Some people have a wrong notion that entering into the fold of Islam requires an announcement from the concerned person in the presence of scholars or sheikhs or reporting this act to the courts of justice or other authorities. It is also thought that accepting Islam needs a certificate issued by the authorities.
Easy procedure to become a Muslim
However, the whole matter is very easy and basically none of these conditions or obligations is required. For Allah, Almighty, is above all comprehension and knows well the secrets of all hearts.
Is declaring the reversion necessary?
Nevertheless, those who are going to adopt Islam as their religion are advised to register themselves as Muslims with the concerned governmental agency, as this procedure may facilitate for them many religious matters including the possibility of performing Hajj (Pilgrimage) and `Umrah.
Testimony of faith
To become Muslim, you have to pronounce the testimony of faith (Shahadah), with sincere heart and mind.
The implication of the Shahadah is that you believe that there is only one God, Allah, Who alone deserves to be worshipped. It also implies that you believe in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the Last Messenger of God. It also means that you believe in all Prophets of God, including Jesus (peace be upon him) who is a Messenger of God and not the son of God.
Shahadah or the witness of faith
If you accept this, the only thing that remains for you to become Muslim, is to say the Shahadah, while believing in it with your heart word by word as follows:
“I bear witness that there is no God except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is a Messenger of Allah.”
Then repeat this same testimony in Arabic as follows:
“Ash hadu alla ilaha illallah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan rasul ullah“
Of course faith is not only words but is complemented with action, so upon reciting the Shahadah one should begin to learn and uphold his/her duties as a Muslim. The main pillars of Islam are:
The five daily prayers.
Annual charity to the poor and needy.
Fasting the month of Ramadan.
Pilgrimage to Mecca (once in a life time for those who are able).
Islam wipes out all previous misdeeds
The next step now after the Shahadah is to take a complete shower (bath) with the intention of purifying yourself to be ready for prayers.
Upon making your Shahadah, your past sins are forgiven. You symbolically begin a new life centered on striving to improve your spiritual state through good deeds.
Source: Taken from www.dar-alifta.org with modifications.