User Reviewed

How to Become a Muslim

Three Parts:Becoming a MuslimLiving According to Islamic PrinciplesMaturing your Faith

At over a billion members and growing, Islam is, by some measures, the fastest-growing religion in the world.[1] Unique among the world's religions in the ease with which new members may join its ranks, Islam requires only a simple, sincere declaration of faith to become a Muslim. The declaration is not to be made lightly, however - devoting oneself to a life guided by Islamic principles is one of the most important (if not the most important) acts you'll ever make.

You should know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it. As a new convert, your record is clean; it's similar to a literal rebirth. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.

Please note Islam does not advocate killing; in most religions, killing is a major sin. Extreme practices such as these are not advised. Islam does have a dress code that places an emphasis on modesty, which all Muslims are required to follow..

Part 1
Becoming a Muslim

  1. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 1
    Make sure you know what it means to be Muslim. The first and foremost rule of being a Muslim is believing that Allah is one and only one. Allah is the only god, the only creator and the Almighty. He is the only one you should be doing your good deeds for and the only who shall be worshipped. There should be nothing stood beside His place. Allah's messenger Muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger who is believed as the last prophet who came down to Earth and there will never be any prophets after that. Islam considers itself to be the natural way of all creation. That is, Islam is the original, perfect state of being. So, when a person "converts" to Islam, he/she is actually reverting to their own original nature.
    • Islam considers anyone who adheres to this state of being to be a Muslim, regardless of when or where she or he lived. For instance, Islam believes that Jesus was a Muslim, though he lived hundreds of years before Islam's historical founding.
    • Allah, the Islamic name for God, refers to the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews (aka the "Abrahamic" God). Thus, Muslims revere the prophets of Christianity and Judaism (including Jesus, Moses, Elijah, etc.) and consider the Bible and Torah to be divinely-inspired.
  2. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 2
    Read Islamic scripture. The Quran is the central religious book of Islam, believed to be the unadulterated word of God and the culmination of all previous Christian and Jewish scripture.[2] Another very important religious scripture is the Hadith, the sayings and accounts of Muhammad. Hadith collections form the basis for much of Islamic law.[3] Reading these writings will give you an understanding of the stories, laws, and teachings that make up Islamic belief.
  3. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 3
    Talk with an Imam. Imams are Islamic religious scholars who conduct religious services inside and outside the mosque (Masjid). Imams are chosen for their knowledge of Islamic scripture and their good character. A good Imam will be able to provide you with advice when deciding whether you're ready to devote yourself to Islam.
    • Note that the description above applies to imams of the majority Sunni sect of Islam. Imams have somewhat different roles in the minority Shi'a sect.[4]
  4. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 4
    Say the Shahada. If you're absolutely sure you want to become a Muslim and fully submit to the will of God, all you need to do is recite the Shahada, a short oral declaration of faith. Be aware that once you have said the Shahada you are committed to following Islam for life. The words of the Shahada are "La ilaha illallah, Muhammadun rasulullah " This translates to "I testify that there is no other god but Allah, and Muhammad is God's messenger (prophet)." [5] By saying the Shahada, you become a Muslim.
    • The first part of the Shahada ("La ilaha illallah") refers not only to deities from other religions, but also to earthly things which can take the place of Allah in your heart - wealth and power, for example. [6]
    • The second part of the Shahada ("Muhammadun rasulullah") is a recognition that the word of Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Muslims are required to live by the principles of Muhammad revealed in the Quran - the Shahada is a pledge to follow these principles.
    • The Shahada must be said with sincerity and understanding to be binding. You can't become a Muslim just by pronouncing the words - the oral recitation is a reflection of belief that's held in the heart.
    • You will never kill, lie, steal, or anything of the sort. In other words, you will follow the Islamic rules.
  5. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 5
    To become a legal member of the Muslim community, have witnesses present at your recitation. Witnesses are not strictly required to become a Muslim - God knows all things, so a Shahada said alone, with conviction, will make you a Muslim in God's eyes. However, to become legally recognized by the Muslim mosque, you generally must make your Shahada in front of witnesses - two Muslims or an Imam (Islamic religious leader) who is authorized to certify your new faith.
  6. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 6
    Wash yourself. Immediately upon becoming a Muslim, you should take a shower or bath as a form of purification. This is a symbolic act that signifies the washing away of the past and of emerging from darkness to light.
    • No one's sins are too grave to prohibit newfound purity. Upon making your Shahada, your past sins are forgiven. You symbolically begin a new life centered around striving to improve your spiritual state through good deeds.

Part 2
Living According to Islamic Principles

  1. Image titled 900px Become a Muslim Step 7
    Offer prayer to God. If you're not sure how to pray as a Muslim, the easiest way to learn is to attend a Mosque for the five daily prayers. Prayer should be a relaxing, enjoyable activity, but be aware that the five daily prayers are obligatory for all Muslims over the age of ten years. Take your time when praying. Rushing the prayer should be avoided in order to gain maximum benefit.
    • Remember, prayer is a direct spiritual connection between you and the being who keeps your heart beating and who created the universe. It should bring serenity, happiness and peace. This will come with and improve with time. Avoid being excessive or ostentatious with your prayer - pray simply and humbly. Your initial goal is to establish a habit and make it an enjoyable experience.
    • Structure your day around the five daily prayers. Make sure that you leave plenty of time for supplication (dua) after performing the obligatory prayers, as this is the way Muslims seek help from Allah. Try to adopt the habit of praying all the optional prayers as well.
    • Pray to Allah for good judgement and success in life. However, keep two points in mind: First, your must perform the duties that Allah has required of you. It is not enough to merely pray for success - you must do what is necessary to achieve it. Second, have faith in Allah in all matters. Your material success is fleeting, but Allah is eternal - keep your devotion in Allah whether you are successful or not.
  2. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 8
    Perform Islamic obligations (Fard). Islam requires Muslims to fulfill certain obligations. These obligations are called "Fard." There are two kinds of Fard: Fard al-Ayn and Fard al-Kifaya. Fard al-Ayn are individual obligations - things every single Muslim must do if he or she is able, like praying daily and fasting during Ramadan. [7] Fard al-Kifaya are community obligations - things that the community as a whole must do, even if every member doesn't do them. For instance, if a Muslim dies, some of the Muslims in the community must get together to say funeral prayers. It's not required for every individual Muslims to say the prayers. However, if no one says the funeral prayers, the whole community is at fault.
    • Islamic belief also mandates the observance of Sunnah, lifestyle guidelines based on the life of Muhammad which are recommended but not required for Muslims.
  3. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 9
    Observe Muslim etiquette (Adab.) Muslims are required to live their lives in certain ways, avoiding some behaviors and adopting others. As a Muslim, you will keep the following habits (and others):
    • Observe halal dietary practices. Muslims abstain from consuming pork, carrion, blood, and alcohol. Additionally, meat must be properly slaughtered by an authorized Muslim, Christian, or Jew.
    • Say "Bismillah" ("In the Name of God") before meals.
    • Eat and drink with your right hand.
    • Practice proper hygiene.
    • Refrain from non-essential interaction with the opposite gender. Remember that all forms of sexual activity outside the the bounds of marriage are forbidden in Islam.
    • Married women must abstain from sex during the menstrual cycle.
    • Study and follow the Islamic dress code, which places great emphasis on modesty.
  4. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 10
    Understand and embody the five pillars of Islam. Islam's Five Pillars are obligatory actions that Muslims must take. They represent the core of pious Islamic life. The Five Pillars are:
    • Testimony of Faith (Shahada). You make when you become a Muslim by declaring that there is no God but ALLAH and Muhammad is his messenger.
    • Performance the five daily prayers (Salat). Prayers are made throughout the day in the direction of the holy city of Mecca.
    • Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm). Ramadan is a holy month marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.
    • Giving 2.5% of your savings to the poor (Zakat). It is a personal responsibility of Muslims to help those less fortunate.
    • Making a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Those who are able are required to make the journey to Mecca at least once.
  5. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 11
    Believe in the six articles of Faith. Muslims have faith in Allah and his divine order even though it cannot be perceived by human senses. The six articles of faith mandate that Muslims must believe in:
    • Allah (God). God is the creator of the universe and the only being worthy of worship.
    • His angels. Angels are the unquestioning servants of God's divine will.
    • His revealed scripture. The Quran is the perfect will of God as revealed to Muhammad by through the angel Gabriel (Christian and Jewish scripture is also considered holy, they were given from Allah but some or more of the content has already been changed).
    • His messengers. God sent prophets (including Jesus, Abraham, and others) to preach his word on earth; Muhammad is the final, greatest prophet.
    • The Day of Judgement. God will eventually raise all humans for judgement at a time known only to him.
    • Fate. God has ordained all things - nothing occurs without his will or pre-knowledge.

Part 3
Maturing your Faith

  1. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 12
    Continue to read the Qur'an. You can learn much from translations of the Qur'an. Some of these translations may be harder to understand than others. Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Pickthall are the two most common Qur'an translations. However, it's even better to seek guidance from people who are trained in the study of the Qur'an rather than simply relying on your own ability to interpret the Qur'an. Your local mosque will likely have people who will be more than willing to guide and assist you in learning more about Islam and many have "New Muslim" study circles which are often a good place to start. Be careful, but relaxed, about finding someone who you feel comfortable with and who you are convinced has enough knowledge in order to teach well.
    • Many Muslims devote much time to memorizing the Qu'ran as it brings great reward. When your Arabic improves, start learning by heart some of your favourite surahs. These can then be recited during prayer or whenever you feel you need a lift.
  2. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 13
    Study Islamic Law and choose a school. In Sunni Islam, religious law is divided into four schools of thought. Look into the different schools and choose the one that appeals most to you. Subscribing to a school will inform your interpretation of Islamic law as revealed in the primal sources of Islam [Quran and Sunnah] Note that all schools are equally valid. Although the Shariah may seem very strict at first, the laws and punishments are gifts from Allah to ensure a safe and fair society. Do your best to try to implement what you learn in your own life. The officially recognized schools are:
    • Hanafi. The Hanafi School was founded by Imam Al A'dham Nu'man Abu Hanifa and is the most widely practiced school and has the most information available in English, it ranges from the widely secular Turks to the Ultra-Orthodox Deobandis and Barelvis. Most Hanafis live in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, Turkey, Eastern Iran, parts of Egypt and many Non-Muslim Majority countries
    • Shafi'i. The Shafi'i school was founded by Imam Abu 'Abdillah Muhammad Al-Shafi'i and is the second most populous school and is the majority in Egypt and East Africa as well as Yemen, Malaysia and Indonesia, The Shafi'i school is known for their complex legal system.
    • Maliki. The Maliki school was founded by Imam Abu Anas Malik who was a student of Imam Abu Hanifa it is the majority school in North and North West Africa, as well as a reasonable following in Saudi Arabia. Imam Malik took his practices from the people of Madinah one famous Maliki scholar is Hamza Yusuf.
    • Hanbali. The Hanbali school was founded by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and is practiced almost exclusively in Saudi Arabia, with some followers in the West. The Hanbalis place great emphasis on creed and ritual practice and it is considered the most conservative and strict.
  3. Image titled Become a Muslim Step 14
    Above all, be the best person you can be. No matter what may anger, sadden or upset you, your duty on earth is to be the best person you can be by serving Allah swt. Muslims believe that Allah created us to have a good life, and to be happy through our service to Him. Use your talents to help others and better your community. Be open-minded. Never do harm to anyone. Make it your mission to tell people about Islam, emphasizing that Islam is a religion of peace.
    • Like many religions, Islam advocates that its believers follow the "Golden Rule." Follow the advice of the prophet in the following Hadith:
      • "A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don't do to them. Now let the stirrup go! This maxim is enough for you; go and act in accordance with it!”[8]


  • Don't rush into a life of Islam. You need to have a firm understanding of the laws that make a good Muslim before joining Islam. While there is much to learn, these laws should feel natural, as Islam is the religion of the "natural state."
  • Join the evening/weekend classes at your local mosque to learn more about Islam. Islam isn't just a religion - it's a way of life, providing guidance from birth to death.
  • Set aside time every day to read the Qu'ran and study Islam - study is a life-long obligation and the more we know about our religion, the more we will benefit.
  • Try to hang out with pious, knowledgeable Muslims as often as possible - they'll be able to answer your questions casually.
  • Find out about and adhere to the Islamic dress code - it has many practical advantages as well as helping to identify you as a Muslim. If you are a female, you should cover your body parts (except hands, feet and face) and not wear clothes that are too revealing or are see-through. Also, being a female, you should wear the Hijab, a scarf or cloth covering your hair and/or neck.
  • You're never alone - visit the websites of new converts to Islam to get a sense if you have lingering questions after converting.
  • If you realize that you have made a mistake, then sincerely repent and pray for forgiveness, and Allah will listen to you.
  • Islam is divided into numerous sects. Study each sect thoroughly to decide which one to join.
  • Try to be conscious of the Creator and constantly doing the best you can where ever you may be.
  • Always ask a knowledgeable Muslim when you have questions about your newly acquired faith. A second opinion is advisable, possibly from the Imam of your local mosque.
  • If you can, learn to read the Quran in Arabic. Besides remarkable spiritual benefits from reading in Arabic (even if you don't understand the meaning) the Arabic Quran is the exact words of Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Additionally, the Quran original is written as beautiful poetry - something that's lost in translations.
    • If you can't learn Arabic, try listening to the Qur'an recited in Arabic while reading the English translation.
  • It is vital to perform ablution before Namaaz.
  • Make sure you wash your hands and keep clean and Pak.
  • Always try to read books about the prophets. This will increase your knowledge about Islam and will make you feel better.
  • Remember Allah at all times not only when you are in need or distress.
  • Not all Muslimahs wear a veil, depending on their interpretation of the Quran. If you choose not to wear one, that does not mean you can't still be modest.


  • You may come across people who will be hostile toward you. Unfortunately, Muslims are sometimes the target of bigoted remarks and personal attacks. Stay strong and steadfast and Allah will reward you.
  • Like every religion, Islam has extremists, who, in their attempts at religious perfection, damage the community and advocate hateful or violent actions. Be careful where you get your religious information from. If you read something claiming to be Islamic teaching which seems outlandish or extreme, seek a second opinion from a pious, moderate Muslim.
  • There are many misconceptions about Islam, so confirm what you hear with Quranic Verses and Prophetic traditions. If you need help understanding an aspect of Islam, ask a scholar or the Imam of the local mosque.

Article Info

Categories: Islam