The Testimony of Faith (Shahada)

The core of the faith is the "Shahada" (Testimony of Faith). This very first pillar of Islam is stated clearly in the Quran exactly as it was revealed to the recipients of previous Scriptures. The Testimony of faith in the Torah (Old Testament) reads:

"Hear, O' Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One" Deuteronomy 6:4-5

The same Testimony is confirmed in the New Testament in the words of Jesus (Mark 12:29).

The Testimony authorised by God in the Quran affirms the same truth:

God bears witness that there is no god but He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. 3:18

The correct Testimony in all the Scriptures does not contain any name other than the name of God.

First

First and foremost, the only Testimony authorised by God in the Quran is the one in 3:18.

The words "there is no god but He (God)", are the exact words which God Himself utters, also the angels and those who possess knowledge.

The majority of Muslims today are not satisfied with the Shahada given in 3:18 so they add to it the words: "and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger".

To add any words or names to a Testimony authorised by God is in fact to imply that the Testimony given to us by God in the Quran is incomplete! Or that God forgot the second half of the Testimony! Needless to say, God is not forgetful nor does God make mistakes!

We are commanded clearly in the Quran to follow the Quran and nothing else (see: Quran Alone). As a result, all those who utter the Shahada which includes the name of the Prophet Muhammad are violating the Quranic law.

Second

Many people are oblivious of the fact that the utterance of the Shahada is indeed an act of worship and not just a statement of fact. Due to this, they say, "We are merely saying that Muhammad is a messenger of God, how can that be wrong when it is a fact?" The answer is that Muhammad is indeed a messenger of God, so the information is not incorrect, however, adding a name to the only authorised Shahada in the Quran results in the following:

1- It is in violation of the rule in 6:162 where we are instructed to dedicate all our worship practices to God alone, and the utterance of the Shahada is an act of worhip:

Say, "My Salat, my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted to God, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This is what I was commanded with, and I am the first to submit. 6:162-163

The same instruction is affirmed in 18:110:

Say, "I am no more than a human like you, and it has been inspired to me that your god is but One God. So whoever longs to meet his Lord shall do good deeds and never associate anyone in the worship of his Lord." 18:110

2
- It constitutes a rejection of the Shahada which God gave us (3:18) and implies that what God gave us is incomplete!

3- It constitutes a failure in the glorious test given in 39:45:

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

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God's Greatness is far beyond human understanding, so much so that we are not to associate anything or anybody with the name of God.

You shall worship God and do not associate anything with Him. 4:36

Note the words in 4:36: "do not associate anything"

and in 18:110 we have the words: "never associate anyone"

These words are very clear, they emphasise that we should never place the name of anything nor anybody next to the name of God when we are observing any of the acts of worship (6:162).

Also in the following verse we are told to dedicate all our religion (Shahada, Salat, Hajj …etc) to God alone:

We have brought down to you the Book truthfully, so worship God devoting the religion purely to Him. Absolutely, it is to God that the pure religion is due. Those who take up allies besides Him: "We idolise them so that they may bring us closer to God." God will judge among them regarding that in which they dispute. God does not guide the one who is a liar, a disbeliever. 39:2-3

We note that the message of devoting all the religion to God alone is repeated twice. It is also interesting that all those who praise the name of Prophet Muhammad day and night, they say that they do this because God loves Muhammad so much and therefore this will bring them closer to God! Sadly, by doing so, they demonstrate how they are among those spoken of in the following Quranic words:

Those who set up allies beside Him, "We idolize them so that they may bring us closer to God"! 39:3

In reply to this claim, God says:

God does not guide the one who is a liar, a disbeliever. 39:3

Third

According to the Quranic definition of 2:285, the concept of Al-Iman (Belief/Faith) comprises belief in the following:

1- God

2- The Angels

3- The Scripture

4- The messengers

Belief in all four is required in order to qualify a person to be a believer. However there is no testimony required from the believers except for God. No Shahada is required from us to testify that we believe in the angels, or the scripture or the messengers. The only Shahada we are required to utter is for God.

There are those who try to justify their inclusion of the name of Prophet Muhammad in their Testimony by saying that when Prophet Muhammad was sent with the Quran, the Jews and Christians rejected him as a true messenger of God, and thus they testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God to proclaim their acceptance of him, as opposed to the Jews and Christians who rejected him.

This argument is clearly flawed. It is true that the Jews and Christians reject the Prophet Muhammad, but they also reject the Quran as being the true word of God. Hence, if the Muslims who utter a Shahada for Prophet Muhammad are sincere in merely wanting to proclaim their belief in what the Jews and Christians have rejected, then they should (by the same logic and motives) utter an additional testimony to say:

"There is no god but God and the Quran is the word of God", but do they?

Why aren't any of these Muslims uttering such a testimony to declare their acceptance of the Quran which the Jews and Christians rejected? In reality, their disguised motive is one of idolising Muhammad above all other messengers and placing his name alongside God's name in everything.

Fourth

The fourth reason why the correct Testimony must contain the name of God and no one else is the fact that we are commanded in the Quran not to make any distinction between any of God's messengers:

The messenger has believed in what was brought down to him from his Lord, and so do the believers. They all believe in God, His angels, His Scripture and His messengers: "We do not distinguish between any of His messengers," and they said, "We hear and we obey. Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny. 2:285

Muhammad is indeed the messenger of God , but so are Abraham, Moses, Jesus, David and all the others. We should not make special preference for Muhammad, otherwise we violate the rule in 2:285. We are also told that Muhammad is only God's servant and he is not any different from any of the other messengers of God.

Say, "I am not any different from other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I follow nothing other than what is revealed to me. I am no more than a clear warner. 46:9

Sadly, in total comtempt to God's instruction, Muslims today insist on making Muhammad greater than all the other messengers of God and call on him with a number of preferential titles such as:

- "Sayeduna Muhammad" (Our Lord Muhammad)

- "Sayed Al Khalq" (the Lord of all creation)

- "Ashraf Al- Mursaleen" (the Most honourable of all the messengers)

- "habib Allah" (God's sweetheart!), and other preferential title

In their blind idolising of Muhammad they have rejected God's words in the Quran, such as:

Say, "I am not any different from other messengers.

It is indeed interesting how God places words in the Quran! The words above which confirm that Muhammad was only human like anyone else are followed in the same verse (18:110) by the words: "never associate any one in the worship of his Lord."

In addition, if the ones who utter a Shahada for Muhammad say they do so in order to testify to his messengership, why do they never say:

"There is no god but Allah and Moses is His messenger"?

Moses was also a messenger of God among many others, why do they not testify to any of the other messengers?

A little advice here to the reader: For your own safety, never go into a Masjid and make a testimony for any other messenger, even though the words you would utter constitute a genuine statement of fact.

Fifth

The Quran speaks of another testimony. This other testimony is only spoken by the hypocrites:

If the hypocrites come to you and 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

From this verse we note a very significant observation. This observation becomes clear when we examine three important verbs in the verse:

1- The hypocrites saying "we bear witness that you are the messenger of God"

2- "God knows that you are His messenger"

3- "God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars"

We note that the verse starts with the words "bear witness" and ends with the same words, so why does God use the word "knows" when God speaks about Muhammad being a messenger? Why did God not say (God bears witness that you are His messenger)? Since nothing in the Quran is a coincidence, we must indeed be alerted to God's deliberate choice of the word "knows".

It is clear that God is telling us that the Testimony He authorised for us does not include a testimony for Muhammad. Surely if God had said (God bears witness that you are His messenger) then this would have constituted a lawful testimony which we too must utter.

The fact that God declines from saying "bear witness that you are His messenger" and instead says "God knows that you are His messenger" confirms that the only lawful Testimony authorised by God is for the name of God alone (3:18), and that all other testimonies are false.

Sixth

We are given in the Quran a great criterion for distinguishing the sincere believers from those who insist on idolising humans. In 39:45, we are told that those who do not believe will not be able to proclaim God's name on His own, they must include the name of their idol/s in order to be satisfied:

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

The Testimony is one such criteria where true believers are tested in the purity of their faith. The true believers will have no problem uttering the correct Testimony which is given in the Quran (3:18) and which has no name other than the name of God. On the other hand, the ones who have set up idols besides God will never be satisfied with the Quranic Testimony on its own. They will not be able to utter the Quranic Shahada without adding a further testimony for Muhammad.