Islam is a large structure that combines many different aspects of human life and such a structure requires a foundation and pillars that it rests upon. These were made clear to us by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he said:
“Islam has been built upon five things. Testifying that there is no deity but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; on performing five-daily prayers; on giving the poor due; on pilgrimage to the House; and on fasting during Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The first pillar is to bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His Messenger.
This testimony is the foundation of Islam and everyone who wants to enter Islam must profess it verbally. It is made up of two main pillars.
First: There Is No Deity but Allah
This means that there is nothing in existence worthy of worship, except Allah (Exalted be He). This negates the worship of anything but Allah, including angels, prophets, pious people, trees, the sun, the moon, stones and statues and graves because all these things are the creation of Allah the Lord of the Worlds, so how can a created person worship a created thing similar to them and abandon worship of the creator.
Therefore, this proves that worship is only for Allah the Lord of the Worlds to Whom the whole world and whatever it contains have submitted. Allah has said:
Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the Right to be worshiped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining his creation In justice. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the Right to be worshiped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Aal `Imran 3:18)
From this we understand that the statement ‘There is no deity but Allah’ is the epitome and slogan of Islam and the key to entering it because it means that the person acknowledges his obedience and compliance with the worship of Allah and disowns and rids himself of the worship of anyone or anything else.
Second: Muhammad Is the Messenger of Allah
This testimony includes three very important principles which are:
1- Acknowledging that Allah sent the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) with the truth as a giver of glad tidings and warner to all people, Arab and non-Arab, white and black, to call them to the worship of Allah alone and reject polytheism and disbelief. Allah has said:
And we have not sent you (O Mohammed) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind. (Saba’ 34:28)
2- It is obligatory to believe everything the Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us about since it is a revelation from Allah, as Allah has said:
Nor does He speak of (his own) desire. It is Only an Inspiration that is inspired. (An-Najm 53:3-4)
3- It is obligatory to obey the Prophet (peace be upon him) in everything that he has commanded us and avoid everything that he has forbidden and rejected because he is someone who brings information from Allah, and Allah has commanded that we obey him, as Allah said:
And whatsoever the Messenger (Mohammed) gives you, take it, and whatsoever He forbids you, abstain from it. (Al-Hashr 59:7)
The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.