Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
With regard to your question, Sheikh Hamed Al-Ali, Instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, answers:
It is not enough to write the words of shahadah online, except for the one who is not able to speak. The reason for this is that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to order anyone embracing Islam to say the shahadah by his or her tongue.
If this is done, then the one given the shahadah is called a Muslim.
To illustrate, the verses of the Quran and the hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) indicate that saying “La illaha illa Allah” (there is no god worthy of worship but Allah) is a condition for one to embrace Islam.
Furthermore, Muslim scholars have unanimously agreed that iman is a belief reposing in the heart and reflected through the verbal words (of shahadah) and religious observances.
The salaf (righteous predecessors) are also unanimous on this issue.
Thus, we conclude that we have to teach the one who is given the shahadah on the internet to say the shahadah by his or her tongue in addition to writing it so that we can consider him/her a Muslim.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.