Is it possible that the meaning of Shahadah – the phrase, is clear to the Arabs of the Quraish that the nowadays Muslims?
To answer that let’s see what Abdullahi and Abd-un-Nabi in the Tafseer Ushr lakr, about the meaning of Shahadah.
Abd-un-Nabi: It is as if you are saying that the pagan Arabs of the tribe of Quraish were more knowledgeable about the meaning of this phrase than many Muslims today!
Abdullah: Yes, this is the sad reality. The ignorant disbelievers knew that the Prophet (PBUH) meant by this phrase that one should single out Allah in worship and disbelieve in all those who are worshipped other than Allah and that they must reject them.
When he said to them, “Laa Ilaaha Ill-Allah!” they said, as Allah mentions: “Do you make all the gods be One God – this is indeed an amazing thing!” [38:5)
They did believe, however, that Allah is the only being who controls the entire universe. If the most ignorant of the disbelievers knew this, what is truly amazing is that many who claim to be Muslims today do not know the meaning of this phrase, something which the ignorant pagans even knew.
Many Muslims think that Islam is the mere verbal pronunciation of this phrase of Tawheed without having anything to do with belief in its meaning.
What good can be found in people who claim to follow Islam when the ignorant pagans of the Quraish were more knowledgeable than them of the meaning of laa ilaah ill-Allah!