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The Shahadah (Arabic: شهادة audio (help·info)) is the Islamic creed. It means faith. The Shahadah is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and on Muhammad as his final Prophet. Recitation of the shahadah is one of the Five Pillars of Islam for Muslims and is said daily. It is one of the five pillars of Islam that all Muslims have to follow in order to become a Muslim.
“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
Therefore, the Islamic religion is a monotheistic one, which means they believe in only one God. This means that not only can they not worship false idols, it also rules out giving up your time to become rich or powerful.
The Shahadah has been written on the walls of the mosques, in public places and in the homes of Muslims. It is written in beautiful, spiralled calligraphy and reminds Muslims that nothing should get in the way of their prayer to God and he is the only one that should be worshipped. They received this message through Muhammad, their prophet, and the Qur’an.
Before the coming of Muhammad, the Shahadah would have read:
“There is no God but Allah and Abraham is a messenger of God.”
For them to become Muslim all they must do is repeat the Shahadah three times in front of Muslim witnesses. They should fully believe what they’re saying, understand it and speak with true sincerity.
Muslims believe that death should be welcomed, as it is inevitable in our lives and we should not fear or resist it. When a Muslim knows they will die soon, they will position themselves in the direction of the qibla, the Ka’ba in Makka, and say aloud the Shahadah so that these will be the last words they utter in their life. They will dwell on these words, knowing that Allah will be with them and they have done their best over their years.
The Shahadah is also the first thing they hear in their life, as when they are born, their parents would lean over to them and say it. They would constantly say it to their child so he or she grows up with strong religious beliefs.
The following is the Arabic Shahadah, transliterated into the Roman alphabet:
Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah.
Rendering[change | change source]
- Arabic text:
- أشهد أن] لا إله إلاَّ الله و [أشهد أن ] محمد رسول الله ]
- English rendering:
- [ I testify that ] there is no god, but Allah, and [ I testify that ] Muhammad is the messenger of All-llah.
Another rendering current amongst some English-speaking Muslims, but without a historical tradition, is:
- [ I testify that ] there is none worthy of worship except God, and [I testify that] Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.
This version constitutes an interpretation rather than translation, as the words "worthy of worship" are not present in the Arabic.
A single honest recitation of the shahādah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim according to most traditional schools.
References[change | change source]
- "USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts". Retrieved 2006-09-12.