Is Orthodox Shahada Shirk=Polytheism?

Is Orthodox Shahada Shirk=Polytheism?

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


No it’s not! It has come to my attention from some Hadith-rejecters and say that we Muslims (Sunnah) are ‘committing shirk’ for testifying that ‘Muhammed (p) is a Messenger of God’. The correct Shahada (according to Hadith-rejecters) is below.

Surah 3:18 Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him, and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge – [that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

The way to say the Shahada,

“Lā ʾilāha ʾillā l-Lāh, Muḥammadur rasūlu l-Lāh” in English it means: “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

 Hadith-rejecters claim that we are ‘committing Idolatry (Shirk)’ for saying them words. Their claims are so ridiculous, they go as far as to say that we are ‘exactly like the Christian trinitarians’. They conclude, because we use the name of Muhammad (p) in the declaration of faith, we equal Muhammed (p) with God. It is clear from a number verses, that we have to believe in the Messenger (p) in order to become a believer.

Moreover, just because the name of Muhammed (p) is in the Shahada, it does not mean we as Muslims are making Muhammed (p) equal to God. Example: If I said, “A man and a dog were walking through the park”, am I showing equality between the two?

No! The subject now I will deal with is what is “Shirk” (sin of idolatry or polytheism, i.e. the deification or worship of anyone or anything other than the singular God, or more literally the establishment of “partners” placed beside God)? I will let the Quran explain clearly, what t “Shirk” means. 

(A) Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. [Quran 4: 48]

(B) Verily! Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away. [Quran 4:116]

(C) Say (O Muhammad): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” [Quran 3:64]

(D) Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is the Messiah [‘Îsa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah [‘Îsa (Jesus)] said: O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode . And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers. [Quran 5:72]

I believe there are enough verses here that explain what “ascribing partners” means. When you seek his help instead of Allah, when you are in need, you don’t pray to God, but instead to someone else. That is what “Shirk” means. Since these lying, deceiving cons have called us Muslims Mushriks (idol worshippers), I have a question, Can someone show me one proof, in any Authentic Hadith where we are commanded to worship Muhammed (p) instead of God?

Can anyone show me where we are told in any Authentic Hadith, to seek prophets Muhammed (p) help when we supplicate (prayer) instead of God? Here is a recommended article that should be read for those people who are not familiar with what “Shirk” means. Proof that prophet Muhammed (p) name has to be said in the Shahada.

Just because the name of Muhammed (p) is not in 3:18 it does not mean that it is not said somewhere else in the Quran, we don’t need word for word. The following verses proof that Muhammed (p) has to be said in the Shahada.

(A) Allah says: Only those are the believers who have believed in Allaah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allaah. Those! They are the truthful” [Quran 49:15]

(B) Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend of that whereof He hath 
made you trustees; and such of you as believe and spend (aright), theirs will 
be a great reward. [Quran 57:7]

(C) O ye that believe! fear Allah and believe in His apostle and He will 
bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a light by 
which ye shall walk (straight in your path) and He will forgive you (your 
past): For Allah is Oft-Forgiving. Most Merciful. [Quran 57:28]

(D) Ye should believe in Allah and His messenger, and should strive for 
the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if 
ye did but know. [Quran 61:11]

(E) So believe in Allah and His messenger and the light which We have 
revealed. And Allah is Aware of what ye do. [Quran 64:8]

(D) Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah… [Quran 48:29]

(E) When the hypocrites come to you, [O Muhammad], they say, “We testify that you are the Messenger of Allah.” And Allah knows that you are His Messenger, and Allah testifies that the hypocrites are liars.They have taken their oaths as a cover, so they averted [people] from the way of Allah . Indeed, it was evil that they were doing. That is because they believed, and then they disbelieved; so their hearts were sealed over, and they do not understand. [Quran 63:1-3]

What I want know is why Allah is saying, “they have taken their oaths as a cover (Junnatan)?” What does Allah mean by, “they have taken their oaths as cover”? Are they hiding something? Let’s take a closer a look at the Arabic word “junnatan” (cover), to get the full meaning what Allah means here. Edward Lane,

junnatan Edward lane Lexicon


As read, Edward Lane explains that the word means, they were hiding, concealing something in their hearts.  According to the following commentators they inwardly didn’t believe in the Messenger. Below is Commentary on chapter 63: verses 1-3 of the Quran by Muslim and Non-Muslims scholars.

E. M. Wherry says:

“These verse allude to the hypocritical and secretly disaffected inhabitants of Madina”[2]

Tafsir al-Jalalayn:

When the hypocrites come to you they say, with their tongues, in contradiction of what is in their hearts: ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of God.’ And God knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and God bears witness, He knows, that the hypocrites truly are liars, in what they conceal, that which is contrary to what they say.

Ibn Katheer:

(When the hypocrites come to you, they say: “We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.”) meaning, `when the hypocrites come to you, they announce this statement and pretend to believe in it.’ Allah informs that there is no substance to their statement, and this is why He said, (Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger,) then said, (And Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.) meaning, their claims, even though it is true about the Prophet.

But they did not believe inwardly in what they declared outwardly, and this is why Allah declared their falsehood about their creed. Allah’s statement, (They have made their oaths a screen. Thus they hinder (others) from the path of Allah.) meaning, the hypocrites shield themselves from Muslims when they falsely and sinfully swear to be what they are not in reality. [3]

The above verse (63:1-3) is very clear. This shows and proves that people at the time of Prophet Muhammed (p) used to testify that Muhammed (p) was the Messenger of Allah, but Allah rebukes them for lying deep inside. In their hearts they didn’t believe in Muhammed (p). Another thing I would like to bring to attention, Allah didn’t rebuke them for TESTIFYING that he is a Messenger of Allah, but rebuking them what they concealed in their hearts, in other words they were liars, they didn’t believe in the Messenger.

I have seen some Hadith-rejecters use 63:1 against Orthodox Muslims and saying that it is aimed at us for saying Muhammed (p) in the declaration of faith, and they conclude that Allah is calling us (Muslims)  the hypocrites. They are bunch of liars. If any of them who accuse us Muslims of such, had any intellect, they would know from this verse (especially Q 63:1-2), they are in no way aimed Orthodox Muslims.

Actually, this gives proof without shadow of a doubt, that people who wanted to become Muslim, said Muhammed’s (p) name in the declaration of faith (Shahada).  The commentators make it even more clear that the hypocrites in reality were not Muslim, they were fake. What they said outwardly, was in fact not true, what they concealed in their hearts. Quran 48:28-29 is another passage that proves that Muhammed (p) is said in the Shahada.

Even if some Hadith-rejecters are still not satisfied. Well explain to me why Allah said, “They have taken their oaths as a cover (Junnatan)?” If Allah is rebuking the Muslims, then why did Allah not say, “why are you people uttering Muhammed in the declaration of faith?”

Why is it Allah rebuking them and saying “they have taken their OATHS as COVER (Junnatan)?”  I want some answers from you Hadith-rejecters. I will conclude from this section: All the evidence I showed, supports my argument very strongly that Muhammed (pbuh) name was said in the declaration of faith in his time. 

This last section is to do with, “Abu Huraira getting struck by Umar for saying the Shahada, adding the name of Muhammed (pbuh) in it”, this is according to  hadith-rejecters. I will show the exact evidence what really happened. This is the quote from one website.

“The Shahadah testimony that is recited by the Sunnis originates from a fictional character by the name of Abu Hurairah and is recorded in the fake ‘hadith’. The hadith given below is from “Mishkat-ul-Masabih”, translation by Maulana Fazlul Karim, Volume 1, Chapter 1, no.27. (Published by the Book House, Lahore, Pakistan). As there are many versions of this hadith, the collections of Tirmidzi should also be read.

The fake hadith regarding the Shahadah says: One day Abu Hurairah went to the people and told them that the Messenger had authorized him to go and tell them to recite the Shahadah “ash hadu anlaa ilaha illallhu wa ash hadu anna muhammadar-rasulullah”. Another version reads ” muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu”.

The first person Abu Hurairah came across to give the Shahadah was Saidina Omar (later the second caliph). When Omar heard it he promptly punched Abu Hurairah in the chest and knocked him to the ground. Then Omar put his foot on Abu Hurairah’s neck and asked him how dare he utter such a blasphemy.”

Let’s see what really happened and get a better understanding of this. Let’s read,

Abu Hurairah: We were sitting around the prophet, and Abu Bakr and Omar were in company, when the prophet rose up from our midst and went out, and delayed his return: and we feared his being alone, and became anxious lest any harm should happen to him from  his enemies.

So we all got up and being the first to show anxiety, I came out to look for him, till I reached the garden wall of an Ansari of the tribe of Bani Najjar. I walked round the wall hoping to find an entrance, but did not find any, when at last I saw a drain leading into the garden from a well outside. I made myself small and entered and waited upon the prophet. He said “is it Abu Huraira?” I said, “Yes, O apostle of Allah.”  
He said “How have you come?” 

I said, “You were amongst us, when you stood up and walked away, and delayed returning: at which we were alarmed lest any accident should happen to you while  you were away from us, and we grew anxious, I being the first to do so. So I came to this garden and contracted myself like a fox entering his hole, and the rest are following me,”

The prophet said “ Take these my shoes, and whoever meets you behind this garden-wall and bears witness that there is no god but Allah, believing in it from his heart give him the glad tidings of paradise.” The first person I met was Omar who said, “What shoes are these, O Abu Huraira?”

I said, “These are the shoes of the prophet who has sent them by me in order that whomsoever I meet and he bears witness with sincere heart that there is no god but Allah, I should give him the joyful news of paradise.” Upon which Omar struck me on the breast, so that I fell down on my back and said, “Go back.” I went back to the prophet and sought his protection with tears, while Omar followed close after.

The prophet said, “What is the matter with you, O Abu Huraira?” I said, I met Umar and gave him your message , whereupon he struck me on the breast, so that I fell down on my back, and told me to go back.The prophet then said, “What made you do it, O Omar?”

Omar replied, O apostle of Allah, may my father and mother be thy sacrifice! Didst thou send Abu Huraira with thy shoes with the MESSAGE that he should give assurance of paradise to anyone he meets, who bears witness from his heart that there is no god but Allah?”

The prophet said “Yes.” Omar said “Do not do so, for I am afraid that people rest content with this alone and abandon the active pursuit of righteousness. Therefore leave them alone, so that they may follow practical injunctions of religion.”  Thereupon the prophet said “Leave them to it then.” [4]

 The above Hadith is from “Mishkat Masabih”, in the same page it says the following, “The inordinate length of the tradition and the petty details such as their anxiety and alarm with any apparent cause, not finding a way into the garden except through a drain, the sending of shoes for no apparent reason and the thrust of Omar, cast doubt on this report.”

As you have read, Omar, never struck Abu Huraira because he added the name of Prophet Muhammed (p) in the Shahada, he struck him because people would just be content with that alone and stop praying or doing any righteous deed. There is doubt if the Hadith is authentic.

Related Article:

(1) – This article below shows an inscriptions which is dated to the year 697 – 698 where the Shahada is mentioned. This is literally just over 60 years after the Prophet’s demise: “An Inscription Mentioning The Rebuilding Of Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām, 78 AH / 697-698 CE”


[1] Edward Lane Lexicon Volume 2. page 403
[2] E.M. Wherry Volume 4, page 148
[4] Mishkat Masabih translated by A.N Mathew volume 1 number 28 and 29