Meaning of there is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Q 3: Please explain the phrase: “La ilaha illa Allah Muhammad Rasul-ul-Allah (There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).”

A: The Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam. It consists of two parts, the first of which is: “La ilaha illa Allah” (There is god except Allah). This denotes that there is none worthy to be worshiped but Allah. It is both an affirmation and a negation. At the same time that “La ilaha” (There is god) negates that any act of worship should be offered to anyone but Allah, “illa Allah” (except Allah) affirms that Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, deserves all worship. We recommend that you refer to the book “Fatah-ul-Majid Sharh Kitab Al-Tawhid” written by Shaykh ‘Abdul-Rahman ibn Hasan as he has expounded upon this issue in the chapter entitled “Explanation of Tawhid and the Shahadah”. With regard to the second part of the Shahadah, i.e. “Muhammad Rasul-ul-Allah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)”; this means that one should confess belief in the message revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), submitting to it in words, deeds, and beliefs, and avoiding any words, deeds, intentions, or omissions that negate it. (Part No. 1; Page No. 87) In other words, it means that one must believe in whatever the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said; obey his commands; avoid what he has declared forbidden; and that one must worship Allah only in the way ordained by Islam.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!