Conversion in Islam: Part II – theory

February 24, 2010 at 12:30 am (Islam)

Islam teaches that each person is born a Muslim. For some, due to circumstances – namely, the corruption of the child’s parents – the child grows up in a false religion. Thus, when a non-Muslim converts to Islam, they say he/she is reverting to Islam. In other words, the person is returning to his/her original religion, his/her religion of birth (literally).

Islam teaches that upon conversion, a person’s sins are forgiven. It is as if he/she is reborn.

Quite often, conversion occurs for marriage. That is, a non-Muslim wants to marry a Muslim. Although a Muslim man may marry certain non-Muslim women, it is still considered expected that the woman will convert. Because a Muslim woman is forbidden to marry a non-Muslim, the non-Muslim man would have to convert to Islam for the woman to still be considered a Muslim. (If a non-Muslim woman married to a non-Muslim man converts to Islam, she is considered to be un-married, and would have to have her husband convert and then re-marry him or risk becoming a non-Muslim.)

Conversion to Islam is considered a person’s most important decision, and thus should not be taken seriously. Being an infidel is not as bad as being an apostate. Many hold that belief in Islam is a prerequisite for entering Heaven. No infidel will enter Heaven, so conversion to Islam is a matter of spiritual life or death.

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2 Comments

  1. David Picard said,

    The last paragraph has a typo… it says “… and thus should not be taken seriously”… actually, conversion should be taken seriously. :) PBUH

  2. Goolam said,

    We say human beings are born Muslim. The implication is simply that human beings are born innocent and free from ideological inference. A newly born child exists purely in the grace of God.

    Muslim understand the difference between faith and practical religion. That’s why we prays for the believers (mumin) and the submitters (muslim). We pray to live in religion (Islam), so that we can die with faith (Imaan).

    The differences are subtle and can lead to your types of generalisations.In fact, its a marked failing of legists to conflate legal judgements with the nature of religion .. but that’s another discussion.

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