Friday 12 Rajab 1444 - 3 February 2023
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Conditions of Accepting the Shahadah

Question

My question deals with a topic I heard in a khutbah. The Imam spoke about our kalimah. And he said it has conditions, that the ‘ulama have given 9 or so, that you must have in order to gain access to Jannah. He said just saying the words would not be enough. I wanted to know what those conditions were. He gave a few that I can remember. The first being knowledge of the Kalimah. The second being yaqin. I would like to know if you know of this, and if I could be given the rest. Any help you may be able to provide would be appreciated in sha Allah

Summary of answer

The conditions of accepting the shahadah are: knowledge, certainty, acceptance, submission, truthfulness, sincerity, and love.

Praise be to Allah.

Conditions of accepting the Shahadah

It seems that by “kalimah” you mean the Kalimat al-Tawhid (lit. Word of Divine Unity), which is the Shahadah , “La ilaha ill-Allah Muhammadun Rasul-Allah (There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).” This is also what the khatib was referring to.

There are a number of conditions attached to the Shahadah, which are as follows:

Knowledge

This means knowing the meaning of the Shahadah, both the negation (There is no god) and the affirmation (except Allah), knowledge as opposed to ignorance of this.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So know (O Muhammad) that La ilaha ill -Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)…” [Muhammad 47:19]

“except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly [i.e., that there is no god except Allah, and they know” [al-Zukhruf 43:86] – they know in their hearts the meanings of the words that their mouths speak.

It is reported in al-Sahih that ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever dies knowing that there is no god except Allah will enter Paradise.”

Certainty

This is certainty as opposed to doubt, whereby the person who says this [the Shahadah] is absolutely certain about the meaning of these words, because faith does not count unless it is based on certain knowledge, not on knowledge based on speculation, let alone doubt.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful.” [al-Hujurat 49:15]

A condition of their being truthful in their belief in Allah and His Messenger is that they should not doubt. The one who doubts is a hypocrite – Allah forbid.

It is reported in al-Sahih that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, for no person meets Allah with these two (words), not doubting in them, and is kept away from Paradise.”

Acceptance

This means that one accepts with one’s heart and with one’s words that which is implied by this kalimah. Allah says concerning the one who accepts it (interpretation of the meaning):

“Save the chosen slaves of Allah (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism). For them there will be a known provision (in Paradise), Fruits; and they shall be honoured,

In the Gardens of Delight (Paradise)…” [al-Saffat 37:40-43]

“Whoever brings a good deed (i.e. belief in the Oneness of Allah along with every deed of righteousness), will have better than its worth; and they will be safe from the terror on that Day.” [al-Naml 27:89]

It was narrated in al-Sahih from Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The likeness of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is a great deal of rain which falls on the land. Some of the land is fertile: it absorbs the water and brings forth a lot of grass and vegetation. Other parts of the land are infertile, but they hold the water and Allah benefits the people thereby, so that they drink it, and water their animals and irrigate their lands with it. A third part of the land is plains which do not hold the water and where no plants grow. This is like the person who understands the religion of Allah and benefits from the Message with which Allah sent me, so he learns and teaches others (what he has learned), and the person who does not pay attention or accept the guidance of Allah with which I was sent.”

Submission

This means submitting to what is implied by the Shahadah , as opposed to ignoring or neglecting it.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And turn in repentance and in obedience with true Faith (Islamic Monotheism) to your Lord and submit to Him (in Islam).” [al-Zumar 39:54]

“And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follows Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism); and he is a Muhsin (a good-doer.” [al-Nisa 4:125]

“And whosoever submits his face (himself) to Allah, while he is a Muhsin (good-doer, i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allah’s sake without any show-off or to gain praise or fame and does them in accordance with the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad), then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold [La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)]. And to Allah return all matters for decision.” [Luqman 31:22]

“submits his face” means, he submits fully. “While he is a muhsin (good-doer)” means he affirms the Unity of Allah.

Truthfulness, true belief

This means, meaning what you say, as opposed to lying. This means saying it from the heart , where the heart agrees with the words being uttered.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Alif Lam Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test)…” [al-'Ankabut 29:1-3]

In al-Sahihayn, it was narrated from Mu'adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“There is no one who bears witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, truly from his heart, but Allah will protect him from the Fire.”

Sincerity

This means purity of action with a sound intention, free from any contamination of shirk. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allah only.” [al-Zumar 39:3]

“And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)…” [al-Bayyinah98:5]

In al-Sahih, it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The people who will be most deserving of my intercession will be those who say La ilaha ill-Allah sincerely from their hearts or their souls.”

Love

This means love for this word and for what it implies, and its people, those who act upon it and adhere to its conditions; and hatred of whatever goes against it.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).” [al-Baqarah 2:165]

The sign that a person loves his Lord is that he gives priority to what Allah loves even if it goes against his own desires, and he hates what Allah hates, even if it is something to which he is inclined. He takes as friends those who are friends of Allah and His Messenger and he takes as enemies those who are the enemies of Allah and His Messenger. He follows His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), follows in his footsteps and accepts his guidance .All of these signs are conditions of this love, and it cannot be imagined that this love can exist without any of these conditions.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“There are three things which if a person finds them, he has found the sweetness of faith: when Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than all else; when he loves a person for no other reason than for the sake of Allah; and when he hates to return to kufr after Allah has saved him from it as he would hate to be thrown into fire.” (Narrated from the hadith of Anas ibn Malik)

Some scholars added an eighth condition, which is the rejection of all things that are worshipped instead of Allah (al-kufr bi’l-taghut or rejection of false gods). 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever says La ilaha ill-Allah and rejects everything that is worshipped instead of Allah, his property and his blood will be sacred [i.e., it is forbidden to seize his property or shed his blood] and his reckoning will be with Allah.” (Narrated by Muslim)

In order for his property and his blood to be protected, he must, in addition to saying La ilaha ill-Allah, also reject whatever is worshipped instead of Allah, no matter who or what it is.

For more, please please see these answers: 11819 , 114 and 2585

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Summarized from Ma’aarij al-Qubool by Muhammad ibn Sa’eed al-Qahtaani, pp. 119-122