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.
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."
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.
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 suggest shahadatayn as well as the imamate of the Imams of the Shi'a to a person who is about to die.
- 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.
- According to the Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi, the author of Jawahir al-kalam, it is a good manner to utter shahadatayn when one arrives in his place of business every day.
Uses in the Islamic Culture
Shahdatayn was also used in Islamic architecture, calligraphy, and coin mintage.
- Afūugh, Muḥammad. Maḍāmīn wa ʿanāṣur-i shīʿī dar hunar-i ʿaṣr-i ṣafawī bā nigāhī bi hunar-i qālī bāfī, nigārgarī wa filizkārī. Published in Muta'ilat-i Irani, no. 20, 1390 Sh.
- Najafī, Ja'far b. Khidr. Kashf al-ghita' 'an mubhamat al-shari'a al-gharra'. Qom: Daftar-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī-yi Ḥawza-yi Ilmīya-yi Qom, 1422 AH.
- Najafī, Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-. Jawāhir al-kalām fī sharḥ sharāʾiʿ al-Islām. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1404 AH.
- Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Man lā yaḥḍuruh al-faqīh. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1413 AH.
- Ṭabāṭabāʾī Yazdī, Muḥammad Kāẓim al-. Al-ʿUrwat al-wuthqā. Beirut: Muʾassisa al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1409 AH.
- Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī Jāmiʿa-yi Mudarrisīn-i Ḥawza-yi ʿIlmīyya-yi Qom, 1417 AH.
- Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan. Miṣbāḥ al-mutahajjid. Beirut: Muʾassisat Fiqh al-Shi'a, 1411 AH.
- ʿAbbāszada et al. Barrasī-yi naqsh-i madhhab-i shīʿa bar hunar wa miʿmarī-yi imamzadigān-i Īrān. Retrieved in January 23, 2021.