It has great virtues and has a great place with Allaah. Whoever says it with truthfulness will enter the Gardens of Paradise and whoever did not utter it truthfully, his property and blood will be safeguarded in this world, but his reckoning will be with Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. It is a concise declaration that contains few letters; light upon the tongue, yet heavy in the scales. It has been reported by Ibn Hibbaan, as well as al-Haakim who declared it to be authentic (saheeh), from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree radhiyallahu anhu, that Allaah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Moses said: O my Lord! Teach me something by which I can remember You and supplicate to You. Allaah said: O Moses! say laa ilaaha ilallaah. Moses said: O my Lord! All Your slaves say this.
Allaah said: O Moses! If the seven heavens and all that they contain, other than Me, and the seven earths were placed in one scale, and laa ilaaha ilallaah were put in the other, then laa ilaaha illallaah would outweigh them all.” (1)
This hadeeth proves that laa ilaaha illallaah is the best form of remembrance, as also occurs in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah ibn Umar: “The best supplication is the supplication on the day of ‘Arafah, and the best that I, or any other Prophet sent before me, have said is: None has the right to be worshiped except Allaah, alone, having no partner. To Him belongs the sovereignty, and to Him belongs all praise, and He has power over everything.” (2)
A further indication as to how weighty this kalimah is in the scales can be seen from what at-Tirmidhee reports and declares to be sound - as well as an-Nasaa’ee, and al-Haakim who said that it is authentic according to the criterion of Muslim – from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam, who said: ‘A person from my ummah will be summoned in front of everyone on the Day of Resurrection. Ninety-nine scrolls will be unfurled for him, each scroll extending as far as the eye can see. Then it will be said: Do you deny any of this [i.e. your bad deeds]? So the man will reply: No, O Lord. Then it will be said: Do you have any excuse or any good deed? The man, in a state of terror, will answer: No. It will then be said: Rather, you do have some good deeds and no injustice will befall you this Day. So a parchment will be taken out for him, upon which there will be the testification of laa ilaaha illallaah and the testification that Muhammad is the Slave and Messenger of Allaah.
The man will say: O Lord, what is this parchment in comparison to those scrolls! It will be said to him: No injustice shall befall you. The scrolls will then be placed in one of the scales and the parchment in the other; the scrolls will be light in weight, whereas the parchment will be heavy.” (3)
Indeed, this tremendous kalimah has many virtues, a number of which have been mentioned by Haafidh Ibn Rajab in his essay entitled Kalimatul-Ikhlaas. These include:-
· It is the price to pay for the Gardens of Paradise (jannah) He whose last words are laa ilaaha illallaah will enter the Gardens of Paradise.
· It is salvation from the Hellfire.
· It necessitates being forgiven.
· It is the best of all good actions.
· It wipes away sins.
· It renews the faith (eemaan) that is planted in the heart.
· It outweighs, on the scales, the records of sins.
· It traverses all barriers until it reaches Allaah the Majestic.
· It is a kalimah whose sayer Allaah declares truthful.
· It is the best of what the Prophets have said.
· It is the best form of remembrance, the best of all actions and the one that is multiplied the most [in reward].
· It is equivalent to freeing slaves.
· It is a protection against Shaytaan.
· It is a means of safety from the darkness in the grave and from the terror of the gathering (al-hashr).
· It is a distinguishing sign for the Believers when they emerge from their graves.
· All eight gates of Paradise will be opened to its testifier and he may enter by any one he chooses. Even if its testifier enters the Hellfire due to falling short in fulfilling [some of] its rights, most definitely, that person will eventually be taken out from it.
These were the main points that Ibn Rajab mentioned in his essay concerning the virtues of the kalimah, bringing a proof for each one of these points.(4)
1)Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no.2324) and al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (1/528). Even though the authenticity of this hadeeth has been disputed by some scholars of hadeeth - as pointed out by Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot in his verification to Sharhus-Sunnah (5/55) of al-Baghawee - the actual virtue under discussion is mentioned in another narration reported by Ahmad (2/169), from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr radhiyallahu anhu. This latter narration was declared to be saheeh by the leading hadeeth specialist (rnuhaddith) of our age, Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee, in as-Saheehah (no.134).
2) Hasan: Its authentication has preceded.
3) Saheeh: Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no.2641), from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr radhiyallahu anhu. It was declared to be saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.135(.
4) Consult Kalimatul-Ikhlaas (pp.54-66).