Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 9 Safar 1440

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Procedures to embrace Islam

I am a teen living in the US. I am interested in Islam and want to embrace the faith. What should I do to become a Muslim? Is it an obligation to wait until I turn 18 for my Islam to be valid? I am confused about the rituals like prayers, fasting etc. Should I sever relations with my non-Muslim friends, siblings and relatives when I become a Muslim?

Answer

Converting to Islam is a very easy matter and it does not stipulate a certain age. One can embrace Islam and become a Muslim at any age. The history of Islam is replete with examples of people who embraced Islam at an early age and became the Prophet’s Companions and leaders of the Muslim community. These include Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib who embraced Islam at the age of seven, Zayd Ibn Haritha, the Prophet’s servant, and Ammar Ibn Yasir who is one of the leading Companions promised with Paradise to mention a few.

As long as you wish to embrace Islam out of firm conviction, you must pronounce the Shahadah i.e. the two testimonies of faith. You must say, "I bear witness that there is no deity but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God" [Arabic transliteration: Ash-hadu anna la ilah illa Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammdan rasoulu Allah].

After pronouncing the above Shahadah, one becomes a Muslim. As for the rituals of Islam such as prayers, fasting etc., all of these become obligatory upon attaining puberty.

Living in the US, you must seek advice and guidance from the nearest Islamic center. There, they will issue an official certificate of your Islam, and the imams will provide you with the necessary information and guidance on the teachings and rituals of Islam.

Islam is the religion of mercy
You should know that Islam is the religion of mercy, piety and maintaining relations. One of the most important obligations upon Muslims is to show the beauty of Islam and be its best representatives through their manners and actions.

Islam does not command you to sever ties with your family and friends or to antagonize or hate them; rather, it commands you to treat them well. This corrupted meaning of detestable hatred to non-Muslims is foreign to Islam, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and Islamic civilization which spread the religion of Islam all over the globe.

Islam does not command us to hate people but to love them because they are the creations of God Almighty. Moreover, man is the creation of God, and cursed are those who destroy him because God created him with His own hands, breathed into him of His own spirit and made His angles prostrate to him. For this reason, respecting humanity is an angelic characteristic; consequently, God Almighty commands us to love people, maintain ties of kinship, treat others well, speak good words, give friendly smiles and maintain good companionship with others. It is through these means that Islam spread.

You should behave with others as you normally would and be yourself, since Islam likes munificence and the good spirit that brings happiness, optimism, hope and affection. Treat your family and friends with good manners, and share their happiness and celebrations provided they do not involve any religious rites or practices that contradict Islam.

And God Almighty knows best.

Related links
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