How To Become a Muslim
If you are ready to embrace Islam as a way of life, the step that you need to take to become a Muslim is to recite the Shahadah – the Islamic declaration of faith in Allah and His Messenger.
You should be certain that this is what you really want to do. You will not have arrived at this point in your journey without having seriously contemplated the big step you are taking.
You might still be a little worried or apprehensive – that is perfectly understandable and natural. It is not unusual for people to convert to Islam and many people have successfully taken the path of becoming Muslim. Each one has probably been as nervous as you feel.
You will know in your heart what your desire is. Trust in Allah. He has placed this desire in your heart and has brought you this far on your journey to Islam.
To enter Islam and become a Muslim, you make a declaration of your faith by reciting what is known as the Shahadah.
You have to recite it in Arabic – but it is a very small statement and is easy to pronounce.
You should also then recite it in English, or whatever your own language is, and this is just to make sure that you understand exactly what you are testifying to.
This is the Shahadah statement.
” Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illaallaah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan-ar-rasool ullaah “
“I bear witness that there is no God worthy to be worshiped but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
It you can, it is best to go to a local mosque or Islamic centre and declare your shahadah there. This is because the Imam can slowly take you through the correct recital and pronunciation of the Shahadah. He can also answer any questions you may have.
If you cannot go to a mosque then you can recite your Shahadah with the help of another Muslim – perhaps a friend or a work colleague.
It doesn’t have to be an Imam who takes you through the Shahadah and you don’t have to say the Shahadah in a mosque.
Whoever helps you will probably say a few words of the statement in Arabic which you can then repeat. She/he will then say some more words of the statement which you also repeat – and so on until you have completed the Shahadah declaration. They will then repeat the process in English.
For such an important thing to happen in your life, it is completed in only a few seconds.
Don’t worry about making a mistake, the person helping you will ensure that everything is made easy for you.
Taking Shahadah is something you always worry about beforehand. You worry if you will pronounce the words correctly or if perhaps you will you get all tongue-tied? It is really very easy though, just follow whoever is leading you through saying the Shahadah.
If you cannot ask an Imam or another Muslim for help in taking your Shahadah then you can recite the Shahadah by yourself.
If you do recite your Shahadah on your own then it is recommended that you should also recite your Shahadah with Muslim witnesses in attendance, when you are able to.
If you come from a background where you have been a practising member of another religion, then it is sometimes recommended to recite a slightly more detailed Shahadah declaration in which any previous beliefs in anything other than the One God are renounced.
This extra part is not compulsory to enter the faith. If you recite just the basic Shahadah, with full knowledge in your heart that you reject the concept of the trinity or any other false gods, then that is sufficient to become a Muslim.
Here is the slightly longer testament of faith.
“Ash-hadu Al-laaa Ilaaha Illa-llaahu Wahdahoo Laa Shareeka Lahoo Wa-Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadan ‘Abduhoo Wa Rasooluhu.”
“I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the One alone, without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.”
Once you have recited the Shahadah, you have entered the fold of Islam. You are now a Muslim. It is that simple.
After Taking Your Shahadah
You should perform Ghusl as soon as you can after you have declared your Shahadah.
This means to take a full shower or bath and is an act of purification which you should carry out as soon as you can after taking your Shahadah.
Ghusl is described more fully in the Wudu section of the Learning Islam site.
You should also now begin to put into place the next stage of your new life as a Muslim – learn how to pray and begin to pray five times a day.
Here are three YouTube clips which will help you understand the reciting and taking of the Shahadah.
Listen to all three.
Find what you are comfortable with.
Practice the recitation.
Then, inshaAllah, you can make your declaration of faith as a Muslim and begin a wonderful new life.