Updated: Jul 2, 2020
The Profession of Faith, the shahada, is the most fundamental expression of Islamic beliefs. It simply states that “There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” It underscores the monotheistic nature of Islam. It is an extremely popular phrase in Arabic calligraphy and appears in numerous manuscripts and religious buildings.
The Shahadah is the Muslim declaration of faith and the first Pillar of Islam. It expresses the belief that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. This belief in one God is known as monotheism.
In order to become a Muslim, a person simply has to declare the Shahadah in front of witnesses. This highlights the key importance of the Shahadah in Islam.
The first part of the Shahadah is stated in the Qur'an Surah 3 verse 18.
أشهدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وأشهدُ أنَّ محمّداً رسولُ الله
“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
The Arabic can be transliterated into the Roman alphabet like this:
Ashhadu Alla Ilaha illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah.
Muslims use the name 'Allah' for God in the Shahadah, and also believe the Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet sent by Allah
Muslims believe in many prophets, such as Adam and Moses, but believe the Prophet Muhammad was the last or the 'Seal of the Prophets..
When is the Shahadah recited?
The Shahadah is recited in the adhan or call to prayer and by all Muslims performing the daily ritual prayer or Salat. It is whispered into the ear of a newborn Muslim baby and recited at an aqiqah ceremony. An aqiqah ceremony takes place after a baby is born to celebrate the new life and welcome the baby into the family. The words of the Shahadah should also be the last words a Muslim hears at the moment of death.
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