How to Become a Muslim

How to Become a Muslim

After Christianity, which has more than 2 billion followers, Islam is the second largest religion in the world with more than 1.8 billion followers. Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions (the other two are Christianity and Judaism) and it’s too a monotheistic one like the other two.

In this article, we are going to discuss briefly what is the meaning of the words “Islam” and “Muslim”, how to become a Muslim, what are the prerequisites to become a Muslim, what is necessary to believe in to become a good Muslim, what are the main pillars of Islam and what are the benefits of becoming a Muslim.

Meaning of “Islam”

“Islam” is an Arabic word, and the meaning of the word “Islam” is ‘peace (salamti)’. The literal meaning of the word “Islam” is ‘submission’, one’s total submission to the words, guidelines and Will of God and putting aside one’s own will, ego and priorities.

What Does the Word “Muslim” Mean?

The Arabic word “Muslim” means the ‘one who submits’. In Islam, the person who, admits God as the only One Who is worthy of worship, submits to the will and word of God and recognizes the Holy Prophet (SAW) as the last messenger of Allah is called a Muslim.

A Muslim learns the will of God and his commands from the Holy Quran which the Holy Prophet (SAW) has explained to the Muslims through his example, his Hadith and his Seerat (lifestyle). A true Muslim submits to the word of God in the Holy Quran and to the example or sunnat of the Holy Prophet (SAW) with true conviction.

What are Sources of Islam

The Holy Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) is called the last prophet of Islam. The holy book of Quran or Koran (the word of God) and Hadith (hadees, the collection of the words, actions and habits of the Holy Prophet) are the most important and primary sources of teaching in Islam.

On his first and last Hajj in 10 AH (632 CE), prophet Muhammad (PBUH) declared the end of prophethood. Later on, the Sahabas (companions) of the Holy Prophet spread Islam in every corner of the world, and today, Islam is the second largest religion in the world.

Having discussed briefly about the Islam, Muslims and the Sources of Islam lets come to the moot subject how to become a Muslim, what are the pre-requisites to enter into the religion of Islam and what next, a Muslim is supposed to believe, follow and proceed with.

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How to Become a Muslim – Essentials

a person meeting other muslims like a new muslim

To become a Muslim is to submit totally to Allah and His commands and Will. Becoming a Muslim is one’s sincere belief and trust in Allah. There is no pressure or ostentation involved. To become a Muslim is a straightforward and simple process, there are no limitations to which nationality, ethnicity, race or gender one belongs.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made it very clear in his last Sermon on the occasion of performing his Hajj that: - “Neither an Arab has any preference over a Non-Arab nor does a Non-Arab have any preference over an Arab. Neither a white has any superiority over a black nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety”.

However, to become a Muslim, there are certain things the most necessary to do and believe in to complete one’s faith as a Muslim which are given below: -

Declare Shahada to Become Muslim

It is foremost condition to become Muslim, to declare the testimony of one’s faith and this testimony is called “Shahada” in Islam, which is done through declaring Allah as One and Single power on earth to be bowed down before and accepting the Holy Prophet (SAW) as the prophet of Allah by uttering these words:-

person declaring shahdah


However, to declare Shahada orally, whether in public or privately, would not be sufficient to become a true Muslim. Rather, one should believe in these testimonial words in one’s heart with an unshakable belief and true conviction.

One must accept Allah as Almighty and One and only Power to be worshipped and called for assistance, and follow the footsteps, Sunna and lifestyle of non other than the Holy Prophet (SAW) with the trueness of one’s heart.

To Declare Shahada Before Witnesses

As already mentioned, it is not necessary to declare Shahada publicly before some witnesses of the community. Accepting Allah as the only one to be worshipped and the Muhammad (SAW) as the Prophet of Allah with true conviction and faith is enough to become a Muslim.

witnesses present to see shahdah

However, as humans live in the forms of communities and organized society, where people follow one religion or the other and have their associations with one community or the other. Similarly, to become legal member of the Muslim community, one has to declare Shahada in front of witnesses, and those witnesses may be two Muslims or an Imam (Islamic religious scholar).

Taking a Bath to Enter into Islam

After declaring Shahada, one has to take a bath or shower to purify oneself. This is basically a symbolic act that indicates that when someone enters in the shield of Islam, he/she washes away his/her past and all the sins committed in the days of disbelief or preaching a religion other than Islam, and Quran says it very clearly in Surah Al-Anfaal,

“Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief), their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning)” [al-Anfaal 8:38].

man meeting muslims after getting shower bath after islam

Thus, by declaring Shahada and taking a bath, one purifies oneself from the sins of past and sheds down the burden of the wrongdoings of the days of disbelief, and one begins a new life with the intention of striving to improve ones spiritual being through good deeds.

Belief in The Six Articles of Faith in Islam

Declaring Shahada brings one into the circle of Islam. However, saying Shahada makes a person bound to believe in certain things that are necessary to complete one’s faith, as those are central to Islam and provide a firm base to the faith of a true Muslim. The disbelief in one thing leads to the incompleteness of one’s belief and faith.

belief in six articles of islam

Allah has clearly mentioned it in the Holy Quran: -

“Oh you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray”.—Surah 4:136

The necessary and basic articles of faith in Islam are six in number and every Muslim must believe in them to fulfill one’s faith, each of them has been explained below one by one:

One Must Belief in Allah to Become Muslim

To become a true Muslim, one has to believe in Allah and all his attributes (sifaat). One must accept the oneness of Allah, the one Who is the Creator of the universe, the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and the only one who is worth worshipping, in whose hands is the rise and fall of humans, who controls each and everything in the universe, who neither begets nor is born and to whom there is no equal.

Belief in His Angeles

A true Muslim believes that Angels are one of the creatures of Allah. They serve him unquestioningly day and night. They are all the times in the service of Allah and are given various duties to perform according to the Will of Allah. They are all spread into the heavens and earth doing the duties assigned to them by God. Any one who does not believe in the angels of Allah has an incomplete faith.

Belief in His Revealed Scriptures

Mainly, there are four heavenly books that Allah revealed to His different prophets, as guides for the humans to live their lives on earth according to the Will of Allah. For a Muslim to complete his/her faith, it is mandatory to believe in all the heavenly books, which have been mentioned below:

A). Tawraat

The heavenly book Tawraat (which, in Judaism, is known as the Torah) was revealed to the prophet Musa (AS), and it is regarded as the main Jewish holy book. The Ten Commandments have been mentioned in this book that are the key rules and guides to live a life.

For Muslims, this book is also important and sacred because it contains the “judgement of Allah” and this have been mentioned in the Quran:-

“We revealed the Torah [Tawrat] with guidance and light, and the prophets, who had submitted to God, judged according to it for the Jews” (Qur’an, Surah 5:44).


This book was revealed to the one of Allah’s prophets, Dawud (AS), and this book is also known as the Psalms of David as well. This book is important within he Jewish Tanakh and Christian Bible, as there are poems, prayers and songs in this book to inspire people. Its importance has been mentioned in the holy Quran as well.

C) Injeel

Being one of the heavenly books, Injeel was revealed to the prophet Isa (AS), who is believed to have predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). As every prophet who came before Muhammad (SAW) is believed and regarded by every Muslim, the heavenly books revealed to them are also sacred for a true Muslim.

D) Quran:

Quran is the last of the heavenly books and it was revealed to the last Prophet Muhammad (saw). Muslims believe that the Allah revealed holy Quran to his last prophet because all the earlier religious texts were no longer reliable, and the holy Quran fulfills what was lacking in the earlier heavenly books.

It is a complete code of life and marks an end to the heavenly books as it was revealed to the last Prophet of Allah, who has explained the holy Quran to Muslims through his example and Sunnah.

Belief in His Messengers

For a Muslim to complete his/her faith, it is necessary to believe that all the messengers and prophets of Allah who came before the prophet Muhammad (SAW) were true and, they were sent on earth for a specific time, to specific people, and that Muhammad (SAW) is the last Prophet of Allah, and is the Prophet of all the times and all the people to come.

The belief in the earlier prophets and accepting Mohammad (SAW) the last one after whom there is none prophet to come is mandatory to complete one’s faith as a Muslim.

Belief in The Day of Judgement

It is an important part of the faith of a true Muslim to believe that God will raise all life at the day of judgement, which is known only to Him. Everyone will have to give account of the good and bad deeds done in this world, and will be rewarded with Paradise (Jannat) or Hell for that accordingly.

Belief in Fate or Divine Preordainment

Belief in the Fate or the Divine Preordainment is an important part of the faith of a Muslim. A true Muslim has a firm belief that everything that happens to him, whether good or bad, is the will of God Who has all the power to put humans, His creature, into trouble or alleviate his/her troubles, which are intended to testify the firmness of their belief in Allah. 

Allah mentions it in the Quran that He brings troubles and difficult circumstances on those who are more closed to Him or have a firm faith in him.

To Understand and Observe Five Pillars of Islam

For a true Muslim, it is important to know what the five pillars of Islam are and make good understanding of them in order to fulfill them as is needed, because they are the obligatory actions a Muslim must take. The five pillars of Islam given below have been described for the quick reference.

five pillars of islam

A). Testimony of Faith (Shahada)

By declaring Shahada, one enters into the shield of Islam and this testimony of Faith becomes the lifelong belief of a true Muslim, declaring Allah as the only one God and Muhammad (SAW) as His last messenger.

B). Offering Five Prayers Daily

For a Muslim, it’s mandatory (Farz) to offer five prayers that occur on their specific times a day while facing the direction of the Ka’aba, which is situated in the holy city of Mecca.

C). Fasting (Sawm) During the Month of Ramadan

A Muslim has to observe fast for the whole month of Ramadan if he/she is able to do so, as some people are exempt from observing fast under certain conditions.

D). Giving Zakat

It is the duty of every Muslim to give Zakaat which is 2.5 % out of one’s savings for a year. This pillar of Islam is intended to help the needy and less fortunate of the society.

E). Making a Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah

A Muslim is required to make pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in life to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam. All these five pillars of Islam are central to Islam and are important to be followed, especially Shahada, without which one can not enter into Islam.

To Understand Islam from the Quran & Hadees

For a Muslim to mature his/her faith, it is important to understand Islam as much as he/she can through doing in depth study of Quran and traditions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) called as Hadees. To become a good Muslim and to make a good understanding of Quran and Hadees, one should learn Arabic which is the language of Quran.

If learning Arabic is not possible, this study can be done also through studying the translations of Quran and Hadees which have been done on various languages.

Benefits of Converting to Islam

The benefits of converting to Islam are numerous and can not be counted. However, some of them are mentioned here:-

  1. One makes a direct and personal relationship with God and there is no intermediary involved. A Muslim feels that it is only God who controls everything.
  2. A true Muslim fears only Allah and all the fear of the outer world disappears from him. He seeks help only from Allah and bows before Him.
  3. After accepting Islam, one realizes the true purpose of life, which is only to please Allah and follow His will in all the circumstances.
  4. When a person becomes Muslim, all his/her previous sins are forgiven and there is a new beginning of life for her/him.
  5. There is a peace, happiness and tranquility in accepting Islam. Only thing one has to do is pleasing God and one feels no bad or sadness on loosing the worldly things, like wealth and facilities if it is God’s will.
  6. One who has declared Shahada will be awarded with Paradise (Jannah) in the life hereafter if the life in world is spent according to the will of God. Even the most sinful believers will go to Heaven, though after getting punishment for their unforgotten sins. But the ones who don’t declare Shahada will be doomed forever.


To become Muslim, it is important to take a bath and declare Shahada to accept Allah as the only one God and Muhammad (SAW) as His messenger. Becoming a Muslim is believing in Allah, His Angles, His Messengers, the revealed scriptures, the day of judgement and Fate.

A true Muslim offers five prayers, observes fast, pays Zakat and makes a Pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in life if possible. After converting to Islam, one makes a direct contact with Allah, feels inner peace and happiness, fears non e except Allah, spends life according to the will of God, gets purified from the previous sins and is rewarded with Paradise in the life hereafter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to be a Muslim?

To be a Muslim, one must follow the five pillars of Islam. Additionally, one must follow the teachings of the Holy Quran and the prophet Muhammad (SAW).

How do I start to become a Muslim?

To become a Muslim, one has to declare the testimony of one’s faith and this testimony is called “Shahada” in Islam, which is, “I bear witness that there is no deity (none worthy of worship) but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Can Muslims have tattoos?

Muslims believe that tattooing is a sin as it involves changing the natural creation of Allah and there is an infliction of unnecessary pain in the process. Tattoos are regarded as dirty things, which is forbidden in Islam.

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