I've read here that one version of the Shahada (شهادة) is

There is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger

Does this imply that there are, or may be, gods unworthy of worship?

  • Great question. I assume it means" There is only Allah, you ought not to worship those things who you assume them as God (or unreal supposed gods of you). Good luck. May 7, 2016 at 8:32

4 Answers 4


Two quick points in answer to your question:

  • The entire phrase "god worthy of worship" is an awkward translation of the single Arabic word "ilah." That's because there isn't an easy English cognate. Suppose you had a statement: "There is no car in the parking lot" but instead of it being framed that way it said instead "There is no 4-wheeled vehicle capable of automotion in the parking lot." In the first case, the question of whether there are other kinds of vehicles never arises because of the structure of the statement. Similarly in this case, it's just an artifact of translation that raises the question of there being other gods.

  • A god/deity is by definition worthy of worship. It is not possible to extricate the two. If that weren't the case, that god is seriously deficient in their abilities, which brings into question their being a god in the first place. In Islam, the point is that there is (and can only be) one such being and that we should direct our worship to him alone.


No it doesn't! Islam is monotheistic and believes in only one supreme all-encompassing God. The Shahada, especially when read in original Arabic clearly does never say that there are other gods apart from Allah albeit unworthy of worship.

However the wisdom behind translating it as the above is intended to highlight the full implications of Shahada which is negation of not just all false deities but also mislead/delusional life purposes. That is, Shahada is not only meant to negate all inconsistent, adulterated, misidentified or downright mythical/blasphemous concepts of God, but on the more ethical/practical level, it is also intended to condemn human preoccupations with this-worldly ends (e.g. wealth, status, carnal desires etc) as when they are wrongly treated as the ultimate purpose of life pursued with the kind of passion shown towards objects of worship, while it is only the real supreme God that is worthy of unconditional devotion and ultimate pursuit.

  • Subhanallah... loved this answer!
    – Ahmed
    May 7, 2016 at 21:37

Back in the time of Prophet Muhammad Sallalaho Alaihiwasallum, there are people who used to worship multiple gods, including Sun, Moon and other clay sculptures. This version of Shahadah is for those people who think that there are multiple gods exist, to let them realize that ALLAH is the only GOD that is really worthy of worship.


This definitely does not imply that there are other gods, however there are people who believe in different gods and

There is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger

is for them. Allah is the one and only creator and true God. If you want I can reference many Ahadith and verses from The Holy Quran that confirm the Unity of Allah and that Allah is the only God and Creator of everything.


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