'Aqeedah at-Tawheed' by Shaikh Saleh ibn Fawzan ibn Abdullah al-Fawzan
Appendix adapted from the book,
Meaning of the two testimonies
La ilaha illAllah is to believe and affirm that no one deserves worship except Allah, holding on to it and acting in accordance with it. 'La ilah' is negating that anybody has the right to be worshiped except Allah, whoever it might be. 'IllAllah' is affirming the Right of Allah Alone to be worshiped. So, the complete meaning of the statement is 'La Ma'bood BiHaqqin illAllah', 'there is no deity truly worthy of being worshiped except Allah.' The word La (there is none), must accompany BiHaqqin (truly worthy of) and it is not permissible to use the word, 'Mawjood' (existing) because it is against reality. There are many deities worshiped other than Allah and (saying, 'La Ma'bood Mawjood illAllah') implies that worship of all these deities is worship of Allah and this is the most false statement and it is the Madhhab (position) of the people of Wahdat al-Wujood (pantheism), who are the most deviant people on the face of the earth. This statement (i.e. the first testimony) has been explained with numerous deviant interpretations, from them are:
1.La Ma'bood illAllah (there is no deity in existence except Allah). This is the most deviant interpretation because it means that every true and false deity is Allah as has been explained above.
2.La Khaliq illAllah (there is no Creator except Allah). This is only a part of the meaning of the statement, but this is not the intent as it only confirms Tawheed ar-Rububiyah, which is not enough (to enter Islam) and is the Tawheed of the
Mushrikeen (those who affirm Allah’s Lordship but worship others besides Him).
3.La Hakimiyah illAllah (there is no judgment except for Allah). This is also only a part of the meaning of the statement and is not the intent because it is not enough. Because if one singles out Allah for judgment only and invokes other than Allah, then he has dedicated a form of worship to other than Allah and thus, he is not a muwahhid (one who declares and establishes Tawheed in its correct manner).
All these interpretations are false and incomplete , and we have mentioned them here because they are found in some contemporary books. The correct meaning of the statement according to the Salaf as mentioned before is to say, 'La Ma'bood BiHaqqin illAllah' (there is no deity truly worthy of being worshiped except Allah).