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The Shahadah Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

The Shahadah

The Shahadah is the Muslim profession of faith. It is the first of the five Pillars of the Islamic faith (Encyclopedia Britannica Online). Muslims bear witness to the oneness of God by reciting the phrase "there is no diety but Allah and Muhammad is his servant and messenger." This statement expresses a Muslim's absolute commitment to, and total acceptance of, the message of Islam. This statement of faith should be recited and declared publicly, and should be a genuine belief which includes all of the articles of faith. Reciting and accepting the Shahadah before two witnesses is all that is required of new members of the Islamic faith. The Shahadah is also included in the Adhan, or call to prayer, and is to be repeated during all everyday prayers. The Shahadah is generally always recited in Arabic, since Arabic is considered to be the "language of God." The words in Arabic are: "Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammadun rasulu'Llah." This can be interpreted as: "I bear witness that there is now god but Allah and Muhammad is His Apostle" (Shahadah, Declaration of Faith). A famous follower of Islam, Whab ibn Munabbih, was once asked, " Isn't the statement of faith the key to Paradise?" He answered, "Yes, but every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you." Basically, Munabbih was saying that it is true, only if the person meets the certain conditions of the Shahadah. In fact, Allah describes the hypocrites that say the Shahadah quite often as liars and also states that they will abide in the lowest abyss of Hell, or the Hell-fire. If one studies the Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet, he or she will learn that there are nine conditions of the Shahadah (Zarabozo). The first of the nine conditions is knowledge. One must have a general knowledge of what is meant by saying the Shahadah. They must completely understand what it is denying and affirming. As stated by Allah in the Quran, "So know that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for your sin" (Qur'an, al-Zukhruf 86). Also, Allah states, "It is those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah" (Qur'an, Fatir 28). Having a good understanding of the Shahadah will help one to make a correct Shahadah (Zarabozo). The second condition is certainty, or al-yaqeen. One must be absolutely certain of the truth of the Shahadah. Any kind of doubt is considered to be a disbelief. In the Quran, Allah describes the believers to be those who have belief in Him and then their hearts waver not (Zarabozo). Allah states, "The believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere" (Qur'an, al-Hujurat 15). Allah then goes to tell that the hypocrites are the people whose hearts are wavering. As stated by Allah, "They...

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