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Q&A with Joseph Islam on Testimony (Shahadah)
« on: October 11, 2012, 01:44:33 AM »


Questions by enquirer in black
Joseph Islam's responses in blue

Question 1:

Do you mean that present day testimony of linking Muhammad Rasoolilah is proper testimony?

I have never said that this testimony is the ‘proper’ testimony’. I have simply said that this testimony is not false and is acceptable if it is used as the statement is true.

We use in prayers mostly:
“I bear witness that there is no deity but God (Allah), and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God (Allah)” (and not was messenger).  In normal case if J & K Co. is said to name a establishment then it should imply J & K are  associated with business  for normal person  and is not keen to verify its association like CO. / LTD CO. /LLC/WLL etc, hence I tend to believe that even it is statement , it should not be in same line of Allah. That mislead that Muhammad is the or special messenger.  He is special prophet ( last one).  Please correct me.

In a literal spoken human sense, yes, a more correct testimony would be that that Muhammad ‘was’ a messenger. However, it once again all depends on intent and what meaning one intends to convey with it.  When I speak to God and I affirm that He is One and that Prophet Muhammad is His messenger, I do it with the intention that God is not subject to linear time and space. In my mind, I have this concept:

Question 2:

According to my understanding that is not as per Quran, because:

(i) It was the testimony of hypocrites 63:1 and God witness them as liars.

With respect and in my humble opinion, you misunderstand the purport of 63:1. Please read it in context of the next verse 63:2. These are people that used the testimony but didn’t mean what they were saying (insincere) and used their testimony to give an impression that they were believers but turned people away from the path of God. Verses are better understood in context and with respect, not in isolation.

Yes sir - I did read that hence I tend to believe that only the insincere that were using this statement to which Allah witnesses for this particular testimony of disbelievers !!!  Please can you assist to clarify? 

In the same verse, God confirms that the testimony is true. Please see the Arabic "wallahu ya’lamu innaka - rasuluhu" (And God knows that you surely are his messenger). However, it is the ‘intention’ which God says is wrong not the ‘testimony’.

(ii) 4:79 God is sufficient to be witness of You ( Muhammad ppuh) as messenger.

Ultimately, God is indeed sufficient witness but that does not mean the testimony uttered as discussed is false. If God is sufficient witness as you are implying, then why are witnesses recording our every action? (50:17-18, 43:80, 82:10-11). Clearly, the ‘sufficiency of God’s witness’ is to be seen as a statement of God’s overarching sovereignty and knowledge.

I understand testimony is not just statement but faithful confirmation (pillar of faith as far as normal muslim recite) hence Allah may be emphasizing messengership of Muhammad (pbuh) can only be witnessed by Him and it should not be specialized , as all messengers has same status.

In my humble perspective, the verse clearly shows God’s overarching sovereignty as I have already explained.

(iii) 23:117 No proof to call alongwith Allah , he has no authority thereof.

Again, with respect, this is a misunderstanding of the verse. This about calling someone in 'worship' alongside God or to call someone in authority with God. By having a mere name in a sentence does not mean that one is necessarily worshipping the name or the entity behind the name. It is about intent

As people are using Muhammad/Ali and others with Shahad ( There is no God but Him, they will not use as statement but with special intention ( spiritual ).  Please correct me.

Yes, it depends on intention. If the intention is that ‘Muhammad’ has special status or ‘Ali’ has special status then the intention is wrong. If I were to make such a statement, I would only do it remaining completely confined to 2:285 without feeling any distinctions in my heart. Usually I just say ‘There is no deity but Allah’ and sometimes I even say – ‘Oh God of Abraham!’. This does not mean I am making any distinctions in my heart. One’s concept should be clear.

For example, if I said - "There is no God but Him, and He created me" does not mean that the 'me' is now the object of co-worship or is being used as a partner in God's authority merely because it appears in the same line of text.

(iv) Prophet Muhammad is one of the messenger and not only messenger hence should not be linked with Allah's name. (This is my understanding .  Please correct / guide in perspective of Quran).

Please see my response to your previous question. The testimony is not false. Even if I said 'Allah is One and Jesus was God’s messenger', this testimony is not false because I have used the name of one of the messengers. In the same way when the magicians used the testimony and mentioned two messengers, Moses and Aaron, their testimony was not false. (7:120-122).

"And the magicians fell down prostrate. They said "We believe in the Lord of the worlds, Lord of Moses and Aaron"

Please see the following post which may also assist.

I hope that helps, God willing. Joseph

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Re: Q&A with Joseph Islam on Testimony (Shahadah)
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 01:52:39 AM »
Dear Joseph,

Can I take this opportunity to thank you despite your immense pre-occupation to assist me in reinforcing my belief in earlier email ' shahada'.  Even though found good articles from, but their core belief in complex mathematical calculation ( contrary to  Alla's proclamation of easy Quran ) and other claims ( messenger-ship/removal of two ayats) are undermining belief.   

Best Regards