The Messenger of Allah (J) says:
“There is a curtain between Allah and every creature. However, there is no curtain for the words ‘There is no deity, but Allah’ and the blessing offered by a father for his son.” (Tirmizi).
It is said:
There are five types of darkness and five types of illumination in return:
- Love for this world is a darkness; and piety is the light for it.
- Sin is a darkness; repentance is the light for it.
- The grave is a darkness; pronouncing “There is no deity, but Allah” frequently is the light for it.
d. The after-life is a darkness; pious deeds are the light for it.
- The bridge to paradise is a darkness; and an absolute faith is the light for it.
One who manages to get hold of these lights achieves eternal happiness.
The Messenger Of Allah (J) says:
“Allah will command on the Day of Judgment: ‘whoever pronounced ‘There is no deity, but Allah, and he has even a scrap of faith in his heart, let him out of the hell! Whoever pronounced ‘There is no deity, but Allah’, or remembered Me, or feared Me somewhere, let him out of hell!” (Hakim).
The Prophet (J) says:
“If one of you makes ablution and then says ‘I bear witness that there is no deity, but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger and Servant’, the eight gates of paradise are opened for him/her, and s/he enters through any gate s/he wishes.” (Muslim, Taharat, 17; Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja).
The Declaration of Faith is the light of the heart. It is again the light of the human face.
The Prophet (J) says:
“Make your children begin to talk with the words ‘There is no deity but Allah’. Inspire them to say ‘There is no deity but Allah’ at the last gasp; for whoever pronounces ‘There is no deity but Allah’ as his first and final statement in this world, he is not held responsible for any sin even if he lives a thousand years.” (Bayhaki).
However, having the declaration of faith conduct one’s life is so important; for the condition at the last gasp will take place according to their degree and performance in this regard. It is narrated that Prophet Abraham (a.s.) once asked the Angel of Death:
“– O Angel of Death! How do you make yourself seen while taking someone’s life? I wish to see how you are seen then.”
The Angel of Death answered:
“– O Prophet of Allah! Can you bear that?”
When Prophet Abraham(a.s.) replied:
“– Yes, I can.”
The Angel of Death said:
“– Avert your face then!”
When Prophet Abraham (a.s.) turned his face back to him again the Angel of Death was in an awesome appearance. He was a terror to behold. Upon this sight, Prophet Abraham (a.s.) lost consciousness. And when he regained consciousness he saw the Angel of Death as he first saw him and said:
“– For an evil person, it is enough to see your face, even if nothing else!” (M. Sami Ramazanoglu, Ibrahim Aleyhisselam).
No wonder for a person who lived as a complete believer the appearance of the Angel of Death would not be awesome.
The servant is examined on many occasions in this world. And if his belief is strong he passes these examination, but if not he fails them.
Thereby, humans face many difficulties, sufferings, misery, and pain in their struggle for faith and virtue. In this way, the pious and impious ones are singled out. Therefore, having faith in Allah is not enough. One needs to advance his station by adorning his faith with pious deeds so as to pass the many examinations of life.
Allah, in the following verse, declares how interrelated belief and these tests are:
“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We believe’ and that they will not be tested. We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.”(Ankabut, 29:2-3).
With reference to the above declaration of the Qur’an, faith is a favor, and examination is its measure by which the servant is required to pay a price so as to save his/her faith. Namely, Allah demands a price so that His servants could understand the value of faith by testing them in proportion to their capacity. It is said in the Qur’an:
“Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise)…” (Tauba, 9:111).
Therefore, one has to sacrifice their souls, goods, etc. heart and soul in the cause of Allah for a perfect faith. In fact, the troubles, sufferings, and pains of the world that believers are exposed to are recorded as prices paid in this world to be compensated for in the after-life.
On the other hand, the disbelievers efforts to persecute those who strive to live in accordance with their religion will certainly lead them to a painful end in hell; for they deserve hell for two reasons. First, they do not have faith, and second, they tyrannize believers.
In short, the price of faith, namely the price of being a perfect believer is to keep the heart clear of the inclination to submit to beings other than Allah. This means making an effort to successfully pass our examinations. Therefore, fleeing from any act or behavior that may damage our chance for cultivating and maintaining perfect faith is a requirement. Not observing this requirement leads to immediate destruction and a circumstance in which no repentance will be of avail.
Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, ISLAM SPIRIT AND FORM, Erkam Publications