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Conversion to Islam – The Personal Journey

a new Muslim praying namaz after converting to Islam
Islam is a religion that offers many benefits to its followers, including spiritual peace, forgiveness of sins, and the promise of a good afterlife. When someone converts to Islam, they must follow Islamic values and rules, which can be challenging. They may also face difficulties from family and friends. Support and understanding from other Muslims are crucial during this journey. Converting to Islam can occur due to marriage or a search for truth, and it leads to a stronger relationship with Allah.

Conversion to Islam is a personal journey that starts with the Arabic word Islam, which means submission and peace. To attain true peace of mind and conviction of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His revealed law.

Converting to Islam is a deeply personal and spiritual journey. It involves exploring one’s own thoughts, discovering new insights, and seeking spiritual fulfilment. In this blog, we will share the details of the conversion process and examine the steps that guide a person in their journey of converting to Islam.

Step-by-step Process of Conversion to Islam

Islam is more than a religion; it is a way of life that connects you to the Creator and His creation. If you feel drawn to Islam and want to join the community of over a billion Muslims, you can do so by following these easy steps;

The conversion process begins with reciting the Shahadah, which is the testimony of faith.

Shahadah (The declaration of faith)

The first and most important step is to put your faith in Allah and His Messenger. To do this, you need to recite the Shahadah with sincerity and conviction:

Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulu-Allah.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulu-Allah.
I bear witness that there is no God but God (Allah – there is none worthy of worship but Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
  • The first part of the Shahadah (Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah) refers not only to the gods of other religions but also to worldly things that can take the place of Allah in one’s heart, such as wealth and power.
  • The second part of the Shahadah (Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulu-Allah) is the recognition that Muhammad is the last messenger of Allah. Muslims must live according to the principles of Muhammad revealed in the Quran and follow his example.

It’s important to note that reciting the Shahadah testifies to the Oneness of Allah and that the Prophet (PBUH) is the last Messenger of Allah. However, declaring the Shahadah without truly understanding and believing in its meaning is not meaningful to Allah. What matters most is having a strong and unwavering faith in your beliefs. Ultimately, this is what makes you a Muslim in the eyes of Allah. It’s the sincerity and conviction in your heart that truly define your connection with Allah.

Read more about the importance of making sincere intentions.

Ghusl and Purification

After converting to Islam, the second step is for the new convert to perform Ghusl – a total ablution. This ritual signifies the purification of the individual in every possible way and marks their entry into Islam as a newborn. By doing so, the individual leaves behind their past and starts afresh with a completely blank slate.

You can read our blog for more information on how to perform Ghusl.

Learn and Understand the Teachings of Islam

t is important for a person who has converted to Islam to learn and understand its teachings and principles. They should dedicate their life to following the path of righteousness and worshipping Allah. And living their life for the pleasure of Allah rather than for mere human beings.

Allah Almighty says in the Quran,

“Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood. So whoever renounces false gods and believes in Allah has certainly grasped the firmest, unfailing hand-hold. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”

(Quran 2:256)

After becoming a Muslim, it is important to learn about Islam by exploring the Quran and understanding Prophet Muhammad’s life and teachings. One should also get familiar with the five pillars of Islam, such as prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.

Tranquility and Inner Peace

After converting to Islam, individuals experience a newfound sweetness of faith, which brings about a sense of calmness and inner peace that they have never felt before. This peace and tranquillity are gifts from Allah (SWT) and are a result of the intimate relationship one develops with Allah (SWT), which surpasses any human relationship. By sincerely loving and devoting oneself to Allah, a person automatically adopts goodness and spreads it to those around them.

Benefits of Converting to Islam

Islam is a religion that offers many advantages to those who embrace it. Some of the advantages are;

  • Direct Connection with Allah: A person can communicate with Allah directly without any intermediaries. This makes a person conscious that Allah is always watching and helping them.
  • True Purpose of Life: After converting to Islam, a person understands the real meaning of their life, which is to acknowledge Allah and obey His commands.
  • Inner Peace and Happiness: Converting to Islam brings about true happiness, tranquillity, and inner peace.
  • Forgiveness of Sins: When a person becomes a Muslim, all their past sins are erased, and they start a new life of piety and righteousness. As a Muslim, if a person makes mistakes, they only need to repent sincerely to Allah, as there is no one else to confess to.
  • Salvation from Hellfire: Islam saves a person from the Hellfire, which all the prophets warned about.
  • Eternal Paradise: The best advantage of converting to Islam is the promise of eternal Paradise from Allah. Those who enter Paradise will live forever in bliss, without any sickness, pain, or sorrow. Allah will be pleased with them, and they will be satisfied. Even the lowest rank in Paradise will have pleasures ten times greater than this world, and they will have whatever they wish. Paradise has pleasures that are unimaginable—things that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has thought of. It will be a real life, not just spiritual but physical as well.

Changes after Conversion to Islam

Conversion to Islam is a life-changing decision that affects many aspects of a person’s life. After converting to Islam, people usually see significant changes in their lives. One significant change is starting to follow Islamic practices like daily prayers, giving to charity (Zakat), fasting during Ramadan, and maybe going on the pilgrimage to Mecca. This transformation goes beyond just doing rituals; it affects how they live, what they eat, and how they interact with others. They also adopt Islamic values like compassion, justice, and humility, which guide how they act and relate to others. Many people also choose to change their name and clothing, known as Islamic identity.

Common Challenges Faced by Converts

  • Family Acceptance
  • Making New Friends
  • Community Acceptance
  • Loneliness
  • Getting rid of bad habits
  • Feeling like others don’t consider you a real Muslim
  • Studying and learning Arabic, Quran, and Islamic lessons
  • Changes to Lifestyle
  • For women, wearing hijab

Conversion to Islam is a life-changing decision that comes with many benefits but also some challenges. Some of the common challenges faced by converts are:

How can we help newly converted to Islam?

If someone is a new convert to Islam, we can support them in the following ways:

Listen Actively:

  • Give your full attention without interrupting.
  • Avoid sharing personal stories, opinions, or solutions.
  • Be patient and focus on the speaker.

Accommodate Their Faith:

  • Be mindful of Muslim dietary restrictions.
  • Consider serving fish or vegetarian dishes.
  • Provide a space for ritual prayers and ablution.
  • Support those adopting modest dress with an open mind.

Do Your Research:

  • Seek information independently to save the convert’s time.
  • Explore trustworthy books, visit a mosque, or consult online resources.

Maintain an Open Mind:

  • Challenge biases about cultural and religious differences.
  • Recognize the diversity of traditions and practices globally.

Ask Questions Tactfully:

  • Inquire respectfully about changes without being judgmental.
  • Seek information with a tone that shows genuine curiosity.

Focus on the Positives:

  • Celebrate the positive changes in the convert’s life.
  • Acknowledge improvements in habits, health, morality, and discipline.

Responsibilities after Conversion to Islam

After converting to Islam, individuals take on various responsibilities that shape their new way of life. One of the primary responsibilities is to engage in regular acts of worship, which involves performing the five daily prayers (Salah) and observing other religious obligations. It becomes essential to learn and follow Islamic principles and values, which guide behaviour and decision-making.

Conversion to Islam for marriage

If someone converts to Islam solely for the purpose of marriage, they may eventually discover the beauty of the religion and develop a genuine interest in it. As they delve deeper into Islam, they might sincerely seek Allah’s pleasure and become devoted Muslims. Those around them can encourage them to ensure that their intention is ultimately to please Allah and truly embrace Islam. Marriage should be viewed as a natural outcome rather than the primary goal. This way, their entry into the blessings of Islam becomes meaningful, and Allah is likely to accept their conversion.

Conversion rate to Islam

Conversion to Islam is a phenomenon that varies across regions and contexts, making it difficult to measure accurately. Some factors that may affect the data include legal restrictions, social stigma, and personal privacy. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015, there were 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, which is approximately 24% of the global population. This number is projected to increase to 2.2 billion by 2030, which will be approximately 26% of the world’s population. However, in the United States, about a quarter of Muslims are converts, and Islam is expected to gain 3.22 million new adherents through conversions by 2050. Conversions continue to occur, especially among women and African Americans. On a worldwide level, Islam has a positive outlook, with an estimated 420,000 more people joining than exiting between 2015 and 2020.

Conclusion: The Experience of New Muslims

Islam is a religion that has many benefits for its followers. It helps them connect with Allah and follow his commands. Islam also gives them peace and happiness that are not based on material things. It also forgives their sins and promises them a good afterlife. When someone converts to Islam, they change their way of life to follow Islamic rules and values. But they may also face some difficulties, such as family reactions or learning new things. They need support and understanding from other Muslims, and they need to focus on their duties as Muslims. Converting to Islam can be a result of marriage or a search for truth. It is a journey that has many rewards and challenges, and it leads to a better relationship with Allah.

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