People interested in the teachings of Islam sometimes find that the religion and lifestyle resonate in a way that makes them consider converting to the faith in a formal way.
If you find yourself believing in the teachings of Islam, Muslims welcome you to make a formal declaration of faith. After careful study and prayer, if you find that you want to embrace the faith, here are some information on how to do it.
Conversion to a new religion is not a step to be taken lightly, especially if the philosophy greatly differs from what you are familiar with. But if you have studied Islam and considered the issue carefully, there are prescribed steps you can follow to formally declare your Muslim faith.
Many Muslims prefer to say that they have “reverted” rather than “converted” to Islam. Either term is generally accepted by the Muslim community.
Before You Convert
Before embracing Islam, be sure to spend time studying the faith, reading books, and learning from other Muslims. Your decision to convert to Islam should be based on knowledge, certainty, acceptance, submission, truthfulness, and sincerity.
It is not required to have Muslim witnesses to your conversion, but many prefer to have such support. Ultimately, though, God is your final witness.
In Islam, there is a very clearly defined procedure for making your conversion/reversion to the faith. For a Muslim, every action begins with your intention:
- Quietly, to yourself, make the intention to embrace Islam as your faith. Say the following words with clarity of intention, firm faith, and belief:
- “Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill Allah.” (I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah.)
- “Wa ash-hadu ana Muhammad ar-rasullallah.” (And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.)
- Take a shower, symbolically cleansing yourself of your past life. (Some people prefer to shower before making the declaration of faith above; either way is acceptable.)
As a New Muslim
Becoming a Muslim is a not a once-and-done process. It requires dedication to learning and practicing an acceptable Islamic lifestyle:
- Pray and practice Islam in your daily life.
- Continue to learn, study, and grow in your new faith. Seek support from Muslims if available.
- Maintain your existing family relationships to the best of your ability. Some may have difficulty accepting your decision; but at all times try to keep the doors open and be a good example of humility, kindness, and patience.
- Share your story to find camaraderie and to inspire others!
If You Are Considering Hajj
If at some point you wish to go for Hajj (pilgrimage), a “certificate of Islam” may be required; contact your local Islamic center to obtain one; they may ask you to repeat your declaration of faith in front of witnesses.