How to Convert to the Muslim Religion

by Timothy Peckinpaugh

While Islam was born out of the Jewish and Christian traditions, Muslims believe in a few essential differences. Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad is God's, or Allah's, last and most significant prophet and that the Quran is Allah's sacred text. The process of converting to Islam is simple, as long as you have an earnest desire to practice the faith. However, once you become a Muslim, you must familiarize yourself with Islamic practices and traditions to partake fully in the religion.

Conversion

Gather witnesses.

Learn the shahadah, which is the incantation "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger." You should learn the incantation in Arabic; Muslims have a high regard for the language since it was the language of the Prophet Muhammad.

Recite the shahadah three times in front of witnesses. You must sincerely believe in what you are saying.

Following Islamic Customs

Learn the Five Pillars of Islam. These are five essential components to the faith. The first, repeating the shahadah, which is a common phrase in Islamic countries and calls the faithful to prayer sessions. The second pillar is salat, or worship. Muslims pray five times daily. In Islamic countries, a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer. The third requires participation in sawm, or fasting, during the month of Ramadan. Do not consume food or drink between sunrise and sunset on each day of the month and abstain from sex and smoking during this time. Zakat involves donating a portion of your income to charity. Hajj, the last pillar, requires making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life, if you are able.

Read the Quran. The Quran is the sacred Muslim text. Many Muslims read all 114 chapters during the month of Ramadan. Consider memorizing portions of the text as well. While the Quran is available in English translations, Muslims believe that to grasp it fully, you must read in the original Arabic.

Familiarize yourself with dietary restrictions. Permitted foods are called halal, while prohibited foods are haram. Prohibited foods include any food from pigs, including fats such as lard, as well as animals not slaughtered in the specific halal manner. Alcohol is also haram.

Items you will need

  • Witnesses
  • Quran

Tip

  • While the process of converting is simple, it requires a sincere desire to convert. Be sure of your sincerity before undertaking the process.

About the Author

A resident of Riverside, California, Timothy Peckinpaugh began writing in 2006 for U.S. History Publishers, based in Temecula, California. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Riverside, with a bachelor's degree in English.

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