First Kalma

The First Kalima is the Kalima Tayyaba كَلِمَاتْ اَلطَّيِّبَة, where Tayyab or Tayyaba means purity. The 1st Kalima is a very popular phrase that almost every Muslim recites and memorizes. In fact, it forms the base of one's faith, as it contains the first and foremost part of the Islamic faith and is also one of the five pillars of Islam.

The first of the five pillars of Islam, known as Tawheed is a profession of faith that there is no God but Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and that Muhammad is His Messenger. The 1st Kalima comprises this fundamental pillar of Islam; hence, it is of prime significance. Therefore, it is learned, memorized, and recited frequently and abundantly by Muslims worldwide.

The First Kalima is also used as a symbol of one's embracing Islam. When non-Muslims revert to Islam, they must recite Kalima Tayyaba or the Shahadah, which symbolizes that the person has entered Islam.

First Kalma Tayyibah (Word of Purity)

كَلِمَةُ اَلطَّيِّبَة

لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ ؕ

Tayyibah (Word of Purity)

ilāha illā-llāh, muhammadu rasūl u-llāh

There is no god but Allah, [and] Muhammad [PBUH] is the messenger of Allah

lā ilāha illā-llāh, muhammadu rasūl u-llāh

There is no god but Allah, [and] Muhammad [PBUH] is the messenger of Allah

Kalima is an Arabic word that means "a phrase." In the Muslim communities, especially in the sub-continent, six Kalimas are taught to children from a young age. These Kalimas or Kalmas encapsulate the fundamental concepts of Islam. Muslims memorize these Kalimas as part of their faith. However, these are more popular in South Asian countries than in other parts of the world.

The Significance of Kalima Tayyaba

The first Kalima, more commonly referred to as Kalima-e-Tayyaba, is the base of the faith of a Muslim. It has two parts.

The first part is the firm resolve by the reciter that there is no one worth worshiping except Allah Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. It means that the reciter confirms and resolves his faith in the oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, which is the basic and most essential part of our faith, being a Muslim. It is the concept of monotheism which forms the foundation of faith in Islam.

The second part of the Kalima Tayyaba comprises the confirmation and resolve that Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. Scholars are of the view that it also is a confirmation by the reciter that Muhammad ﷺ is the last and final Messenger of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.

So, both parts of this Kalimah are equally important and combined together to form the basic and first and most important pillar of Islam, known as Tawheed. That's why a person who intends to embrace Islam is asked to recite this phrase as the very first thing in his Islamic life.

So, the first Kalima carries huge significance as the basic element of faith.

Reciting Kalima Tayyabah

Reciting the kalima tayyabah has no limits. Being the first pillar of Islam, it is perhaps the most frequently recited phrase in Islam.

Where Can We Read the First Kalima

It can be read anytime, anywhere. There is no restriction on reciting this Kalima. In fact, this is the phrase that has to be recited while embracing Islam. On the other hand, a kid born in a Muslim family is traditionally taught this phrase as the first thing right at the beginning of his/her life. Traditionally, the kids are taught this Kalima along with other Kalimas in the schools and Masjids, especially in the sub-content or South Asian countries.

When Can We Read the First Kalima

Apart from being taught to recite it from the very early stages of the life of a Muslim, Kalima Tayyab can be and is recited in times of difficulties in one's life. Muslims often recite it to come out of gloomy periods of their life. It helps strengthen their faith and belief in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, which gives them courage and patience to face the miseries of life.

Apart from that, it can also be recited to come out of fears and shocks. Repeated recitation of this Kalima enhances one's ability to cope with all kinds of fear and shocks.

How Many Times Can We Recite the First Kalima 

There is no prescribed limit for reciting this Kalima in a day. It can be recited as many times as possible. At the same time, there is no lower limit of reciting it per day. So, it can be recited only once a day, whereas there is no upper limit; you can recite it hundreds of times a day at your convenience.

Incorporate Kalima Tayyaba into Your Daily Life

Kalima Tayyab should be made an essential part of our daily life. There are so many implications of reciting it daily. It impacts our lives in many ways. Most importantly, the Kalima should be read in its entirety. Sometimes, people just recite the first part, which should not be done as a routine. Always recite the complete version of the first Kalima.

Here are some of the impacts of this Kalima on the life of a Muslim who recites it frequently.

  • It's a sort of refreshing one's memory that we should only worship Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى
  • It also reminds us that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the Messenger (and the last messenger) of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى
  • It differentiates us from the non-believers or non-Muslims
  • It strengthens our belief on the concept of monotheism, oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى
  • Once the repeated recitation of this Kalima strengthens the faith, a Muslim finds it easy and simple to transform his life and deeds on the true and right path, as outlined by Islam.

Benefits of the Kalima Tayyab Based on the Quran and Hadith

The first Kalima is not mentioned in the Quran as a complete phrase; rather, the first part of it, لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا, ٱللَّٰهُ is found at different places in the Quran. The second part of this Kalima, مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ, is mentioned in the Quran at the start of the 29th Verse of Surah Al-Fath.

Additionally, there are several places in the Quran where the oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and the Prophet-Hood of Muhammad ﷺ is mentioned as the basic element of being a believer and Muslim. Hence, reciting it frequently carries huge benefits, as is also emphasized in different Hadiths.

This Kalima is a part of the five pillars of Islam; in fact, the first pillar of Islam, as narrated in the Hadith number 2609 of At-Trimidhi:

Translation - Narrated Ibn 'Umar: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Islam is based upon five: the testimony of La Ilaha Illallah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the establishment of the Salat, giving the Zakat, fasting (the month of) Ramadan, and performing Hajj to the House.

The importance of this Kalima is also mentioned in Hadiths, such as Hadith number 1444 of Sunan Ibn Majah:

Translation - It was narrated that Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: 'Urge your dying ones to say La ilaha illallah."

Similarly, Hadith number 94b of Sahih Muslim also speaks about this important part of the faith of a Muslim:

Translation - Abu Dharr reported,: I came to the Apostle (may peace be upon him ) and he was asleep with a white mantle over him. I again came, he was still asleep, I came again and he had awakened. I sat by his side and (the Holy Prophet) observed: There is none among the bondsmen who affirmed his faith in La illaha ill-Allah there is no God but Allah) and died in this state and did not enter Paradise. I (Abu Dharr) said: Even if he committed adultery and theft? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: (Yes) even though he committed adultery and theft. I (again said): Even if he committed adultery and theft? He replied: (Yes) even though he committed adultery and theft. (The Holy Prophet repeated it three times) and said for the fourth time: In defiance of Abu Dharr. Abu Dharr then went out and he repeated (these words): In defiance of Abu Dharr.

Another Hadith appearing at serial number 3796 of Ibn Majah narrates as under:

Translation - It was narrated from Mu'adh bin Jabal that the : Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said: "There is no soul that died bearing witness to La ilaha illallah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah, from the heart with certainity, but Allah will forgive it."

So, keep reciting the first Kalima; rather, make it a habit to read it and make it a part of your daily routine, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It just takes a few seconds to read it.