But acknowledgement of Allah as the sole Sustainer of the world is not enough
to become a Muslim. It is essential that this belief be substantiated with
practice, i.e. to worship Allah, Alone, without invoking others for help.
Pagans, particularly Arab infidels, acknowledge Allah as the sole Creator and
Sustainer, but they can not be regarded as Muslims unless they substantiate this
belief with practice, i.e., to worship Allah alone. If we look into the verses
of the Holy Quran, we see that they call for the Oneness of Allah in worship.
The various verses of the Quran tell us that unbelievers acknowledge Allah as
the Only Sustainer of the universe, but their deeds do not conform to their
belief. Therefore, they are admonished to confirm the oneness of Allah in their
worship and in their deeds. Allah Almighty said, "O you people ! Adore
your Guardian Lord Who Created you and those who came before you that you may
have the chance to learn righteousness; Who has made the earth your couch, and
the heavens your canopy : and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth
there-with fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when
you know (the truth)" (28) which was the first command to people in the
Holy Quran by Allah, the Almighty.
We often find in the Holy Quran a call to the Oneness of Allah in worship.
Simultaneously, the Holy Quran clarifies all doubts cast around this Oneness. In
every chapter, virtually in every verse, this call for the Oneness of Allah is
repeated. This is because the Holy Quran continuously informs its reader about
Allah, His Names, His Attnbutes and His Characteristics, all reflecting his
Oneness as the Creator and Sustainer, or when the Holy Quran calls people to
worship Him alone and refrain from worshipping anything or anyone besides Him.
This is the Oneness in worship. Then the Holy Quran informs people about Allah's
grace in this life and His subsequent reward in the Hereafter for those who
adhere to this Oneness totally. It also warns people about the punishment for
idolaters in this world and the Hereafter. The Holy Quran also outlines the laws
and commands of Allah, since Allah, alone, is the sole legislative power. This
is the true manifestation of the Oneness of Allah.
This Oneness, with all its implications, is contained in the saying,
"There is no god but Allah." It negates divine power from all and
confirms it with Allah, the One and Only God. This, also, implies a "pledge
of allegiance" to Allah and rejection of any partner to Him in any form.
The Holy Qur an mentions the statement of Abraham (peace be upon him),
"I do indeed clear myself of what you worship. I worship only Him who
made me and He will certainly guide me." (29) Such has been the course
of all the prophets who were sent by Allah. Allah the Almighty said "We
assuredly sent amongst every people an apostle with the command, Serve Allah and
eschew evil." (30) He, the Almighty also said "Whoever rejects
evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never
breaks". (31) Therefore, whoever has said "There is no god but
Allah" has disavowed himself from worshipping anything other than Allah,
and he has committed himself to worshipping Allah solely. In saying these words,
he undertakes a pledge. "Then anyone who violates his oath, does so to
the harm of his own soul. And anyone who fulfils what has been covenanted to
Allah, Allah will soon grant his a great reward." (32)
It is clear now that "There is no god but Allah" is a declaration
to worship the one and only God, e.g. Allah because (Allah) means deity, and
therefore no one deserves to be worshipped except Allah. And whoever has uttered
these words knowing their meaning and acting upon that meaning (negating
idolatry and confirming the Oneness of Allah as the sole Creator as well as the
only one to be worshipped), in addition to having adopted them in letter and
spirit, can be regarded as a true Muslim. One who has uttered these words and
practised their meanings in public, but without accepting them in his heart, is
a hypocrite. One who uttered these words with his tongue, but acted against
their meaning through committing idolatry, is an unbeliever, even if he uttered
these words more than once as in the case of those who adorn tombs, for although
they utter these words they do so without understanding their meaning.