All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe. May peace and blessingsof Allah be upon Mohammad, His last messenger.
The purpose of this hand-out is to correct a false idea spread amongthose willing to adopt Islam as their faith. Some people have a wrong notionthat entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concernedperson in the presence of high ranking scholars or shaikhs or reportingthis act to courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thoughtthat the act of accepting Islam, should, as a condition, have a certificateissued by the authorities, as evidence to that effect.
We wish to clarify that the whole matter is very easy and that noneof these conditions or obligations are required. For Allah, Almighty, isabove all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts. Nevertheless,those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to registerthemselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, as this proceduremay facilitate for them many matters including the possibility of performingHadj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah.
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction andstrong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for allhuman-beings, then, one should pronounce the "Shahada", the testimony offaith, without further delay. The Holy Qur'an is explicit on thisregard as Allah states:
"The superstructure of Islam is raised on five(pillars): testifying that there is no God (none truely to be worshiped)but Allah, and that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah, performing theprayer, paying the Zakah (poor-due), fasting the month of Ramadan,and performing Hadj".
The Shahada can be declared as follows:
"ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH".
The English translation is:
"I bear witness that there is no deity (none truly to be worshipped)but, Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah"
However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimonyoraly either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe init by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is trulysincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he willfind himself a new born person.
This will move him to strive more and more to improve his characterand draw nearer to perfection. The light of the living faith will fillhis heart until he becomes the embodiment of that faith.
What would be next after declaring oneself a Muslim? One should thenknow the real concept underlying this testimony which means the Onenessof Allah and meet its requirements. One must behave accordingly, applyingthis true faith to every thing one speaks or does.
What do the words of the "Shahada" signify? The significant point whichevery Muslim must know very well is the truth that there is no God (deity)to be worshipped other than Allah. He - glory be to Him - is the only trueGod, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, since He is the Giver of lifeand Sustainer and Nourisher of mankind and all creation with His unlimitedbounties. Man must worship Allah, Who alone is worthy of worship.
The second part of the Shahada (i.e., Wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadanrasul-Allah) means that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is the servant andchosen messenger of Allah. No one must have two opinions about this matter.In fact the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PBUH), to believehim in what he has said, to practice his teachings, to avoid what he hasforbidden, and to worship Allah alone according to the message revealedto him, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations andinspirations conveyed to him by Allah.
What is the meaning of worship? It simply means rendering sincere service,showing reverence for Allah. In a deeper shade of meaning, it implies totalsubmission and complete obedience to Allah's commandments both in utterancesand actions of man whether explicit or implicit.
Worship fall into two categories:
This type of worship is associated with movement of the parts of thehuman body.
Invisible worship is to believe in Allah, in the Day of Judgement (inthe Hereafter), in the Angels, in the Books of Allah, in the Prophets ofAllah, in the Divine Decree of destiny (that good and bad are determinedby Allah alone).
This type of worship does not involve movement of parts of the bodybut it surely has bearing on one's heart which subsequently affects one'sway of life.
It should be borne in mind that any worship not dedicated to Allah alonewill be rejected as one form of polytheism and this causes apostasy fromthe Islamic fold.
The next step for a newly revert to Islam is to purify himself by takinga complete bath. He should then resolve to comply with the principlesand rules of Islam in their entirety. He should disown all forms of polytheismand false beliefs. He should reject evil and be righteous. Such rejectionof evil and being righteous is one of the equisites of the motto of Islam- that is, Laa Ilaha Illallah.
Allah states in the Holy Qur'an:
This is the firmest anchor of belief which materialise the meaning of"AL WALA" and "AL BARA". It means that a Muslim should love and be loyalto his Muslim brothers. He should, as a practice, dissociate himself completelyfrom the unbelievers and refuse to be influenced by them, both in worldlyand religious matters.
We conclude with a humble prayer to Allah that may He cleanse the heartsand souls of those who are genuine seekers of truth and may He bless thecommunity of believers. Aameen.