by Siraj Islam
This article was originally published on the Lamp of Islam blog, and it is a collection of 22 deep investigations into the shahadah (Testimony of Faith). Click on the title of each reason to read the detailed study on the respective areas.
Here are 22 SERIOUS REASONS shahada should contain no name except God’s:
While human idols are a root cause of all conflicts and divisions – the true shahada, devoted to one God alone, helps all humanity to unify under the banner of their one Creator.
The awareness of God’s oneness is depicted in the Quran as a testimony that ‘There is no god but God’, which, by definition, cannot have any name in it except God’s.
God has never authorized names of ‘others’ to be associated with His name. And so God was not unmindful when He persistently excluded all others’ names from shahada.
Since the whole system of Islam is for God alone, and because shahada, or witnessing the Oneness, is the core of Islam, it also should be devoted to God alone.
In the extended shahada, a dead human is constantly named and remembered along with the ever-living God as God’s human counterpart.
Accepting all messengers as equal without making any distinction is one of the fundamentals of Islam. We should never favour one messenger over another.
We are asked not to bear witness about Muhammad or any other messenger. God is enough as a witness about them.
The only instance in the Quran where Muhammad appears in ‘shahada’ is, ironically, a speech uttered by the hypocrites. The Quran relates this additional testimony to hypocrisy.
The Quran describes associating ‘others’ with God, such as adding Muhammad to the shahada, as rejection, i.e., a deviation from the acknowledgement of God’s absolute oneness.
By associating Muhammad with God in shahada, Muhammadans somehow perceive God + Muhammad as two reciprocal halves of a divine pair and so violate the holistic awareness about God.
Quran 39:45 presents as a CRITERION for distinguishing true Muslims from idolaters as it identifies the mentioning of ‘OTHERS’ alongside God as a sign of idolatry.
Associating other authorities with God creates a polytheistic splitting of thoughts. This disjointed mindset or shirk is the toxic root of all evil acts and so the gravest offense in Islam.
The traditional understanding that the so-called full shahada is a requirement to be or become a Muslim, seriously contradicts the central messages of the Quran.
Extended shahada is not essential for salvation. Rather, as an act of potential association with God, it may itself become a serious obstacle to salvation.
Islam is peace-seeking through a continuous journeying along the path of knowledge and justice. Its faith system is not centred on the highlighting or glorification of a human.
Associating Muhammad with God in shahada, a deviation from original Islam, was something that the Quran recurrently presaged and warned against.
The extended shahada, with ongoing repetitions, turns Muhammad the human into a divine associate and so into a second author in divine legislation.
The extended shahada, not found in the Quran, has its sole basis only in baseless hadiths, or lahwaal hadeeth (31:6), as the Quran calls them.
We need to decide whether we should accept the Quranic shahada of one God or the extended shahada/s of contradictory hadiths that set up idols besides God.
The Quran doesn’t authorize any name in shahada except God’s. Then the extended shahada evolved as a violation to this monotheistic concept.
Muhammad’s name, and so the sectarian shahada, did not appear in any of these physical records any earlier than the time of 5th Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik.
Dated Muslim texts and coins from the earlier Islamic decades expose the devolution of the original shahada of Unity into the present-day shahadatan of Duality.