Assalamu Alaikum. It is a common knowledge in the circle of Muslims and non-Muslims alike that the only way to enter into the fold of Islam is to make a conscious declaration affirming the oneness of Allah and that Muhammad (saw) is His servant and a messenger. However, little do we know that for the above declaration to be legitimate it has to satisfy certain conditions which are all intertwined.
Every door has a key and every key has a blade and each blade has a different configuration, so in essence we must have the right type of key in order to open a particular door. In the same vain, the key of our shahadah must have seven teeth on its blade for it to open the door to the magnificent fold of Islam. Few weeks back I was having a discussion with a Sheikh and he made a statement that made my hair to stand on its ends. He said, "a lot of us are Muslims by chance, we need to convert by choice". This process of conversion by choice dictates that we know the seven conditions of shahadah from authentic sources based on the Qur'an and sunnah. the conditions are as follows:
1- Al-`Ilm (العلم): Knowledge of the meaning of the Shahadah, its negation and affirmation: Uttering the declaration of faith with our tongues and knowing the meaning in our hearts. Evidence from Qur'an: "Az-Zukhruf(43):86 and surah Muhammad(47):19. Evidence from Sunnah: "He who dies knowing that there is no god but Allah, enters paradise" Sahih Muslim: Book of eeman.
2- Al-Yaqeen (اليقين): Certainty – perfect knowledge of it that counteracts suspicion and doubt. Full conviction from the person uttering the kalimah. Evidence from Qur'an: Suratul Hujurat(49:15). Evidence from sunnah: On the strength of Abu-Hurairah(RA), the Prophet (saw) said, "I bear witness that there is no other god but Allah: No slave will meet Allah with this declaration, having no doubt therein, but will enter paradise" Sahih Muslim: Book of eeman.
3-Al-Inqiad (الانقياد): Submission to its rightful requirements, which are the duties that must be performed with our heart, limbs and everything with sincerity to God (alone) seeking His pleasure. Evidence from Qur'an: Suratul Lukman(31:22). Evidence from Sunnah: " None of you is a believer until his inclinations are followers to what has been revealed to me" Imam Baghawi in Sharh-Assunnah.
4- Al-Qabool (القبول): Acceptance that contradicts rejection. Accepting it as a whole, i.e not to reject any part of its essentials and necessities. Evidence from Qur'an: Surah As-saffat(37:35-36). Evidence from Sunnah: " Abu Musa(RA) reported that the prophet Muhammad(saw) said: The similitude of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, (1)some of which was fertile soil absorbed that water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (2)Another portion of it was hard and held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with and they utilize it for drinking , making their animals drink from it and irrigated their land for cultivation. (3)And a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. The first(1) is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit from that knowledge which Allah the exalted has revealed through me and learns, then teaches others. The last example is that of the person who does not care for it and does not take Allah's guidance revealed through me." Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim and Musnad-l-Ahmad.
5- Al-Sidq (الصدق): Truthfulness that permits neither falsehood nor hypocrisy.Being true to it from the depth of one's heart not only by uttering it with the tongue. Evidence from the Qur'an: Suratul Ankabut(29:2-3). Evidence from Sunnah: " Whoever bears witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad(saw) is His Messenger, saying it truthfully in his heart, Allah will forbid Fire to touch him" Sahih Bukhari and Muslim: Book of eeman.
6- Al-Mahabbah (المحبة): Love of the Shahadah and its meaning, and being happy with it. This means also to love those who love it and to hate those who hate it. Evidence from Qur'an: Suratul Ma'idah(5: 51-55), Suratul Taubah(9: 23-24), Suratul Mujadilah(58:22). Evidence from Sunnah: "Whoever has three things will taste the sweetness of eeman. First, that Allah and His Messenger be more loved by him than any other. Second, his love for any other person is only for the sake of Allah. Third, that he hates to revert to 'kufr' (disbelief) after Allah has rescued him from it, and he hates to be thrown into fire." Sahih Bukhari and Muslim: Book of eeman.
7- Al-Ikhlaas (الإخلاص): Sincerity which negates shirk. Evidence from the Qur'an: Surah Az-Zumar(39:2-3). Evidence from Sunnah: "The happiest people with my intercession are those who say there is no god but Allah with sincere devotion in their hearts" Sahih Al-Bukhari and Musnad Ahmad. Also, "Allah has forbidden the fire to touch whoever says, 'there is no god but Allah,' saying it for the sake of Allah." Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
MashaaAllah! these conditions are the cardinal points of our eeman which must be satisfied if we truly are believers in Allah and His Messenger(saw) otherwise, there are fake eeman circulating in the market also. So let us carry the original logo.
May my Allah increase us in eeman, certainty and understanding.