How to become a Muslim?
To become a Muslim one must simply pronounce the Shahaadatan (Declaration of Faith) with sincerity and conviction.
The Shahadah can be declared as follows:
"ASH-HADU ANLA ELAHA ILLA-ALLAH WA ASH-HADU ANNA MOHAMMADAN RASUL-ALLAH".
The English translation is:
"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshiped but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger."
The Shahadah is the dividing line between unbelief (kufr) and Islam. It is also called the kalimah (word). Whoever says it with truthfulness will enter the Gardens of Paradise
It is [a kalimah] that Allah Himself has testified to, as have the angels and those who possess knowledge from amongst His creation. Allah the Most High said:
"Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshiped except Him; as do the angels and those who possess knowledge. He maintains His creation upon justice. None has the right to be worshiped except Him, the All-Mighty, All-Wise."
[Surah Aal-Imraan 3:18]
It is a concise declaration that contains few letters; light upon the tongue, yet heavy in the scales.
Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam, who said: "A person from my ummah will be summoned in front of everyone on the Day of Resurrection. Ninety-nine scrolls will be unfurled for him, each scroll extending as far as the eye can see. Then it will be said: Do you deny any of this [i.e. your bad deeds]? So the man will reply: No, 0 Lord. Then it will be said: Do you have any excuse or any good deed? The man, in a state of terror, will answer: No. It will then be said: Rather, you do have some good deeds and no injustice will befall you this Day. So a parchment will be taken out for him, upon which there will be the testification of laa ilaaha illallaah and the testification that Muhammad is the Slave and Messenger of Allah. The man will say: 0h Lord, what is this parchment in comparison to those scrolls! It will be said to him: No injustice shall befall you. The scrolls will then be placed in one of the scales and the parchment in the other; the scrolls will be light in weight, whereas the parchment will be heavy." ( Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no.2641), from Abdullaah ibn Amr radhiyallahu anhu. It was declared to be saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.135).
The first part of the Shahadah is laa ilaaha illallaah (none has the right to be worshiped except Allah) and the first part if the Shahadah has two pillars:
The first pillar is the pillar of negation (nafee), whilst the second is the pillar of affirmation (ithbaat). What is meant by negation is to negate divinity and worship (ilaahiyyah) for anything except Allah, the Most High. What is meant by affirmation is to affirm divinity and worship only for Allah the Most Perfect; for it is He alone that is the true Deity. So whatever else is taken by the unbelievers as deities to be worshiped are in fact all false and futile: That is because Allah is the true Deity to be worshiped, and whatever else they invoke besides Him is vain falsehood.
[Surah al-Hajj 22:62]
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said: The significance of laa ilaaha illallaah in affirming divinity and worship for only Allah is far greater than just saying that Allah is an ilaah. This is because the saying that Allah is an ilaah does not negate divinity and worship to other than Allah. This is different to the saying: laa ilaaha illallaah; which obligates restricting divinity and worship to only Allah.
All the messengers of Allah told their people none has the right to be worshiped except Allah
Allah said: "We did not send any Messenger before you, except that We revealed to him that none has the right to be worshiped except Me; so worship Me."
[Surah al-Anbiyaa 21:25]
Allah the Exalted also said: "He sends down the angels with the revelation of His commands to whosoever of His slaves that He wills, saying: Warn mankind that none has the right to be worshiped except Me. So fear Me [by keeping away from sin and disobedience]."
[Surah an-Nahl 16:2]
It is a concise declaration that contains few letters; light upon the tongue, yet heavy in the scales. Allah's Messenger Peace be upon him said: "Moses said: 0h my Lord! Teach me something by which I can remember You and supplicate to You. Allah said: 0h Moses! say laa ilaaha ilallaah. Moses said: 0h my Lord! All Your slaves say this. Allah said: 0h Moses! If the seven heavens and all that they contain, other than Me, and the seven earths were placed in one scale, and laa ilaaha ilallaah were put in the other, then laa ilaaha illallaah would outweigh them all." (Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no.2324) and al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (1/528).
Ibn Uyaynah, (radhiyallahu anhu) said: "Allaah has not bestowed any favour upon His slaves greater than the favour of them realizing laa ilaaha ilallaah. Indeed laa ilaaha illallaah is to the people of Paradise, what cool water is to the people of this world." ( Related by Ibn Rajab in Kalimatul-Ikhlaas (p.53)
The second part of the "Shahadah" i.e. "Wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluh" means that the Prophet Muhammad (PEACE AND BLESSINGS OF ALLAH BE UPON HIM) is the servant and chosen messenger of Allah. No one should be in any doubt about this matter. In fact, the Muslim has to obey the commands of the Prophet (PEACE AND BLESSINGS OF ALLAH BE UPON HIM), to believe in what he has said, to follow his Teachings, to avoid what he has forbidden, and to worship A11ah alone according to the message revealed to him.
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