Every Muslim knows that the key to Paradise is the statement, "There is none worthy of
worship except Allaah." Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe
that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them. They think they will
be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahadah. There is no
question that the mere saying of," I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except
Allaah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger," is not sufficient
for salvation. In fact, the hypocrites used to make this statement quite often yet Allaah
describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.
As many scholars state, though, this statement or testimony is the key to Paradise. The
famous follower Wahb ibn Munabbih was once asked, " Isn't the statement of la ilaaha illa
Allaah 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, the statement must meet certain conditions.
These conditions are what will differentiate the person who will benefit from his making of
that statement from the one who will not benefit from that statement, no matter how many
times a day he may have made that statement.
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 Allaah," will enter Paradise. But, actually, we should
all realise that all of the Qur'aan 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 Islaamic position is of that question