Shahada – Testimony of Faith

Posted on January 28, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Assalam alaikum & Peace to all

I thought I would post a bit more about the Shahada… I am always fascinated by it, the simplicity of it yet it carries such a great meaning!
* As an edit I have included an ‘eight and nineth’  condition for the Shahada – I have researched and found that some scholars combine them to form the ‘seven’ conditions, while others have expanded and list eight or nine.

** We listed them here as “nine” in order to give more attention and detail to each and every aspect. However, the scholars who have listed them as seven or eight have not left anything out. They have merely combined several for easier comprehension and memorization.

The first of the Five Pillars of Islam is the shahada. Shahada is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim:

La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah.
(There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God.)

Sincere recitation of this confession of faith before of two Muslims is the sole requirement for those who wish to join the Muslim community. It represents acceptance not only of Allah and his prophet, but of the entirety of Islam. As one of the Pillars, the shahada must be recited correctly aloud with full understanding and internal assent at least once in every Muslim’s lifetime.

The shahada is also recited in the muzzein’s call to prayer, included in the salat (daily ritual prayer) and incorporated in Sufi contemplative prayer. It is also recited in the moments before death.

There are seven critical conditions of the Shahadah, without which it is considered to be meaningless:

– Al-`Ilm
: Knowledge of the meaning of the Shahadah, its negation and affirmation.
– Al-Yaqeen: Certainty – perfect knowledge of it that counteracts suspicion and doubt.
– Al-Ikhlaas: Sincerity which negates shirk.
– Al-Sidq: Truthfulness that permits neither falsehood nor hypocrisy.
– Al-Mahabbah: Love of the Shahadah and its meaning, and being happy with it.
– Al-Inqiad: Submission to its rightful requirements, which are the duties that must be performed   with sincerity to God (alone) seeking His pleasure.
– Al-Qubool: Acceptance that contradicts rejection.

The testimony (La ilaha illa Allah) comprises of two concepts:

Denial :
The testimony of faith denies the attribute of divinity to anyone and anything other than Allah `The Exalted. All others, besides Allah, such as the angels, the prophets, and the rest of mankind, let alone the idols, and the political regimes in the world, are not gods nor do they deserve to be worshipped. Thus denial in this respect is not a denial of the existence of the alleged gods, rather than denial of the divinity which is attributed to them.

The testimony of faith affirms and restricts divinity to Allah alone. That is, the slave must believe that Allah is the only true God, and accordingly dedicate no act of worship to any, other than Allah.

Conditions of “La ilaha illa Allah”

1. Knowledge, which consists of recognizing Allah as the only true God to Whom worship must be dedicated, and denouncing all the other gods worshipped besides Allah as false, and that they can neither extend benefit nor cause harm.

2.Certainty, that the belief in Allah must be unblemished and without any doubt.

3.Acceptance: that is to accept all its conditions, meaning etc.

4.Submission: that is to fulfill its conditions submissively and willingly being content with Allah as the Rubb (only Lord) and Muhammad (saas), as His slave and last Prophet and Messenger.

5.Truthfulness: that is to fulfill its requirements truthfully.

6.Sincerity: that is to be sincere in worshipping Allah, dedicating all acts of worship to Him alone.7.The love of Allah, and the love of His Messenger Muhammad (saas), and the love of Allah´s devotees and the people of His obedience, which means love of all Muslims.

** See edit note above

The nine conditions of the shahadah are known as:

1 Knowledge 2 Certainty 3 Acceptance 4 Submission 5 Truth 6 Sincerity 7 Love 8 Denial 9 Adherence


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One Response to “Shahada – Testimony of Faith”

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I thought there were 9 conditions of the Shahada. Can you please confirm this by giving suitable references.

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