How to Become a Muslim (Submitter)
"... O my Lord, indeed I have wronged my soul. I submit myself along with Solomon,to God the Lord of the Worlds " 27:44
Many new believers are expressing their desire to convert to Islam everyday. Many of them are told that to convert to Islam they must go through specific procedures. They are told that they have to go to a nearby Mosque (masjid) and recite the two shahadas, (see: The Correct Sahahda) then sign a conversion statement and then preferably change their name to an Islamic name.
If these are the regulations imposed by tradition, are these regulations set up in the Quran? Are they required by God from anyone who wishes to become a Muslim?
Immediately, it must be said that the change of name and the signing of documents are totally man-made innovations. As far as names are concerned, please refer to the article "Islamic Names" where it is explained that there is no such thing as an Islamic name, and also that God judges people by their hearts and deeds and not by their names.
As for the second issue is concerned, which is the signing of documents, once again this may be a requirement for civil law implications, but it is definately not a requirement from God to accept anyone as a Muslim. God is not in need of references or certificates!
As far as the third requirement is concerned, which is the tesimony, yes any one wishing to submit to God must confess to his/her acceptance of God's Absolute authority.
"Submission" is the religion whereby we recognize God's absolute authority, and reach an unshakeable conviction that God alone possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him. The natural result of such a realization is to devote our lives and our worship absolutely to God alone. This is the First Commandment in all the scriptures, including the Old Testament, the New Testament, and this Final Testament.
"Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is One God! Therefore you shall adore the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength."[Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:29-30] also given in the Quran 3:18.
To associate anything or anyone with God is known as "shirk", the highest degree of blasphemy, which God does not forgive (4:48). The Quran also stipulates that Muslims must profess faith in the One God and not call on anyone else.To profess their faith in Islam ,or to convert, one will make this declaration:
"I bear witness that there is no god except God" (Arabic transliteration: "Ashhadu ana la ilaha illa Allah"). This testimony is called the Shahadah.
There is another, not less important, attestation, which Muslims can recite to affirm their faith or to convert. It can be found in the Quran and to show this attestation of faith, prophet Abraham is cited as an excellent example:
"Whose religion is better than one who submits himself to God, works righteousness and follows the creed Of Abraham the monotheist? God has chosen Abraham as a beloved friend." 4:125
The next verse tells us:
"When his Lord said to him "submit" he said, "I submit to the Lord of the worlds" (Arabic: Aslamtu Li Rab Al-Alameen) 2:131
So here we have it. When God showed Abraham the perfect religion, He commanded Abraham to Submit ("Aslimu") and Abraham said "Aslamtu li rab al-alameen". This is how Muslims (or converts) should attest their faith (or to convert):
"I submit to the Lord of the worlds"
The story of Abraham continues in the next verse:
"The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons and also Jacob, "0 My sons, God has chosen for you the true faith, therefore die not save as men who have submitted" 2:132
Abraham enjoined his sons to believe in the same One God he believed in. He also successfully enjoined his people to say the same thing "Aslamtu li rab al-alameen" which means "I submit myself to the Lord of the Worlds". This is revealed in the next verse:
"Or were you present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have submitted" 2:133
This is the truth about how Abraham submitted himself to God, as it was revealed to the Messenger through the Quran. And the Messenger was commanded to follow Abraham's monotheistic creed:
"And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided. "Say; "No, We follow the creed of Abraham, he was a monotheist, and he was not of the idolaters." 2:135
"Say, "We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham..." 2:136
The Quran also gives an incident of the prophet Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as another example of submission to God. It records the moment when the Queen converts to Islam. She was an idolater and Solomon invited her to Islam. To prove the greatness of God, Solomon used powers given to him to move the Queen of Sheba's magnificent palace intact, from one place to another in the blink of an eye.
Seeing this, she realized God's power, immediately she repented and said,
"Rabbi inn salamtu nafsin, wa aslamtu ma"a Sulaimaana, lillaahi rabbiul aalameen" 27:44, which means, "... Oh my Lord, indeed I have wronged my soul. I submit myself along with Solomon, to God the Lord of the worlds".
To affirm their faith, or to convert, Muslims should use the examples given in the Quran. What they should say is "I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds". (Arabic: Aslamtu li rab al-alameen). Others who have affirmed their faith in this way are the Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Solomon and of course the Prophet Muhammad (Sura 40:66). Also the Queen of Sheba and the companions of the Prophet did the same. If you adopt their way, you will be in good company.
Taken from http://www.quran-islam.org/