Importance of Shahadah: The understanding, belief and adoption of all the five pillars of Islam is the fundamental prerequisite for a Muslim. Whether born, converted or reverted, the five pillars are of paramount importance. These pillars dictate the Faith and actions of a Believer. These pillars are Profession of Faith (Shahadah), five times Prayer (Salat), Giving alms (Zakat), Fasting in the month of Ramadan (Sawm) and Pilgrimage (Hajj). Here we will throw light on the importance of Shahadah for Muslims in the world and hereafter.
What is the importance of Shahadah for the Muslims?
Shahada’s literal translation means to bear witness. Thus it is the declaration of Faith that “There is no god but God, and Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of God.” For a better understanding of the importance of Shahadah for Muslims, we will divide the Shahadah into two essential parts:
First part: Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illallaah: There is no God but Allah
Second part: Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the messenger of Allah.
Both parts complement each other and belief in them are necessary to be a Muslim. Muslims are encouraged to learn it by heart and frequently recite it to understand the meaning.
1 – Condition for a new Muslim
A person when converts/reverts to Islam, the foremost practice to enter the fold of Islam is to recite the Shahada. It’s not merely recitation but to say with complete conviction. Shahadah here is declared in front of witnesses. Shahadah is what divides a non-Believer ( Kafir) and a Believer (Muslim).
2 – Welcoming a Newborn Baby in the World
When a newborn Muslim baby is born, the Adhan is gently whispered in the baby’s ears. In most cultures, it is usually done by the family’s elders. However, any adult can make the Adhan. (Phrases of Adhan consist of Shahadah.)
3 – First Pillar of Islam
Amongst all the five pillars, Shahadah’s rank as the first indicates the importance for Muslims. All the other four pillars depend on mere Shahadah. For example, if one is fasting for all 30 days, but without the belief in both parts of the Shahadah, the act of worship will be futile.
4 – Highlighting Monotheism
For a practicing Muslim and anyone entering the fold of Islam, it is a constant reminder. The reminder that Allah Almighty though unseen has the ultimate sovereignty of all the worlds. Shahadah negates shirk in any form. Therefore, one should not prioritize anything else other than worshipping One Allah.
5 – Belief in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Messenger
Allah has sent many Prophets from time to time for various nations. It is part of the fundamental Islamic principle to believe in all the prophets. The Shahadah stresses belief in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet. Furthermore, it confirms him as the seal of Prophets.
Here are some manners & habits of Prophet Muhammad that we all need to incorporate in our lives.
6 – Part of Adhan and Five Daily Prayers
Shahadah is an essential part of the call to prayers (Adhan) as well as five daily prayers (Salah). During Tashahud (sitting position) in Salah, a Muslim recites it. Thus one gets to hear it through Adhan and say it in Salah. If you struggle with praying, you must go through these tips on getting in habit of praying regularly.
7 – Last Words of a Muslim
Muslims should recite Shahadah on the death bed. These should be the last words a Muslim says from their own mouth or hears through others (if one is not in a condition to do so). One should encourage the dying ones to recite Shahadah or repeat after them.
8 – The Best Form of Zikr
It’s the best and complete form of Zikr especially before and after prayers. Also, as part of morning and evening invocations, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us. Before going to sleep at night, too, it’s the best form of Zikr.
9 – Community Bonding
Shahadah gives a strong sense of group identity as one Muslim community to all Muslims worldwide. It provides an understanding of belonging. The sense that we all hold the same belief no matter what our colour, caste, or creed. Hence highlighting Muslim Ummah and unity.
10 – The First Question in the Grave will be About Shahadah
When a body is buried after death, two angels Munkar and Nahir, will probe the soul about Allah’s Messenger. To this, a true Believer will reply with the Kalma-e- Shahadah. That is, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) is His slave and Messenger. Thereafter, the angels will expand the grave to seventy-seven ziras (i.e. Cm) and illuminate the grave.
11 – Gate to Enter Paradise
The following Hadith indicates the importance of Shahadah for Muslims for entering Paradise.
12 – Tashahud
Shahadah is an important part of our daily prayers in the form of Tashahud. It is recited to declare the Oneness of Allah every single time to strengthen our belief.
Summary of other benefits of reciting Shahadah by Ibn Rajab, a famous Muslim Scholar are:
- If one says Shahadah before death, they will admit to Paradise
- It gives refuge from the torturous Hellfire
- Shahadah is a means through which Allah forgives a Muslim’s sins
- It is prioritized amongst the good deeds
- The importance of Shahadah for Muslims is a fact that all previous Prophets also recited Oneness of Allah
- Shahadah is the best form of celebrating Allah’s supremacy and praises.
- Shahadah being of paramount importance, also multiplies into many other good deeds.
- It Protects against Satan.
- To believe in it and often recite Shahadah protects from the punishment of the graves and also from the Day of Judgement.
- Eight doors of Jannah will be accessible to one who recites Shahadah. I would also recommend that you recite these duas to achieve paradise as much as possible in your daily routine.
Hence Shahadah is reciting the declaration of faith with utmost sincerity and dedication. Shahadah is compulsory for practicing all the other pillars of Islam. Shahadah is a golden word that is constantly repeated by a Muslim in his/her lifetime and acted upon. These Muslims, through their actions, will be witnesses to their faith. Think of the importance of Shahadah as one supporting all other pillars of Islam. The stronger our faith in Shahadah is, the more fruitful our other acts of worship will be.
Q. What is Shahadah in Islam?
In simple words, the shahadah is a testimony of an individual’s belief in Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). It is the first pillar of Islam which means that it’s the primary condition for an individual to be a Muslim.
Q. What is the full shahadah?
لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله (lā ʾilāha ʾillallāh, Muḥammad rasūlu-llāh) (in Arabic)
In English, this translates as: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.