), literally translates as 'the phrase'. It is referred to as such due to its centrality to Muslims in their faith. Affirmation of the Kalimah is the first of the 5 pillars of Islam and belief in the meaning of the Kalimah is the primary distinction of what defines a Muslim.
Arabic text - لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
English translation - There is no god but Allāh,
Muhammadis Allah's Messenger
Pronunciation - lā ‘ilāha ‘illallāh muhammadur-rasūlullāh
The Kalimah & the Shahādah
The Kalimah is commonly confused with the shahādah, which is a declaration of belief in the Kalimah. The Kalimah is essentially a statement, and the Shahadah is a testimony confirming the Kalimah and its meaning.
Compare the 2 phrases below:
The Kalimah - There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is Allah's Messenger
The Shahadah - I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is Allah's Messenger
Several national and regional flags display the Kalimah:
* The flag of
Saudi Arabia, on a green background.
* The unrecognized state of
1990to 1992, the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
1997to 2001, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban.
* Per the
2004draft constitution for Afghanistan, white script centered on a red background.
* The flag of the
Supreme Islamic Courts Councilof Somalia.
* One of the proposed flags of
Several other flags display the Kalimah, such as the flag of
* [http://muslimspeak.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/the-kalimahshahadah-in-various-languages/ Translations of the Kalimah & Shahadah into various languages]
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