The Conversion Process

Accepting the Testimony of Faith is all it takes for a person to enter the fold of Islam.

Acceptance

 
The process towards conversion varies from person to person, but the act of conversion is the same for each convert - it is to internalise and accept belief in the two phrases of the testimony of faith:

There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

Once a person is content in their heart to articulate this to themself, they have embraced the essence of Islam.

This is usually followed by a formal declaration of faith, called the Shahada.

 

 


The Shahada

 

Witnesses

The Shahada involves reading the two declarations of faith in the presence of witnesses.

Often this declaration of faith will be conducted in the presence of an Imam (religious leader). They may ask you some questions prior to reciting the shahada to ensure that you are aware of the meaning of what you are saying, the import of what you are doing and that you are not being coerced to do it.

It's important to note that it is your right to choose where you say the shahada and who you say it in front of. If you would prefer a more intimate and select audience to what is being suggested let the person conducting the shahada know of your preference.

 

Belief in the Articles of Faith

Sometimes you may be asked at the time you take your shahada if you also believe in other things for example Angels, other Prophets, and the Day of Judgement.

You may not yet be sure on your belief in these matters.

It may take time for some new Muslims (particular those coming from a no faith background) to understand these, and are often internalised further along on their journey.

Keep an open mind to the other articles of faith, but realise they are not a pre-condition to embracing Islam. The key at this stage is that you feel comfortable in acknowledging your belief in the two declarations of faith.

 
 

Uttering the Declaration

 As per custom, the individual will likely be asked to recite the declaration of faith in the Arabic language.

 

Ritual Cleansing

After conversion you may be recommended to perform a ritual washing (a shower) symbolising the cleansing of the self from any impurities from your past and beginning a fresh start.

 


Convert Journeys and Experiences

These are a list of books, articles and videos of the journey and the experiences of both prominent public figures, and the average person on their conversion to Islam.

  • In this book Professor Lang gives a very personal account of his search for God when he found out that his inherited religious beliefs could no longer answer his questions.

    A chance encounter led him to Islam.

    But now, how does he adapt to his new community, its beliefs and lifestyle?
  • Drawing on his personal experiences as a Muslim, Professor Lang discusses conflicts between faith and reason, obstacles in converting to Islam, extremism within some Muslim communities and future outlook for American Muslims.
  • In this extraordinary and beautifully-written autobiography, Asad tells of his initial rejection of all institutional religions, his entree into Taoism, his fascinating travels as a diplomat, and finally, his embrace of Islam.
  • Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam reflects Carol Anway's experiences as a mother whose daughter became a Muslim convert and the journey of reconciliation and acceptance of her daughter's change in tradition.

    Daughters of Another Path includes portions of stories from fifty-three American born women who have chosen to become Muslim.

    Why and how they came to Islam; what their lives are like as a result of that choice; how non-Muslims can relate to Muslims that are relatives, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances.

    --Midwest Book Review
  • Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s conversion story.
  • A short write up of Yusuf Islam’s (formerly Cat Stevens) conversion.
  • "The Butterfly Mosque," journalist G. Willow Wilson's remarkable story of converting to Islam and falling in love with an Egyptian man in a volatile post 9/11 world, was praised as an eye-opening look at a misunderstood and often polarizing faith ("Booklist") and a tremendously heartfelt, healing crosscultural fusion ("Publishers Weekly").

    Inspired by her experience during a college Islamic Studies course, Wilson, who was raised an atheist, decides to risk everything to convert to Islam and embark on a fated journey across continents and into an uncertain future. She settles in Cairo, where she attempts to submerge herself in a culture based on her adopted religion and where she meets Omar, a man with a mild resentment of the Western influences in his homeland.

    They begin a daring relationship that calls into question the very nature of family, belief, and tradition. Torn between the secular West and Muslim East, Wilson records her intensely personal struggle to forge a third culture that might accommodate her values without compromising them or the friends and family on both sides of the divide.
  • From hustling, drug addiction and armed violence in America's black ghettos Malcolm X turned, in a dramatic prison conversion, to the puritanical fervour of the Black Muslims.

    As their spokesman he became identified in the white press as a terrifying teacher of race hatred; but to his direct audience, the oppressed American blacks, he brought hope and self-respect.

    This autobiography (written with Alex Haley) reveals his quick-witted integrity, usually obscured by batteries of frenzied headlines, and the fierce idealism which led him to reject both liberal hypocrisies and black racialism.
  • An excellent lecture regarding some of the most fundamental questions that has been asked by mankind throughout history: the purpose of life and why there is suffering from an Islamic perspective.
  • Jordan Richter grew up in a broken home. Despite the odds stacked against him, he became a professional Skateboarder at the young age of sixteen.

    Shortly after turning professional, he converted to Islam and was told by religious clerics that earning an income from skateboarding was not permissible. Dedicated to his new faith, Jordan quit his career as as professional skateboarder.

    15 years later he finds out that he was misinformed. In this intimate portrait film, we follow Jordan (now 37 years old) as he attempts a return to the world of professional skateboarding while maintaining balance in his life as a devout Muslim.

    This is his story.