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Thinking of Converting, Have Some Questions

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 18, 2018

Question

I am considering converting to Islam and have several questions. Is my name permissible, or should I change it due to it having un-Islamic meanings? Todd means fox, clever or wily (intending to be deceitful), and Christopher means Christ-bearer. My next question is hair on men, my hair is long, it is past my shoulders but is neat and kept clean, am I commanded to cut it if I convert? My beard is already in and long. My last question is I still am researching and trying to clear doubts, should I take my Shahadah now or wait and clear my doubts first and say it with a clear mind? Thank you.

Consultant

Answer


Thinking of Converting, Have Some Questions

Short Answer: Are you happy with the direction your life is taking, with the decision to embrace Islam? If you feel peace within yourself and you are seeking knowledge then, there is no reason to delay. Try to talk to Allah and ask Him to show you the way. This should bring peace to your heart. You can expect more pressures on you when you convert, and you will need to explain to others how and why you have taken this decision. It is easier if you are clear in your mind. That is all you need to be comfortable with. God Willing, everything else will fall into place with time.

………….

Salam (Peace) Dear Brother,

Thank you for the confidence you show in us with your questions.

Everyone coming to Islam has similar questions. So that should not deter you.

First, it is recommended that you do not change your surname, family name or father’s name.

It is recommended to change the first name if there are obvious un-Islamic meanings. If you intend being in the company of Muslims then it is better to change it to a name that will help you to identify with them.

Your family members may still prefer to call you by your given name. The names that are preferred are Abdul with the suffix of an attribute of Allah. For example, Abdul-Rahman, Abdullah etc. Or the name of a prophet e.g. Daud, Suleiman, Muhammad, etc or a name that has virtue e.g. Ahmad, meaning much praised.

Hair may be considered a personal choice but we have the practice of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to guide us. Yes, it should be clean and tidy and the length is not a real issue.

The Sunnah, the best practice, that is, the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was the length of the beard was about the width of a hand, about 12 cm. But the Sunnah is a recommendation only in this case.

I would respectfully suggest your research may never end. There is always likely to be something you would need to look up. The main question is: Are you happy with the direction your life is taking, with the decision to embrace Islam? If you feel peace within yourself and you are seeking knowledge then, there is no reason to delay.

Try to talk to Allah and ask Him to show you the way. This should bring peace to your heart. You can expect more pressures on you when you convert, and you will need to explain to others how and why you have taken this decision.

It is easier if you are clear in your mind. That is all you need to be comfortable with. God Willing, everything else will fall into place with time. If you cannot explain your actions then you will become frustrated and even begin to doubt yourself.

You may send us your questions to clear any doubts you may have about Islam. We will be more than glad to help you out.

I hope this helps answer your questions.

Salam and please keep in touch

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Should My Friend Change His Surname After Converting?

What Books to Read Before Converting to Islam?

Accepting Islam: From Heart to Tongue

 

 




About Daud Matthews

Daud Matthews was born in 1938, he embraced Islam in 1970, and got married in Pakistan in 1973.

Matthews studied physics and subsequently achieved Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the British Computer Society and the Institute of Management.He was working initially in physics research labs, he then moved to computer management in 1971. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1997 first with the University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran,and then with King Saud University in Riyadh. He's been involved in da'wah since 1986.

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