The subject of conversion is as important for the Muslim as it is for the non-believer ready to convert, or interested in Islam.
This is not a trivial act since converting to Islam determines the continuation of life here below as well as that of the hereafter, moving from non-belief (kufr) to belief (eeman), from darkness to light.
Allah (Exalted be He) says in surah al baqara (the cow) verse 287:
“Allah is the defender of those who have faith: He brings them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their defenders are the Taghuts, who bring them out of light into darkness. Here are the people of the Fire, where they dwell eternally”.
Allah explains to us that conversion to Islam is the passage from darkness, from any belief in other than Allah (exalted be He), the Taghût, to the light, the belief in Allah (exalted be He).
To convert to Islam is ultimately, if all the conditions are met, to preserve ourselves from the fire of eternal hell, may Allah (exalted be He) preserve us from it.
Conversion to Islam is also compared to an open chest to the truth, i.e. the worship of Allah (exalted be He) alone without any other partner, and those who refuse conversion are in error. obvious.
Allah (Exalted be He) says in Surah Az Zumar (The Groups) verse 22:
“Is he whose breast Allah opens to Islam and who thus holds light from His Lord… Woe then to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah. These are in obvious error.”
Conversion or reconversion?
Conversion to Islam is part of the sunnah (tradition) of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Conversion to Islam has existed since the time of the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) since all the sahabas (companions of the Prophet) had to convert to Islam, or rather re-convert.
Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Every child is born according to the healthy nature (Fitra), and it is his parents who make him a Jew, a Christian or a worshiper of fire, as cattle give birth, do you see any born amputated?” (reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
His saying “Every child is born on the same nature (Fitra)” does not mean that the human being is born knowing the religion and adopting the belief of Islam because Allah (exalted be He) says in Surat An nahl (the bees), verse 78:
“And Allah brought you out of the wombs of your mothers, utterly ignorant, and gave you hearing, eyes and heart, that you might be grateful. “
Rather, the meaning is that its original nature involves knowing and loving Islam, accepting it and wanting to know the truth. The fitra means that the human being naturally accepts the call to Islam by progressing without teachings to other beliefs.
In this hadith, we understand the importance of parents in the transmission of beliefs and religion.
Converting to Islam is for someone who did not have Muslim parents an act of returning to their natural condition, a reconversion.
Conversion to Islam is a return to your natural condition, a condition that every human being at birth, that of accepting the worship of Allah (exalted be He).
What is conversion to Islam?
Simply, conversion to Islam marks the passage from non-belief (kufr) to belief (eeman) through speech:
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa llah
wa ashhadu anna muhamadan rassulou Llah
I testify that there are no other deities worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his Messenger.
It is by this word which contains a negation and an affirmation that one converts to Islam.
The denial of any existing form of worship, and the affirmation that only Allah is worthy of worship.
To convert to Islam is a rebirth, the way of reason, the passage from death to life according to the word of Allah (exalted be He) in surah Al-baqara (the cow), verse 256:
“No compulsion in religion! Because the good path is distinguished from misguidance. Therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Rebel while he believes in Allah grasps the strongest handle, which cannot be broken. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.”
This passage is essential for anyone who wants to convert.
The explanation of its verses in the exegesis (tafsir) of ibn Kathir allows us to deeply understand the meaning of the word of Allah (exalted be He) and its message:
[God makes known to the men whom he directs in the paths of Salvation those who seek to please him. He leads His believing servants out of the darkness of unbelief, doubt, and suspicion into the light of clear, easy, and shining truth.]
As for the unbelievers, their patron is Taghut – the demon – who beautifies the path of misguidance and ignorance for them, thus deviating them from the straight path towards impiety and they will be doomed to hell for eternity.
One may wonder why the word “darkness” is plural while the word “light” is singular? The answer is that disbelief has many branches, while light means indivisible Truth.
God also shows it in these verses: “Such is My way, so follow it. Do not follow paths that would lead you away from the path of God. This is what he commands you. Perhaps you will fear him”) [Koran VI, 153] and: “… and who established darkness and light”) [Koran VI, 1]]
In this passage from the exegesis of ibn Kathir, we will dwell on an important word for anyone who wants to convert: “One may wonder why the word “darkness” is plural while the word “light” is in the singular? The answer is that disbelief has many branches, while light means indivisible Truth.
To convert to Islam is to accept a single truth and to deny several of them which is contained in the word of shahada which makes you enter Islam.
Plural: I testify that there are no other deities worthy of worship
Singular: Except Allah
It is also an explanation of the passage from darkness to light: upon re-conversion to Islam, you pass from the darkness of many beliefs to the light of one belief: Allah (Glory be He) is the lord the only one worthy of worship.
How to convert?
Conversion to Islam is a process that begins with questions about the meaning of life, the afterlife, and the existence of God. This is the process of our Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) who searched for his lord for years before finding the truth.
As said above, it is part of human nature at birth (fitra) to seek his Creator, his provider, his Lord. It is a completely natural process.
Conversion to Islam validates this quest and brings the convert into a new world, that of the light of the worship of Allah.
Conversion to Islam validates this process of seeking the truth, by declaring the only truth that can save you: Allah is the Lord and the only one worthy of worship.
The first thing to do is to convert it to perform great ablution (al ghusl). This is not an obligation and there are differences among scholars on this act, but it is preferable to do it.
Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy on him, said when asked about someone who did not pray and then repented and whether or not he should perform ghusl if he went back to praying:
“Whoever is of the opinion that the disbeliever who embraces Islam has the obligation to make ghusl is also of the opinion that the person who begins to pray again has the obligation to make ghusl. As for the one who is of the opinion that the person who embraces Islam does not have the obligation to make ghusl, he is also of the opinion that it is not obligatory for the person to do it either. who begins to pray again. However, there is no doubt that it is better for him to do a ghusl in order to take this discrepancy into account and for the sake of conscience. »
Indeed, it is preferable to make great ablutions to be pure during the shahada and the first prayer.
Then, it is the application of the first pillar of Islam: the shahada, the double attestation:
Ashhadu ana la ilaha illa llah
wa ashhadu anna mohamadan rassulu Llah
I testify that there are no other deities worthy of worship except Allah,
and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his Messenger.
Are witnesses required? It is not compulsory, Your only witness is Allah (exalted be He), but you must announce your conversion to other Muslims, and have at least two Muslims confirm your Islam.
Why? Because by converting you become the brother or sister of all Muslims in the world. Your life, your rights and duties towards Muslims change, your obligations, your inheritance, and even your burial change.
By having it officially recognized by Muslim associations, you will be authorized to do Hajj and Umrah, to study in an Islamic university anywhere in the Muslim world.
The conditions of validation of the shahada
Knowledge (al ‘ilm):
Knowledge of what you say. Understand the meaning of this word and its commitments.
Allah (Exalted be He) says in Surah Al Zukhruf (the ornament) verse 86:
“And those whom they call on besides Him have no power of intercession, except those who shall have testified to the truth with full knowledge of the facts.”
Testified to the truth, that is to say, to testify to the uniqueness of Allah (exalted be He), to do the shahada with full knowledge of the facts. Understand exactly what is said and the weight of these words when you pronounce them, especially for conversion to Islam.
Certainty (al yaqeen):
You must not have an ounce of doubt, be convinced of this word is truth, and be convinced of the consequences of converting to Islam.
Allah (Exalted be He) says in Surat Al Hujurat (The Apartments), verse 15:
“True believers are only those who have faith in Allah and His Messenger, who thereafter do not doubt”
Acceptance (al qabul):
We must accept all that conversion to Islam generates as rejections and adorations, and not accept one part of the religion and reject another. To convert is to abandon all old worship and accept only one.
Resignation (al inqiyad):
To resign oneself to the orders of Allah with pure intention, that is to say, to submit oneself entirely to the oneness of Allah. To convert is to resign oneself to the fact that there is only one possible path.
Sincerity (as sidq):
Pronouncing the shahada without sincerity is an act of hypocrisy. To convert out of hypocrisy is a serious act with terrible consequences to Allah.
Allah says in the Qur’an surat al baqara (the cow), verses 8,9 and 10:
“Among the people there are those who say: ‘We believe in Allah and in the Day of Judgment!’ when they don’t believe it. -They seek to deceive Allah and the believers, but they only deceive themselves and they do not realize it. -There is a disease in their hearts, and Allah causes their disease to grow. They will have painful retribution for lying.”
The pure intention (al ikhlas)
To convert to Islam for the satisfaction of the Creator of the Universe, the Master of the 7 heavens and the Earth, and the Master of the Day of Judgment: such must be a pure intention.
Conversion to Islam must not have hidden a desire to obtain a good form here below or any hidden intention.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “God has certainly forbidden Hell to anyone who proclaims that there is no god but God, thus seeking divine satisfaction. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Love (al hoob)
Conversion to Islam is done by the love of Allah. Worshipping Allah alone is the best proof of love you can show your Lord.
Conversion to Islam is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a long journey that involves learning. And among these learnings, there are two essential categories: the learning of acts of worship, and the study of belief (aqeeda)
Allah (Exalted be He) says in Surah Ad Dariyat (which scatter) verse 56:
“I created the jinns and men only to worship Me.”
Thus, converting requires you to worship Allah and we advise you to learn to do ablutions, large (al ghusl) and small (al wudu), prayer, zakat and learn to fast.
Learn to make the difference between obligatory acts from the Koran or the sunna, such as fasting in the month of Ramadan, and supererogatory acts of worship, such as fasting on Mondays and Thursdays.
There is no secret, we will have to learn. Conversion to Islam opens the doors to a new world that you must get to know.
Our advice is really to focus on the obligatory acts of worship and to learn how to do them correctly, especially prayer because it is the most important act of worship.
‘Abdallah Ibn Qur’t (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s prayer and His salvation be upon him) said:
“The first thing on which the servant will be judged on the day of resurrection is prayer, if it is good the other acts will be good and if it is not good the other acts will not be good”.
(Reported by Tabarani and authenticated by Sheikh Albani)
Belief (aqeeda): learning the 3 foundations
Every human being will be questioned in his grave: Who is your lord? What is your religion? Who is your prophet?
This is how we encourage every convert to learn the 3 foundations of the Religion.
The knowledge of Allah (exalted be He): every Muslim must learn to know his Lord, his Creator, his Provider of goods and health.
If the question is asked Who is your lord, he must answer Allah (exalted be He).
The knowledge of Allah (exalted be He) makes it possible to worship him better.
Knowledge of religion: It is all the knowledge of worship and the best way to worship Allah.
There are three levels of worship:
submission (Al Islam), consisting of submitting to Allah without associating anything with Him. The five pillars of this submission represent the five pillars of Islam: attestation of faith, the performance of prayer, payment of zakât, fasting for the month of Ramadan and pilgrimage for those who can. “al iman” (faith) and “al ihsan” (excellence).
Faith (Al eeman), consists in believing in six indisputable things, without which the Muslim cannot be considered a Muslim: faith in Allah, in the angels, in the messengers, in the Books that He has sent, in the Last Day and in the destiny (whether good or bad).
Excellence (Al Ihsan), consists in worshipping Allah as if we saw Him because He certainly sees us at every moment. For example: abstaining from sins in public as well as in private.
The knowledge of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is essential to love him properly and follow his example and that of his companions in belief and worship.
Learn the Arabic language and the Quran
It is important to learn the Arabic language to read, recite and understand the Quran, the word of Allah. Also, the main religious texts are in Arabic, and for any convert, learning Arabic is not an option.
The al dirassa institute stands by all converts to help them learn the Arabic language quickly and easily, as well as the Quran. French-speaking teachers will be by your side to teach you the basics of worship and help you understand the Quran through learning the Arabic language.