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The Greatest of all Testifications and the Elevated Standing of the Scholars

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Saʿdī

An explanation on the greatest testimony a Muslim can make and what specifically the beauty is behind it.

Allāh the Most High said:

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ وَأُولُو الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ ۚ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“Allāh bears witness that Lā ilāha illā Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice. Lā ilāha illā Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”
(Āli-ʿImrān, 3:18)

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Saʿdī comments:

This represents the most exalted testimony that has ever been made. For it emanates from the Greatest of all Kings, His angels, prophets and those having knowledge, all sharing in the exaltation of this testimony. It is the testification of Allāh’s oneness and His maintenance of the creation in justice. This comprises the testification of every legislative ruling and the rulings that relate to the recompense of actions. As the foundation and principle rule of this religion is Allāh’s oneness, worshipping Him alone, while acknowledging His individuality in being described with attributes of greatness, grandeur, glory, power, and majesty. With characteristics of goodness, piety, mercy, exemplary conduct, and beauty. His complete and absolute perfection is such that none of His creation shall ever fully encompass its extent with accurate acknowledgement, or full realisation, or have the ability to praise Him as He deserves. Rather, He is as He has praised Himself1, far superior to the praise of His servants.

As for “[maintaining in] justice”, it is perfect fairness. Allāh the Most High implements justice in His legislation, among His creation, and in His recompensing them of their actions. For, indeed, legislated forms of worship and dealings that occur among the creation, including commands and prohibitions, are all encompassed by His justice and fairness. There is no oppression in it of any kind. On the contrary, it represents the very pinnacle of systematic precision, accuracy, organisation, representative of the apex of equity. All recompense of action revolve around Allāh’s blessings coupled with His goodness to those who attest to His oneness, the true believers in Him, and the justice He demonstrates in His punishment of the disbelievers and disobedient. He has not wronged them in the least with regards to the good they have engaged in, nor has He punished them for other than what they have earned:

وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ

“No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.”
(Al-Anʿām, 6:164)

The Most High also says:

قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادَةً ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ

“Say (O Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)): “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allāh.”
(Al-Anʿām, 6:19)

Thus, Allāh’s oneness and His religion have been confirmed, firmly and undoubtedly attested to. It is the greatest of all realities and the most plainly evident of them. For Allāh is the One who bears witness to it by means of the wide variety of proofs, evidences, and signs that are ever-present. From among this testification of the Most High is that He has allowed those who have been granted knowledge and awareness to share in this testification. Those who have been given knowledge are the reference point for all servants in the confirmation of all truths, and the falsification of falsehood. As Allāh has specifically granted them true knowledge, sound assuredness, and firm awareness. This is among the blessings of knowledge and its people. For Allāh has made them conduits between Himself and His servants. They deliver the message of Allāh’s oneness and His religion, His legislations both apparent and inapparent. Just as the people have been commanded to pose their questions to them and return to their statements. They are the leaders to be followed. While others merely follow them in this worldly life and the hereafter. For this reason, their statements have gained superiority even those made in the hereafter. As the Most high mentions the arguments that will occur among the creation and their differences, He mentions that the last rendered statement is the one that emanates from the people of knowledge:

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ وَالْإِيمَانَ لَقَدْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْبَعْثِ ۖ فَهَٰذَا يَوْمُ الْبَعْثِ وَلَٰكِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

“And those who have been bestowed with knowledge and faith will say: “Indeed you have stayed according to the Decree of Allah, until the Day of Resurrection, so this is the Day of Resurrection, but you knew not.””
(Al-Rūm, 30:56)

This is evidence of the complete justice of those who have been bestowed with knowledge. It is in consideration of this that Allāh seeks their testimony against His servants. This represents fairness and equity from Him to them. Additionally, it denotes their honour and elevated standing in a manner that cannot be overlooked.


[1] Referencing the ḥadīth with this wording as narrated by Imām Aḥmad: 751, Abū Dāwūd: 1427 and graded authentic by Shaykh al-Albānī in Ṣāḥīḥ Abī Dāwūd: 823.

Source: Majmūʿ Fatāwá: 28-29
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: March 25, 2024
Edited: March 25, 2024


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