Shahada: Profession of faith



The Shahada, also spelled Šehadet (Arabic: الشهادة aš-šahādah audio (help·info)) (from the verb شهد šahida, "he witnessed"), means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed"/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed. This is also called as "Kalema-tut-Shahadat" or "Kalema". The Shahadah is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of Allahu ta'âlâ and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet. The Sunni declaration reads:

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله (lā ʾilāha ʾillallāh, Muḥammad rasūlu-llāh) (in Arabic) There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. (in English)

In the tradition of the Shia Muslims, there is the addition of "وعليٌ وليُّ الله", ʿAli-yyun wali-yyu-llāh ["Ali is the Vicegerent (cf. Wali) of God"], although but Shia scholars don't consider this obligatory.

A single honest recitation of the Shahadah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim. This declaration, or statement of faith, is called the Kalima, which literally means "word". Recitation of the Shahadah the "oath/testimony", is the most important of the Five Pillars of Islam for Muslims. Non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam do so by a public recitation of the creed.[1] Technically the Shi'a do not consider the Shahadah to be a separate pillar, but connect it to the Aqidah.[2] The complete shahadah cannot be found in the Quran, but comes from hadiths.

Source: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Shahada