Does Taking Shahada Require Witnesses?

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra 


What are the requirements for witnessing a Shahadah? Do the witnesses have to be men? Can they be women? Does SeekersGuidance have template Shahadah certificates we can issue?


Saying the shahada, or verbal proclamation of faith to convert to Islam, does not require witnesses to be valid. If one declares the testimony of faith in any way or form, even alone, that is enough for them to be considered a Muslim. Obtaining a certificate is not a requirement; however, it is recommended to have one. [Bayjuri, Tuhfa al-Murid]

Why Witnesses Have Been Required for the Shahada in Some Contexts

Historically, witnesses may have been required for conversion in Muslim societies because courts enforced laws on their citizens according to their religion, which would affect things such as inheritance, marriage, or Hajj. Conversion in court can also happen today in some Muslim countries for the same reason, where such certificates may come in handy for legal reasons.

Conversion Certificates

An Islamic center may wish to issue certificates to mark a conversion officially, and anyone present may act as a witness if they like. SeekersGuidance does not issue certificates, but perhaps you can try your nearest major Islamic center.


[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.