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Stuck at the Midway to Islam…

Questioner

Shailender

Reply Date

Oct 04, 2016

Question

I am an Indian residing in the UAE. I come from a multi-religious atmosphere. My father is a Hindu and my mother a Christian. And among my relatives are Muslims and Buddhists. I decided to choose Islam at the age of 19 and started learning the prayers and going for the prayers. However, owing to my father’s transfer I could not complete it. Now I want to continue to the conversion after studying about Islam for all these years. I am well-versed with the prayers and responsibilities of a true Muslim. Please advise me about the final procedure of conversion and the centers that can help me in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Thanks!

Consultant

Answer


Stuck at the Midway to Islam…

Salam Dear Shailendar,

Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

May Allah bless you for your choice of Islam as your way of life!

It is not difficult for an educated person nowadays to learn about Islam. By the grace of God, books and websites are aplenty. The only problem is to choose the right resources. It is good that you are confident of your learning of Islam so far.

I would request you to continue the study and gather as much knowledge of Islam as you can. Especially, you can concentrate on the Holy Quran. You can learn its verses by heart, so that you will be able to recite them for prayer, for contemplation and for spiritual benefit.

Similarly we need to learn the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) too. This should be done with a view, towards ordering our lives in their mold in today’s contentious world.

One of the greatest intellectuals among Muslims today, Nuh Ham Mim Keller – who was originally a Roman Catholic – has written:

“It is not through an act of the mind or will that anyone becomes a Muslim, but rather through the mercy of God….”

As this is true, you must be thankful to God Almighty for guiding you to the truth of Islam.

You become a Muslim the moment you accept that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and everything in it is One, and that He has sent His prophets to guide mankind to a most balanced life here, leading to a life of eternal happiness in the hereafter.

Accordingly, I understand that you are already a Muslim.

Every human, according to Islam is born a Muslim (one who submits peacefully to God) in a larger sense of the term. Because – in that sense – anyone who submits to the laws of Allah, implicit in the laws of nature, is a Muslim. But, humans are different from other creatures in that they have intelligence, imagination and freedom of will and action. This fact is underscored in the Quran by the idea that man is Allah’s khalifah (vicegerent) on earth.

The freedom of humans implies that they are accountable for their actions. Islam teaches that humans should make good use of the blessings given by Allah Almighty. As you become a Muslim you choose to lead a life of peaceful obedience and submission to Allah.

The formal manner of becoming a Muslim is to pronounce the shahadah or the testimony of faith:

This is as follows:

ash-hadu anlaa ilaaha illa-llah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh.”

The meaning is:

“I bear witness that there is no god [deity – worthy to be worshipped] but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His servant and messenger.”

Islam requires the person to submit him/herself whole-heartedly and fully to Allah, as He (SWT) commands in the Holy Quran in Surah 6, verse 162:

{Say: “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are [all] for Allah, the Cherisher of the worlds.}

As Muslims, we have willfully submitted our whole self, our whole life… to Allah. Now, our duty is to obey Him. This means that being Muslims, we cannot worship other gods; and we cannot go after anybody who presumes to give other laws.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about faith, that it:

“Faith is made up of over sixty branches: the highest of which is the belief in the Oneness of Allah, i.e. there is no God but Allah; and the lowest in the scale of worship is removing obstacles from people’s way.”

He has also said that:

“Receiving your friend with a smile is sadaqa (charity), helping a person to load his animal is sadaqa and pouring some water in your neighbor’s bucket is also sadaqa.”

The Prophet once told his companions that they would even be rewarded, for having sexual intercourse with their wives.

The companions were astonished; they asked how would they be rewarded for doing something they enjoy that much!

The Prophet asked them:

“Suppose you satisfy your desires outside wedlock, wouldn’t you indeed be violating Allah’s commandments by that?”

They replied:

“Yes!”

“So…” he said, “by satisfying your desire as He wanted you to do – lawfully with your wives – you are rewarded for it.”

The above hadiths point to the comprehensive approach of Islam to worship. This is which enables a person to purify and spiritualize the entire spectrum of his/her life. But, this is not to belittle the importance of rituals in worship.

Actually, ritual worships – if performed in its true spirit – elevate Man morally and spiritually. They enable him to carry on his activities, in all walks of life according to the Divine Guidance of God.

Before you formally take the shahadah, it is recommended that you wash yourself clean, as a token of your giving up all the vestiges of unbelief or wrong beliefs and practices. Then, you embrace the truth of guidance from God, as you take the shahadah.

For further guidelines and help you may contact the Islamic Information Center in Dubai at +971 43986950, 04 318 5000.

Thank you again for contacting us and please, do keep in touch.

May Allah accept you as one of His most beloved servants, deserving of His grace and mercy!

Salam.




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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