This is in reply to the sister that sent me a message regarding a sister messaging her thinking about converting to Islam and looking for more information.
To start with, thinking about converting to Islam is a great bounty and guidance from God, that He has opened your heart. As God says in the Glorious Qur’an: Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. [3:19]
There is much that can be read and said about this great religion, and I strongly advise you to go to a local Sunni Mosque and talk with the Imam who will be able to answer any questions more specifically.
I give you this advise because a lot of Muslims, when you tell them you are thinking about converting to Islam, will be eager to tell you all kinds of things which are often times not correct. This is not because they wish to misguide you, but because unfortunately in our times many Muslims are ignorant.
Therefore, go to a Imam or a scholar, and he will answer in simple and clear language any answers you might have. If you can’t do this, for whatever reason, you can always forward me your questions so I can discuss them with a scholar.
Now, as for the basics of Islam.
We believe that God is One, and none deserves to be worshiped except Him. He is not in need of anyone, but everyone is in need of Him. There is nothing similar to Him, and He begets not, nor was He begotten.
Some of His characteristics, as He describes Himself with in the Glorious Qur’an, are that He is The Most Compassionate, Merciful, Mighty, and Forgiving. He is the Majestic, the Bestower, the Provider, the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Hearing, and All-Aware. He is the Just, the Gentle, the Most High, the Sustainer, the Generous, the Loving One, the Pardoner, the Everlasting, and the Most Exalted.
These are just some of His characteristics and names, and He has many more. Those that we know and those that we know not.
He has decreed for His creation to be Muslims, to worship Him alone, and to follow the way and path of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last and final messenger sent by God who was a human being of flesh and blood, and cannot be worshiped as Christians for example worship Jesus (peace be upon him). For the right of Worship is solely for God.
We believe in all prophets and messengers, and denying the believe in for instance Jesus, Moses, or Abraham is clear disbelief within Islam.
We believe the Qur’an is entirely from God, and it has remained unchanged for over 1400 years. The words are exactly the same as God revealed it to us, and He is the protector over the Qur’an for He says: Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). [15:9]
The religion of Islam has five main pillars:
- Testimony of faith.
- The five daily prayers.
- Zakat (a sort of charity)
- Fasting during Ramadan
- Hajj (pilgrimage to Mekkah once in a lifetime, IF one is able to).
Besides these five pillars, the Islamic creed has six main principles:
- Belief in Allah (His Lordship, Divinity, and in His Names and Attributes).
- Belief in the Angels.
- Belief in Allah’s Scriptures (We believe that the Torah, Gospel, Psalms were all from God. However, the only one we follow now is the Qur’an, as has been ordered by God).
- Belief in Allah’s Messengers and Prophets.
- Belief in the Last day (i.e. Day of Judgement).
- Belief in Divine Decree and Predestination.
This is our religion in a nutshell, and if you believe in it, even though you might not understand everything for the full 100% yet, you can become a Muslim.
All that is required to convert to Islam is to pronounce the testimony of faith:
ASHADU AN LA ILAHA ILLALLAH WA ASHADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN RASULULLAH.
" I BEAR WITNESS THAT THERE IS NO GOD WORTHY OF WORSHIP EXCEPT ALLAH AND I BEAR WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS HIS SERVANT AND MESSENGER."
Pronouncing these words with belief makes you a Muslim and gives you all the rights that every other Muslim has.
Wishing you the best,