By Hafidh al-Hakami -Rahimullaah-
Taken from his book ‘Ma’arij al-Qabool’
Translated by Abbas Abu Yahya
The words in the testification ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ are words which are the path to the success of entry into Paradise and salvation from the fire.
Allaah -Azza wa Jal- said: << And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. >> [Al-Imraan: 185]
It is the way and path to happiness in the two worlds which cannot be reached except by these words. It is with this statement that Allaah sent His Messengers and with it, He revealed His Books. The Dunya and the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell-Fire were created for this statement.
Happiness and wretchedness are directly related to this testification. Due to it, the records of deeds will be taken either to the right or the left and the scale will be either heavy or light. By it is being saved from the Fire after its advent whilst not adhering to ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ is remaining in the Fire.
Due to it, Allaah took the covenant, because of it is recompense and accountability and regarding it, will be the questioning on the Day of Meeting.
As Allaah –Ta’ala- says: << So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do. >> [Al-Hijr: 92-93]
Allaah –Ta’ala- said : << Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers. >> [A’raaf: 6]
As for Allaah –Ta’ala- questioning those to whom ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ was sent, on the Day of Judgement, then from that is Hissaying- << And (remember) the Day (Allaah) will call to them and say: ‘What answer gave you to the Messengers?’>> [Qasas: 65] along with the preceding, following and other Aayaat.
As for Allaah questioning the Messengers then from that is the saying of Allaah –Ta’ala- << On the Day when Allaah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: ‘What was the response you received (from men to your teaching)? They will say: ‘We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the All-Knower of all that is hidden (or unseen, etc.).’>> [al-Mai’dah:109] and there are other similarAayaat.
It is the greatest of blessings from Allaah -Azza wa Jal– that Heblessed His slaves and guided them to ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’. This is why Allaah Ta’ala mentioned it in Soorah an-Nahl, the Soorah of blessings, so He proceeded with it before every other blessing.
He said: <<He sends down the angels with inspiration of His Command to whom of His slaves He pleases (saying): Warn mankind that Lâ ilâha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so fear Me (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds). >> [Nahl: 2]
It is the statement of testification and the key to the land of happiness. It is the foundation of the Deen and its foundingprinciple, the head of the affair, the trunk of its tree and the pillar of its canopy.
The rest of the pillars and obligations of the Deen extend and branchout from this testification. Its completion is restricted to adhering to its meaning and performing what it requires. It is the strong handhold that will never break regarding which Allaah -Azza wa Jal-said: << Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût (false gods) and believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. >> [al-Baqarah: 256]
Sa’eed bin Jubayr and Dhihaak said that:
‘It is the contract which Allaah -Azza wa Jal- mentioned when he said: <<None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Beneficent (Allaah). >> [Maryam: 87]
Abdullaah ibn Abbas –radiAllaah anhuma- said: ‘It is the testification of ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’, renouncing any capability or strength for other than Allaah and not hoping except in Allaah -Azza wa Jal.’
La ilaha ‘illa Allaah is al-Husna (the best – i.e. its meaning as stated byAllaah -Azza wa Jal- when He said: <<As for him who gives (in charity), keeps his duty to Allaah and fears Him, And believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). >> [Layl: 5-7]
This was also mentioned by Abu AbdurRahman as-Sulamee, Dhihaak and was narrated by ‘Ateeyah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas.
It is the statement of truth which Allaah -Azza wa Jal- mentionedwhen He –Ta’alasaid: << except those who bear witness to the truth (i.e. believed in the Oneness of Allaah, and obeyed His Orders), and they know (the facts about the Oneness of Allaah). >>[Zukhruf :86] as stated by al-Baghawi.
It is the statement of Taqwaa (piety) as Allaah -Azza wa Jal-mentioned when He said: << and made them stick to the word of piety (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah) and they were well entitled to it and worthy of it. >> [Fath: 26]
This was mentioned by Ibn Jareer and Abdullaah bin Ahmad, byTirmidhi with‘asaaneed (chains) up to Ubayy bin Ka’ab -radiAllaah anhu-on the authority of the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
It is the statement which is firmly-fixed as Allaah -Azza wa Jal-mentions when He says: <<Allaah will keep firm those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allaah Alone and none else) and in the Hereafter. >>[Ibraheem: 27]
Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of al-Bara bin ‘Aazib -radiAllaah anhu- from the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
It is the good statement (kalimah Tayyibah) which was previously made a solid example as Allaah –Ta’ala- says: <<Do you not see how Allaah sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). >> [Ibraheem: 24]
This is what was mentioned by ‘Alee bin Talha on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas.
The foundation of this statement ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ is firmly fixed in a believer’s heart, its branches are righteous actions which ascend to the sky – to Allaah -Azza wa Jal.
This is what was mentioned by Dhihaak, Sa’eed bin Jubair, Ikrima’, Mujahid and others.
It is the goodness which Allaah –Azza wa Jal– mentions when He says: <<Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof >> [An’aam: 160]
Allaah –Ta’ala– said: <<Whoever brings a good deed (i.e. Belief in the Oneness of Allaah along with every deed of righteousness), will have better than its worth and they will be safe from the terror on that Day. >> [Naml: 89]
This was mentioned by Zain al-Abideen and Ibraheem an-Nakha’aee and it is ascribed to the Messenger on the authority of Abee Dharr – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – that he said: ‘It is the best of righteous deeds.’
This statement ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ wipes out sins and mistakes.
It is the highest description which Allaah -Azza wa Jal- mentions when He says: << His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth.>> [Room: 27]
As was mentioned by Qatadah and Muhammad bin Jareer, also by Malik on the authority of Muhammad bin al-Munkadir.
It is the means for success as is mentioned in Saheeh Muslim thatwhen the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – heard the Mu’adhin (the caller to the prayer) saying: ‘Ashhadu alla ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ (I testify that there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah’) he – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – said: ‘You have exited the fire.’
On the authority of Ubadah bin Saamitt -radiAllaah anhu- who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – saying: ‘Whoever testifies that there is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah then Allaah prohibits the Fire for him.’ 
In the hadeeth of intercession: ‘Take out from the Fire whoever said‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ and had in his heart the like of an atom’s worth of Eemaan.’
‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ is the means of entering into Paradise as is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ubadah bin Saamitt -radiAllaah anhu- who said: The Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – said: ‘Whoever says‘Ashhadu alla ilaha ‘illa Allaah wahdahu la shareeka lahu wa anna Muhammadan Abduhu wa Rasooluhu (I testify thatthere is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah Alone and He has no partners and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger’) and that Isa is the slave of Allaah and the son of Allaah’s female slave, he was created by a word which was sent to Maryam and he is a command from Him, that Paradise is true and the Fire is true’, then Allaah will enter him into Paradise from whichever of the eight doors of Paradise he chooses.’
In another narration: ‘Allaah enters him into Paradise with what he has of actions.’
It is the best thing with which Allaah -Azza wa Jal- is rememberedand the heaviest thing on the slave of Allaah’s scale on the Day of Judgement as mentioned in ‘Musnad’ on the authority of Abdullaah bin Amr -radiAllaah anhu- from the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam:
‘When death was approaching the Prophet of Allaah, Nooh –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – he said to his son: I will narrate to you my bequest; I command you with two things and prohibit you from two things. I command you with ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ (‘There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah), if the seven heavens and the seven earths were placed upon one scale and ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’was placed on the other, then ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ would be heavier.
If the seven heavens and the seven earths were a closed circle then‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ would be able to break it.
The second thing I command you with is Subhana Allaahi wa bihamdihi (Far is Allaah from imperfection and praise is for Him), since it is a supplication for everything and by it, the creation is given its provision.
I prohibit you from Shirk and pride. (The narrator said: I asked or someone asked) : O Messenger of Allaah as for Shirk then we know about it, but what is pride? Is it that one of us has sandals with two good straps?
The Messenger answered: No.
He asked again: Is it that one of us has companions and they sit with him?
The Messenger again answered: No.
Someone asked: O Messenger of Allaah, what is pride?
He said: Ridiculing the truth and belittling and reviling the people.’
Also in ‘Musnad’ on the authority of Abdullaah bin Amr -radiAllaah anhu-from the Prophet – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam: ‘Musa –alayhi Sallam- said: ‘O Lord teach me something by which I can remember You and supplicate to You.’
He said: O Musa say ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’
Musa said: O Lord everyone of Your slaves says this.’
He said: O Musa say ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’
He said: ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ but I want something specific for me.
He said: O Musa if the seven heavens and the seven earths and what is in them other than Me were placed on a scale and ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ was placed on the scale then ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ wouldoutweigh them.’
In Tirmidhi, Nisa’ee and in Musnad on the authority of Abdullaah bin Amr bin al-Aas -radiAllaah anhu- who said I heard the Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam –saying:
‘Indeed Allaah will single out a man from my Ummah in front of all the people on the Day of Judgement. Ninety-nine scrolls will be unrolled for him; every scroll will stretch as far as the eye can see.
Then Allaah will say: Do you deny anything of this? Did the Angelsrecording your deeds oppress you?
So the man will say: No, my Lord.
Allaah will say: Do you have an excuse?
The man will say: No, my Lord.
Allaah will say: Yes, indeed, We have a good deed for you and indeed, there will be no oppression upon you today.’
Then a card will be brought forth and in it will be: ‘I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.’
Then Allaah will say: Bring your bad deeds.
The man will say: What is this card compared with these scrolls?
Allaah will say: Indeed, you will not be oppressed.
The Prophet continued: The scrolls will be put on one side of the scales and the card will be put on the other side, the scrolls will be light and the card will be heavy, there can be nothing more heavythan the name of Allaah.’
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance.
Taken from ‘Ma’arij al-Qabool’ 410 vol.2
 On the authority of Abu Dharr who said: ‘I said: O Messenger of Allaah advise me.’ The Messenger – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – said: ‘If you do a bad deed then follow it up with a good one and it wipes it out.’ Abu Dharr continued: I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah is ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ from the good deeds?’ He answered: ‘It is the best of righteous deeds.’ Narrated by Ahmad and al-Albani graded itHasan in ‘Saheehah’ (1373).
 Saheeh Muslim
 Saheeh Muslim
 Narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Albani graded it as saheeh in ‘Kitab as-Sunnah’ (852)
 Bukhari & Muslim
 Bukhari & Muslim
 Silsilah Saheehah: 134
 This narration has been declared Da’eef by Shaykh Muqbil bin Hadi al-Waadi’ee in his checking of ‘al-Mustadrak’ by al-Hakim 1/1988.
 Silsilah Saheehah: 135
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The Excellence of ‘La ilaha ‘illa Allaah’ – Hafidh al-Hakami – Abbas Abu Yahya (PDF)