The shahādah, or the Islamic creed, is a declaration of belief in the unity of God (Tawheed) and the prophethood of Muhammad. Its recitation is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. When stated aloud, one is considered to have officially declared oneself a convert to Islam.
The Arabic words are: :لا إلاه إلالله محمد رسول الله
which are romanized:
- Lā ilāha il-Allāh Muhammadur rasūl Allāh.
In English, the credo goes:
- There is no god but God [and] Muhammad is the messenger [or prophet] of God.
Honest recitation of the shahādah once, in Arabic, in front of two Muslim witnesses, is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim.
It is considered correct to refer to previous figures, such as Jesus (in Arabic, Isa) as prophets (rasul), and some groups (notably certain Sufi mystics) will amend the declaration to mention prior prophets whose names are found in the Qur'an.
- Wikipedia. (2004). Shahada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahada). Retrieved on Sept. 21, 2004.