How to Convert From Catholicism to Islam

by Alison Lake
Conversion to Islam requires study of Quran and a simple declaration.

Conversion to Islam requires study of Quran and a simple declaration.

Converting to Islam from Catholicism is a relatively simple procedure when compared to converting to Catholicism or Judaism. Converting to Catholicism, for example, involves a lengthy process of attending weekly classes, extensive study, working with a sponsor and being formally converted in a religious ceremony. Conversion to Islam is comparably straightforward, although you should consider extensive study and reflection in the process of contemplating such a major decision as converting from one religion to another.

Steps and Considerations

Your reason for considering conversion is individual, as is your background, and should be assessed carefully. As a present or former Catholic, you will discover some common ground in Islam in the form of some shared theology and prophets. When looking at Islam's holy book, the Quran, you will discover many of the same prophets in the Bible: Moses, Jesus, Noah, Abraham, and more. For more information, read widely and join a converts group at your local mosque.

Catholics reading the Qur'an will notice some familiar stories and prophets, as well as an entire chapter devoted to the Virgin Mary, or Maryam. There is a major difference between Catholicism and Islam: Muslims recognize Jesus as a prophet but do not consider him to be Son of God. While Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad to be "the seal of the Prophets," or the last prophet, they do not worship him as Jesus is worshiped in Catholicism. Instead, they directly worship God, or Allah.

The first pillar of Islam, saying the shahada, is also the sole requirement for becoming a Muslim. Reciting "La illaha il Allah, Muhammad wa rasool Allah" or "There is only one God and Muhammad is His Prophet" in front of a witness is the singular formal step of conversion to Islam. While receiving a certificate is not a required step of conversion, it can be a helpful step to facilitate future considerations such as a Muslim marriage or pilgrimage to Mecca, called the hajj.

About the Author

Alison Lake has been a journalist and editor since 2001, working with numerous newspapers and magazines. She has served on the world news desk of the "Washington Post" and contributed to The Atlantic, Foreign Policy Online, Al Jazeera English and GlobalPost.

Photo Credits

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