Salam Dear Elizabeth,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
In your blessed trip of learning to explore Islam, you should do some objective readings. Taking them step-wise, you would start by reading to examine the fact that Islam is the same eternal message, sent to guide humanity through all prophets.
It is also to examine the fact that Quran, revealed to Muhammad, the Seal of Prophets, is the last – and only book preserved intact – word of God. This is to also to say that it could not be the work of any human being. To prove that, you can read some books or articles, dealing with Science and Quran, for example: Quran and Modern Science – by Maurice Bucailles and Why Islam? Proofs of Modern Science – by N. A. Haroun.
You can also visit the following links:
Also, being a Christian converting to Islam, you can easily discover that some of the basic tenets of Christianity are totally different and even opposite to what Jesus himself has been sent with. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus proclaim that he was more than a human prophet ‘the son of man’, sent to the Israelite. This is to purify their souls and get them back to the original message of all prophets i.e. Islam.
You will find also that Moses, Jesus, Isaiah and other Israelite prophets has prophesied – according to the Bible itself – the coming of Muhammad, the Seal of messengers. For example, please read:
- Muslim – Christian Dialogue – by Hasan Baagil
- Islam the True Message of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad – by N. A. Haroun
- Is the Trinity Doctrine Divinely Inspired – by M. A. C. Cave
- Crucifixion or Crucifiction – by Ahmad Deedat
- Resurrection or Resuscitation – by Ahmad Deedat
- Jesus; a Prophet of Islam – by M. Ata ur-Rahim
- Muhammad in the Bible – by G. Badawi
- What the Bible Says about Muhammad – by Ahmad Deedat
Besides, the following site is also rich in articles:
The historical reality of the bible, both Old and New Testaments, can be ascertained, to find out that they are a collection of 68 human writings. These are documented and collected as a sacred book, several centuries after the departure of Moses and Jesus respectively.
Thus, neither of them can be considered the word of God. The only divine text preserved – by the will of Allah – is the Holy Qur’an. I suggest you read:
- Quran, Bible, and Modern Science -by Maurice Bucailles
- Let the Bible Speak – by A. Dimashqiyyah
- The Quran and the Gospels; a Comparative Study – by M. Abu-Layla
At this point you could be – insha’Allah – totally convinced that Islam is the authentic message of God to all humanity, everywhere to the end of time. You need to build a broad overview of Islam as a comprehensive message and guidance addressing: elements of faith, how to worship and get near to Allah, elements of Islamic morals and behavior, as well as basic legislation for the individual and community. There are some useful primers to read at this stage, for example:
- Islam; Faith and Practice – by M. M. Ahsan
- Comprehensive Background on Islam – by A. A. Al-Mawdudi
- Islam in Brief – By M. I. El-Masry
- Islam – by I. R. Al-Faruqi
- Islam at a Glance – by Dar El-Falah
- Islam, What is it All About – by Yahia A. Emerick
- Islam in Focus – by H. Abdul-`Ati
- Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam – by Yahia A. Emerick
You might also be interested to know more about the status of woman
in Islam, along with the Islamic concept of marriage and family. For this, you can read:
- Woman in Islam – by A. Limo
- Woman Under the Shade of Islam – by G. Badawi
- Family Structure in Islam – by H. Abdul-`Ati
- Family Life in Islam – by Khurshid Ahmad
Or you can also visit the sections about Women in Islam and Woman’s status in both Islam and Christianity, in the following sites:
It could be interesting also to examine the stories and
experiences of many new converts to Islam in:
You would now be ready to start your great trip to the world of Islam. It is very simple, you do not need any intermediary as there is no clergy or Church-like institution in Islam. You should simply testify that you believe there is no deity except Allah, and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His Messenger.
It is recommended, but not essential, to do that in the nearest Islamic center or major mosque – I am not sure of your whereabouts. You need also to have a purificatory bath, before going there. You need to take this step mainly to identify yourself as a Muslim, for legal and social considerations.
A useful guide can be the book: Your Way to Islam – by Muhammad Sulayman Al-Ashqar.
Becoming a Muslim, you are responsible before Allah to follow His guidance and develop you belief, understanding and practice of Islam. This is as well as striving to help others to achieve the blessings you thankfully gained by becoming a Muslim.
May Allah bless us all and guide us to His righteous path.
Thank you again for your question and please, do keep in touch.