When evidence ceases to be a factor in decision making!
By: A. Muhammad


The Shahada (Testimony of Faith) that all believers are required to say is a testimony for God, that He is the only God. This has been the same testimony in all Scriptures.
The Quran, described by God as a fully detailed Book (6:114), proclaims the only Shahada authorised by God:

God bears witness that there is no god except Him, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge, upholding justice. There is no god except Him, the Dignified, the Wise.

The words in this glorious verse tell us that God Himself bears witness to this Shahada. The angels and those who possess knowledge do the same.
This Quranic Shahada, approved and witnessed by God, contains no name other than the name of God. No other Shahada is authorised by God in the Quran.

As for the Shahada for prophet Muhammad that he is the messenger of God, this does not have authorisation in the Quran. In fact, the only people mentioned in the Quran to utter the Shahada for Muhammad are the hypocrites:

the hypocrites come to you, they say, "We bear witness that you are the messenger of God." God knows that you are His messenger and God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars. 63:1

Following from the above, a number of inquiries emerge:

Is the Quranic Shahada authorised by God in 3:18 sufficient and acceptable as the correct Shahada for believers to utter?

Should the believers utter the Shahada in 3:18, as it is in the Quran, without any additions, and thus be among those whom God described as "those who possess knowledge"? Or should they also utter the Shahada for prophet Muhammad, bearing in mind that the hypocrites are the only ones mentioned in the Quran to utter that Shahada (63:1)?

Should any person who confesses his belief in the Quran add to the Shahada in 3:18, how can he justify the Quranic assurances that the Quran is fully detailed (6:114), and that nothing has been left out of the Book (6:38)?

4- Is
God, the angels and those who possess knowledge all uttering an incomplete Shahada?


If for any reason the authorised Quranic Shahada in 3:18 is not sufficient for any person, he must then ask himself:

1- Does he not consider the Quran to be sufficient on its own as a source of religion and guidance?

2- Does he believe that various details are not given in the Quran despite God's assurances (below) to the contrary?
- The Quran is "fully detailed" (6:114)
- "We did not leave anything out of the Book" (6:38)
- "We brought the Book down to you providing explanations for all things" (16:89)
- The Quran provides "a detailed account of all things" (12:111).

3- Does he believe that without the hadith the religion is incomplete, despite God's assurance that the religion is complete in the Quran (5:3 and 6:115).

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then (for his benefit) the following hadith are presented:

Hadith 1
Mughira b. Shu'ba wrote to Mu'awiya:
When the Messenger of Allah () finished the prayer and pronounced salutation he uttered (this supplication): "There is no god but Allah. He is alone, who has no partner. To Him belongs the sovereignty and to Him praise is due and He is Potent over every thing. O Allah! no one can withhold what Thou gives, or give what Thou withholds, and the riches cannot avail a wealthy person with Thee."

Reference : Sahih Muslim 593 a
In-book reference : Book 5, Hadith 175
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 4, Hadith 1230

Hadith 2
Narrated Mu’adh bin Jabal:
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: If anyone's last words are, "there is no god but Allah" he will enter Paradise.

Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 3116
In-book reference : Book 21, Hadith 28
English translation : Book 20, Hadith 3110

Hadith 3
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger () as saying:
Urge those of you who are dying to recite, "there is no god but Allah".

Reference : Sahih Muslim 916 a
In-book reference : Book 11, Hadith 1
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 4, Hadith 1996

Hadith 4
It is reported on the authority of Ta'us that a man said to 'Abdullah son of 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Why don't you carry out a military expedition? Upon which he replied:
I heard the messenger of Allah () say: Verily, al-Islam is founded on five (pillars): testifying the fact that there is no god but Allah, establishment of prayer, payment of Zakat, fast of Ramadan and Pilgrimage to the House.

Reference : Sahih Muslim 16 d
In-book reference : Book 1, Hadith 22
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 1, Hadith 21

Hadith 5
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Malik:
I heard the Messenger of Allah () say: He who professed that there is no god but Allah and made a denial of everything which the people worship besides Allah, his property and blood became inviolable, and their affairs rest with Allah.

Reference : Sahih Muslim 23 a
In-book reference : Book 1, Hadith 37
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 1, Hadith 34

Hadith 6
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah said to his uncle at the time of his death:
Make a profession of it that there is no god but Allah and I will bear testimony (of your being a Muslim) on the Day of judgment. But he (Abu Talib) refused to do so.

Reference : Sahih Muslim 25 a
In-book reference : Book 1, Hadith 41
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 1, Hadith 37


The above are samples of numerous hadith that all proclaim the correct shahada as stated in the Quran. What is important from the above hadith is that they state that the utterance of the Quranic shahada in
3:18, without any additions, is sufficient to admit a person to Paradise.
Naturally we will also find other hadith that include the second shahada, however they do not cancel out the significance of the hadith above which once again is:
It is sufficient to utter the Quranic shahada in 3:18, which has the name of God alone, and without adding any words to it, in order to enter Paradise.

: Quoting the above hadith is not to be regarded as an endorsement of hadith as a lawful source of religious jurisprudence. This section is only added for those who do not accept the Quranic verdict to be conclusive or sufficient on its own, and they consider Islam to be incomplete without hadith.


If the reader does not regard the Quranic evidence to be conclusive, nor does he care much for hadith, then the following visual concrete evidence may hopefully give this matter the attention it deserves.

The evidence presented here is related to ancient coins dating back to the time of the prophet and the years that followed.
The dating and attribution of ancient coins is now performed with a great deal of accuracy. Such factors as surface oxidation and the study of impurities in the metal, are among the methods carried out in determining the age of ancient coins with a great deal of accuracy.
To follow are 4 coins that shed important light on the subject of the Shahada.

Coin number 1

This coin is traced back to the early years of the revelation of the Quran. The words on the coin say:
La ilah ila Allah wahdahu (There is no god except Allah, alone).

Coin number 2

This coin is also a very early coin dated back to the same period of the early years of the revelation. The words on this coin say:
La ilah ila Allah, wahdahu la shareek lahu (There is no god except Allah, alone, He has no partners).
We note that there are no dots above or below letters, the like of which we see with Arabic letters written nowdays. In those early days the Arabic alphabet did not have any dots, these were added at a later date.

Coin number 3

This coin, dated around 80 to 100 years after the death of the prophet, has the same words in the centre as coin 2. However, we see words added on the perimeter of the coin and among them are the words:
Muhammad rasool Allah (Muhammad the messenger of God).
Two observations are worth noting:

1- The names of God and Muhammad were not yet joined in the same sentence or space, but are written separately and on different parts of the coin.
2- The words about Muhammad do not contain a Shahada, as the one recited currently, but the words only say: Muhammad the messenger of God.

Coin number 4:

This modern coin, minted in the 21st century combines the names of God and Muhammad in one statement, and is a Shahada for both God and Muhammad.

The progress seen from the above coins is quite remarkable, the significance of which cannot be ignored. These coins present visual and verified evidence that the correct Quranic Shahada was the one uttered during the life of the prophet. They also confirm that the additions to the Quranic Shahada (3:18) started gradually after the death of the prophet, culminating in the 2 Shahada version we hear uttered by Muslims in our day and age.

For the benefit of the reader

The research above comprised three parts:
1- The authorised Quranic Shahada
2- The verdict of the hadith narrations
3- Archaeological evidence

As a reader, was the authorised Quranic Shahada in 3:18 sufficient to settle this matter for you? Has the fact that "those who possess knowledge" utter the Shahada in 3:18 urge you to want to be among "those who posses knowledge", whom God is pleased with?
Has the fact that the only group of people mentioned in the Quran to utter the Shahada for the prophet are the hypocrites (63:1) deter you from uttering the Shahada uttered by the hypocrites?

If you do not consider the authorised Shahada in 3:18 to be sufficient and you needed the verdict of the hadith, were you satisfied that if you utter the Shahada in the above hadith, which is a Shahada for God alone, that you would be admitted to Paradise (as the hadith states)? Do you wish to go to a different place than Paradise?

If you are still unconvinced that the Quranic Shahada in 3:18, which has the name of God alone, and which is repeated in the hadith narrations, is the complete Shahada, have the age-verified coins above asserted you that during the life time of the prophet, the Shahada on these coins was the Shahada uttered by the prophet and the believers?

If after viewing the 3 categories above, the reader decides to continue to recite a second Shahada for the prophet, then a different diagnosis emerges to explain such decision.
When no amount of evidence succeeds in convincing a person, then it can be said that the decision of such a person was not based on evidence in any shape or form. That is the time when evidence ceases to be a factor in the process of decision making!

In such a case, other motives occupy the driving seat. Ultimately, those motives cancel out the role of evidence as the main player in the process of decision making.
A number of Quranic verses shed light on the heart of this matter. The glorious Quranic words below shed light on the true motives of such people who do away with all evidence.
The verses below speak about people who are not satisfied with the mention of God alone, and others for whom God is not sufficient on His own, and others who love mortals as the love of God:

When God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with aversion, but when others are mentioned besides Him, they rejoice. 39:45

Is God not sufficient for His servant? They frighten you with those other than Him. Whomever God sends astray, he will have no guide. 39:36

Among the people are those who take other than God as His equals; loving them as the love of God. But those who believe have much greater love for God.

It is indeed a good idea to heed the message of the verses above. In the process, it is necessary to do some soul-searching.
Do you belong with any of the people spoken of in any of the 3 verses above?