The first rukn: the declaration

source :Osoul Global Center


Simplified explanation of the Five pillars of Islam: declaration of faith, prayer, zakat, fasting and pilgrimage, which represent a framework of the Muslim life and the core of Islam religion. Moreover it talks about the The main message of Islam.

The first rukn: the declaration

I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of being worshipped other than Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.’ This declaration testifying to two important facts is the gateway to Islam. It is indeed the most essential aspect of Islam. No one is considered a Muslim unless he or she makes this declaration. Once it is said by disbeliever, he becomes a Muslim.[1]

What the declaration means

The first part, ‘There is no deity worthy of being worshiped other than Allah’, means that no one may be rightly worshipped except Allah, the Glorious, the Most High. This part includes two essential elements: a negation and a confirmation. It negates “worthiness of being worshipped” of anyone other than Allah, and it confirms that divinity belongs to Him alone, without partners. It implies disbelief in all that was ever worshipped other than Allah, whether they were human, animate or inanimate objects. It further implies the disavowal of any such worshipped person or object and hating these. 

:Allah says

‘And Your god is  one God, There is no deity [worthy of worship] except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful’


‘There shall be no compulsion in religion. The right way is henceforth distinct from error. He who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has indeed taken hold of a most firm support that never breaks. Allah hears all and knows all’

(2: 256)

The Arabic word ilah, , i.e. deity, means ‘the God who is rightfully worshipped’. A person who believes that Allah is the Creator and Provider, or that He is the One able to accomplish everything, thinking that this is sufficient without believing that to Him alone all worship should be addressed and offered, benefits nothing by stating the first part of the declaration. In this case, stating that ‘there is no deity other than Allah’ does not bring him into the fold of Islam in this life and will not save him from Allah’s punishment in the life to come.[2]

 ‘Say:Who is it that provides for you from heaven and earth? Or, who is it that has power over hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living out of that which is dead, and brings forth the dead out of that which is alive? Who regulates all affairs?” They will say: “Allah.” Say, then: “Will you not, then, fear Him’ 


‘Yet if you ask them who created them they are sure to answer, “Allah.” How is it, then, that they are so misled?’ 


‘There is no deity other than Allah,’ is a great statement, because it makes clear that Allah is one, and this is the essence of Allah’s oneness which was the issue of contention between all Prophets (peace be upon them all) and their communities. Indeed all messengers were sent to establish Allah’s oneness in human life. 

:Allah says

‘Indeed, We have raised a messenger in every community, [who said to them]: “Worship Allah and shun all that is falsely worshipped.”’


 ‘Before your time We never sent a messenger without having revealed to him that there is no deity other than Me. Therefore, you shall worship Me alone


 When we speak ofAllah’s oneness, or tawhid, we are indeed implying all this.[3]

The second part, ‘Muhammad is Allah’s messenger’, means that we are required ‘to obey all his orders, believe whatever he stated, refrain from everything he prohibited and to worship Allah according to the way he taught.’[4] This part of the declaration is implemented by fully believing that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was Allah’s servant and messenger, whom Allah sent to all mankind and jinn as His last Prophet and messenger. He was a human servant of Allah to whom Allah assigned a high position. It further means that all his commands must be respected and observed in word, action and belief.

: Allah says

‘Say: “Mankind, I am indeed Allah’s messenger to you all’ 


‘And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner, But most of the people do not know’ 


‘Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but is Allah’s messenger and the seal of all Prophets’ 



‘Say, "Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger’


1. An acknowledgment of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him)  message and believing in it;

2. Declaring this belief verbally; 

3. The practical implementation of the truth he delivered and refraining from all that he prohibited; 

4. Believing in all that he stated; 

5. Loving him more than one loves oneself, one’s property, offspring, parents and anyone else, because he is Allah’s messenger. As such, to love him is part of loving Allah. To love him truly is to follow him, implementing his orders and refraining from what he prohibited, and to support him and his cause; 

6. Following his Sunnah, giving priority to whatever he said, accepting it and happily implementing his code.

:Allah says

‘But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.’ 


The importance of the declaration

The declaration confirming belief in Allah’s oneness and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as Allah’s messenger is of great importance. This is made clear in numerous Qur’anic and Hadith statements. What proves its importance includes:

• That it is the first rukn of Islam, providing the essence of faith and religion. It is what brings a person into the faith of Islam, and it is the basis upon which the heavens and earth are set aright. 

• It is the best action any person ever does, and it is the one thing that ensures the forgiveness of sins. It is a cause for admission into heaven and being safe from hell. To understand its true value one should realize that it is weightier in Allah’s scales than the heavens and the earth put together. Imam Muslim relates on 'Ubadah’s authority: ‘Whoever bears witness that there is no deity other than Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and messenger, Allah will prevent the Fire of hell from touching him.’ 

• It combines Allah’s glorification with supplication and praise. It includes a supplication of worship and a supplication of request. It is the one glorification of Allah that is easiest to say. It is the good word, the firmest of ties and the statement that indicates purity of faith. It is the tenet by which the heavens and earth are set aright, and for which creation has taken place, messengers were sent by Allah and divine revelations were vouchsafed to them. To put effect to it acts of worship, both obligatory and recommended, have been outlined and jihad has been permitted. Whoever makes this declaration and acts upon it with true intention, sincerity and love will be admitted by Allah into heaven. 


  1. Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhsin, Fath al-Majid, vol. 1, p. 97.
  2. Abdullah al-Tayyar, Arkan al-Islam, p. 5.
  3. A.F.R. Hanbali, Kalimat al-Ikhlas wa Tahqiq Ma'naha, vol. 1, p. 52; Ḥ.A, Ḥakamī, Ma[arij al-Qabul, vol. 1, p. 98; ibn Muhsin, Fath al-Majid, vol. 1, p. 83.
  4. Al-Barrak, Sharh al-'Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah, vol. 1, p. 85.


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