The artwork of the Shahada (ٱلشَّهَادَةُ), originally calligraphed by the Muslim sage and gnostic Shaykh al-Qandusi, is a printed reproduction. Shaykh Muhammad bin al Qasim al Qandusi, who was born in the Sahara Desert, immigrated to Fez and became recognized as an Islamic medical healer, a knower of God and a calligrapher. He penned many books and collections of poetry and he gave ijaza (a chain of authorized transmission) of the Dala'il al-Khayrat to Sultan Suleiman, the King of Morocco belonging to Alaouite dynasty. Furthermore, he composed a wonderful a copy of the Holy Quran that consists of twelve large volumes, in his unique calligraphic script which is presently preserved in the Bibliothèque Générale in Rabat, Morocco. The Shahada of this panel is a recreation of one of the pages from the Quran. He passed to the next world in the year 1278 AH/1861 CE.
For Muslims, the Shahada contains the whole doctrine of Islamic faith and its recitation is the first pillar of Islam. The shahada can literally be translated to “witnessed” or “witnessing. It consists of the two following statements:
لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ
There is no deity but God.
مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ
Muhammad is the messenger of God.
The first shahada, la ilaha illa Alllah was revealed in the Quran itself and is the ultimate statement concerning Divine Unity and Transcendence. Furthermore, or many mystics like Shaykh al Qandusi himself, it also the means the reintegrating of all positive qualities back into the One (Al-Ahad). The shahada also means that there is essentially no beauty but the Divine Beauty, no goodness but the Divine Goodness, no power but the Divine Power and no reality but the Divine Reality.
By extension, the second shahada means that Muhammad (the Glorified, the Perfect) is the Messenger (the intermediary, the spokesman) of the Divinity for humankind.
Details of al Qandusi ShahadahCalligraphic Panel
۩ Style: Maghrebi al-Qandusi Script
۩ Country of Origin: Morocco
۩ Size: Approximately 46 x 34 cm (including frame)