Al-Hasan said to al-Farazdaq, who was burying his wife: “What have you prepared for this day?” He replied: Testifying to laa ilaaha illallaah for the last seventy years. Al-Hasan said: “What wonderful preparation. However, laa ilaaha illallaah has certain conditions, so beware of defaming chaste women.”
It was once said to al-Hasan: Some people think that whoever says laa ilaaha illallaah will enter the Gardens of Paradise. So he replied: Whoever says laa ilaaha illallaah, fulfils its right and obligations, will enter the Gardens of Paradise.
Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked: Isn’t laa ilaaha illallaah the key to Paradise? So he replied: “Indeed, but there is no key except that it has certain ridges and teeth. So whoever possesses that key, with those ridges and teeth, then the doors will be opened for him. If not, then it will not!”(1)(2).
I believe that what I have quoted from the words of the people of knowledge is sufficient in dispelling the doubts of those who think that whoever utters laa ilaaha illallaah can never be declared an unbeliever, even if he does acts of great shirk which are still perpetrated today at the shrines and graves of the righteous; acts that totally and utterly oppose and contradict the kalimah laa ilaaha illallaah. This is the path taken by the deviants; those who take hold of general texts which they think are proofs for them, whilst leaving what clarifies and explains them from the detailed texts. This is similar to the state of those who believe in a part of the Book and reject other parts of the Book. Allaah said about this type of people “It is Allaah Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are Verses that are entirely clear in meaning (almuhkamaait), they are the foundations of the Book; and other Verses that are not so clear (almutashaabihaat).
As for those in whose heart there is perversity and deviation, they follow those verses that are not so clear, seeking discord and trial and seeking for its hidden meanings. But none knows its hidden meanings except Allaah.
And those who are firmly entrenched in knowledge say:
We believe in it; the whole of it is from our Lord. And none receive admonition, except the men of understanding. [Those who say]:
Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from Yourself. Indeed, You are the Bestower. Our Lord! Indeed it is You who will gather mankind on the Day about which there is no doubt. Indeed Allaah never breaks His Promise.” [Soorah Aal-’Imraan 3:7-9].(3)
O Allaah! Show us the truth and grant us the ability to follow it; and show us the falsehood and grant us the ability to stay clear of it.
(1) Reported by al-Bukhaaree (3/141).
(2) Kalimatul-Ikhlaas (pp.15-17).
(3) Imaam ash-Shaatibee, rahimahullaah, said in his valuable book at-I’tisaam (1/231):
“Anyone who follows the mutashaabihaat verses; twists the underlying reasons [of the verse]; gives an explanation to it not given by the Pious Predecessors (Salafus-Saalih); clings to the very weak or fabricated ahaadeeth, or uses that which is apparently a proof, for every view that agrees with his [preconceived] goals and intent - without finding a fundamental proof for understanding it in this manner - then this is the method of derivation which gives rise to innovations and the innovators.”