Expressing/ Uttering/ Stating/ Speaking is evidence of Itikad

The meaning of qawl/remark (expression, utterance, statement) is as follows: regarding this word the author of Lisan ul Arab states the following: “It is permissible to attribute itikat and thoughts as qawl. The reason for this is because; itikat is hidden and it can only be known with statements or something else that will guide to the hidden state. However, because what has been hidden inside can not be known by any other means but by the tongue, it has been called qawl. What is present inside is its reason and qawl is its evidence.

Shamr stated: “You would say so and so made me dictate (taqwil) until I said it. Meaning he taught me and commanded I say qala. ‘qawwaltani’ and ‘aqwaltani’ you taught me what to say (allamtanee) and made me speak. And you directed me to (qawl) speak.

There is an example for this in the hadith of Said b. al Musayyab. When he was asked what he thought about Othman and Ali he said: I will say what Allah makes me say (taqwil) about them. And recited the following ayah: “And those who came after them say: Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith, and leave not, in our hearts, rancour (or sense of injury) against those who have believed.” (al-Hashr 59/10)

In this sense in qawl there must be an amount of ‘ilm present. As understood here in the hadith of RasulAllah (saw) his statement of “I have been directed to fight against people so long as they do not say: There is no illah but Allah” ‘yaqulu’ means until they state “La ilaha illa Allah” and comprehend it (yantiqu and y’alamu).

For the shahadah to be valid one must attain the ’ilm regarding its necessities and must have certainty (al-yaqeen) over it.

When it comes to shahadah it is stated by Ibn Side that ‘the witness’ is the one to announce what he knows. Abu Bakr b. al Anbari stated: (Ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah) ‘I bear witness that there is no other deity but Allah deserving to be worshiped’ the ‘ashadu’ in the statement means (‘alamu) I know. Meaning, I know there is no other deity but Allah deserving to be worshiped and I declare there is no other deity but Allah deserving to be worshiped. And Ashadu anna Muhammad un RasulAllah means I know and I declare Muhammad is the Rasul of Allah. Regarding the following ayah Abu Ubaydah said “Allah bears witness that there is no illah but He” (al-e-Imran 3/18) Shahida Allah (Allah bears witness) means Allah had made taqdir that there is no other deity but Allah. The essence of this is that Allah knew and declared. The witness is the scholar of declaring what he knows. Shahid (witness) made Shahadah in front of the judge declared it and put forth. When Al Munziri Ahmad b. Yahya was asked about this ayah he said: Wherever Allah has stated ShahidAllahu the meaning of this is alimAllahu (Allah knew). Ibn Arabi stated: the expression Allah stated in this case means Allah knew and this means Allah wrote (katabAllahu). Ibn ul Anbari stated the meaning of this ayah is Allah declared there is no other deity worthy of being worshiped but Him. (Ibn Munzur, Lisan ul Arab)

Regarding this ayah “And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession;- only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him).” (az-Zukhruf 43/86)

Qurtubi stated: "The meaning is as such: those people will not have authority of shafaah. However except for those who make Shahadah to haqq and have iman upon ‘ilm and basira. Said b. Jubayr and others also have sad this. The Shahadah of haqq is la ilaha illa Allah and ‘they know’ meaning they know the truth of their Shahadah.

Secondly the ayah ‘except for those who knowingly make Shahadah to haqq’ carries two meanings.

a- Surely, shahadah without ‘ilm, will not benefit anyone. Imitation will not benefit anyone without ‘ilm.

b- Surely in legal forms or any other form all attestations (witnessing) the individual who is the witness must have knowledge of the related matter. Likewise the statement of RasulAllah (saw) carries this meaning.

“Become witness of the things you see as clear as the sun, elsewise abondone it” (Zaylai, Nasbu'r-Raya, IV, 82) (Tafsir)

Ibn Kathir stated: “…This is a matter of exception. That is to say the shafaa of the one who makes shahadah to haqq with forsight and ‘ilm will —with only the will of Allah- be benefited.” (Ibn Kathir)

Imam Tabari stated: "Some said the meaning of this is as follows: ‘Easa, Uzayr and the angels those mushriks had been worshipping will not have any authority of shafaa in front of Allah. Only those who make Shahadah to haqq knowingly with tawhid and appropriate to what the Rasul had brought; the one who makes one of Allah, obeys Him is exempt from this. “Only those who make Shahadah to haqq are different.” Meaning to/with ikhlas. “They know” that Allah is haqq. Likewise Easa, Uzayr and the angels. He is saying that only will Easa, Uzayr and the angels be shafaa to those who make Shahadah solely to haqq." (Tafsir)

Ibn Taymiyyah had stated: it is necessary that in shahadah the shahid (witness) has ‘ilm, truth and bayan. Hence the aim of the shahadah of the shahid will only be produced in such manner. (Fatawa, 14/187)

He also says: (Fatawa, 14/400-411) "Abu’l Faraj had stated there are two views regarding this ayah:

1- Surely, He with the ayah “For Him (alone) is prayer in Truth: any others that they call upon besides Him.” (ar-Ra’d 13/14) had meant their deities. And later had exempt Easa, Uzayr and the angels. And He said: “Exept for those who make shahadah to haqq.” This shahadah is the shahadah of la ilaha illa Allah. They know by heart what they make shahadah to with their tongues. This is the view of the majority and Qatada is one of amongst them.

2- What had been meant by “those they make du'a to” are Easa, Uzayr and the angels they worship. They do not posses anything to make shafaa to anyone. “Exept for those who make shahadah to haqq” this haqq is ikhlas. They know that Allah had created Easa, Uzayr and the angels. This is the view of a group which also included Mujahid.

Between pages 409-411 he states: This includes the one who makes shafaa and the one shafaa is made to. Only will shafaa be made to the one who knowingly makes shahadah. Although the angels, prophets and the salih individuals do not have the power of shafaa when Allah gives the permission they will make shafaa. However they will only be given permission to make shafaa to the Mu’min. Those Mu’min make shahadah with la ilaha illa Allah. They make shahadah to haqq knowingly (with ‘ilm). This means shafaa will not be given/ made to those who make shahadah imitating (as inheritance from) their ancestors and elders. Likewise the following has been stated in a sahih hadith:

“Surely, the individual will be questioned in the grave: What do you have to say about this man? The Mu’min will say: He is the servant and Rasul of Allah. He brought us the message and hidayah. Those who hae doubts will be groping for words and say I don’t know. I used to hear the people saying something, so, I said it.” (Muslim, Bukhari)

For this reason Allah said: “Exept for those who knowingly make shahadah to haqq.” As mentioned before Ibn Abbas had stated: Whoever says la ilaha illa Allah with an ikhlas of heart. All the sahih hadith regarding shafaa inform us that without doubt, shafaa is only considered for those of ahl la ilaha illa Allah."

Qurtubi had stated: "The meaning of “I make shahadah that there is no other deity but Allah (He is one, He has no partners)” is: I am uttering and making it happen (acting). The basis of bearing witness is; the individual who is notifying is informing of that which he has witnessed with his senses. Than it has been said this is used for things the individuals have made happen even if he does not bear witness in sense wise. The reason for this is because that which is actualized knowingly (with ‘ilm) is like the one who understood with senses and observation." (al Mufhim sharhu Sahih Muslim)

In his comments to these narrations Nawawi stated: "In these we see the following: Surely the necessities of iman, is uttering the shahadatayn by believing it, and also making itikat of everything RasulAllah had brought. RasulAllah (saw) had gathered all these in his following hadith: “I had been commanded to fight until they say la ilaha illa Allah and have iman in what I have brought.”"(Nawawi sharh 1/212)

As known before the belief in kalimat shahadah the ‘ilm that shows what it means comes prior to it. Fundamentally believing and conception are a part of ‘ilm. How else can the servant believe in the truth (haqq) of something he is jahl (ignorant/ has no knowledge) in?