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The Meaning of the Testification of Faith

 It is obligatory upon all the accountable persons to embrace the Religion of Islam, to remain steadfast to it, and to comply with what is obligatory upon them of its rules. This means that every accountable person must be Muslim, stay Muslim, and follow the rules of Islam. Among what one must know, believe in, and utter immediately if one was a blasphemer is the Testification of Faith, which is: «I testify that no one is God except Allah and (I testify) that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah». In the prayer, the Muslim must say the Testification of Faith in Arabic by saying:

أشهدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وأشهدُ أنَّ محمّداً رسولُ الله

(Ash-hadu alla ilaha illallah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.)

The meaning of ash-hadu alla ilaha illallah is: «I know, believe, and declare that nothing deserves to be worshipped except Allah», Who is One (al-Wahid), Indivisible (al-'Ahad), without a beginning (al-'Awwal), Eternal (al-Qadim), Alive (al-Hayy), the One Who does not need anything (al-Qayyum), Everlasting (ad-Da'im), the Creator (al-Khaliq), the Sustainer (ar-Raziq), Knowledgeable (al-^Alim), Powerful (al-Qadir), and the One Who does whatever He wills, i.e., whatever Allah willed to be shall be and whatever Allah did not will to be shall not be. No one can evade sinning except with Allah’s protection and no one has the ability to obey except with Allah’s help. Allah is attributed with all proper perfection and is clear of all imperfection. There is absolutely nothing like Him, and He is attributed with Hearing and Sight.

Allah exists without a beginning and everything else exists with a beginning. He is the Creator and everything else is a creation. Every creation that exists, be it among entities or deeds, from the fine dust to the (^Arsh ), and every movement, rest, intention, and thought of the slaves is created by Allah. Hence, no one other than Allah–be it nature or cause–creates anything. Things become existent by Allah's Will, Power, and Destining, and in accordance with His eternal Knowledge, as mentioned in the Qur'an:

قال الله تعالى:﴿وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ﴾

Surat al-Furqan, Ayah 2 means: [Allah created everything]. He brought all the creation from the state of non-existence into the state of existence. No one creates with this meaning of creating except Allah.

The ^Arsh is the ceiling of Paradise. It is the largest of the creations in size and has four legs. Some refer to it in English as 'the Throne'.

قال الله تعالى:﴿هَلْ مِنْ خَالِقٍ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ﴾

Surat Fatir, Ayah 3 means: [No one is the Creator except Allah]. An-Nasafiyy said that if a person hit glass with a stone and broke it, then the acts of hitting and breaking and the state of being broken were created by Allah. The slave only acquires the act. Allah is the only One Who creates.

قال الله تعالى:﴿لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ﴾

Surat al-Baqarah, Ayah 286 means: [Every individual self will be rewarded by Allah for the good deeds it acquired and will be accountable for the sins it committed].

The Speech (Kalam ) of Allah is without a beginning like all of His other attributes, because He, the Exalted, is unlike all the creations in the Self (dhat), Attributes, and Actions. Allah Subhanahu wa ta^ala, is greatly clear of all the non-befitting attributes that the blasphemers attribute to Him.

Summing up what has been mentioned before, it is affirmed that Allah, ta^ala, has thirteen attributes which were mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an, either explicitly or implicitly. These are: Existence (al-Wujud), Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah), Eternity (al-Qidam, i.e., al-'Azaliyyah), Everlastingness (al-Baqa'), Non-neediness of others, (al-Qiyamu bin-Nafs), Power (al-Qudrah), Will (al-'Iradah), Knowledge (al-^Ilm), Hearing (as-Sam^), Sight (al-Basar), Life (al-Hayah), Speech (al-Kalam), and Non-resemblance to the creation (al-Mukhalafatu lil-hawadith). Since these attributes were mentioned many times in the Qur'an and Hadith, the scholars said that knowing them is a personal obligation (fard ^ayn).

Since eternity is confirmed to the Self (Dhat) of Allah, then His attributes are eternal, because a created attribute entails that the attributed self is created.

The meaning of Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah is: «I know, believe, and declare that Muhammad, the son of ^Abdullah, who is the son of ^Abdul-Muttalib, who is the son of Hashim, who is the son of ^Abdu-Manaf, from the tribe of Quraysh, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, is the slave of Allah and His Messenger to all the humans and jinn.» One must believe he was born in Makkah and sent as a Messenger therein; he immigrated to al-Madinah and was buried therein; and he was truthful in everything he told about and conveyed from Allah. 

Among what the Prophet ﷺ informed us are: the torture in the grave and the enjoyment therein; the questioning of the two angels, Munkar and Nakir; Resurrection (Ba^th); Assembly (Hashr); the Day of Judgement (Qiyamah); Presentation of the deeds (Hisab); Reward (Thawab); Punishment (^Adhab); the Balance (Mizan); Hellfire (Nar); the Bridge (Sirat); the Basin (Hawd); the Intercession (Shafa^ah); Paradise (Jannah); seeing Allah, ta^ala, with the eye in the Hereafter, without Allah having a form or being in a place or a direction, different from the way a creation is seen; the dwelling forever in Paradise or Hellfire; the belief in Allah's Angels, Messengers, and Books, and Destiny (qadar )–both good and evil; and that Muhammad ﷺ, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, is the last of the prophets and the best of all the children of Adam.

Moreover, it is obligatory to believe every prophet of Allah must be attributed with truthfulness, trustworthiness, and intelligence. Consequently, lying, dishonesty, vileness, stupidity, and dullness are impossible to be among their attributes. They must also be attributed with impeccability, i.e., they are protected from ever committing blasphemy, enormous sins (kaba'ir), and the small abject sins before and after Prophethood. On the other hand, they may commit other small sins. However, they are immediately guided to repent before others imitate them. Hence, Prophethood was not bestowed upon the brothers of Yusuf, who, excluding Binyamin, committed the mean deeds mentioned in the Qur'an. The Asbat are the descendants of Yusuf’s brothers who were chosen for Prophethood.

[The Kalam is an attribute of the Self (Dhat) of Allah which is not created and is not a letter, sound, or language; with it, Allah orders, forbids, promises, and threatens.]

[Destining (Qadar), as an attribute of Allah, refers to Allah’s making things the way they are. It is not referred to as evil. However, in the text the term qadar refers to that which has happened to a person or thing, i.e., destiny. This may be good or evil.]

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