Is it Important to Have the Intention to Repent from Every Disbelief (Kufr) when Reciting Testification (Shahada)?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I often doubt my faith (iman) because I think or do something. My question is, does saying the shahada or, in other words, accepting Islam remove all sins, including every kufr, and more than one kufr that one did, automatically, or do you have solely intend to repent from every kufr? In my case, I want to repent from every kufr, but sometimes I forget to have this intention in my heart when reciting shahada. I would say, “I want to repent from every kufr,” even when I forget to have intention in my heart, so is my shahada valid?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question and for showing concern about your faith.

Your regular testification and uttering of La Ilaha Illa Allah is valid and accepted, as you are saying it with intention, conviction, and concern. You just doubt that you are not saying it with intention, but you are. The fact that you are concerned shows you are a firm believer. The worry is a sign of faith, just as some of the Companions were concerned about evil thoughts coming to them. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “That is clear faith.” [Muslim]

If a person embraces and converts to Islam, or a Muslim performs the pilgrimage or migrates to another place to protect his faith, his sins will be wiped out.

Islam, Hajj, and Emigration (Hijrah) Erase All Sins Before Them.

‘Amr ibn al-‘As reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do you not know that embracing Islam wipes away all sins committed before it, that emigration wipes away what came before it, and the Hajj pilgrimage wipes away what came before it?” [Muslim]

Continue to repeat La ilaha illa Allah.

Continue to repeat La ilaha illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah) and make a daily habit of seeking forgiveness from Allah Most High as much as you can, the minimum is 100 times and perform two rakats of Prayer of Repentance (Salat al-Tawba) before bed and pray to Allah Most High to forgive you from all sins and all the believing men and women. This is sufficient, and don’t worry further.

Renew your Faith (Iman) by Repeating ‘La ilaha ilallah’

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Renew your faith (iman).”  It was said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! How should we renew our faith (Iman)?’ He replied, ‘Excessively repeat La ilaha illallah’ (There is no deity but Allah). [Musnad Ahmad; Mustadrak Hakim]

Renew Faith in Your Hearts Before it Wears Out.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily, the faith of one of you will wear out within him, just as a shirt becomes worn out, so ask Allah to renew faith in your hearts.

[Tabarani, Al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir]

Forgiveness For Testifying Faith with Certainty

Mu’adh ibn Jabal (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “No soul upon the earth dies while not associating partners with Allah and testifying that I am the Messenger of Allah, repeating it in his heart with conviction, but that he will be forgiven.” [Ibn Ḥibban]

The Last Words Are That There is No God But Allah

Mu’adh ibn Jabal (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He whose last words are ‘there is no God but Allah,’ will enter Paradise.”  [Abu Dawud]

Crying in Repentance Removes Sins Like Wind

Khazim ibn Husayn (Allah have mercy on him) reported that Malik ibn Dinar (Allah have mercy on him) said, “To weep over a mistake will dispel sins just as the wind dispels dry leaves.”  [Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Al-Riqqa Wal-Buka]

Read this valuable Reader on OCD and faith-related doubts and misgivings; you will find helpful guidance and advice, Insha Allah.

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.