Does Ignorance and Lack of Practice Necessitate Saying the Shahada (Testification of Faith)?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


I was born Muslim, but in my teenage years, I was ignorant and didn’t practice or know my deen. I never prayed, and I even mocked the deen for laughs.

Alhamdulilah, Allah guided me to Islam, but because of my foolishness towards the deen, there is a possibility I unknowingly committed kufr back then. I want to know if I should have said the shahada in front of witnesses. I say the shahada often, usually alone.


In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. Be deeply grateful for the gift of guidance.

Distance from religion, sin, and religious unawareness don’t constitute disbelief (kufr). Disbelief (kufr) is only an outright rejection of belief. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid ‘ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

You don’t need to re-state the Testification of Faith (shahada).

Did I Leave Islam by Making a Dua Jokingly?
How Do I Deal with the Fear of Having Fallen into Kufr?
How Can I Overcome Thoughts of Kufr in My Everyday Life?
Does Allah Forgive All Sins, especially Kufr, even if Done Repeatedly?

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), and his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of “Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004).” Since 2011, the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center has named Shaykh Faraz one of the 500 most influential Muslims.