Hadith 3. Pillars of Islam Part A

On the authority of Abee `Abd ir-Rahmaan `Abdullaah, the son of `Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiAllaahu ‘anhumaa), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) say:

Islaam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, establishing the salaah (prayer), paying the zakaah (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadaan.

Related by Bukhari and Muslim

Brief Commentary:

  • The correct translation of Islam is “submission”, and it is incorrect to translate it as “peace”
  • A building is built on pillars, and if the pillars are not there, then the building will collapse, therefore if these pillars of Islam are not there then a person’s Islam will collapse
  • We are required to say the testimony in this lifetime, and believing in it without having ever said it is not sufficient
  • It is incorrect to translate “la ilaaha illa Allah” to be “There is no god but Allah” because Allah mentions in the Qur’an that there are other gods, and He also spoke about the one who takes his desire to be his god, therefore we don’t say there is no god but Allah because there are other gods but they are not real gods that deserve worship.
  • The correct translation of “la ilaaha illa Allah” is “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah”
  • Virtues of “la ilaaha illa Allah”:
    • It is a price tag for the gardens of paradise
    • He whose last words are la ilaaha illa Allah will enter paradise
    • It is a salvation from the hellfire
    • It necessitates being forgiven
    • It is the best of all good actions
    • It wipes away sins
    • It renews the eeman that is planted in the heart
    • It outweighs on the scales the records of sins
    • It traverses all barriers until it reaches Allah, the Majestic
    • It is the best of what all the prophets have said
    • It is the best form of remembrance
    • It is a protection from the shaytaan
    • It is a means of safety from the darkness of the grave and the terror of the gathering
    • It will be a distinguishing sign for the believers when they emerge from their graves
    • To know it is the best blessing that Allah has blessed us with
  • The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever says la ilaaha illa Allah will enter Jannah” (Reported in ibn Hibban). This doesn’t mean just saying it, rather it means saying it with full meaning, therefore fulfilling its conditions
  • The conditions of of “la ilaaha illa Allah” are:
    • Knowledge in what you are saying. [Muhammad:19]
    • Certainty in what you are saying. [Al-Hujurat:15]
    • Sincerity in your worship. [Al-Zumar:2]
    • Truthfulness in what you are saying. [Al-Zumar:54]
    • Love for what you are saying and what it entails. [Al-Baqarah:165]
    • Submission to what it entails. [Al-Nisaa’:125]
    • Acceptance in everything that it entails. [Al-Ahzab-36]
  • The conditions of “Muhammad Rasoolu Allah” are:
    • Affirming his message and believing in it inwardly within the heart. [Al-Hujurat:15]
    • Uttering the testimony and affirming it outwardly upon the tongue. [Al-Hujurat:15]
    • Following him by acting upon whatever he has come with from the truth and abandoning whatever he has prohibited from falsehood. [‘Aal-Imran:31]
    • Attesting to whatever he has informed of from enjoining the good and prohibiting the evil and the unseen affairs of the past and in the future and other than that. [Al-Hashr:7]
    • Love for him must be more intense than love for oneself, wealth, father, son and all of the people. (The prophet (sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to them than their father, children, and all of mankind” [Reported in Bukhari & Muslim])
    • Putting his statement over the rest of the people, regardless of whoever they might be, and to act upon his Sunnah. [Al-Hujurat:1]
    • To magnify, honour, respect, exalt, and revere him. And to magnify, honour respect, exalt, and revere what he came with from Allah, and that is the Book and the purified Sunnah. And that cannot occur, except by acting upon the two of them and loving them more than one loves himself. [Al-Fat-h:8,9]
  • The testimony is an example of how the previous prophets (alayhim assalam) used to give da’wa, which is by negating all that is incorrect and then affirming what is correct. This can be seen as the testimony starts off with a negation “None worthy of worship”, which is followed by an affirmation “except Allah”
  • A major deviation of the real purpose of the testimony is to say that everything is in the heart and actions are not needed
  • Another major deviation is to concern ourselves with purification of the heart and ignoring everything else

Benefits and Action points:

  • Increase in saying la ilaaha illa Allah for it is a great form of remembrance of Allah
  • Understand the correct meaning of la ilaaha illa Allah
  • Adhere to the prophets’ (alayhim assalam) way of giving da’wa be first negating what is wrong, then affirming what is correct
  • Understand, learn, and adhere to the conditions of la ilaaha illa Allah, and Muhammad Rasoolu Allah
  • la ilaaha illa Allah is the key to paradise, but every key has teeth which enable it to open the door, and the teeth for this key are the conditions of la ilaaha illa Allah so you must adhere to them for this key to work

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