Ash Shahid
The Witness

Exalted and Glorious

Say: “Oh people of the Scripture! Why do you reject the ayat (signs) of Allah, while Allah is Witness to what you do?”  (3:98)

Whatever of good reaches you is from Allah, but whatever evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him) as a messenger to mankind and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness. (4:79)

Say: “What thing is the greatest in witness?” Say: “Allah, the Greatest is Witness between me and you.”  (6:19)

This name clarifies that Allah witnesses Himself as the only One to be worshipped with no partner.  Allah is All-Powerful and All-Wise.  He is called the Witness because He is Omnipresent, sees and knows everything, and every single thing is under His control and knowledge.  He is also called so because He is present everywhere and observes all things.

If a person has a rebellious and disobedient child, and he repeats this name, his child will become obedient.

As-Shahid is the Witness, the Ever-Present from Whom nothing is hidden. He is the Seer of everything, and the Witness Who is the All-Knowing of every explanation. So fear Allah Who sees you, and Who witnesses you always.

From: The Meanings of the Names of Our Lord by Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i Head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land Teacher at the Dome of the Rock (al-Aqsa)


He is the one who witnesses all that happens everywhere at all times.

Allah is close to all things, whether we think of them as near or far.  He pays attention to all events, whether we see them as large or small,  He knows everything through His attribute of al-‘Alim.  He is aware of the secrets and inner aspects of everything through His attribute al-Khabir, He is a witness to everything that appears, whether there are other witnesses to it or not, through His attribute ash-Shahid.  On the final Day of Judgment, He will reveal Himself as the witness to every action of every human being.

Ibn Mas’ud (pbuh) had gone with some of the other Companions for a stroll into the country near Medina when they saw a child shepherding a flock. They invited him to share their meal.  The boy declined, saying that he was fasting.  This excessive devotion amazed the Companions, as it was not the month of Ramadan;  partly as a pleasantry and partly as a test, they asked the boy to sell them a sheep and promised him half of its meat as a gift.  The boy said that the sheep were not his and he did not have the right to sell them.  Then, with the intention of testing him, they said, “My son, who will know?  You can always say that you lost a sheep.”  At that, the boy screamed Ayn Allah?  “Where is Allah?”  and ran away.  As a reward, Ibn Mas’ud (pbuh) bought the whole herd from its owner and donated it to the young shepherd, who thus profited immediately in the world for his awareness of ash-Shahid.  Ibn Mas’ud, when he met the young man from time to time in Medina, would tease him by asking him, “Where is Allah?’

‘Abd ash-Shahid witnesses the truth of everything as well as the absolute Truth and sees that he, as well as everything else, is under the will of that absolute Truth.

A person guilty of revolting against Allah despite knowing well that he is doing something wrong may be able to control his actions if he undertakes to recite ya Shahid in a series of 21 repetitions at a time.  The same recitation made while putting one’s index finger upon the hand of a disobedient child may make the child more obedient.

From: The Name & the Named by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti