The Key to Paradise

No one can be considered a true believer in the religion of Islam without confessing the ‘Shahada’. But what is it? What does it really mean? Those born into Muslim families may not truly understand it, and those who have reverted may not have been taught the depths of its meaning beyond, “There is no other deity but God.” Whether by birth or by conversion, read on to find out if you’re truly from among the believers in Allah and his Messenger.


Concerning the conditions for those who utter the words of the shahada, Shaykh Haafiz al-Hukmi (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote in his poem ‘Sullam al-Wusool’:

“Knowledge, certainty, submission, and following. 

So listen to what I say. 

Truthfulness, sincerity, and love.

 May Allaah help you to do that which He loves.”

So here it is, broken down.


Having knowledge of what the words of the Shahada mean. For example, if someone just mimics it in Arabic but they don’t know what it means, it does not make them a Muslim. It’s important for the one who says it to understand that there is nothing worthy of worship but Allah.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “He who died knowing that there is no God but Allah will enter Paradise.” –  Sahih Muslim


Having certainty without any doubt in your heart that to worship the one true God and not associate any partners or intermediaries is the best way of life, rejecting all others.

No one meets Allah with the testimony that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah, and he has no doubt about that statement, except that he will enter Paradise” – Prophet Muhmmad (peace be upon him) Sahih Muslim


Accepting Allah’s Lordship based on knowledge. There should be no doubt about Allah, His Messenger or His Message, The Noble Qur’an. This requires complete and absolute abandonment of any other you worship besides Allah.

Allah says, “So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.”   (Al-Quran 2:85)


Submitting to the laws of Islam, and striving to implement them in your daily life. Try to change bad practices and look for opportunities to do good deeds. These are all part of loving, fearing, and worshipping Allah, as true love is expressed in obedience to His commands.

Who is better in religion than he who surrenders his purpose to Allah while doing good.” (Al-Quran 4:125)


Being truthful is what separates the true believer from the hypocrite. When you say it from your lips it must be the truth from your heart, and not because it may be what is acceptable or for other ulterior motives.

And of mankind are some who say, ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day,’ when they believe not. They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves, but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increases their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.”   (Al-Quran 28:10)


Having true sincerity between you and Allah. The Shahada should not be said to please parents, to get married, or to gain favours. We should all seek to die with a high level of sincerity of worship, so develop your Islam until you become sincere for Allah alone.

Worship Allah, making religion pure for him.” (Al-Quran 98:5)


Your love for Allah should guide you into a stronger belief of “La ilaha illallaah” (The is nothing worthy of worship but Allah).  The best way to increase in love for Allah is to know Him through His names and attributes and reading and understanding His message to use in the Qur’an.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever has three characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith. [The first of these] is that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than he loves anyone else … ” [Agreed upon].

There shall be no compulsion in the religion.

The right course has become clear from the wrong. Whoever disbelieves in false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold which will never break, for Allah is hearing and knowing.

(Al-Quran 2:256)