Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatu Allah Wabaracatu (peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessings).
If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim during this blessed month of Ramadan and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion ordained by Allah for all human-being, then, one should pronounce the “shahada”, the testimony of faith, without further delay. The Qur’an Al-Kareem is explicit on this regard as Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, states:
“The Religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” (Qur’an 3:19)
in another verse of the Holy Qur’an, Allah states:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (Submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the hell fire).” (Qur’an 3:85)
In addition, Islam is the only religion prevailing over all other religions. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an:
“To thee We sent the Scripture in the truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: (Qur’an 5:48)
You must believe in only one God Allah, he has no partners, no helper, no sons.
And to believe that Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him is the last messenger of God.
And if you came from Christian background
Know that Jesus is not a son of God nor part of a Trinity.
But he is a human prophet of God like all the other prophets.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity) .
4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca).
5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُوسَى، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا حَنْظَلَةُ بْنُ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ بْنِ خَالِدٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ بُنِيَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَالْحَجِّ، وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ ”.
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 8
In-book reference: Book 2, Hadith 1
USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 8
The six Pillars of Iman (Faith) in Islam
He (peace be upon him) said: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day and that you believe in preordainment (destiny), its bad and good consequences.”
Reference: Riyad as-Salihin 60
In-book reference: Introduction, Hadith 60
The Shahada 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 (none truly to be worshipped) but, Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.”
However, it would not be sufficient for anyone to only utter this testimony oraly either in private or in public; but rather, he should believe in it by heart with a firm conviction and unshakeable faith. If one is truly sincere and complies with the teachings of Islam in all his life, he will find himself a newborn person.
Islam erases all sins committed prior to becoming a Muslim.
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says:
” Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning).”
Qur’an Al-Kareem [8:38]
Narrated Abu Sa’id Al Khudri:
Allah’s Messenger peace be upon him said,
“If a person embraces Islam sincerely, then Allah shall forgive all his past sins, and after that starts the settlement of accounts, the reward of his good deeds will be ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and one evil deed will be recorded as it is unless Allah forgives it.”
قَالَ مَالِكٌ أَخْبَرَنِي زَيْدُ بْنُ أَسْلَمَ، أَنَّ عَطَاءَ بْنَ يَسَارٍ، أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ أَبَا سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيَّ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ، سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ إِذَا أَسْلَمَ الْعَبْدُ فَحَسُنَ إِسْلاَمُهُ يُكَفِّرُ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُلَّ سَيِّئَةٍ كَانَ زَلَفَهَا، وَكَانَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ الْقِصَاصُ، الْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ، وَالسَّيِّئَةُ بِمِثْلِهَا إِلاَّ أَنْ يَتَجَاوَزَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا ”.
Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 41
In-book reference: Book 2, Hadith 34
USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 1, Book 2, Hadith 41
Ibn Shumasah reported:
Amr ibn al-Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
When Allah instilled the love for Islam in my heart, I went to Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said,
‘Extend your right hand, so that I pledge allegiance to you.’
He (peace be upon him) stretched out his right hand, but I withdrew my hand.
He said, ‘What is the matter, ‘Amr?’
I said, ‘I wish to lay down same conditions.’
He asked, ‘What conditions do you wish to put forward?’
I replied, ‘To be granted forgiveness.’
He said, ‘Do you not know that (embracing) Islam wipes out all that has gone before it (previous misdeeds).
Sunnah.com reference: Book 2, Hadith 31
Arabic/English book reference: Book 2, Hadith 711
So, as you become a Muslim all your previous sins are forgiven, and you start a blank state. Or a complete clean record.
If you have any questions, feel free to inbox us on Ask a Muslim.