Islamic Shahada: The Invincible Shahada

Islamic Shahada: The Invincible Shahada

Refutation to an Evangandist on the Islamic Shahada

 

Question Mark

This paper is yet another refutation to Sam Shamoun for his poor polemics on the issue of Islamic Shahada. Shamoun supports the claim and argues that either the Shahada should not include the testimonial of Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood or it should expand to include various other testimonials pertaining to different other articles of faith. We would comprehensively refute all of Shamoun’s shoddy arguments in detail in the passages to follow.

To take off, Shamoun plagiarized his arguments from his “Submitter” well-wishers. Shamoun wrote and cited the following:

“These groups contend that there isn’t a single passage in the Quran requiring Muslims to utter this statement of faith. They insist that the Quran defines the true Shahadah as being nothing more than a declaration of Allah’s unity. They even accuse those Muslims who uphold this pillar of committing idolatry:

This is the true shahada of God, the angels and those who possess knowledge. See 3:18

Many Muslims insist on adding Muhammed’s name to the shahada, defying God and the idea of keeping the religion absolutely to GOD ALONE. No where in the Quran can we find Muhammed’s name added to the name of God in the shahada. The statement, “Muhammed Rasoul Allah” is a statement of fact and should not be confused with the statement of shahada that we bearwitness [sic].

The first pillar of Islam, (Shahada) is the same first commandment given to Moses , and it has to be the same commandment given to all the prophets and messengers.

“I, the Lord, am your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not
have any other gods beside me. …..” Deuteronomy 5:6

“We did not send any messenger before you (O Muhammed) except with the inspiration : “There is no god except Me; you shall worship Me ALONE.” 21 :25

The Islamic Shahada ( that equals the first commandment) is mentioned in 3:18

“God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and THOSE WHO POSSESS KNOWLEDGE. Truthfully and equitably, He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most wise.” 3:18   (Source)”

Notice what Shamoun writes at the very first sentence. He says that according to submitters, “there isn’t a single passage in the Quran requiring Muslims to utter this statement of faith.” (Italics emphasize ours). At this junction we would like to emphasize on the fact that Islamic source is not restricted to Qur’an only – it also includes the Hadith literature. What is starker is that Shamoun is well aware of this fact!

“Sunni Muslims will insist that the true followers of Islam do not follow the Quran alone, but also observe the Sunnah of Muhammad.” (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Yet to the chagrin of Shamoun we find him citing statements such as:

No where in the Quran can we find Muhammed’s name added to the name of God in the shahada.” (Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

“These exegisists refuse to accept the clear injunctions of the Quran and insist on reiterating their corrupted confession of faith and associating the name of Muhammad with that of God.” (Bold, Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

And,

“In fact, based EXCLUSIVELY on the Quran, the confession of faith as expounded by the exegisists leads to perdition, if only they knew.” (Bold, Underline, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

“Ibliss has so adorned their idolatry in their eyes that they are absolutely convinced of the rightness of their ways in spite of the Quran.”

Furthermore,

“We have presented evidence, based EXCLUSIVELY on the Quran, beyond reasonable doubt,” (Bold, Underline, Capital and Italics emphasize ours)

The above citations prove that either Shamoun is double standard in his reasoning or he is an absolute amateur in the field of Islam, let alone other comparative religions. If latter is the case then Shamoun should stop dabbling, especially in an academic circle such as this.

Let us now categorically examine what Shamoun plagiarized from submitters.

Shamoun supported the following submitter claim:

This is the true shahada of God, the angels and those who possess knowledge. See 3:18

Many Muslims insist on adding Muhammed’s name to the shahada, defying God and the idea of keeping the religion absolutely to GOD ALONE. No where in the Quran can we find Muhammed’s name added to the name of God in the shahada.”

Firstly, it is not Muslims who insist on adding Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name anywhere. Muslims have substantial proof and warrant why they confess Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in their Shahada:

“Narrated Abu Ma’bad:
(the slave of Ibn Abbas) Allah’s Apostle said to Muadh when he sent him to Yemen, “You will go to the people of the Scripture. So, when you reach there, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Apostle. And if they obey you in that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in each day and night. And if they obey you in that tell them that Allah has made it obligatory on them to pay the Zakat which will be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor among them. If they obey you in that, then avoid taking the best of their possessions, and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 573)

… Abu Dhar went to the Mosque, where some people from Quraish were present, and said, ‘O folk of Quraish! I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I (also) testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Slave and His Apostle.‘ (Hearing that) the Quraishi men said, ‘Get at this Sabi (i.e. Muslim)!’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 725)” (Bold and Underline emphasize ours)

We acknowledge Shamoun’s help to find us above two Hadith citations from his paper!

Now that we know that Islam is not restricted to the exclusive usage of Qur’an and in the Hadith literature we do have the inclusion of Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name in the Shahada then the submitter ado that Muslims add Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name to the Shahada, defying God etc does not stand any water.

Secondly and more importantly, the submitter’s claim of their version of Islamic Shahada through Qur’an 3:18 has more than just a couple of problems:

  1. Once again the submitters, for some mystical reasons known only to them, have sidelined the enormous collection of Hadith literature categorically which does include Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) testimonial.
  1. In their haste to invent a new Shahada and attack the main stream Muslims they have completely played away with the context of Qur’an 3:18 which we are about to discuss below:

Context of Qur’an 3:18

Chapter 3 of the Qur’an begins by proclaiming the Shahada that there is no God but Allah (SWT) (verse 2) immediately after that Qur’an starts to count the favors of Allah (SWT) for mankind in the form of guidance revealed in the inspired books sent down the ages through different prophets (verse 3). Verses 5 and 6 shows the power of Allah (SWT), especially His influence in shaping human beings in wombs at this junction the Qur’an once again iterates that there is no God but Allah (SWT). By now it is easily discernable that the protagonist of the verses is Allah (SWT).

 Verse 7 once again begins afresh by stating the holy grace of Allah (SWT) through which He sent down, for us, the Qur’an.

Verses 8 through 12 warn the recalcitrant of the severe punishment awaiting them if they disobey Allah (SWT).

In the verses to follow Allah (SWT) describes the rewards which He would be awarding to the penitents, who show patience, firmness etc. Then comes verse 18 stating all sincere people testify the only deity of Allah (SWT), in effect, we observe that:

a)      Because the main protagonist of all the contextual verses was Allah (SWT). He is the one with whom is all the rewards. He is the one severe in punishment. Thus, the testimony of Allah (SWT) as the only deity is more relevant in verse 18 than the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him).

The above point has also been alluded by classical commentator Jalalayn in his Tafseer:

God bears witness, [that is to say] He has made it clear to His creation through proofs and signs, that there is no god, none that is truly worshipped in existence, except Him, He has borne witness to this, and the angels, [have also borne witness to this] by affirming it, and those of knowledge, from among the prophets and the believers, through [their] conviction and in words; upholding, constantly and uniquely maintaining His creations with justice, (qā’iman, ‘upholding’, is in the accusative because it is a circumstantial qualifier and is governed by the import of the statement [implied to be something like] tafarrada, ‘He alone is [upholding]…’); there is no god except Him (He has repeated it for emphasis); the Mighty, in His Kingdom, the Wise, in His actions.” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn) (Italics, Bold, Underline and Capital emphasize ours)

Notice that according to Jalalayn it is Allah (SWT), the main protagonist of the contextual verses, who has made it clear to His creation through proofs and signs” that He is the only True God and consequently the testimony of verse 18 includes His deity, relevantly and only.

Secondly, it is the thought process preceding verse 18 which restricts the testimony of Allah’s (SWT) only deity in verse 18 – in other words it does not include Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in it.

b)      Verse 18 states that Allah’s (SWT) only deity is the witness of those endued with knowledge and standing firm on justice. Now, generally, people endued with knowledge and standing firm on justice has been, most probably, were present in all ages, however, Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood was not present in all ages. Therefore, Allah (SWT) in His divine knowledge should have known that it would have been a case of anachronism had He included the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him) in the testimony of verse 18. Therefore, once again the testimony of Allah’s (SWT) deity is more relevant than the combined testimony of Allah’s (SWT) deity and Mohammad’s (Peace be upon him) prophet hood.

Al-Wahidi provides yet another angle to our explanation.

c)      According to Al-Wahidi two Jewish rabbis visited Mohammad (peace be upon him) to test him. They enquired him of the greatest witness amongst all witnesses. Allah (SWT) inspired Mohammad (peace be upon him), through verse 18, that “There is no god but He” is the greatest of all testimonies. It was, therefore, worthless to include the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him) since firstly, Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood is not above the witness of Allah’s (SWT) only deity in other words it is not the “greatest” of all testimonies. Secondly, on the same corollary, there had been messengers before Mohammad (peace be upon him) whose testimonies were no less than the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him):

“(Allah (Himself) is Witness that there is no Allah save Him…) [3:18]. Said al-Kalbi: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, appeared in Medina, two rabbis from Syria, came to see him. When they saw Medina, one of them said to his companion: ‘How similar is this city to the city from which will emerge the Prophet of the end of times’. When they entered in on the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, they recognized him by his attributes and description. They asked: ‘Are you Muhammad?’ ‘Yes!’ He answered. ‘And you are also Ahmad?’ He said: ‘I am!’ They said: ‘We will ask you about witnessing; we shall believe in you if you do inform us about it’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Do ask me!’ They said: ‘Tell us about the greatest witness in Allah’s Scripture’. Allah, exalted is He, revealed to His Prophet (Allah (Himself) is Witness that there is no Allah save Him. And the angels and the men of learning (too are witness)…). The two men embraced Islam and believed in the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace”.” (Asbab Al-Nuzul)

It is interesting how Al-Wahidi’s explanation punctures Submitter’s and Shamoun’s claim thereby teaching them that the purpose of the verse (v.18) was not to prove (or disprove) the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him) to be included in the shahada but it was revealed for entirely different reason – namely, to reply the Jewish enquiry of the “greatest testimony” – and there is no greater testimony, not even of the prophet hood of prophets than proclaiming oneness of Allah (SWT).

  1. The third problem with Submitter and Shamoun’s claim on verse 18 is that they assume that verse 18 puts a restriction on the Islamic Shahada not to include Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood. All that is one wild assumption because verse 18 states that the testimony of angels and the people of knowledge is that Allah (SWT) is the only deity. Notice that the verse does not specifically obviates the inclusion of Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name in the Islamic Shahada neither does it alludes towards the same it just states that Allah (SWT) alone is the only God.

Nevertheless, as perversion dies hard, we give Shamoun and Submitters one last argument to ponder on:

  1. If according to Qur’an Chapter 3, Verse 18 (one of “Submitters” celebrated verse) Allah’s (SWT) Deity is to be testified (alone) in the shahada since Allah(SWT) himself laid that then according to Qur’an Chapter 63, Verse 1 – the testimony of the hypocrites being liars should also be incorporated in the submitter version of the shahada:

“I bear witness that Allah (SWT) is the only True God and that hypocrites are liars.”

So much for the misuse of Qur’an, Chapter 3, Verse 18. We move forward to other comical arguments.

A step further, Shamoun quotes one of “Submitters” most vulgar claims:

The first pillar of Islam, (Shahada) is the same first commandment given to Moses , and it has to be the same commandment given to all the prophets and messengers.”

And,

The Islamic Shahada ( that equals the first commandment) is mentioned in 3:18” (Italics and Underline emphasize ours)

At best the above ‘assertion’ is preposterous to say the least since it lacks warranty. In Islam the sole authority is of Allah (SWT) alone (not of any messenger or prophet, not even of Mohammad (peace be upon him)).

Therefore, at this point we would like to ask “Submitters” (and Shamoun) that by whose authority can they assert that the Islamic Shahada “is the same” or “equal” to the first commandment given to Moses (peace be upon him) present in the some book called the “Old Testament”. Did Allah (SWT) revealed such a decree or did Mohammad (peace be upon him) said that, the obvious answer is that none said so! Then by whose warranty do submitter claim what they claim.

In their haste, arrogance or sheer illiteracy Shamoun’s Submitter buddies went out of the way to chide the scholars of Islam. They say:

“Islamic exegisists have always maintained that the confession of faith, the “shahada”, which is the first cornerstone of Islam is twofold and reads :

“I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”

These exegisists are misleading those who claim to be Muslims, and those who claim to be Muslims are, by following these exegisists, buying hell for salvation.   Hell, they should remember, is forever.” (Italics and underline emphasize ours)

These exegisists refuse to accept the clear injunctions of the Quran and insist on reiterating their corrupted confession of faith and associating the name of Muhammad with that of God.

In fact, based exclusively on the Quran, the confession of faith as expounded by the exegisists leads to perdition, if only they knew.    Ibliss has so adorned their idolatry in their eyes that they are absolutely convinced of the rightness of their ways in spite of the Quran. (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

The one thing which Submitter cohorts forgot – it is not only “Islamic exegisists” of sometime who testified (and supposedly “mislead”) Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in the shahada to supposedly “mislead” Muslim – but, even the best Muslims – the first generation Muslims too testified the same shahada, some Muslims were so great that they got their good news to heaven in this earth itself:

“… Abu Dhar went to the Mosque, where some people from Quraish were present, and said, ‘O folk of Quraish! I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I (also) testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Slave and His Apostle.’ (Hearing that) the Quraishi men said, ‘Get at this Sabi (i.e. Muslim)!’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 725) (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

A step further even Mohammad (peace be upon him) himself taught and proclaimed his own name in the shahada:

“Narrated Abu Ma’bad:
(the slave of Ibn Abbas) Allah’s Apostle said to Muadh when he sent him to Yemen, “You will go to the people of the Scripture. So, when you reach there, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Apostle. And if they obey you in that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in each day and night. And if they obey you in that tell them that Allah has made it obligatory on them to pay the Zakat which will be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor among them. If they obey you in that, then avoid taking the best of their possessions, and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 573)

And,

Saheeh Bukhari,Volume 1, Book 2, Number 7:

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

Allah’s Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.

3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .

4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)

5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan. (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

After arrogantly chiding the scholars of Islam the “Submitters” expose themselves! They got their license to criticize the Islamic Scholars by assuming that Muslims do not have any other Book apart from Qur’an and thus, they wrote “based exclusively on the Qur’an…” Note how the presumptuously “Submitters” are restricting Islam to Qur’an-only. And, we have already shown ample evidence from Hadith literature that Mohammad’s (pbuh) name is a part of Islamic confession.

If we were to believe the “submitters” then for proclaiming the shahada which has Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) name in it – we become hypocrites:

“When 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.”

It is significant that God uses the term knows that Muhammad is His messenger.   He does not use the phrase bears witness. This further reinforces the concept that it is a fact that Muhammad is God’s messenger but not the confession of faith.  Had it been the confession of faith God would have said “God bears witness that you are His messenger.”   He does not; it is the Hypocrites who bear witness that Muhammad is God’s messenger whereas God knows that Muhammad is His messenger and bears witness that the Hypocrites are liars.”

We thank Shamoun’s submitter cohorts and Shamoun himself for giving us an opportunity to expose them and their ignorance of Islamic knowledge by putting up such a hilarious argument against the credibility of Islamic Shahada.

If we go to the historical background of Qur’an 63:1 we will get to know whether the verse was revealed to defame whoever testified Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) messenger ship as hypocrites or was it revealed to expose the Medinites charlatans. 

According to Tafsir Al-Jalalayn:

“When the hypocrites come to you they say, with their tongues, in contradiction of what is in their hearts: ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of God.’ And God knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and God bears witness, He knows, that the hypocrites truly are liars, in what they conceal, that which is contrary to what they say.” (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Notice that Allah(SWT) did not called the Medinites as hypocrites for testifying Mohammad (peace be upon him) as messenger of Allah(SWT) in the shahada – rather Allah (SWT) called them Hypocrites because their tongues were in contradiction of what is in their hearts.

In fact Tusturi explicitly provides the definition of Hypocrites in his monumental work Tafsir- Al-Tusturi:

“His words, Exalted is He:

…and God bears witness that the hypocrites truly are liars.

He said:

[This was] because they affirmed with their tongues what their hearts did not acknowledge. This is why He named them hypocrites. Whoever knows [the truth] with his heart and affirms it with his tongue, yet without any excuse does not perform with his bodily members (bi-arkānihi) that which God has made compulsory for him, is like Iblīs, may God curse him, who knew it [the truth] and affirmed it, but did not act upon His commandments.

He further said:

Hypocrisy (nifāq) is of two kinds: [one is] a belief (‘aqd) held in the heart which is contradicted outwardly on the tongue, just as He has said, Exalted is He: They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts [48:11]; the other is the hypocrisy of the natural self (nafs al-ṭ ab’) towards the person to whom it belongs, and this was referred to by the Prophet (ṣ) when he said, ‘The hidden association [idolatry] (shirk) in my community is more hidden than the crawling of an ant across a boulder on a dark night.’ (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

Mark how Tusturi explains why Allah (SWT) imputed them as “hypocrites”. They were labeled as hypocrites not because they testified the prophethood of Mohammad (peace be upon him) but because they testified it only for the sake of testifying – without any substance in it. Therefore, it is absolutely correct and supported by the scriptures to testify Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in the Shahada if testified with sincerity, and the claims of the submitters are absolutely baseless without any historical or scriptural credence to it.

In fact the very verse i.e, 63:1 in conjunction with Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 725 establishes a fact and practice that in the era of Mohammad (peace be upon him) people used to come into the fold of Islam and used to show their fealty to Islam by testifying Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hoot in their shahada. As famous commentator Ibn Kathir writes in his commentary:

Allah the Exalted states that the hypocrites pretended to be Muslims when they went to the Prophet . In reality, they were not Muslims, but rather the opposite.

Notice that the hypocrites in order to camouflage and pretend like Muslims testified about his prophet hood, in other words, indirectly it alludes to the practice and fact that during that time people used to become Muslim and practice Islam by testifying the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him).

 If we assume for the sake of argument that it was not a part of Islam to testify Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in the shahada then we are forced to puzzle as to why and how did the hypocrites even tried to camouflage their dishonesty by proclaiming Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in the shahada.

This is why Allah the Exalted said,

(When the hypocrites come to you, they say: “We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah.”) meaning, `when the hypocrites come to you, they announce this statement and pretend to believe in it.’ Allah informs that there is no substance to their statement, and this is why He said, (Bold and Italics emphasize ours)

On the above explanation provided by Ibn Kathir, if the hypocrites had not pretended to believe in it but rather believed in their announcement (of the messenger ship of Mohammad (peace be upon him)) with all their heart and had substance in their statement – then, they would have been good first generation Muslims and not hypocrites, which again bolsters the fact that it was a tradition in those times to proclaim Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood as a part of Shahada.

(Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger,) then said,

(And Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.) meaning, their claims, even though it is true about the Prophet. But they did not believe inwardly in what they declared outwardly, and this is why Allah declared their falsehood about their creed. Allah’s statement,…”

Once again notice why Allah (SWT) bore witness that hypocrites are liars – because “their claims” were hollow.  They did not believe in their hearts what their tongues testified, on the same lines, they were not labeled as hypocrites simply because of testifying Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) messenger ship. Therefore, if they were not testified as liars for testifying Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood then this argument cannot be used against any main stream Muslim to prove that s/he is a Hypocrite or a Liar.

Now that it has been established that Qur’an 63:1 cannot be used against main stream Muslims for testifying Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood – all other arguments in and around this particular verse carries no weight, however, we will not give submitters and Shamoun any chance to fuss. The submitters fretted:

“It is significant that God uses the term knows that Muhammad is His messenger.   He does not use the phrase bears witness. This further reinforces the concept that it is a fact that Muhammad is God’s messenger but not the confession of faith.  Had it been the confession of faith God would have said “God bears witness that you are His messenger.”   He does not;”

The reason why Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood was not testified by Allah (SWT) in the specific verse is known best to Allah (SWT), however, if we consider the overall setting of the chapter and the particular verse then we would come to know hypocrites came to Mohammad (peace be upon him) to bluff him to believe that they were sincere Muslims when actually they were mountebanks!:

“And from his narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah’s saying (When the hypocrites come unto thee): ‘(When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad)) when the hypocrites of Medina, ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubayy, Mu’attib Ibn Qushayr and Jadd Ibn Qays-who were cousins-come to you, (they say: We bear witness) we swear by Allah (that thou art) O Muhammad (indeed Allah’s messenger) we know this and are conscious of it. (And Allah knoweth) and Allah bears witness (that thou art) O Muhammad (indeed His messenger) without the need for the testimony of the hypocrites, (and Allah beareth witness) and Allah knows (that the Hypocrites are speaking falsely) that the hypocrites lie in their oath, because they do not know it nor are their hearts conscious of it. (Tanwir al Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas)

We clearly see that through the verses and His testimony Allah (SWT) wanted to expose the hypocrites – the stress was on the hypocrites – they were the protagonists of the verse, even more so that, the name of the Surah was kept as Surah Munafiqoon or Chapter “Hypocrites”. Therefore, it is more logical to accept that Allah (SWT) will testify to negate hypocrites than testify to bolster Mohammad (peace be upon him).

Depending upon the circumstances and conditions even prophet some times did not exhorted people to testify of his prophet hood, but on other occasions he did:

            “Muslim, Bk 1, Number 0031:

It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.”

Mark that the exact wording “to testify” is missing in the above quoted hadith! The point is the usage of the word “testify” depended upon circumstances.

However, as far as the above Qur’anic verse is concerned – in more simpler words, hypocrites pretended to testify for the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him), to obviate it Allah (SWT) testified against the genuineness of the hypocrites and therefore, Allah’s (SWT) testimony for Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood was something irrelevant at that juncture.

Shamoun finally used his mind, and did not borrow it from “Submitters”, to propose an argument. He quoted the following two hadiths,

“Narrated ‘Ubada: 
The Prophet said, “If anyone TESTIFIES that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few.” (Junada, the sub-narrator said, ” ‘Ubada added, ‘Such a person can enter Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes.”) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55,Number 644)

It is narrated on the authority of Ubadah b. Samit that the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: HE WHO SAID: “There is no god but Allah, He is One and there is no associate with Him, that Muhammad is his servant and His messenger, that Christ is servant and the son of His slave-girl and he (Christ) His word which He communicated to Mary and is His Spirit, that Paradise is a fact and Hell is a fact,” Allah would make him (he who affirms these truths enter Paradise through any one of its eight doors which he would like. (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0043)”

To come to the conclusion that:

“The foregoing shows that Sunni Islam’s REAL and COMPLETE Shahadah must include a profession of faith in Jesus’ special relationship to God, i.e. that every Muslim must bear witness, testify that Jesus is the servant of God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. It must also include a profession of belief in heaven and hell. In other words, Sunni Islam’s Shahadah would look something like this:

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is his slave and messenger.
I bear witness that Jesus is his Servant, Word, Spirit, and the son of his slave-girl.
And I bear witness Paradise and Hell are true/real.”

Let us reply Shamoun rhetorically.

Firstly, it is absolutely not necessary to include all bits and pieces of details in the Shahada, because when one testifies the shahada i.e, when one testifies Allah’s (SWT) unity and Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood, one automatically accedes to all facts including, “I bear witness that Jesus is his Servant, Word, Spirit, and the son of his slave-girl. And I bear witness Paradise and Hell are true/real.”

Therefore, it would be redundant to repeat all the details whenever one testifies it. However, if Shamoun clings to the hadith he quoted – then we provide him another hadith which would provide a different perspective…

 Secondly, we have already seen hadith where Mohammad (peace be upon him) himself did not mention to testify his own prophet hood,

            “Muslim, Bk 1, Number 0031:

It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.”

 If this is taken as an argument then Shamoun’s interpretation is nullified that all other details, i.e, like Jesus (peace be upon him) etc should not be included in the Shahada because in this occasion Mohammad (peace be upon him) did not even include his testimony.

However, once again, the official shahada is the same shahada which were proclaimed by non – muslims to come into the fold of Islam and then become great companions of prophet (peace be upon him) and may Allah (SWT) be pleased with him.

Thirdly, we would help Shamoun to add in his list of articles to be included in the Islamic Shahada. Quoting Qur’an 63:1 once again,

When 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.”

Notice that God is bearing witness in the above verse and therefore, Shamoun should, either,  add this one as well to his list, completing it like:

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is his slave and messenger.
I bear witness that Jesus is his Servant, Word, Spirit, and the son of his slave-girl.
And I bear witness Paradise and Hell are true/real.

And

                        “I bear witness that Hypocrites are Liars”

Or Shamoun should realize the actual and official testimony is restricted to Allah’s (SWT) unity and Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood only, rest all articles were included under special circumstances – to serve some special purpose and not to make a fuss out of it.

To add more credentials to his straw man work, Shamoun quoted some Karen Armstrong, saying, there even were certain Sufi Muslims whose Shahdahah didn’t mention Muhammad, but Jesus!” (Italics and bold emphasize ours)

All Shamoun should realize is that he should be concerned about Sunni Muslims and Islam only because he himself gave the name of his paper as “SUNNI Islam’s Real Shahadah” (Bold and Capital emphasize ours)

Time and again Shamoun has embarrassed himself and his cohorts at answeringislam.org on the issue of Islamic Shahada and we promise to keep chasing him down on it even in future, Allah (SWT) willing. We would also document our written e-mail exchanges on the same issue where he went on running from us – to discuss the same topic.

As far as this paper is concerned we have seen that Qur’an 3:18 was not revealed:

  1. To establish the official Islamic Shahada.
  2. Contextually, the protagonist of the verse(s) was Allah (SWT) so it was more befitting that His testimony is only mentioned in the verse.

We are also now aware of the fact that Qur’an 63:1 was:

       I.            Not revealed to impute the taint of hypocrisy on anyone who would proclaim Mohammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet hood in the shahada, even more so, when s/he proclaimed it with all heart.

    II.            It was revealed to expose the hypocrites then establish the prophet hood of Mohammad (peace be upon him).

 III.            Therefore, it was only more befitting to proclaim the shahada against the bona fide of hypocrites.

Finally we have also seen that:

  1. Islam cannot include anything, everything, bits and details which Shamoun wants into the Shahada. Rather by the official Islamic Shahada is indeed, comprehensive of all the details.
  2. We even considered Shamoun’s argument to include all the details in the shahada, however, we found that there were other hadiths, in which, Mohammad (peace be upon him) did not even include his prophet hood, let alone with, Jesus (peace be upon him) and Paradise and Hell etc.
  3. We went a step further to help Shamoun add one more article in his format of Shahada, just to expose, his misunderstanding anything everything cannot be added in the official Islamic Shahada, what has been affirmed as official by Allah (SWT) and practiced by prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) is the final verdict.

Allah (SWT) willing more rebuttals to follow on various other issues concerning Islam and Christianity. Nevertheless, we invite answeringislam.org authors to come with more on Islamic Shahada and with better quality of attack next time.

“There is no God but Allah and Mohammad (peace be upon him) is His messenger.”

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Comments

  • Joe  On April 27, 2014 at 10:37 am

    So in short the Koran isnt the Final word as proved by the above mesages..we have Hadiths infact countless which can be added to make creeds..lol!
    Shamoun hats off to you to show us that yes insertions are part of Koranic revelations..after all deletions are there..who could forget the Satanic verses!
    now we know even ‘Mohmeds verses’ are there..
    add how you want delete howerever you want..Good work islamists!

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