Thursday, January 7, 2010

Becoming Muslim~

By: Dr Y Mansoor Marican, Ph.D

How do I become a Muslim?
Becoming a Muslim actually is a lot easier compared to getting a visa or a passport! You become a Muslim when you accept that there is no god to be worshipped except Allah and Muhammad is His Final Messenger. The Noble Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH) will be the bass of a Muslim’s efforts to achieve the good life here and salvation in the Hereafter.

Do I have to register?

As proof of your status as a Muslim is required for certain things such as marriage or applying for a Hajj visa, it is better to register your testimony of faith. You may do this in a mosque or with the appropriate organization in your country. A certificate from the appropriate authority is the formal proof of your Muslim identity.

Do I have to change my name?

There is no requirement in Islam to change your name when you embrace Islam. However, it is better for you to have a Muslim name as well as it will be easier for others to identify you as a Muslim. Choose a name that reflects your desire to lead a life in the way of Allah. According to a tradition of the Prophet (PBUH), the best names in the sight of Allah are Abdullah (slave of Allah) and Abdul Rahman (Slave of The Merciful).

What is the difference between ‘born Muslim’ and those who embraced Islam?
In Islam, there is no difference whatsoever between born Muslims and those who embraced Islam. In Islam, the believers are differentiated only on the level of their piety. When a person embraces Islam, he becomes a Muslim. All believers are brothers and sisters in Islam.You become a Muslim by the Mercy of The Almighty.

Is a male required to circumcise to become a Muslim?

Circumcision is a tradition of the Prophet (PBUH). It is mentioned as fitra or a rule of cleanliness. It is obligatory for Muslims to follow the tradition of the Prophet (PBUH). It is exempted if it poses a health risk.

Do I have to stop eating pork meat immediately?
Not just pork meat. Those embracing Islam must ensure that their food consumption conforms to what is accepted as ‘pure’ in Islam. It is not just pork meat and intoxicants that are prohibited in Islam. The rule is that, all food consumed must be halal.

What is halal food?
Halal means permitted or lawful. Haram means prohibited or unlawful. To be halal, food products must be clean, pure and safe for consumption. In Islam, halal and haram apply not only to food products but to all aspects of life.

Do I have to learn Arabic?
The original is the word of Allah. It is not mandatory to know Arabic to become a Muslim. As The Qur’an is recited during prayers, one has to memorize a few chapters. The shortest chapter only has three verses. Learning Arabic will be an advantage as there is big difference between reading the translations of The Qur’an and the original text in Arabic.

Do I have to perform the daily prayers and other obligatory duties in Islam immediately after becoming a Muslim?

Allah knows what is in your heart. Obligatory duties in Islam are not “chores” that are performed reluctantly, but a part of the joy of submission to Allah The Merciful. They must be performed without delay in the spirit of gratitude to Allah The Merciful for the blessings that each of us has been given. Remember that you perform these duties not to please others but to submit to Allah The Merciful Who knows what is in your heart.

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