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The shahâdah: prerequisite for entry into paradise
Our final redemption is contingent upon the shahâdah, given the following words of the Prophet (salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
<<Whoever says ‘lâ ilâha illâ Allâh’, it will be his salvation someday, no matter what befalls him before that.>> (Recorded by al-Bayhaqi and authenticated by al-Albâni)
Even so, it must be understood that merely pronouncing the shahâdah without the fulfilment of the seven conditions is of no benefit. Ibn Rajab, in his commentary on hadiths collated in Saheeh Bukhâri and Saheeh Muslim, asserts that the recitation of the shahâdah is sufficient grounds for entry into paradise; however, that is dependent upon a few conditions. He writes that scholars explain these hadiths to mean that pronouncing the shahâdah “is a cause for entering the gardens of paradise and being saved from the hellfire, and that it is deserving of this outcome.”
He emphasizes, however, that such results will not be attained unless the conditions of the shahâdah are fulfilled and any impediments are removed. Indeed, if there is a deficiency in one of its conditions, or the presence of an obstruction to its fulfilment, rewards may be withheld.
He cites the following as clarification:
Al-Hasan said to al-Farazdaq, who was burying his wife: What have you prepared for this day?
He replied: Testifying to ‘lâ ilâha illâ Allâh’ for the last seventy years.
Al-Hasan said: What wonderful preparation. However, ‘lâ ilâha illâ Allâh’ has certain conditions, so beware of defaming chaste women.
It was once said to al-Hasan: Some people think that whoever says ‘lâ ilâha illâ Allâh’ will enter the gardens of paradise.
He replied: Whoever says ‘lâ ilâha illâ Allâh’ and fulfils its right and obligations will enter the gardens of paradise.
Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked: Is not ‘lâ ilâha illâ Allâh’ the key to paradise?
He answered: Indeed, but every key has certain ridges and teeth. If one possesses that key, with the ridges and the teeth, the doors will be opened for him. If not, they will not [open]!
From Shahâdah & Its Essential Conditions by Yahya M.A. Ondigo, coming soon from IIPH!
© IIPH 2014
 As quoted in Zaynoo, The Methodology of The Saved Sect, 35.
 ‘Abdur-Rahmân ibn Ahmad ibn Rajab, Kalimatul-Ikhlâs wa Tahqeeq Ma‘nâhâ (Damascus: al-Maktab al-Islâmi, 1961).