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Shahādatayn (Arabic: الشهادتين, literally: two testimonies) is to testify or stand witness to the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad (s). Whoever utters shahadatayn counts as a Muslim and will be subject to Islamic rulings. Shiite jurists discuss shahadatayn in different sections of jurisprudence. According to their fatwas, it is recommended to suggest shahadatayn to a person who is about to die and to write shahadatayn on a deceased person's shroud.

Contents

Definition

Shahadatayn is to testify or stand witness to the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad (s). According to jurists, shahadatayn consists in an utterance of two sentences or any other expression of their contents:

"I testify that there is no god except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."

According to al-Shaykh al-Saduq, shahadatayn consists in an endorsement of monotheism and prophethood as two principles of Islam.

Jurisprudential and Legal Significance

Muslims take shahadatayn to be the borderline of Islam and disbelief (kufr). That is to say, if someone utters shahadatayn, Islamic rulings will apply to him, such as the cleanliness of his body and the respect for his life and property.

According to al-Shaykh al-Saduq, "Iman" (faith) is interpreted in some hadiths as shahadatayn. According to Allama Tabataba'i, iman has degrees the first of which is a heartfelt belief in the content of shahadatayn, which leads to the performance of the ancillary or practical rulings of Islam.

In jurisprudential books, shahadatayn is discussed in sections such as the rulings of the dead, cleanliness, business, prayer, and jihad.

Manners and Rulings

  • According to the majority of Shiite jurists, it is obligatory to utter shahadatayn in the Funeral Prayer after the first takbir. However, some jurists take this to be recommended.
  • It is recommended to inscribe on the shroud of a dead person that he or she has endorsed shahadatayn.
  • According to the majority of jurists, it is recommended for an imam of the Friday Prayer to utter shahadatayn in his sermons of the Prayer.


Uses in the Islamic Culture

Shahadatayn in Islamic architecture

Shahadatayn is frequently uttered in supplications and rituals of Muslims. For instance, they utter shahadatayn in the tashahhud of their prayer as well as in their adhan and iqama.

Shahdatayn was also used in Islamic architecture, calligraphy, and coin mintage.

See Also

References