has to have Al-ikhlaas. Al ikhlaas is to make all forms of worship for Allah Alone, not for anyone or anyone else. Allah Ta’ala says: "And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone and give Zakat, and that is the right religion." (Bayyinah 98:5)
Also in the meaning of Al-ikhlaas is that the person should not pronounce their Islam with the willingness to please anyone or anything other than Allah The Most High. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Allah has forbidden to the fire the one who says ‘La ilaha illallah’ in the cause of Allah." [Reported by Bukhari & Muslim]. He (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: "The happiest people with my intercession on the day of Judgement are those who say ‘La ilaha illallah’ sincerely from their hearts (to Allah)." [Bukhari]
After a person has learnt Tawheed and the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’ and has Al-Yaqeen, Al-Qubool, Al-inqiyaad and has done it with As-Sidq and Al-ikhlaas, he should love the fact that the only one worthy of worship is Allah The Most High and show his love for Allah Almighty with his tongue. Allah ta'ala says: "And of mankind are some who take others for worship besides Allah as Andaadan (rivals). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more. If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power is with Allah, and that Allah is Severe in punishment." (Baqarah 2:165)
Abdur-Rahmaan Bin Hasan Aal Ashaikh (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
"Most people ignore the meaning of ‘La ilaha illallah’, and even if they declare it with their tongue, they have denied its meaning. One should pay attention to these six or seven conditions without which one cannot be safe from Kufr (disbelief) or Nifaaq (hypocracy). A person can only become a Muslim if these conditions are met and implemented because the heart should confirm with the tongue in terms of theory, knowledge, action, practice, belief, acceptance, love and compliance.
So knowledge is essential as opposed to ignorance, sincerity as opposed to Shirk and truthfulness as opposed to lies unlike the Mushrikeen and the hypocrites. Certainty is also essential as opposed to doubt, because one can say Laa Ilaha Illa Allah… and be doubtful of its meaning and requirements. Love as opposed to hatred, and acceptance as opposed to rejection, because one can understand its meaning but rejects it- as was the case with the Pagan (Mushrikeen) Arabs.
Compliance with ‘La ilaha illallah’ as opposed to shirk in the sense that the one who does not act according to it and complies with its requirements will certainly be a Mushrik (a person who associates partners with Allah azawajal). So anyone who fulfils all these conditions, has gained the light with which he worships Allah azawajal and he has ultimately followed the right and straight path." (Copied and translated from Addurur Assaniyya - The Book of Tawheed 255/2)