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Friday, April 13, 2018

Testimony of Faith (Shahada)


Whenever we adopt a religion, we must undertake to abide by its very basics and make a testimony to this effect. Unless we make a testimony, we cannot be called a follower of that particular religion. Thus, like all religions, Islam also seeks its would be follower to undertake the testimony which we call faith or Shahada in Arabic.

Whenever anyone converts to Islam, he has to thus declare very clearly and take a oath that "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad (may peace be upon him) is His messenger.

The Arabic text written above is this very undertaking which reads: La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah (in Arabic).

By saying these words, one enters the religion of Islam and the Muslim community. And then he is to abide by the fact of oneness of almighty Allah, without attaching anything or anyone to Allah and acknowledging that none other than Muhammad (may peace be upon him) is his messenger.

We as Muslims thus do not equate with Allah and acknowledge the end of prophet hood with the demise of Muhammad (may peace be upon him). Anyone who willfully tries to revere anyone after Muhammad as a prophet denounces the very faith, shahada or the declaration one made when entering the religion of Islam.

While the oneness of Allah has been mentioned in many places in the Koran, Allah, the Almighty, has sent simple four verses in Sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ, the 112th surah of Koran in its 30th chapter, which describes Allah's absolute oneness and leave no doubt about His absoluteness:
Say, O' Prophet, "He is Allah, [who is] One
Allah, the Eternal Refuge
He neither begets nor is born
Nor is there to Him any equivalent
It may also be added here for information that once one enters the religion of Islam, he also acknowledges that all prophets before Muhammad (may peace be upon him) were prophets of Allah, like prophets Adam, Ibraheem (Abraham), Moses, David and Isac (may peace be upon them all), and that the three holy books given to prophets Dawood (David), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Isac) are the true holy books revealed on the chosen prophets of Allah.

Thus a Muslim must have:
  • Faith inAllah;
  • Faith in His angels;
  • Faith in His revealed Books;
  • Faith in all of His messengers or Prophets;
  • Faith in the Last Day or the Day of Judgment;
  • Faith in the doctrine of predestination, which lays down that everything good or bad is decided by Allah), (Taqdir) and
  • Faith in the life after death.
Unless a Muslim testifies the oneness of Allah, the omnipotent, and does not include anyone at His par, testifies that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his messenger and have faith in previous prophets and revealed books and that there is to be a day of judgment when those with good deeds will be rewarded and those who sinned and did not repent will be penalized, one can not call himself a Muslim. 

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