Q. Could you kindly explain as to what is the correct way for one to take Shahadah for males and females.
A. When one wishes to embrace Islam, it is recommended that he/she takes a bath. If a bath was not taken before, then after accepting Islam it should be taken.
A person should then be requested to recite the kalimah of shahadah that is, the phrase of testimony which is ‘ASH HADU A(N) LA ILAHA ILLALLAH WA ASH HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASULUH’. Translation – ‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (Blessing and Pease of Allah be upon him) is Allah’s Servant and Messenger’.
The one accepting Islam must understand what he/she is saying and also accept the beliefs that are contained in these kalimah. One must also disown all other religions and their practices and follow Islam alone. A person should then be requested to recite the kalimah At Tayibbah (the phrase of Purity which is `LA ILAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOLULLAH’ (There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (Blessing and Peace of Allah be upon him) is the messenger of Allah.
Although this is sufficient and the required amount to be recited by one who wished to accept Islam, it is recommended that the Imaan Al Muffassal be recited as well, since it informs the new Muslim of some of the fundamental articles of faith (for a Muslim).
The Imaan Al Muffassal (faith in detail) is `Aamantu billahi wa Malaa’ikatihi wa kutubihi wa Rusulihi wal Yaumil aakiri wal Qadri khairihi wa Sharrihi minal llahi ta’ala wal ba’thi badal mau’. Translation, ‘I believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Day of Judgment and the destiny, the good and the bad is from Allah and in resurrection after death.
After accepting Islam, Muslims should congratulate him/her and give a Muslim name to the individual. An effort should be made by Muslims to teach the new Muslim the basic laws and guidelines of Islam and pray for his firmness upon Imaan. Sisters should be requested to observe Hijaab and should be told about the laws of modesty, etc. Muslims should teach the new convert about Salaah properly and must encourage them to be punctual in the five daily prayers. Muslims in the community should be kind to the new convert and must lend their support where necessary.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan