Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. Every day in some part of the world people is converting to Islam. The number of Muslim converts is increasing at a greater pace in the West because of the increasing awareness among people about Islam.
How to Convert to Islam
Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process. All that a person has to do is to say a sentence called the Testimony of Faith (Shahada), which is pronounced as I testify
لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ
“Laa ilaaha illal Lahu Muhammadur Rasool Allah”
These Arabic words mean, “There is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” Once a person says the Testimony of Faith (Shahada) with conviction and understanding its meaning, then he/she has become a Muslim. Allah says:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Say, “If you love Allah, then follow Allah will love you and He will forgive for you your sins. And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al Imran 3:31)
The people who wish to convert to Islam need proper guidance because it is a life-changing process and there are a certain set of rituals or activities that need to be performed to enter into the circle of Islam and proclaim to be one of its followers. Before moving on to the way a person should convert to Islam, a soon to become Muslim should have an understanding of the essence of Islam. The lines below firstly discuss the importance of Islam for a Muslim and secondly the way a person should convert to Islam.
Islam As a Religion:
There must be some truth to Islam that is why a huge number of people all over the world is converting to Islam. In the Quran, Allah Almighty has time and again mentioned the importance of Islam by focusing on its tenants.
There are many benefits of converting to Islam:
- One forms a personal and direct relationship with God
- One feels and is aware that God knows everything
- One feels God assist him in all matters of life
- One finds true happiness and tranquillity
- One finds real inner peace and real life
- One achieves salvation from Hellfire
- Converting to Islam answers all life’s BIG questions
- Conversion to Islam brings harmony into all relationships
- Converting to Islam allows a person to truly experience God’s love
- Converting to Islam, we transform all aspects of life into act worship
- Converting to Islam brings mercy, forgiveness, trials, and tribulations
- Converting to Islam allows every aspect of life to be an act of worship
Make sure you know what it means to be a Muslim and how to act like one:
The first and foremost rule of being a Muslim is believing in the one and only Allah. Allah is the only God, the only Creator, and the Almighty. He is the only one you should be doing your good deeds for and the only one who shall be worshipped.
- Islam considers anyone who follows its teachings to be a Muslim, regardless of when or where she or he lived.
- The Quran is God’s final scripture that affirms the truth in the previous scriptures and rectifies any falsehoods or corruptions.
- Avoid associating yourself with any sect in Islam. Allah and his Prophet command us to be united.
Read Islamic scripture: The Quran is the central religious book of Islam, believed to be the unadulterated word of God and the culmination of all previous Christian and Jewish scripture.
Talk with an Imam: Imams are Islamic religious scholars who conduct religious services inside and outside the mosque (Masjid).
Say the Shahada: If you’re sure you want to become a Muslim and fully submit to the will of Allah, all you need to do is recite the Shahada, a short oral declaration of faith. Be aware that once you have said the Shahada, you are committed to following Islam for life. The words of the Shahada are “Ash-had anla elaha illa-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Mhammadur rasul-Allah”, which translates to “I testify that there is no other god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.”By saying the Shahada, you become a Muslim.
- The first part of the Shahada (“Ash-hadu anla elaha illa-Allah”) refers not only to deities from other religions but also to worldly things which can take the place of Allah in your heart—wealth and power, for example.
- The second part of the Shahada (“wa ash-hadu anna Mhammadur rasul-Allah”) is a recognition that the word of Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. Muslims are required to live by the principles of Muhammad revealed in the Quran and follow his example, as he is the final messenger.
- The Shahada must be said with sincerity and understanding to be binding. You can’t become a Muslim just by pronouncing the words—the oral recitation is a reflection of the belief that’s held in the heart.
- You should never kill, lie, steal, or anything of the sort, and will follow Allah’s commands detailing how He wishes to be worshipped. In other words, you will follow the Islamic rules.
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ
“We did not send before you (O Muhammad) any messenger but We revealed to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me.” (Surah Al-Anbya 21:25)
Besides the verbal proclamation of Shahada, there are different elements in which a Muslim has to believe in the heart, meaning that they do not require a proclamation. These elements of belief are as follows:
- Believe in Allah – Believing in Allah Almighty. Although it is a part of Shahada as well, however, it does not mean that one needs to say it from tongue only and there is no need to believe in the heart, rather this should be acknowledged at both places.
- Believe in Angels – Believing in the angels as the creation of Allah Almighty who are servants to Him and carry out His orders.
- Believe in the Divine Books – Believing in the Books that Allah Almighty has sent down for the guidance of humankind. A Muslim is naturally to believe in Quran as a book of guidance, however, he or she is also to believe in the other Books that Allah Almighty sent upon other Prophets for the guidance of their respective nations.
- Believe in the Prophets – Believing in all the Prophets that Allah sent down to preach the message of truth. A Muslim is to believe in the Prophecy of Muhammad (PBUH), however, like Books, he or she must also believe in the other Prophets that were sent in earlier times for guidance of mankind.
- Believe on the Judgment Day – Believing in the life Hereafter is another element of the Muslim faith.
- Believe in Fate – Believing in fate is another element of the Muslim faith. In the Muslim faith, there is good and bad fate and both are from Allah, therefore, one must also accept the role of fate in life to convert to Islam.
- Believe in Life After Death – The last thing that a person must believe in the heart to convert to Islam is in the rising after death. A convert must believe that after this life he or she will rise again and that will be eternal life.
Understand and embody the five pillars of Islam
Islam’s Five Pillars are obligatory actions that Muslims must take. They represent the core of pious Islamic life. The Five Pillars are:
- Testimony of Faith (Shahada). You make this when you become a Muslim by declaring that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.
- Performance the five daily prayers (Salah). Prayers are made throughout the day, five times, in the direction of the holy city of Mecca.
- Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm), if able. Ramadan is a holy month marked by fasting and additional good deeds such as prayer and charity.
- Give 2.5% of your savings to the poor (Zakat). It is the personal responsibility of Muslims to help those less fortunate.
- Making a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Those who can are required to make the journey to Mecca at least once.
وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“And whoever seeks other than [the] submission/Islam (as) religion then never will be accepted from and he in the Hereafter, (will be) from the losers.” (Surah Al Imran 3:85)
Islam is a lifelong journey and people work at different speeds. Don’t let anyone rush you, and don’t rush yourself. Take the time to make a decision best for your relationship with Him. Converting to Islam is one of the greatest blessings of Allah Almighty. When converting to Islam a person must proclaim by saying the words of Shahada out loud and in his or her heart they must believe in the other major elements of Islamic belief to get closer to Allah Almighty and be officially called a ‘Muslim’.