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In the name of God

Islamic Invitation Centre

 

 

Converts

Q: How to become a Muslim?

A: You make the declaration, which is in two parts:

  1. To bear witness that no one deserves to be worship except Allah
  2. To bear witness that Prophet Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah

This makes a person Muslim. But it should be said in Arabic. Next a person takes a shower, and He/She is a Muslim.

After a person becomes Muslim he/she is taught about Prayers, Fasting, the Poor due, Pilgrimage. These are pillars of Islam.

Muslims are brothers. A Muslim should love for his brother what he loves for himself. Allah's wealth does not run out, and Allah can provide for us all. We pray for each other, and love each other, and love for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves.

For more information, go to [How to become a muslim?]

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Q: Why should I revert to Islam?

A: Because Islam alone is the true religion. As such, Islam alone will give you guidance and salvation.

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Q: What does Islam have to offer me?

A: Everything! It offers guidance and direction to each and every aspect of our lives; from the purpose of our existence, to how to clean oneself after relieving oneself.

Accept Islam, you will be happier, more centered, and above all, YOU will have peace where before was chaos and confusion.

For a snapshot look at some practical daily routines muslims benefit from, see [way of life].

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Q: Is Islam suited to a particular race or colour, or is islam universal and suitable for all colours and races?

A: Islam is universal and therefore suitable for all colours and races, and at all times. This means that you will have white converts, black converts, asian converts, indian converts, christian converts, british converts, american converts, european converts, german converts, french converts, spanish converts, mexican converts, jewish converts, atheist converts, budhist convert, Hindu converts, Seikh converts(Siek converts, Seik converts). Basically converts from every race, colour and creed.

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Q: What will I lose after accepting Islam?

A: Only your disillusions of God!

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Q: Can I delay my conversion?

A: No.

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Q: How do I know the right time to convert?

A: You never will!

- "declare the Shahadah (the Testimony of Faith) and then you can strengthen yourself by learning how to perform the Prayers and other forms of worship. If you keep delaying your acceptance of Islam until you feel you are “ready” you will never feel ready. This is just one of Satan’s tricks to keep you away from Islam. Do you have any guarantee that you will live until tomorrow? So don’t hesitate if you are convinced that Islam is the Truth. Also, don’t expect your faith to be perfect and strong before you enter Islam. Actually, all of us see our faith increase and decrease in turn. Nobody, including Allah, expects you to be perfect from day one. Enter the fold of Islam and then gradually learn to practice the faith. " - IslamOnline

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Q: Do I tell my parents and family I've become a Muslim?

A: This is probably the hardest thing you will have to do as a new Muslim. For many people, it poses the prospect of opening up old wounds, risking hurt feelings on both sides, and threatens to rip apart familial relationships. For others, they know that they will be accepted by their parents, siblings, and other family members unconditionally. Mash'Allah. For teenagers, the advice would be different than advice that for an adult.

Advice for Teenagers

Oftentimes, this is a situation which is best handled with care. It is often at times better to wait six months, a year or more to tell them. The reasons for this vary: you need to be more established in Islamic practices, and you need time to make friends and build a support system within the Muslim community. This is so that if your parents react to your announcement by attempting to "deprogram you," or schedule "an appointment" with the local minister / priest / rabbi, you will be able to rely on your knowledge of Qur'an, and the strength that being a practicing Muslim has given you. Allowing yourself time to build a support system within the Muslim community is important so that you will have friends to help and guide you, to help answer any questions or concerns your family might have, and to help you out should your parents decide that you can no longer live in their house.

If you are fearful that your family may react with physical abuse, or a kidnapping and "deprogramming" attempt (yes, it happens), please make sure that you have someone there as a witness and support. Whether you are Muslim or not, you have the right not to be abused. If your family is abusive towards you, seek the necessary help to get out of that situation as soon as possible.

Another reason that it might be wise to wait awhile is to allow your parents to see the positive changes that Islam will bring about in you: greater care to hygiene and appearance, greater discipline in your daily activities and your schoolwork, the fact that you are not falling under negative peer pressure to drink or drug or have sex, that you are more willing to honor your parents by helping around the house, that you are more attentive in your job (if you have one), etc. Allow them time to be pleased with these positive changes, so that they may see that Islam is for the better, not just for you, but for all people. If they see that Islam is "good for you," they may react more positively when you talk with them about it.

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Q: Do I need to go to the masjid/mosque in order to officially pronounce my conversion?

A: No. It is not required. There is a mistaken belief that entering into the Islamic fold requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of high ranking scholars or sheikhs or reporting this act to courts of justice or other authorities. Islam is simple, what else would you expect from a true religion? If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human beings, then, one should pronounce that "Shahada" (The testimony of faith) without further delay. The Holy Qur'an is explicit in this regard as Allah has stated,“ Truly, the Religion on the sight of Allah is Islam” (3:19). In another verse of the Holy Qur'an, Allah has stated:“ And whosoever desires a religion other that Islam, never will it accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who are lost” (3:85).

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Q: Is there a ritual like baptism needed to convert?

A: No ritual is necessary only for the Shahada, the profession of faith: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet and Messenger". Making this statement is all that is needed to convert to Islam because in making this statement one is asserting that one believes in all what Mohammad introduced and in all his teachings.

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Q: Do I have to change my name? Do I need an Islamic name?

A: No. In principle, there is no requirement whatsoever to change one's name. The only exceptions are people who have a name with unpleasant or pagan connotations. Although there's no such thing as Islamic names, many of the non arabic names may be derived from pagan backgrounds eg Jesus, is a greek name, and given the pagan origins of today's christian religion, some works have pronounced the name Jesus as having pagan origins, from the words Ja-Zeus meaning Sun God.

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Q: Do I have to reject my country, its culture and tradition?

A: Not necessarily! You reject that which isn't part of Islam, and retain that which is acceptable.

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Q: Why do you say "revert" to Islam?

A: Muslims believe that everything in the universe, except for some people, is naturally in a state of submission to Allah. The planets move in their orbits, molecules break down and recombine, flowers bloom, spread their seed and die, all in exactly the ways Allah decreed for them. "Islam" means this natural state of submission to Allah.

Human beings are born pure, naturally in a state of Islam, or submission to Allah. Islam categorically rejects the concept of original sin, insisting instead on original purity. As humans grow, they lose this state of original purity due to the influence of the society around them and the machinations of the Devil. When a human makes a conscious decision to do his best to return to the pure state to which he was created, he reverts -- or goes back -- to Islam.

Some Muslims prefer to use the term 'convert.' It's a matter of personal taste.

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Q: Now that I have converted, is it ok to acquire all islamic knowledge from books?

A: Islam is a not a religion of self-interpretation. It is a straight path based on knowledge that must be acquired. It is a lifestyle that has to be adhered to, and is unfortunately being influenced by many negative elements, both within and outside Islam. Without a guide, it is difficult to differentiate the truth of Islam from the created falsehoods that are being propogated as Islamic teachings.

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Q: Is it all right for him to say his prayers in English?

A: The Salat should be done in the same way as the Prophet -peace be upon him- did it. The Prophet said, “Pray as you have seen me praying.” (al-Bukhari 595 and many other Ahadith). This means that the timings, the rak’ahs, the positions, the language, the readings, the special adhkar etc. all of them must be according to the way of the Prophet. A new Muslim can begin with few words and should learn the whole prayer in Arabic as soon as possible. It is not very difficult.

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Q: How important is it for me to learn arabic?

A: What is required of every Muslim is to be able to read the surah entitled "Al-Fatihah" and some other passages of the Qur'an in Arabic to enable him to offer his prayers. However, it is to the advantage of every Muslim to understand Arabic, because that would enable him to have a better insight into his faith.  

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Q: Is Circumcision obligatory after conversion?

A: Circumcision, for new born boys, is recommended. It is not compulsory. Therefore, if a child born to a Muslim family is not circumcised and he remains so until his death, he does not commit a sin. It is true that it is unhygienic to remain un-circumcised.

If an adult accepts islam, then he should choose for himself, there should be no great emphasis attached unduly to circumcision. If he is a good Muslim, whether he is circumcised or not, it does not affect his status in any way.

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Q: How will I acquire knowledge on Islam? There is alot of information on islam online, is that enough?

A: Through books, magazines, internet, and most importantly, through contact with scholars.

Islam on line can be a good thing, but be careful.

One convert gives the advice:

"The Internet can be a wonderful place for learning about Islam. In fact, since my conversion, the Internet has been my primary source of materials with which to educate myself further about Islam. There are many excellent sites, but I would caution the new Muslim not to accept the information on all sites blindly, particularly if they have an arrogant, strident or unpleasant tone or stray from plain facts and concentrate on controversial opinion or on an overtly political agenda.

I would also urge new Muslims to avoid email forums or chat rooms about Islam absolutely. There are some nasty people lurking there - self-styled pseudo scholars preaching hellfire, doling out personal abuse and decrying sincere Muslims as non-believers. I was left utterly demoralized at one time and very, very angry on several occasions. I have now unsubscribed from all such forums. New Muslims should keep in mind the Hadith: "Verily, Allah is mild and is fond of mildness, and He gives to the mild what He does not give to the harsh." (Muslim) If a website or e-group you come across is far removed from the above, then remove yourself from it!"

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Q: Jews/Christians have a special place in Islam, do they have to 'convert' to acquire salvation?

A: Yes, they do. The prophet (pbuh) said "By Him in whose Hand is the life of Muhammad! There is no one from this nation, be he a Jew or a Christian, who hears of me and dies whilst not having faith in what I have been sent with, except that he will be one of the companions of the Hellfire."

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Q: Can converts attend the funeral of their non-muslim relatives?

A: Muslims are also allowed to attend the funeral of their non-Muslim relatives or friends without participating in the funeral prayers of non-Muslims. Muslims only pray in the Islamic way. There is no non-Islamic way of prayer permissible for Muslims.

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Q: I am a white middle-class Englishman, will Islam accept me?

A: Yes. There is no racism in Islam.

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Q: I am a white American, given that muslims hate America, will the muslims accept me into their community?

A: Yes. The beloved uncle of the prophet Muhammad(pbuh) was savagely killed and his body mutilated by a person who later accepted Islam. The prophet still forgave him.

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Q: What is my relationship with my parents and family?

A: A convert has to keep good relations with his/her parents and family after conversion, even if they are not muslims. If the convert has children, then make sure that they have access to their grandchildren, but at the same time, make it clear to them that you will not tolerate any attempts to teach them anything other than Islam, or allow them to eat haram foods or participate in haram celebrations.

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Q: Can I attend christmas festivals and other non-Islamic festivals?

A: No.

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Q: Can I bring non-muslims into the masjid?

A: Yes.

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Q: If the husband converts, does the wife have to?

A: Depends. If the wife is Jew/Christian then no. Otherwise, yes.

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Q: If the wife converts, does the husband have to?

A: Yes.

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Q: Are there any famous converts?

A: Yes.

Napoleon - the great legendary French conqueror. He embraced Islam in 1798 while in Egypt. Napoleon had realized that there will be no peace in Europe until Interest was out of the land and therefore he abolished interest in France.

Harilal - Eldest son of Mahatma Gandhi

Malcom X - Changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Black-rights activist and religious leader. In 1964, after a pilgrimage to Mecca, he announced his conversion to orthodox Islam and his belief in the possibility of brotherhood between blacks and whites.

Michael Wolfe – Author of The Hajj: An American's Pilgrimage to Mecca, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing About the Muslim Pilgrimage. Born of a Christian mother and Jewish father, he is most well known for his documentary on ABC’s Nightline which aired on April 18, 1997 called An American in Mecca.

Muhammad Ali – Formerly Cassius Clay; three-time Heavy Weight Champion of the World. He converted to orthodox Islam in 1965.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Formerly Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor. Before the 1971-72 season Alcindor converted from Catholicism to Islam and took the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He played 20 seasons in the league with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. By the time the 7 foot 2 basketball player retired in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time Most Valuable Player and is now one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Yusuf Islam – Formerly Cat Stevens, world famous British pop singer. He converted to Islam in 1973 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.

Haiqa Khan – Formerly Jemimah Goldsmith, Jewish daughter of billionaire Sir James. At the age of 21 she married famous Pakistani cricket player Imran Khan and converted to Islam.

Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall – He was born William Pickthall in 1875 in London. He converted to Islam in 1917 and by 1930 Pickthall published The Meaning of the Glorious Koran; which was an English language translation (meaning) of the Qur’an.

Maryam Jameelah - Formerly Margaret Marcus; Jewish American essayist, poet, journalist and author of several books. She converted from Judaism to Islam in 1962. An Open Letter To Her Parents

Art Blakey, Abdullah Ibn Buhaina - American drummer and jazz musician. His contribution to jazz from 1954 to 1990 as leader of the Jazz Messengers established the sound Hard Bop, greatly influencing later generations of musicians and entertainers.

Hamdan Chris Eubank -- In March 1997, after former super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank defeated Camilo Alocon of Columbia at the Dubai Tennis Stadium in a light heavyweight contest, Eubank embraced Islam and took the name Hamdan.

Queen Noor of Jordan -- Born Lisa Najeeb Halaby to a prominent Arab-American family. Raised by Christian parents, she converted to Islam when she married the late King Hussein, a Hashemite and descendant of the prophet’s line, on 15 June 1978. When she converted, she changed her name to Noor al-Hussein -- the light of Hussein.
Others include : Mike Tyson, Jamiliah Muhammed, Jemima Goldsmith, Michael Jackson, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Eddie Mustapha Muhammad, Mustafa Hamsho, Akbar Muhammad, Daniel Moore.

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