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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim

To convert to Islam is a lie-changing decision that must be based on full conviction that Islam is the religion chosen by Allah (God) to guide humanity.

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The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background.

First, we thank you for your interest in Islam. Thank you for taking the time to read about Islam and Muslims.

If you take the decision to embrace Islam, be sure that you will never regret this decision.

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. To convert and become a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no prerequisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others.

How to Convert to Islam

If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the “Shahadah“, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The “Shahadah” is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.

With the pronunciation of this testimony, or “Shahadah“, with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.

Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one’s previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:

“Do you not know that accepting Islam wipes out all sins which come before it?” (Muslim)

When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person’s record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother’s womb. The new convert should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

The Qur’an and Hadith (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:

The only religion in the sight of God is Islam(Aal `Imran 3:19)

In another verse of the Qur’an, God states:

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire).(Aal `Imran 3:85))

In another saying, Muhammad, the Prophet of God, said:

“Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet of God also reported:

“Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: “I testify that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah (God),’ seeking thereby the Face of God.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Declaration of Faith (Shahadah)

To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning:

I testify “La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.”

The translation of which is:

“I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God.”

When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim.

The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Qur’an:

We did not send the Messenger before you without revealing to him: ‘none has the right to be worshipped except I, therefore worship Me(Al-Anbiya’ 21:25)

This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone.

Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.

Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one’s family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.

The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.

One must try to mold their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:

And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character.(Al-Qalam 68:4)

God also said:

And indeed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much.(Al-Ahzab 33:21)

He was sent in order to practically implement the Qur’an, in his saying, deeds, legislation as well as all other facets of life. `A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet, when asked about the character of the Prophet, replied:

“His character was that of the Quran.” (As-Suyuti)

To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahadah is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says:

Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love God, then follow me.’(Aal `Imran 3:31)

It also means that Muhammad is the Final Prophet and Messenger of God, and that no (true) Prophet can come after him.

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of God and the last (end) of the Prophets and God is Ever All-Aware of everything.(Al-Ahzab 33:40)

All who claim to be prophets or receive revelation after Muhammad are imposters, and to acknowledge them would be tantamount to disbelief.

We welcome you to Islam, congratulate you for your decision, and will try to help you in any way we can.

This video shows you how to practically convert to Islam…

 

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Source: Islamreligion.com.

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His Legacy New Muslims

The Prophet, New Muslims and Us

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How will the Muslim community welcome that new Muslim? What advice(s) will be given to them?

We all like this moment, when a brother or sister enters the masjid on a Friday, and announces the Shahadah (Declaration of Faith), and the whole masjid start saying “Takbir, Allahu Akbar”; I cannot deny that this is such an amazing moment, to witness someone who just found the right path, and took that extra step closer to God.

The bitter question is: What is next? How will the Muslim community welcome that new Muslim? What advice(s) will be given to them and how are they going to start their long journey in learning the deen of Allah.

I tried to search the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to examine what approach he used with newly converted companions after they became Muslims. Sometimes this aspect is overlooked when we focus on the event itself (saying the Shahadah) and consider it to be the ultimate goal of da`wah (Islamic outreach), and we neglect – or consider it to be less important – the post-Shahadah advice or curriculum given to new Muslims.

1- Recognizing New Muslims Talents

“The best among you in the days of ignorance are  the best in the days after accepting Islam, provided that they acquire true knowledge and understanding of Islam (fiqh; jurisprudence)”, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Every human being has their unique sets of talents and skills, and the Prophet recognized that fact and motivated people from the moment they accepted Islam. Two legends of the Muslim history, Khalid ibn Al-Waleed and `Amr ibn Al-`As, embraced Islam at the same day and gave a huge boost to this deen.

Khalid was the one who led the Muslim army to conquer `Iraq, Persia (Iran), Armenia, and Shaam (Syria & Lebanon). `Amr ibn Al-`As was the one who spread Islam in Palestine and Egypt.

Imagine the huge impact that these two men gave to Islam, and how many people were introduced to Islam and later on contributed to it and to humanity. All that was influenced by those new (and in comparison to other companions, late) converts.

It is interesting to note that both fought the Prophet and the Muslims fiercely in their early days; both had Muslim blood on their hands, especially Khalid ibn Al-Waleed, who was a main reason behind the defeat of the Muslims in the battle of Uhud. Despite all that, look at how the prophet welcomed the two new additions to the Muslim family:

– “O Allah, he (Khalid) is one of your swords, so support him”. From that time on, Khalid used to be called ‘the Sword of Allah’. (Al-Albani)

– “All people became Muslims, but as for `Amr ibn Al-`As he became a believer” (indicating that he immediately entered into a higher rank of faith than other new Muslims. (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Albani)

Khalid was given the leadership of the Muslim army in many battles, without this being a concern to those Companions who knew more Qur’an than him and embraced Islam years and years before him.

The seerah (Prophet’s biography) tells us about some battles where Khalid did take a wrong decision, due to his lack of knowledge; this did not discredit him or let the Prophet overshadow his talents and potential contribution to the Muslim nation.

2- Giving New Muslims Special Attention

`Amr ibn Al-`As was amazed by the special attention that the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave him. He actually thought that he is the most beloved Companion to the Messenger of Allah, and asked him a direct question one day: “Oh Prophet of Allah, who is the most beloved person to you” and the Prophet said: “`A’ishah (the Prophet’s wife)”;

– From the men?

– Her father (Abu Bakr As-Siddiq)

– Then who?

– Then `Umar, ..

In `Amr’s words: “After that, the Prophet started listing names and names of people, and this made me remain silent, fearing that he will place me at the end of the list…” (Al-Bukhari)

The Messenger of Allah had this gentle effect on all those around him, especially the new comers to Islam that made `Amr seriously think he is the best Companion in the eyes of the Prophet.

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We note his wisdom in recognizing the weaknesses in people and dealing with them based on that.

3- Da`wah Mission from Day One

Some Companions were commissioned to preach Islam from day one, and were given “ad-hoc” da`wah courses for that purpose. At-Tufail ibn `Amr Ad-Dawsi accepted Islam in the early days of Makkah, and immediately went back to his tribe to deliver the message of truth. He had a tough way of preaching Islam where he tells people: you either follow Islam or I will never talk to you again!

While this method may not work in year 2013 in downtown Manhattan or Paris, apparently it worked for some members of his tribe but not to all of them.

He came back to the Prophet (literally this was his second meeting with the Messenger after accepting Islam) and complained about his people. The Prophet made du`aa’ for Daws (his tribe) and told him: “Go back to your people, call them to Allah and be lenient with them”. (Ibn Ishaq)

4- Gradual Change in People’s Behavior

People might accept the idea of submitting to the one God, but they might have problems in some of the commandments (such as hijab, fasting the long days of Ramadan, etc…). The tribe of Thaqif agreed to embrace Islam but told the Prophet: “We will not give out any charity, and we will not fight in the way of Allah (jihad)”.

The Prophet accepted that from them, and he told his Companion: “They will (willingly) pay charity and perform jihad when they embrace Islam” (Abu Dawud and Al-Albani).

Again, we note his wisdom in recognizing the weaknesses in people and dealing with them based on that.

Other Companions had certain demands, such as praying with sujud (prostration) but no ruku`(bowing) (Ibn Rajab, Jami` Al-`Ulum Wal-Hikam), and others requested permission to pray only two prayers a day instead of five.

It is really important here to note that the Prophet did not ‘customize’ the religious teachings for those individuals; he rather considered that to be an introductory stage that was given to a particular person in their new journey in Islam.

Such exceptions were not given during a Friday sermon, for example, and were not taught and spread by other Companions; all those incidents and others teach us how the messengers of the Messenger of Allah (i.e. us) should have wisdom in inviting people to this great deen.

Sometimes and in certain situations with certain people, raising the bar and challenging people will produce the best out of them. In other occasions, we have to understand the human weaknesses and give people a gradual plan while they get up to speed, of course without compromising the basics and essentials of our deen.

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Source:  mohakeem.com

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