The Importance of The Shahada In Islam

Imagine if you were the star witness in a big court case. The entire jury has been waiting to hear your testimony. The defendant’s guilt or innocence rides on your statements. When you are called up to the witness stand, everyone pays attention, and assumes your words are true. To enter Islam, the Shahada plays a similar role.

Declaring the shahada, or testimony, is all one needs to enter Islam. It is the most important of all the five pillars of Islam. This little phrase is what separates Muslims from everyone else. Because those who state this phrase have declared their acknowledgment of Allah’s monotheism and Prophet Muhammad’s status.

A person can convert to Islam by stating the Shahada with conviction.

The Meaning of the Shahada

The word shahada actually means to testify or to bear witness. There are actually two parts to the shahada which when taken together is often called the Shahadatayn, meaning “two testimonies.” The full shahadatayn requires a statement testifying to Allah’s monotheistic qualities and another statement testifying that Prophet Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.

Here are both parts of the shahada in English and Arabic.

Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illallah

“I bear witness that there is no god except Allah”

Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasulullah

“And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

There is No God Except Allah. True, But…

The first part of the shahada deals with our relationship with Allah, may He be Glorified and Praised. Even though the literal translation of “laa ilaaha illallah” means “no god but Allah,” the actual meaning is much deeper than that.

Simply stating there is no god but Allah indicates that Allah is the only true deity and creator of all that exists. That is most certainly true. But to really understand the essence of Islamic monotheism you must take it further.

After all, a person may agree that Allah is the only god, but they may worship Him through other entities.

There are many other faiths that use intermediaries, or “go-betweens”, when worshiping Allah. Sometimes these “go-betweens” may be a prophet, or a saint, or an idol.

But whatever the intermediary is, the person focuses their worship towards them first, instead of towards Allah only. Whatever that intermediary is, it is a created being and not the creator. Therefore, it does not deserve any portion of worship.

The more accurate meaning of “laa ilaaha illallah” would be “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.” Using this phrase, we make it perfectly clear that we are not going to worship anything else besides Allah. We are not only declaring that Allah is the one and only true God of all, we are also stating we will only worship Him and reject everything that even remotely compromises that worship.

Muhammad is Not Just a Prophet of Allah

The second part of the shahadah deals with our understanding of the status of Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him. The phrase “Muhammadan rasulullah” does not mean “Muhammad is the prophet of Allah,” even though he certainly was. This phrase actually means “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” While this may seem insignificant to some, it is actually very important.

Allah has sent several men to mankind to remind them of their duty towards Him. Muslims believe that all of these men were prophets.

These prophets of Allah include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, Jonah, Moses, Joseph, Jesus, and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. However, some of these prophets actually came with a message from Allah for mankind.

The prophets that came with a message are also called “Messengers of Allah.” Prophet Moses (Musa in Arabic) was a messenger as he came with the Torah. Prophet Jesus (Isa in Arabic) was a messenger as he came with the Gospel. And Prophet Mohammed was also a messenger as he came with the Quran.

In order for a person to be Muslim, they must accept the second shahada along with the first shahada. A person cannot be Muslim if they only believe in the oneness of Allah, but do not accept that Muhammad was the Messenger of Allah.

When a person testifies that Muhammad was also Allah’s messenger, they are also accepting the message he came with, that being the Quran.

So how can anyone worship Allah as the only God, but not accept Prophet Muhammad who taught us how to worship Him, and the Quran that was His message to mankind? It’s impossible and implausible.

Leave Shahada and return to home page

Spread the word

65 Responses to Shahada

    • You lot really are brainwashed – you will be going straight to hell for believing in this perverts so called religion.
      Mohammed was a paedophilic murdering homophobe
      Tell me any god who is good would want anyone like that in his paradise!
      yeah think about it!
      Oops sorry muslims dont think they just follow the common herd!

        • Okay, coming from a neutral standpoint, here is how I see things:
          It’s useless to argue over this using Ad-hominem, that only breeds anger.
          I think Islam can be a very good faith as long as you don’t act on the parts of the Kor’an (sorry if that is misspelled) that say to kill all other people that aren’t islamic. The treatment of women is also questionable at best, however the way Christians borderline brainwash people into their faith, that isn’t good either.

      • Wow the Christians sure are one to talk… Burning people for believing the earth was round. Sending youth out to Kill In the name of God during the crusades. Encouraging the wiping out of the Native Americans and the Enslavement of the Black people. And finally for being almost permissive of massive child molestation world wide to this very day. yes Christian Muslims believe Allah is responsible for creation and evolution. For you the world is still flat.

        • Okay, when I found this, it was obvious to me there would be a Christian/Muslim debate. I would just like to clear out some fallacies in here.
          -Christians admit the crusaders are scumbags.
          But, honestly, none of it matters guys. If everyone just stops the violence and just lives a good life, it will make all our lives worth it. The bible and the Kor’an agree in many aspects, I don’t understand why Christians and Muslims fight so much. Arguing in a way that insults one another is no way to live.
          -Yes, the treatment of women in the Islamic faith is very questionable.
          -Yes, the Christians have mad some very bad choices as well in the past.
          In today’s day in age, it is time to stop violence against all creatures, and just come together and love each other reguardless of faith.

          Thanks for reading guys, please no more fighting.

      • Lauren,
        Islam is a good faith, but the treatment of women isn’t good, the way that wemon are abused in Islam, especially in Arab nations. Coming from a biased Christian school, I was showed the worst of the Kor’an (sorry if that is misspelled). We were also told that Muslims cut off certain parts of a girl’s “private area” (genital area) because wemon are supposedly only here to produce kids. I doubt they’d make up the part about the cutting, but the second part about a woman’s purpose in life may be wrong, although it does align with what I see. Christian or Muslim, just live a good life, and in the end, you will make your life worth living.

        • WHAT!!!!!!….., you have been thought to hate Islam. Nobody cuts anything of a girls private area. Muslim boys get circumcised..that’s true. and no women are not oppressed in Islam, Men and Women are equal, but they are not the same. And the west needs to understand that.Islam is the only religion that says Heaven is in your MOTHER’S FEET.

        • My brother Islam is the religion and Muslims are the people. You cant use some people to judge the religion. There is no page in the Quran that says we should cut part of a female pravite part. Sometimes people combine Tradition with religion and is bad. Some of the things the you see muslims doing is not from the quran is always there local tradition not Islam teachings.

    • How dare you insult Islam and Prophet Muhammed (peace be upond him) If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all.

      • Dont talk about thing you dont know first learn and look around you do u thing u were made frm a beteria or sumthing or do thing you came from apes …. Just thing with a clear mind once take a look at your body think.. Nd you got no rights to say anything about our rasoolla… So mind your language and learn … Western media lie about Muslim we are not terrorist.

  1. Recite that shit and you will be guaranteed eternity in hell with the devil poking your asshole you ignorant 7th century death cultists!

  2. I commend Muslims here and everywhere in the world for not harshly responding to a person like Nikolaus. This shows the true Muslim faith. Islam is a religion of peace and it means Peace…Also, it is a religion of “Tolerance” as our prophet said. So, an ignorant person like Nikolaus, we pray that Allah forgive his sins and guide him to the right path. We Muslims love our non-Muslims brothers and sisters, Christians, Jews, and any other religion. We respect your choice of religion after all GOD is one! How we get there is an individual choice. Again, my brothers and sisters in faith…thank you for your “Tolerance” and “Patience” towards others…Love you! Ashohaddan la Illa Haillahlah, Muhammadan rasoolullah.

    • I respect your religion and I agree with you. As Catholics/ Christians we must love God with all our heart and soul and must love our neighbour as ourselves. Who is our neighbour? Fellow Christians, Muslims, Jews and other religions and those of no faith. We must all learn to respect and love each other, this is what is most pleasing to God.

  3. […] Shahada (Testimony) – Muslims declare the shahada several times a day. It is our testimony, our pledge to the oneness of Allah and the status of Prophet Muhammad. Without the shahadah, there is no Islam. […]

  4. Thank-you for this site and for the beauty and peace that is ISLAM. May Allah bless all of His children, my new brothers and sisters!

  5. I just proud being a Muslim. don’t you know why ? because no Muslim who talks bad about other religion like nikolaus.

    Thank you Allah for Islam.

  6. Why is the world behind Muslims?

    As Owais Ahmed said, Muslims have left Teachings of Quran behind. We are too busy being so called ‘moderate Muslims’. We constantly seek people’s approval and not the approval of the exalted. We try to blend into a corrupted society while Islam is a…

  7. I am not a Muslim, but am curious. Does the Koran say muhamad is a messenger of Allah, or is that 2nd part of the shahadah only found in the hadiths? If so, it would mean it did not come from Allah?

  8. declaration of shahadah in front witnesses is to save the issues of heritage ,so it is a good thing however it is not necessary that a person must visit any religious leader to enter in Islam, it is matter of believe and beliefs are by practice not by verbal only

  9. ### witness : a person who sees something (such as a crime) happen
    law : a person who makes a statement in a court about what he or she knows or has seen
    : a person who is present at an event (such as a wedding) and can say that it happened

    “I bear witness that there is no god except Allah”
    “And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

    If someone never meet Muhammad, how can he/she bear witness

  10. Use your head . You’ve been brainwashed about Muslims . What you see on tv is just how the government wants you to see outsiders .. I’m white non-relegation. But see truth in the words of the Quran

  11. I am researching and am considering converting to Islam, should I go ahead and say the Shahada even though there are still doubts in my mind? I don’t want to convert then later abandon it.

  12. Should I say the Shahada and convert to Islam if I can’t commit to all the prayers everyday or immediately stop habits that are not compliant with Islam? Also should I still convert if I at times have issues or think that not everything in Islam is 100% true?

    Also, what is the thought on changing to an Arabic Islamic name?

    • You should say Shahada now and ask questions about those things you do not understand or agree with. By Allah’s will, you can overcome your habits in time (no one’s perfect).

      In most cases, you do not have to change your name, though there is nothing wrong with that if you want to. However, you should keep your last name as it shows your connection to your father and family.

  13. Nikolaus Stryker
    Islam as a religion does not allow the killing of innocent people and so is Christianity.If a Muslim kill innocent person,it should not be assumed that Islam is responsible for the killing and so is Christianity.My point here is,how about if u practice tolerance and stop Insulting prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and instead challenge us with any burning issues that you think is making Islam not for you.On the part where you said Muhammad (Pbuh) is burning in hell,I suggest you worry about your judgement day and leave what doesn’t benefit only create intolerance and hatred among the Muslims and Christians.

Leave a Reply