Br. Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo wrote:
Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statment, "There is none
worthy of worship except Allah." Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this
statment and believe that as long as they have made this statment, nothing will
harm them. They think will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal
statment of the Shahadah.
There is no question that the mere saying of," I bear witness that there is none
worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant
and messenger," is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the hypocrites used to make
this statment quite often yet Allah describes them as liars and says that they shall
abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.
As many scholars state, though, this statment or testimony is the key Paradise.
The famous Follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked, " Isn't the statment of
la ilaha illa-llah the key to Paradise?" He answered,
"Yes, but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges,
the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not
open for you." That is, it is saying must meet certain conditions. These conditions
are what will differentiate the person who will benefit from his making of that
statment from the one who will not benefit from that statment, no matter how
many times a day he may have made that statments.
Before discussing the conditions of the Shahadah, there is one more point that I
feel compelled to make. That is, some people have a tendency to take one hadith
or one verse and then based on that one text, they will make some conclusion that,
for example, whoever simply says," There is no God except Allah," will enter
Paradise. But, actually, we should all realize that all of the Quran and Hadith
complement each other and explain one another. To find the correct position on
any one question, one must bring together all of the related verses and hadith and
see what the true Islamic postion is of that question. The same is true for the
conditions of the shahadah.