The Testification of Faith
The shahada is what the seeker says and believes with all of their heart when they decide to travel on the way that was first walked by the Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, followed by all of his companions, family, and supporters, as well as all those who believe in his teachings who have come since.
The words the seeker says are simple but profound. Entire books have been written on these six words:
la ‘ilaha illa-llah muhammadan rasulullah
There is nothing worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God
When you say these words it is like a reflection of when, in al-azal Allah asked, “Am I not your Lord?” and all of the believing souls answered, “Bala! (Indeed!)” The traveler repeats these words often, in different contexts. The shahada is in the adhan and the iqama, the shahada is in the salah as Sidi taught it to us, and the shahada, or parts of it, can be used as a dhikr to discharge shaytanic voices. Beloveds also recite the shahada into the ear of a newborn baby as a way of welcoming the baby into the world.
While the shahada is something we say in a ritual way to declare our faith as a believer in God’s unity, it is also interwoven into the fabric of daily worship so as to reaffirm and deepen our awareness that nothing is worthy of worship, except our Lord, our Beloved, the One Who Created Everything, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, Allah, Most High.