The Shahadah: The First Pillar of Islam in The Glorious Qur’an
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
What is the Shahada?
The Shahada (shahadah) is the Arabic term for the declaration of faith in one God (Allah) and His messenger.
What does the Shahada mean?
Transliteration: “Ashadu an la ilaha illa illa-ilah, wa ashadu anna muhammadan rasul ullah.”
Translation: “There is no God but God (Allah – i.e. there is none worthy of worship but Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
It is the most sacred statement in Islam, and must be recited with full understanding and mindfulness of it’s meaning.
Why is the Shahada important?
The belief in one Allah is the central tenet of the Islamic faith, around which all else revolves. Muslims are continuously reminded of this foundational belief, in the recital of the Shahada (shahadah) during each of the five daily prayers, as well as many more pivotal moments of a Muslim’s life.
The second part of the Shahada requires Muslims to acknowledge and testify to the belief in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as Allah’s messenger. This serves as a reminder to Muslims of the importance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but also as a reminder to never associate partners with Allah, for He is just a messenger, and Allah remains one God alone.
Facts about the Shahada
- The Shahadah is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a sacred testament given for Muslims to uphold throughout their lifetime and embody in all of their actions and intentions.
- The Shahadah is recited in the Athan (call to prayer).
- Muslims recite the Shahadah once or twice in their Salah, which they are obliged to do during five different times of the day.
- When someone wishes to convert to Islam as their religion, reciting the Shahadah marks their entrance into Islam and their life as a Muslim.
- The Shahadah is spoken as the first words a Muslim baby hears upon entering the world, and Muslims strive for the Shahadah to be their last words upon their death.
What is The First Pillar of Islam?
The first pillar of Islam is the “The Shahadah”, also spelled “The Shahada”. It comes from the Arabic word “الشَهَادة” which means “The Testimony”, the testimony that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah (SWT) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (Exalted He).
Reciting “The Shahadah”, “The Profession of Faith” is the first required action to get into Islam, the initial submission to Islam. The statement of Shahadah should be recited in Arabic with sincere belief & true feeling to become a Muslim.
It’s consists of 2 parts that represent the main beliefs of Islam:
- The first part of Shahada states that there is no god but Allah (Exalted He) which means that no other being has the right to be worshiped and that Allah almighty has neither partner nor son.
- The second part of the Shahada witnesses that our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet & messenger sent by Allah (Exalted He).
The Shahadah Statement
The Shahada statement should be recited out loud with sincere belief from the bottom of the heart. It’s preferred to be recited in Arabic but because “Islam is the religion of ease”, non-Arabic speaking may recite it in their native language.
How to Recite The Shahadah Statement?
اشهد ان لا اله الا الله واشهد ان محمد رسول اللهThe Shahadah statement in Arabic
Ash-hadu An lā ʾilāha ʾillā-Allāh wa Ash-hadu An muḥammadun rasūlu-AllāhThe Shahadah statement in Arabic (English Spelling)
“I testify that there is no god but Allah (Exalted He), and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (Exalted He)”The Shahadah statement translated into English
Shahada Step By Step Lesson (How To Covert To Islam)
Why is “Shahadah” The Most Important Pillar of Islam?
For Muslims,The Shahadah: The First Pillar of Islam because understanding and accepting it means that one understands and accepts the essence of the entire faith. Actually, true belief in the content of the Shahada is the foremost distinguishing characteristic that defines a Muslim as a Muslim.
All it needs to convert to Islam is a single sincere public recitation of the Shahadah in its original Arabic.
What Does The Quran Say About Shahada?
For those who learn Quran you might notice that the complete Shahadah wasn’t clearly mentioned in the Quran. Rather, each part of the Shahada was individually affirmed in certain verses of the Quran.
Here are some verses from the Quran where the Shahadah or its meaning was mentioned…
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 Holy Quran [3:18]
Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.”The Holy Quran [18:110]
Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One,The Holy Quran [112:1]
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.The Holy Quran [63:1]
Allah knows Best.
Credit: Qur’an Ayat Institute