Bassam Zawadi, one of Osama Abdallahs writers, has written a response to my article on the real Islamic confession.
Zawadi begins his response by discussing the sect of Rashad Khalifa:
I am assuming that Sam is talking about the Rashad Khalifa sect. They believe that the Shahadah "I witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" is no where to be found in the Quran. Well just because it is not there word by word that does not mean that the concept is not there. The concept of there being no God but Allah is there in the Quran (3:18) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God is there in the Quran (48:29).
First, we are glad that Zawadi agrees that just because an exact formulation or word is not found in a document (in this case the Quran) this doesnt necessarily mean that the book or source doesnt teach it. Since we assume that Zawadi is consistent we therefore expect him to never use the argument that the Holy Bible doesnt teach doctrines such as the Holy Trinity just because the exact word or formulation is not found within the Jewish-Christian Scriptures.
Second, as we shall shortly show, the followers of Rashad Khalifa (also known as submitters) are correct in what they basically stated. Zawadis comments that the two parts of the Islamic confession are found in the Quran are beside the point. The argument is not whether one can find references where Muhammad is called an apostle or messenger of Allah. The real issue is whether the Quran makes it an article of faith to profess that Allah alone is God AND that Muhammad is his messenger in order to be recognized as a Muslim. The fact of the matter is that it doesnt, and to use the logic employed by Zawadi would end proving that the creed of Islam should also include specific mention of other messengers as well. More on this later.
He also says:
Even the people back at Prophet Muhammad's time used to bear witness that he was the Messenger of God.
Surah 63:1When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad), they say: We bear witness that thou art indeed Allah's messenger. And Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the hypocrites indeed are speaking falsely. The verse is talking about those hypocrites that used to come and bear witness that Muhammad is a Messenger but they were lying inside. Allah knew they were lying. But the point that I am trying to show from this verse is that people at the time of the Prophet did bear witness that he is the Messenger of God.
So the concept of bearing witness that Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his Messenger is a concept found in the Quran. It does not have to be word by word in the same sentence. This in no way indicates Muhammad is divine or anything just like how the Rashad Khalifa sect claim. The Prophet warned us not to do the same mistake as the Christians
He goes on to say:
God does bear witness that Muhammad is a Messenger of God.
Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man) it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. We have sent thee (Muhammad) as a messenger unto mankind and Allah is sufficient as Witness.
But Allah bears witness by what He has revealed to you that He has revealed it with His knowledge, and the angels bear witness (also); and Allah is sufficient as a witness.
Say: What thing is the weightiest in testimony? Say: Allah is witness between you and me; and this Quran has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods with Allah? Say: I do not bear witness. Say: He is only one God, and surely I am clear of that which you set up (with Him).
Zawadis claim that Sura 63:1 shows that people were confessing Muhammad as Gods messenger misses the point. The point here is that it is only the deceivers who were bearing witness that Muhammad is a messenger in order to mask their deception and unbelieving hearts. True believers do not need to publicly bear witness that Muhammad is a messenger since they show that this is what they believe by simply obeying his instructions. To put it another way, it wasnt the believers at the time of Muhammad who were verbally bearing witness that he was an apostle, but unbelievers and hypocrites that did so.
Second, the issue is not whether the Quran claims that Allah testifies that Muhammad is his messenger, or that believers are to believe that he is. The issue at hand, which Zawadi conveniently ignores, is whether Muslims are required to make a public confession, to testify in the words given in the hadith literature, i.e. "I beat witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah," in order to be recognized as a Muslim. The fact of the matter is that the Quran nowhere commands Muslims to make this profession, the confession that Muhammad is Allahs messenger in order to validate their Islam.
The Quran actually requires a Muslim to profess faith in all the messengers without making any distinction between them:
SAY you: 'We believe in God, AND in that which has been sent down on us AND sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes, AND that which was given to Moses AND Jesus AND the Prophets, of their Lord; we make no division between any of them, and to Him we surrender.' S. 2:136 Arberry
The Apostle believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in God, His angels, His books, AND HIS APOSTLES. "WE MAKE NO DISTINCTION (they say) BETWEEN ON AND ANOTHER OF HIS APOSTLES." AND THEY SAY: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys." S. 2:285 Y. Ali
O you who believe! believe in Allah AND His Apostle AND the Book which He has revealed to His Apostle AND the Book which He revealed before; and whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels AND His APOSTLES and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error. S. 4:136 Shakir
The fact is that the orthodox Sunni creed does make a distinction since it singles out Muhammad alone in its confession. This is a direct violation of and in stark contradiction to the plain teachings of the Quran.
In light of the foregoing, the Islamic confession of faith would go something like this:
I bear witness that:
(1) I believe in Allah.
(2) I believe in His angels.
(3) I believe in His books.
(4) I believe in His messengers and that I do not make a difference or differentiate between any of them.
Moreover, the Quran says that prophets were all inspired to profess that Allah is god alone:
And We sent never a Messenger before thee except that We revealed to him, saying, There is no god but I; so serve Me. S. 21:25 Arberry
It even claims that prophets and messengers commanded people to fear Allah and obey them:
The people of Noah treated the Messengers as liars, When their brother Noah said to them, Will you not be God-Fearing? Surely I am unto you a Messenger, faithful to my trust. So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME; And I ask you no reward for it. My reward is only with the Lord of the worlds; So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME; S. 26:105-110 Sher Ali
The tribe of Ad rejected the Messengers, When their Brother Hud said to them, Will you not fear God? Surely, I am unto you a Messenger, faithful to my trust; So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME; S. 26:123-126, 131 Sher Ali
The tribe of Thamud also rejected the Messengers, When their brother Salih said to them, will you not guard against evil? Surely, I am unto you a Messenger, faithful to my trust; So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME; S. 26:141-144, 150 Sher Ali
The people of Lot rejected the Messengers, When their brother Lot said to them, Will you not fear God? Surely, I am unto you a Messenger, faithful to my trust; So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME. S. 26:160-163
The people of the Wood rejected the Messengers, When Shu'aib said to them, `Will you not fear God? Surely, I am unto you a Messenger, faithful to my trust. So fear ALLAH AND OBEY ME. S. 26:176-179
This again shows that to follow only the Qurans teachings a Muslim would be forced to confess faith not just in Allahs unity but also profess belief in the apostleship of many messengers by explicitly referring to them by name!
Finally, and more importantly, there is a place where believers bear witness regarding their belief, but it is not in connection with Muhammad:
And when Jesus perceived their unbelief, he said, 'Who will be my helpers unto God?' The Apostles SAID, 'We will be helpers of God; we believe in God; witness thou our submission. Lord, we believe in that Thou hast sent down, and we follow the Messenger. Inscribe us therefore WITH THOSE WHO BEAR WITNESS.' S. 3:52-53 Arberry
The Disciples of Christ bear witness and testify that they believe in God and in Jesus as his Messenger. They even pray to God to inscribe them as those who bore witness to these things! Thus, if anything, this passage provides support that those Islamic narrations that make it mandatory to make a profession of faith in Christ are correct.
Zawadi also had this to say regarding the Muslim submitters use of Sura 63:1:
This is very poor understanding of Scripture. The verse is not saying that hypocrites are the ones who bear witness that Muhammad is a Messenger. It is saying that those specific hypocrites are lying when they say that they bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. They say it, but don't mean it inside. The verse would not make sense. How can God accus[sic] them of lying when they say Muhammad is a Messenger of God and it is there in the Quran that Muhammad is a Messenger of God? God is saying that they are lying because they don't mean what they say.
What truly shows poor understanding is Zawadis distortion of the point being made by the submitters. As we just saw above, their point wasnt that Allah was accusing the hypocrites for lying when they testified that Muhammad was his messenger. Their point was that the only group that felt the need to publicly testify that Muhammad was a messenger were the liars and hypocrites as a way of covering up their disbelief. Basically, they are trying to show that the Quran doesnt require believers to publicly profess Muhammads apostleship since by obeying and following the Quran they will be proving their belief in him.
Zawadi says regarding the assertion that placing Muhammads name in the shahadah violates Islamic monotheism:
Who said that by putting Muhammad's name in the shahada means that we are not keeping the religion absolutely to God alone? Putting Muhammad's name in the same sentence as God does not mean they are equal. If I say that "John and his dog were taking a walk in the park." Am I showing equality between the two? If I say that "The employer and his employee are doing a great job running the company." Am I implying that they both have the same authority?
It is quite obvious that Zawadi hasnt spent time studying what Muslims have said regarding the implication of adding Muhammads name next to Allahs. For instance, a renowned Muslim scholar named Qadi Iyad Ibn Musa al-Yahsubi noted regarding Islams creed:
Qatada said, "Allah exalted his fame in this world and the Next. There is no speaker, witness nor anyone doing the prayer who fails to say, There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."
Abu Sa'id al-Khudri related that the Prophet said, "Jibril, peace be upon him, came to me and said, My Lord and your Lord says, Do you know how I have exalted your fame?" I said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said, 'When I am mentioned you are mentioned with Me."
Ibn Ata quoted a hadith qudsi saying, "I completed belief with your being mentioned with Me." And another one which says, "I have made your mention part of My mention so whoever mentions Me, mentions you."
Ja'far ibn Muhammad as-Sadiq, "No one mentions you as the Messenger but that he mentions Me as the Lord."
The fact that mention of the Prophet is directly connected to mention of Allah also shows that obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to Allah and his name to Allah's name. Allah says, "Obey Allah and His Messenger" (2:32) and "Believe in Allah and His Messenger." (4:136) Allah joins them together using the conjunction wa WHICH IS THE CONJUNCTION OF PARTNERSHIP. IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO USE THIS CONJUNCTION IN CONNECTION WITH ALLAH IN THE CASE OF ANYONE EXCEPT THE PROPHET.
Hudhayfa said that the Prophet said, "None of you should say, What Allah wills and (wa) so-and-so wills. Rather say, What Allah wills. Then stop and say, So-and-so wills."
Al-Khattabi said, "The Prophet has guided you to correct behaviour in putting the will of Allah before the will of others. He chose then (thumma) which implies sequence and deference as opposed to and (wa) WHICH IMPLIES PARTNERSHIP."
Something similar is mentioned in another hadith. Someone was speaking in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, "Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has been rightly guided, and whoever rebels against them both (joining them together by using the dual form) " The Prophet said to him, "What a bad speaker you are! Get up! [Or he said: Get out!]"
Abu Sulayman said, "He disliked the two names being joined together in that way BECAUSE IT IMPLIES EQUALITY." (Iyad, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], pp. 7-8; bold and capital emphasis ours)
" He coupled his name with His own name, and his pleasure with His pleasure. He made him one of the two pillars of tawhid." (Ibid., p. 27)
Ibn Abbas said, "Written on the door of the Garden is: I am Allah. There is no god but Me. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I will not punish anyone who says that." (Ibid., p. 90)
Another source asserts that Muhammad didnt like it when people used the conjunction wa (and) when associating him with Allah:
Further, a man once said to the Prophet "What Allah and what you will." He said, Do not say, 'What Allah and what Muhammad will.' Rather say, 'What Allah wills and then what Muhammad wills.' (Ibn Qayyim al-Jauziyyah, Zad-ul Ma'ad fi Hadyi Khairi-l 'Ibad [Provisions for the Hereafter Taken From the Guidance of Allah's Best Worshipper], translated by Jalal Abualrub, edited by Alaa Mencke & Shaheed M. Ali [Madinah Publishers & Distributors, Orlando Florida; First edition, October 2001], Volume 4, p. 285)
Thus, Muslim sources, not Christians or Orientalists, emphatically affirm that Muhammads name being combined with Allah through the use of the Arabic conjunction wa implies partnership, that Muhammad is a partner with Allah! This is especially true when we realize that according to Sunni Islam the recitation of the Islamic creed is a necessary first step in attaining salvation. In other words, Muslim salvation is dependent on reciting that Allah is god alone and Muhammad is his messenger, which means that Muhammad is just as much a necessary object of salvation as is Allah!
In order to help Christians understand the significance and implicit idolatry associated with this conjoining of Allah and Muhammad it will be helpful to cite the following biblical passage:
"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, AND (kai) Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3
The Lord Jesus, by using the Greek conjunction kai in his prayer, makes himself the necessary object of the knowledge that leads to eternal life. In other words, Jesus makes himself a coequal partner with God by claiming that eternal life is dependent on knowing both the Father and the Son. As one commentary noted:
and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent--This is the only place where our Lord gives Himself this compound name, afterwards so current in apostolic preaching and writing. Here the terms are used in their strict signification--"JESUS," because He "saves His people from their sins"; "CHRIST," as anointed with the measureless fulness of the Holy Ghost for the exercise of His saving offices "WHOM THOU HAST SENT," in the plenitude of Divine Authority and Power, to save. "The very juxtaposition here of Jesus Christ with the Father is a proof, by implication, of our Lord's Godhead. The knowledge of God and a creature could not be eternal life, and such an association of the one with the other would be inconceivable" [ALFORD]. (Jamieson & Fausset & Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible; online source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
The late renowned Bible expositor John Gill stated:
The Arians and Unitarians urge this text, against the true and proper deity of our Lord Jesus, and his equality with the Father, but without success; since the Father is called the only true God, in opposition to the many false gods of the Heathens, but not to the exclusion of the Son or Spirit; for Christ is also styled the one Lord, and only Lord God, but not to the exclusion of the Father; yea the true God and eternal life; was he not, he would never, as here, join himself with the only true God; and besides, eternal life is made to depend as much upon the knowledge of him, as of the Father. The reason of this different mode of expression, is owing to the character of Christ as Mediator, who is said to be sent by the only true God, about the business of man's salvation. Nor is it of any moment what the Jew objects, that Jesus here confesses, that the true God is only one God; nor does he call himself God, only the Messiah sent by God; and that the Apostle Paul also asserts the unity of God, (1 Timothy 1:17); and therefore Jesus cannot be God: for Christ and his Father, the only true God, are one; and that he is the one true God with his Father, he tacitly suggests here by joining himself with him; and what the Apostle Paul says of the one and only wise God, may as well be understood of Christ, the Son of God, as of the Father; since all the characters in the text agree with him, and of him he had been speaking in the context. (online source; bold emphasis ours)
The grouping of the Father and the Lord Jesus as the necessary objects of salvation makes perfect sense in light of the Gospels teaching that Christ is God the Son (cf. John 1:1-4, 10, 14, 18; 17:1-2, 4-5; 20:28-31).
Interestingly, even the unbelievers saw that Muhammads statements were similar to what Christians were professing about Jesus!
It is related that Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet, "Part of your excellence with Allah is that He has made obedience to you obedience to Him. Allah says, Whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah (4:80) and If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you." (3:31) It is related that when this ayat was sent down, people said, ‘Muhammad wants us to take him as a mercy IN THE WAY CHRISTIANS DID WITH ISA,’ so Allah revealed, ‘Say: Obey Allah, and the Messenger.’" (3:32) (Iyad, p. 9; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Thus, Islamic tradition has basically turned Muhammad into a god by grouping him with Allah in its official creed as an object of salvation. It has done the inconceivable (in the words of Alford) by associating God with a creature.
For more on John 17:3 we recommend these articles:
The hadith regarding the Shahadah that includes Jesus' name in it has a reason for it.
Qurtubi said that the point of this hadith is to show the Christian how they went astray regarding their portrayal and belief regarding Jesus and his mother. And that a Christian can benefit from this saying if he said it in his testimony if he converted to Islam.
Nawawi said that this hadith is great in the sense that it talks about doctrine which is so abused by other religions. For example, the Jews did not believe in Jesus and they insulted his mother. This hadith shows honor to Jesus and his mother.
(Note: I only paraphrased Qurtubi's and Nawawi's interpretations. Check the link for the exact wording at http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=5299)
Several responses to these erroneous assertions are in order. In the first place none of the hadiths that include Jesus within Islams creedal confession is directed to Christians or Jews. The narrations are directed to all individuals:
The Prophet said, "IF ANYONE TESTIFIES that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah's Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit from Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few." (Junada, the sub-narrator said, "Ubada added, Such a person can enter Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes.") (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 644)
It is narrated on the authority of Ubadah b. Samit that the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: HE WHO SAID: "There is no god but Allah, He is One and there is no associate with Him, that Muhammad is his servant and His messenger, that Christ is servant and the son of His slave-girl and he (Christ) His word which He communicated to Mary and is His Spirit, that Paradise is a fact and Hell is a fact," Allah would make him (he who affirms these truths enter Paradise through any one of its eight doors which he would like. (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 0043)
Thus, everyone is required to publicly confess Christ as part of his or her testimony of faith.
Second, if the inclusion of Jesus within the creed was intended to help the Christians get their Christology right then by the same token Muhammad should have also included Ezra (Uzayr) whom the Jews believed was Gods son — according to the Quran at least:
And the Jews say, Ezra is the son of ALLAH, and the Christians say, the Messiah is the son of ALLAH; that is what they say with their mouths. They only imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before them. ALLAH's curse be on them! How they are turned away. S. 9:30 Sher Ali
Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri:
We said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" He said, "Do you have any difficulty in seeing the sun and the moon when the sky is clear?" We said, "No." He said, "So you will have no difficulty in seeing your Lord on that Day as you have no difficulty in seeing the sun and the moon (in a clear sky)." The Prophet then said, "Somebody will then announce, Let every nation follow what they used to worship. So the companions of the cross will go with their cross, and the idolators (will go) with their idols, and the companions of every god (false deities) (will go) with their god, till there remain those who used to worship Allah, both the obedient ones and the mischievous ones, and some of the people of the Scripture. Then Hell will be presented to them as if it were a mirage. Then it will be said to the Jews, "What did you use to worship?" They will reply, "We used to worship Ezra, the son of Allah." It will be said to them, "You are liars, for Allah has neither a wife nor a son. What do you want (now)?" They will reply, "We want You to provide us with water." Then it will be said to them "Drink," and they will fall down in Hell (instead). Then it will be said to the Christians, "What did you use to worship?" They will reply, "We used to worship Messiah, the son of Allah." It will be said, "You are liars, for Allah has neither a wife nor a son." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532s)
Using Qurtubis and Zawadis logic we would therefore expect Muhammad to have demanded that the Jews publicly profess Ezra as the slave and apostle of Allah so as to help cure them of their bad theology as well.
Third, if Nawawis reasoning were sound then we again would expect to find Muhammad commanding the Jews to acknowledge the apostleship of John the Baptist since they also reject(ed) him as a prophet.
As it stands none of Zawadis reasons provide a valid explanation why Muhammad included Jesus in Islams creedal statement.
Here is another hadith where the Prophet talks about Prophet Jesus. This is simply to honor Jesus just like in the previous hadith.
Volumn[sic] 004, Book 055, Hadith Number 655.
Narated[sic] By Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari : Allah's Apostle said, "If a person teaches his slave girl good manners properly, educates her properly, and then manumits and marries her, he will get a double reward. And if a man believes in Jesus and then believes in me, he will get a double reward. And if a slave fears his Lord (i.e. Allah) and obeys his masters, he too will get a double reward."
Zawadis quote here does nothing to help his case since this narration actually provides further support for our position. It again shows that Jesus is a necessary object of faith, just as much as Muhammad is, for a person to receive a double reward. Thus, if a Muslim wants to receive a double reward he must believe in Muhammad AND Jesus, and not simply profess faith in either Muhammad or Jesus alone.
Next, Zawadi responds to my accusation that Muslims are hiding Islams true confession or shahadah:
How are we hiding this piece of information if you took it from a Muslim website that made it public? If Muslims wanted to hide it, they would have deleted the hadiths from all the Bukhari and Muslim hadith books. Muslims who read Bukhari read this hadith. Think before you say something Sam.
The real testimony is "I witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" to become an orthodox Muslim. This is because Prophet Muhammad said that this Shahadah is one of the pillars of Islam and not any other Shahadah is. The other Shahadahs are statements of fact but this is the ultimate Shahadah because the Prophet said that this Shahadah is one of the five pillars of Islam and no other Shahadah.
Volume 1, Book 2, Number 7:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar:
Allah's Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity).
4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)
5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
Zawadi has once again basically proven my position and essentially refuted himself. Muslims hide the true shahadah by not making it mandatory for a person to confess the full shahadah which includes professing belief in Jesus, paradise and hell. Zawadi did this very thing by saying that the real testimony of faith is to profess Allah and Muhammad, which basically contradicts and ignores the very hadiths from the very same collections that say that this isnt the real creed of Islam.
Thus, Zawadi could have provided no greater proof for my assertion that Muslims hide Islams real shahadah than by what he stated above.
Hiding here does not mean to erase but to downplay, ignore and teach people not to follow it. Think and understand what you are reading before you say something, Zawadi.
Moreover, Zawadis assumption that Muhammad mentioning this specific shahadah in a list enumerating the pillars of Islam excludes all other shahadahs is simply erroneous. The fact of the matter is that Muhammad NEVER said that this specific profession is the ONLY shahadah that is part of Islams pillars. Had Muhammad said this then this would only prove that he contradicted himself, or that the hadith literature contains contradictory teachings.
However, if we seek to interpret the hadiths in light of each other then we would have to conclude that Muhammad taught that the pillars of Islam are:
Finally, another Muslim writer named Sami Zaatri also wrote a response to my paper:
Zaatris rebuttal was so bad that it would be a complete waste of time refuting it. Besides, the points we raised here sufficiently refute the arguments made by Zaatri.
In a more recent response, Zawadi had more to say about Islam's real shahadah:
Sam fails to understand the fact that if someone says 'Whoever testifies that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger' automatically means that the person proclaims that Jesus is a Messenger of God. Because that is what the Prophet Muhammad came and taught us. So even if I say "Whoever testifies that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger and Moses is the Messenger of God' or 'Whoever testifies that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger and Noah is the messenger of God' I am still a Muslim because I said the essential part of the statement which is 'Whoever testifies that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger' because once that statement is said, it automatically means that you proclaim belief in all the Messengers mentioned in the Quran.
I have already explained in this article http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/sunni_shahada_rebuttal.htm.
The one who really doesnt understand is Zawadi. If by professing faith in Muhammad a Muslim is automatically testifying that Jesus is a Messenger then there was no need for Muhammad to specifically single out Jesus as part of the confession in other narrations. The fact that he did single him out means that it is not enough to simply profess faith in Muhammad, since it is vital and necessary for a Muslim's salvation to also acknowledge that Jesus is Gods Word which he conveyed unto Mary, His Spirit, Apostle and Servant.
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