), 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, Muhammad is 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 Somaliland.
* From 1990 to 1992, the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
* From 1997 to 2001, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, under the rule of the Taliban.
* Per the 2004 draft constitution for Afghanistan, white script centered on a red background.
* The flag of the Supreme Islamic Courts Council of Somalia.
* One of the proposed flags of Uyghurstan.

Several other flags display the Kalimah, such as the flag of Hamas.

External links

* [http://muslimspeak.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/the-kalimahshahadah-in-various-languages/ Translations of the Kalimah & Shahadah into various languages]

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