Embracing Islam: a step towards spiritual transformation

In a world filled with diverse religious beliefs and practices, it is not uncommon for people to embark on a spiritual journey in search of a faith that resonates with their hearts and souls. For some, this journey leads them to Islam, a religion with more than 1.8 billion followers worldwide.

Embracing Islam is not a difficult procedure. You only need to believe in the One Lord and recognize Muhammad's prophetic mission. This act is completed by reciting the Shahada (Testimony of Faith).

The Shahada is the fundamental statement of the Islamic faith. It is expressed as follows: "There is no god but One Lord, Muhammad is His messenger". In many countries around the world this is solemnly proclaimed before the faithful. A more sensible way is to share this moment with close friends who share your faith and consciously recite the Shahada in front of them. This is usually done in Arabic, which gives the act a special sacredness.

The Shahada is recited three times. In transliteration, it looks like "Ashhadu al-laya ilayah-e illallal-la, wa ashkhadu anna muhammadan rasulul-la". This manifestation of faith requires conscious acceptance and practice, including honoring obligations and avoiding explicitly forbidden actions.

How non-Muslims accept Islam

Understanding the conversion journey of non-Muslims who accept Islam is very important for an effective outreach and engagement strategy. There are a number of reasons why non-Muslims embrace Islam. These can be spiritual satisfaction, intellectual curiosity and personal relationships.

It is important to understand and address the challenges and issues that non-Muslims may face in the conversion process. This may include dealing with cultural differences, building relationships with family and friends, and adapting to new religious practices.

If support is needed, digital platforms and social media can be a powerful tool for sharing conversion stories and providing accessible information about Islam. They can reach a wider audience and facilitate the conversion process by breaking down barriers and creating a sense of familiarity and connection.

Collaborating with local organizations, interfaith groups and community leaders is another effective strategy for creating opportunities for dialogue and understanding. By developing a culture of acceptance and respect, we can build bridges between different faith communities and promote religious harmony.

Remember that the Testimony of Faith is a personal choice and a declaration of one's belief in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad. It is an important step towards submission to God and accepting Islam as your faith.

Are witnesses required?

There are disputes about this. According to the "classical" it is required, according to the "modern" in the process of reciting the Shahada there is no obligatory condition - the presence of witnesses.

The main condition is sincere intention, conviction of the correct meaning of what is being recited and the recitation itself. Religious activity is a metaphysical process that develops between the individual and God.

However, if, in order to increase the solemnity and awareness of the members of the community, a person wishes to recite the shahada in the presence of others, this option is also possible. Two Muslim witnesses, whether male or female with the right to vote, will suffice. This creates a friendly atmosphere among previously unknown people and can determine affiliation with a religious tradition in the event of an unexpected passing away when disputes arise over the religious principles of the deceased.

The road to religiosity and reaffirmation should be traveled gradually. Sudden and rash actions often lead to mistakes. Relying on the mercy of the Supreme, it is advisable to strengthen one's piety by charity and observance of universal moral standards and basic aspects of religious activities.

Personal development, both intellectually and spiritually, takes place throughout earthly life. It is important that changes be moderate. Avoid rash actions and extremes in behavior, work, and outlook on life. In striving for betterment through social activity, spirituality, and devotion to God, one helps not only oneself but millions of others.

Key aspects

By recognizing the shahada consciously on all levels of one's soul and mind, one accepts the status of a believer and commits oneself to follow the basics of religious practice while taking into account one's personal circumstances.

It is then recommended to perform a full ablution, symbolizing a new stage in one's spiritual life.

By accepting Islam, a person rewrites the spiritual and moral side of his being. Mistakes made up to this point are canceled, except when they have caused harm or offense to others. In such situations, it is important to resolve relationships. Also, accepting the faith while intoxicated or in a state of clouded judgment is not allowed.

Changing one's name is not mandatory, but it is also not penalized. Any name with a positive meaning is considered suitable for a Muslim.

Although circumcision is desirable, it is not obligatory. A circumcised and uncircumcised man are equal in their faith and religious practice, and artificial prohibitions and doubts about it have no basis.

Marriage and divorce

If a Muslim man decides to marry a non-Muslim woman, it can be a challenge as it is customary in Islam for both spouses to practice the same religion. However, there are a variety of family situations in today's world, and Muslims can face such scenarios.

The first step in such a situation is an open and honest dialog between the future spouses about religious beliefs and practices. This is important for understanding differences and finding common ground on matters of faith in family life.

In some cases, a Muslim may suggest to his or her non-Muslim spouse that they study Islam and openly discuss religious issues. However, acceptance of Islam must be the individual's own free decision and cannot be coerced

If the non-Muslim spouse does not accept Islam, the spouses can discuss how the religious upbringing of children will be handled if they decide to start a family. It is important to find mutual understanding and respect for religious differences, and to discuss how to ensure harmony and harmony in family relationships.

Islamic family law (Arabic: al-munakahat wa-l-fara'id) is an important part of the Islamic legal system that covers aspects of family and marriage relations. The main features of this legal trend are the close links with religious ideology and morality, special attention to family support, and a differentiated approach to equality between men and women.

Specific provisions and explicit norms of family law governing marriage and family matters, the legal status of women, divorce, inheritance and other personal status rights were enshrined in the Koran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad.

Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, a number of Muslim countries have been undergoing reforms to conform to Western European patterns. These changes concern various aspects such as polygamy, initiation of divorce by the woman and other aspects.

The family codes adopted in a number of Muslim countries under the influence of colonial authorities have been criticized by Islamic activists who see them as contradicting their interpretation of the Qur'an.

Marriage in Islam is recognized as an activity that is auspicious before the Almighty and is therefore available to every adult Muslim. It is recommended that prospective spouses match each other in age and social status. Marriage can be contracted with the consent of the bride's father or guardian.

Muslim women, according to the creed, are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim, although Muslims are allowed to marry Christian or Jewish women. Cohabiting with a woman without marriage is strictly forbidden in Islam and is considered adultery.

A widow or a divorced woman before remarriage must undergo a statutory "iddah" - a period which, depending on the school of law, may vary from 4 to 20 weeks.

The groom, according to Shari'ah, is required to take a preliminary look at the woman he intends to marry. This is not only so that she gets to know her future husband, but also so that the groom himself has a clear view of his future wife. This gaze is permitted whether the woman consents or not, but it is only permitted to look at her face and hands.

When selecting a bride, Muslims are advised to pay attention to her religiosity, morals, appearance, and whether she has offspring and lineage. It is also important to consider the preference for marrying a distant relative over a close relative.

Marriage union in Islam includes several stages: collusion (hitba), transfer of the bride to her husband's house (zifaf), wedding celebration (urs, walima), and actual entry into the marriage relationship (nikah).

Wedding celebrations take place in a friendly atmosphere. Close friends and relatives share joy with the newlyweds and congratulate them on their marriage. However, only innocent Shariah-compliant entertainment is allowed during these celebrations.

If a wife accepts Islam and her husband does not plan to follow this path, is there an automatic divorce?

There is a common but erroneous belief that a marriage is dissolved when one spouse accepts Islam, especially in societies where Muslims are not in the majority. Theological studies, including the work of Ibn Qayyim, refute this claim. They emphasize that the Prophet Muhammad never supported the urgent dissolution of a marriage when one of the spouses accepts Islam.

There are other points of view coming from different theological interpretations. Yusuf al-Qardawi suggests the possibility of dissolution within three months but no more. However, Hasan al-Turabi expresses the view that a wife can remain in the marriage even if the husband does not accept Islam. This statement has caused counter-versions, but emphasizes the importance of constant learning and discussion within the framework of religious understanding, rejecting previous outdated notions.

In the life of Prophet Muhammad, there were no instances in which, after accepting Islam, one spouse spoke of the need to dissolve the marriage. Rather, there were cases where only one of the spouses became a Muslim, but the marriage remained valid.

Here are the conclusions of one of the Islamic scholars, Imam Abdullah al-Jadi, derived from his careful and in-depth research on the subject:

  •  There is no clear support for compulsory divorce in such cases in either the Holy Qur'an or the Sunnah. There is also no unanimity of scholarly opinion (ijma) on the subject.
  •  Marriages contracted before the spouses' acceptance of Islam remain canonically valid even after their acceptance. They are not automatically dissolved except at the spouses' own will.
  •  The Qur'an and the Hadith confirm the possibility of a marriage continuing after one of the spouses has embraced Islam.
  •  The times of Prophet Muhammad show that despite the cases of acceptance of Islam by one of the spouses, he never supported or called for divorce. For example, the Prophet's daughter Zeinab returned to her husband after the 10th ayat of Surah 'al-Mumtahanah, and the marriage remained valid without its renewal.
  •  Ayat 10 of Surah "al-Mumtahanah" refers to cases where the husband is hostile and hateful to his wife's faith. This Ayat cannot be interpreted out of context, and it affirms the wife's right to leave if the relationship becomes unbearable.
  •  If one spouse becomes a Muslim and the other is tolerant of this choice, they can continue the marriage, as was the case in the time of Prophet Muhammad.
  •  After one of the spouses accepts Islam, the marriage can be dissolved at their own will.
  •  Intra-family relations between a Muslim husband and an unbelieving wife, and between a Muslim wife and an unbelieving husband may continue without restriction.

Bottom line

Conversion to Islam is a profound and life-changing decision that requires tremendous courage and dedication. The path to Islam is unique for each person, but it is a journey that ultimately leads to a deeper connection with God and a sense of belonging to the Muslim community. Whether you are considering embracing Islam or seeking to understand the experiences of others, may this article serve as a source of inspiration and guidance on your own spiritual journey.


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