The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادة‎ aš-šahādah audio (help·info) “the testimony”; also aš-šahādatān (الشَهادَتانْ, “the two testimonials”)) is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God’sprophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads: لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh.

There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God. The Shahada is the creed of Islam. The Arabic creed translates to: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” The Shahada is divided into two parts: the first—“There is no god but Allah”—is a confession of tawhid, the oneness of God upon which all Islamic theology is based. The second—“Muhammad is [God’s] messenger ( peace be upon him)”—confesses the belief in the prophethood of Muhammad ( Peace be upon him), from which comes Islam’s complete ethical code. Muslims consider reciting the Shahada to be the first and most important of the Five Pillars of Islam, since understanding and accepting it means that one understands and accepts the essence of the entire faith. In fact, Muslims hold that belief in the content of the Shahada is the foremost distinguishing characteristic that defines a Muslim as a Muslim. A single earnest public recitation of the Shahada in its original Arabic is all that is required to convert to Islam.