The Belief in the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allaah (Tawheed) does not only mean to accept that there is no Creator but Allaah, and that Allaah is the Sovereign Rabb (Lord). The person who admits to this fact yet at the same time insists to associate partners with Allaah in worship, is a Mushrik (committing Shirk) even though he may daily utter the Shahaadah. Tawheed, however, embodies the love of Allaah alone; submission, humility, complete obedience, and sincerity of worship to Allaah alone. All of our life must be for His sake. Whoever acknowledges this meaning of Tawheed then he understands the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم):
“Allaah forbade the admittance to Hell of anyone who says laa ilaaha illal-laah ‘There is no true God Who deserves to be worshipped except Allaah,’ seeking the Face of Allaah.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Ahmad].
The hypocrites may utter the Shahaadah yet it is known that they are in the lowest part of Hell . Their declaration is not sincere:
“Verily the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.”(Qur’an, soorat an-Nisaa’, 4:145)
It is a must that the declaration of the Shahaadah be confirmed in the heart as well as by the tongue. The heart is the “king” and the rest of the body is the “army” under its command. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body if it is good the rest of the body becomes good; and if it is bad, the rest of the body becomes bad, and that is the heart .” [Part of an authentic hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Once the Shahaadah is established in the heart it will then help transform the status of the person such that the Fire of Hell will be forbidden to him. It has been narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“Whoever says laa ilaaha illal-laah, ‘there is no true God Who deserves to be worshipped but Allaah’ and declares Kufr (Disbelief) in whatever is worshipped besides Allaah then his money and blood are Haram (forbidden to be harmed in his money and blood) and the judgment (upon this person) is up to Allaah.” [Collected by Muslim and Ahmad].
The above hadeeth is a great explanation for the true meaning of ‘There is no true God but Allaah’. It emphasizes that there must be a complete dissociation from anyone /anything taken as a deity besides Allaah. There can be no worship offered to a righteous man, a star, moon, fire, river, cow, Buddha, Ghandi, Jesus, Khomeini, Malcom X or Y!, Farakhan, graves, statues, money, lust, heads of states, and so forth. Islaam abolishes all forms of man-made deities. When the person disbelieves in offering worship to other than Allaah, then he becomes a Muslim.
It is very clear that the disbelievers (Kuffar) of Mecca knew what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) meant by the word he brought to them from Allaah: “There is no true God but Allaah.” They believed that Allaah was the Sustainer, the One Who gives life and causes death. But when Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told them to say: “There is no true God Who deserves to be worshipped except Allaah,” their answer was:
“Has he made the “gods” (all) into one God (Allaah) Verily, this is a curious thing !” (Qur’an, soorat Saad, 38:5).
They knew that the declaration of the Shahaadah meant the abolishing of everything introduced between them and Allaah; an end to their intermediary “gods.” This was the reason behind their rejection.
This testimony of Tawheed is pure from any falsehood. It brings eternal abode in Paradise for those who fulfill its conditions and what it entails. Its rejection brings eternal abode in An-Naar (Hell). May Allaah guide me and you to be amongst those who love this declaration as well as abide by its meaning.
Posted from eBook: (pg 12-13)
The Testimony of Tawheed – What Does it Mean – by Saleh As-Saleh رحمه الله