To become a Muslim you must first declare the Shahada: The shahadah, or the Islamic creed, is the declaration of belief in the unity of Allah(Swt) and the Prophethood of Muhammad(pbuh). When stated aloud, one is considered to have officially declared oneself a convert/revert to Islam.
Alhamdulillah, you’re considering Islam as way of life, a righteous path to follow and a new belief system.
If this is true, we congratulate you as you journey closer to Allah(Swt), seeking as much knowledge and spiritual guidance as you can.
The implication of the Shahada is that you believe that there is only one God, Allah (God in Arabic), Who alone deserves to be worshiped and you believe in Muhammad, peace be upon him & his family, as the Last Messenger of God, and you believe in his message.
It also means that you believe in all of God’s Prophets, including Jesus, peace be upon him, who is a Messenger of God but he was not divine or the son of God.
You may be surprised to hear that becoming a Muslim takes only seconds but when you confess you will have to know, in your heart, that this new way of life is the direction you wish to follow.
This is a momentous moment in your life, not one you’ll surely forget. When a new Muslim takes his/her Shahada (Translation: witnessing) they can recite it alone under God or at a Mosque (Masjid) in a kind of ceremony. However you recite your shahada it will be emotional and your life will forever change.
At the Revert Muslims Association we can make arrangements to help you find Muslims in your neighbourhood, so that you can confess at the mosque or with new friends. We can also make arrangements to reach you online, over Skype, should you wish to have help in pronunciation of the Shahada or simply wish to have a witness.
Keep in mind, you are perfectly fine to do your shahada at home, alone.
THE SHAHADA IS AS FOLLOWS:
“La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah”
(None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)
THE FOLLOWING MAY BE ADDED IF YOU WISH TO DECLARE THAT YOU HAVE CONSCIOUSLY DECIDED TO ACCEPT THE JA’FARI SCHOOL OF THOUGHT :
Ash-Hadu Anla Illaha Illa-Alllah, wa Ash-Hadu Anna Mohammedan Rasul-Ullah.
wa Ash-Hadu An Amiree-ul Momineen wa Imam Al Mutaqeen, Ali an Wali-Ullah, Wasiyeh Rasul-Ullah, Wa Kalifatahu Bila Fasl.
(I testify that there is no God but Allah, and I testify that Mohammed is his Messenger, and I testify that the Commander of the Faithful, the Pure Leader, Ali, is the friend of Allah, the successor of the Messenger of Allah, and nothing can come between them.
The shahada is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim:
Sincere recitation of this confession of faith is the sole requirement for those who wish to join the Muslim community. It represents acceptance not only of Allah and his prophet, but of the entirety of Islam. As one of the Pillars, the shahada must be recited correctly aloud with full understanding and internal assent at least once in every Muslim’s lifetime.
The shahada is also recited in the muzzein’s call to prayer, included in the salat (daily ritual prayer) and incorporated in Sufi contemplative prayer. It is also recited in the moments before death.
What should I do after becoming a Muslim?
Immediately upon becoming a Muslim, you should take a bath or shower (i.e. Ghusl).
If able, you should then offer a two Rak’at prayer.
Then you must study and act upon the principles (pillars) of Islam, (Shi’a and Sunni Islam are slightly different).
MANNER OF PERFORMING GHUSL
Immediately upon becoming a Muslim, you should take a bath or shower. Ghusl is a ritual bath; it involves washing of the whole body. There are two methods of performing ghusl. One is known as ghusl tartibi, and the other is known as ghusl irtimasi.
1. Ghusl Tartibi:
“Ghusl tartibi” means an ordinal bath, performed in three stages.
After washing away the najasat (e.g., semen or blood) from the body and after niyyat, the body has to be washed in three stages: First, head down to the neck; then the right side of the body from the shoulder down to the foot; and lastly, the left side of the body.
Each part should be washed thoroughly in such a way that the water reaches the skin. Special care should be taken while washing the head; the hair should be combed (e.g., with your fingers) so that water reached the hair-roots. While washing the right side of the body, some part of the left side must be washed too, and also, while washing the left side of the body, some part of the right side must be washed.
2. Ghusl Irtimasi:
“Ghusl irtimasi” means a bath involving immersion of the whole body in the water. It is needless to say that such a ghusl can only be done in a body of water, e.g., a pool, river, lake or sea.
After washing away the semen or blood from the body and after niyyat, the whole body should be completely immersed in the water all at once, not gradually. One has to make sure that the water reaches all parts of the body, including hair and the skin under it.
However, ghusl tartibi is preferred to ghusl irtimasi.
F. RECOMMENDABLE ACTS OF GHUSL
What has been mentioned above are the wajib acts of ghusl; here we shall explain the things which are recommendable (mustahab, sunnat) during the ghusl. These recommendable acts are five:
1. Washing both hands up to the elbows three times before the ghusl.
2. Gargling three times.
3. Wiping the hands on the whole body to ensure that every part has been thoroughly washed.
4. Combing the hair with the fingers to ensure that the water reaches the hair-roots.
5. (For men only) Doing istibra’ before ghusl janabat. Istibra’, in the present context, means “urinating.” The benefit of istibra’: If a liquid comes out of one’s penis after completing the ghusl, and he doubts whether it is semen or urine, then should he repeat the ghusl or not? If he had done istibra’ before the ghusl, then he can assume that the liquid is urine he will not have to repeat the ghusl; he just has to do wudu for his salat. But, on the other hand, if he had not done istibra’ before the ghusl, then he has to assume that it is the remnant of semen he will have to do the ghusl again.