The Importance to Learn and Say:-
la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah [Shahada : Testimony to the Unity] Meaning:- There is no divinity But(Except) God
First will I explain from the past books, to make any sense for the present statement, in Judaism you have "Hear O Israel, the Lord our Lord is ONE Lord", and in Christianity you have "…I believe in ONE God"[john 17.3] Thus one can see the affirmation of Unity made from the past.
la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah :- The formula is called (shahada) - a Witness of Unification , a Testimony of Unity – (a contract), the witness (the saying of it witness-bearing). The shahada – or Testimony of Unity is a covenant in which Gods part will be to give salvation in the next life, or it is deposit, laid up with god, to be repaid with the interest of a reward in the next life. It (the Shahada) will accompany its utterer on the Resurrection Day, and God most High will say. "I have a covenant with this servant of Mine and I am true to the fulfilment of covenants. Let My servant enter Paradise".
The Testimony of Unity has two halves; its first a Negation (-) of any divinity apart from God that is; ‘There is no divinity(Gods)' - la-e-lahaa 'and the second is an Affirmation, a Positive (+) of divinity of God that is; ‘but God' ill-lal-lah .
When a Negative and Positive are joined they make a spark, a spark that turns to a light, a light that becomes a flame, a flame burning and illuminating your heart with Faith– Imaan in arabic, God Willing.
Who ever reflects deeply will find all creatures affirm the Oneness of God Most High, for example I work with computers, and I was thinking about the simple language a computer is programmed in, and its called Binary, Binary is actually Zeros and ones or Plus's (0) and Negatives (1) or you can say - +, Negation and Affirmation.
When negation followed by the affirmation is uttered by someone who puts no other Divinity (God-head, Creator worthy of Worshipping to) except God – [ Allah in arabic His proper name ] this means that he has denied and refused the illusion of polytheists (believing in more than one God [ Shirk in Arabic ]), and also means that the essence of Unification that his heart contains will be reinforced.
For it is actively strengthened by the repetition of this noble Formula of – Oneness. As in the saying "Renew you faith [ Imaan ] by la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah ." we will explain this more in terms as an Invocation (prayer) Later on.
As means of Protection God Most High says:- la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah is My fortress, and he who enters my fortress is safe from My Chastisement.
Thou hast banished from me the evil of Wanderers of night and day by means of:- la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah .
I am protected from haunting spirits and demons and magic and (demonic) mates of evil and all the hosts of Iblis - [arabic name for Satan] by means of ; la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah .
When Moses Asked God for the Best Invocation (prayer) to Remember him continually, he was given la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah , every prophet of God was given this Formula to remember God with and By.
As a means of Forgiveness when a worshipper says ‘ la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah' , a pillar of light goes up from his mouth and stands before God Most High. And God Most High says to the light, "Go to My Throne"; and it says, "Nay, by Thy might I will not go till Thou hast forgiven the one who uttered me." Then God says, "By My Might and Majesty, it was I who moved his tongue to say thee, have I not already forgiven his sins?".
The Testimony of Unity:- ‘ la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah ' when recited Continually for example 100 times, it is called in arabic (Dhikr/Zikr) - Remembrance of God. Because what you are doing is making you tongue busy with this remembrance of God. As God says ‘if you remember Me I will Remember you'. This is the practice of the Prophets of God. as mentioned above. The Method one Conducts the Invocation (prayer) of la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah . Will be explained.
Remembrance of God is a fire which does not stay or spread – so if it enters a house saying, "Me and nothing other than me," which is one of the meanings of ‘ la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah' (There is no god [divinity] but [God] Allah), and there is firewood in the house, it burns it up and it becomes fire. If there is darkness in the house, it becomes light. If there is light in the house, it becomes 'light upon light'.
Remembrance of God expels from the body impure substances produced by excess in eating or from the consumption of unlawful food. As for food which is lawful, it does not touch it. So the harmful components are burned up and the good components remain.
And Whosoever does an atom's weight of good will see it and Whosoever does an evil atom's weight will see it.
Actions produce effects on the heart. Just as the effect of an atoms weight of food or drink or medicine is not lost on the body, so too the effect of an atom's weight of goodness or evil is not lost either drawing near to Gods door or in separation from Him. But what is the way to come close to God you may be asking, we will now explain.
If your searching for Islam/or finding out is Islam is for you, the n the following practice May help you, Or you want to Strength your Faith in God .
On the rules of Conduct for the invocation (prayer):- la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah Testimony of Unity
Among the rules of conduct are wearing of proper, Clean ( i.e. clothes not stained with urine or its like) sweet-smelling clothes and maintaining purity of body (Cleanliness is next to Godliness ) also you need to clean the Outside [body] (by have a bath and one MUST Make an Intention to coming close to God) before one can to attempt to Clean the inside [Heart].
Thus Ritual (Purity (bathing) implies the Negation of uncleanness and the Affirmation of Ritual Purity. In Almsgiving, there is negation of love of money and affirmation of love of God.
And purity of stomach by eating lawful food. Although the invocation of :- la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah, expels the parts arising from unlawful good, nevertheless, when the stomach is empty of unlawful food or whatever is doubtful, the benefit of the invocation is in a greater or more lasting illumination of the heart. When there is unlawful food in the stomach, the invocation washes it out and purifies the stomach. Consequently, at such times its benefit in illuminating the heart is weaker.
Do you not see that if you wash solid things in water, it removes the dirt, but they are not very clean? For that reason, it is preferable to wash them a second or a third time. However, if an area to be washed is already free of dirt, it increases in beauty and radiance from the first laundering. When the invocation descends into the heart, if there is darkness within, it illuminates it; and if there is already light, the invocation increase the light and intensifies it .
The rules of conduct associated with the invocation are sincerity, perfuming the place of invoking with sweet fragrance for sake of the angels, sitting cross-legged facing the direction of prayer (that's east). Close one's eyes and face straight ahead.
The novice should invoke with perfect force and respectful veneration. There is no divinity But Go:- ‘ la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah ' should rise from above his navel. By the phrase ‘There is no divinity' ( la-e-lahaa ) he should intend excluding from the heart what is other-than-God. By the phrase ‘but God' ( ill-lal-lah ), he should intend uniting the formula in the heart so to fix ill-lal-lah firmly in the heart and let it flow throughout all the members of the body, casing the meaning of the invocation to be present in his heart at every instant.
The lengthening of the vowel a in La-e-laha , is done by saying Laa-e-laaha is considered good, during the time of elongation, the invoker can visualise in his mind all opposites and contraries and expel them, (No I don't believe or Worship, in the god of money or film/pop stars, son of god, god of sun? or of moon, god of cow or tree or goddess or any other man made created gods of any kind ) That is followed by ill-lal-lah (but God – Allah is the proper for god ), and that is closer to sincerity because it is acknowledgement of the Divinity. First one Negates His essence with la-e-la-ha , he nevertheless affirms His Being with ill-lal-lah . Indeed, ill-la ( except) is a light placed in the heart, illuminating it.
Invoking Causes God's remembrance of the servant, which is the great honour and loftiest distinction. Through the invocation of la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah , the heart of man lives just as the seed lives through the downpour of rain. The invocation is the nourishment of the soul just as food is the nourishment of the body. Invoking polishes the heart of its rust, which is forgetfulness (Ghaflah) into the pursuit of worldly passion.
The Testimony of Unity:- ‘la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah' should be recited Continually for 100 or times for 40 day or more (if you like repeat it for 5 to 10mins with your Eyes closed and you Hearts Open) After Washing ,as described above. This is best done in the Evening just before going to Bed. For results will be seen in dreams this way. God Willing.
It is to mediation like a lamp that guides one in the dark towards an open road. It thwarts sinful actions: ‘…Verily, good deeds annul bad deeds…' invoking puts an end to the separation that occurs between the Lord and the forgetful servant.
Its forgetfulness of God that has made the servants to forget their souls and that is the extreme of corruption. Leading to confusing and darkness, invoking is a light for the servant in the world and the next, his grave, his resurrection and his assembling with others on the Day of Judgement. it is the fundamental principle and the door to spiritual growth. It's the sign of authority whereby it assails the ego and passionate desires. When invocation of la-e-lahaa ill-lal-lah, is firmly rooted in the heart and drops down in it and the tongue becomes subordinate to it, the invoker is in need of nothing; so he progresses and ascends. As for the forgetful man, even if he be wealthy, he is in reality poor, and if he be powerful he is actually base.
From the results of this practice, you will see in your dreams or by inner understanding of overwhelming. That Faith will be Deposited within your Heart. This of course is the blessing of the God Almighty, May you be Guided to the Truth.
Finally say a supplication:- O Lord ( Ya Rab-bi ) for the sake of you Beloved ( Habib ), and for the sake all your Prophets, Saints and Martyrs. And for the sake for you Greatest Hidden Name ( Ism-al-Azaam ). I Beg for you Guidance (He-day-yah).
References:-Gift for the Seek by Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi Al-Haddad
The Key to Salvation by Ibn Ata Allah Al-Iskandari
Muslims devotions, a study of Prayer-Manual in Common Use by Constance E. Padwick
by Muhammad Sajad Ali