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Dear Brother Burhan, As-sallam-u-alleikum...

Dear Brother Burhan, As-sallam-u-alleikum warah matulahi wabarakatu. I have a question that has bothered me for quite sometime. I am aware of the great importance that the Kalema-tu-shahadat has in our religion. This has lead me to wonder whether the one that we bohoras recite is the correct one as opposed to the one the Sunnis recite. In ours we have `LA ILLAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH ALI YUN WALLIYULLAH` while the Sunnis have only, `LA ILLAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH`. From the Knowledge that Allah has blessed you with, I trust in that you shall guide me to which is the right one. May Allah bless you and may you continue enlightening others on issues of Islam


In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

In Islam, what we must determine at all times, if we indeed wish to be guided aright, is what is the command of Allah Subhanah, and what did the Prophet (saws) do to fulfill this command. In Islam, the condition to the Right Path, is not whether the Shias or Sunnis do something or not, but rather; what is the command of Allah and His Messenger (saws).

The ‘kalima’ or testification that the Messenger of Allah (saws), invited all mankind to was ‘I bear witness that there is no god, but Allah; and I bear witness that Mohamed is the Messenger of Allah’. This is what he asked the people who wanted to embrace Islam to recite, and this is what he himself, his noble ‘ahle-bayt’, and his noble companions recited. No one is allowed to add or subtract from what was taught to the believers by Allah and His Messenger (saws).

The supposed added third testification of ‘I bear witness that Ali is the Wali (friend) of Allah’ was added much later, after the death of the Prophet (saws), Imam Ali (r.a.), and the noble companions. Neither the Prophet (saws), nor Imam Ali (r.a.), nor Imam Hasan (r.a.), nor Imam Hussain (r.a.), nor any of the noble companions ever proclaimed this testification in their prayers and their adhaan.

Hadrat Imam Ali (r.a.) was indeed a pious believer, who lived all his life in the service of Islam. And there is no doubt in any muslim’s mind, that Hadrat Ali (r.a.) is indeed the Wali of Allah, and so are all the pious believers who sincerely follow Islam and do righteous good deeds.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 257:Allah is the Wali of those who believe.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 10 Surah Yunus verse 62-63:Listen! Those who are Allah’s Walis shall neither fear nor have sorrow, because they believed and feared Allah.

All the believers who sincerely believe and fear Allah, are the ones whom Allah has called His Walis. The Ummah of Islam is unanimous in their opinion that Imam Ali (r.a.), Imam Hasan (r.a.), Imam Hussain (r.a.), Imam Ali Zain-al-Abedeen (r.a.), and all the true believers were all Walis of Allah. Thus, it would not be possible nor right to recite the name of each and every Wali in our testification! There is no harm if one says that Hadrat Imam Ali (r.a.) is the Wali of Allah, for that is indeed true. But to recite it in the ‘kalima’, or in the adhaan, or in the prayers is an innovation; and as with all innovations, it must be avoided.

It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: “If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.”

It has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) in another authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: “The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.”

The true testification, as taught by the Messenger of Allah (saws), and repeatedly recited by him, his noble ‘ahle-bayt’ and the noble companions is ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and Mohamed is His Messenger’. This is what they would recite in the ‘adhaans’ and this is what they used to recite in their prayers.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,