I am very interested in Islam and I know for certain that it is the one true religion. But, I am definitely going to join the United States Army. I wouldn't have time for prayer at the correct times during the day due to training, etc. Still, I want to become a muslim as soon as possible because death could come at any time, but I am unsure I could stick to the strict praying schedule in the Army. Any advice?
Praise be to Allaah.
And again, praise be to Allaah for having blessed you with this conviction about the religion of Islam. Hasten to enter this religion now, no matter what your circumstances, and know that entering Islam is the first duty that you must do. A man who was clad in armour came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, O Messenger of Allaah, should I fight or should I become Muslim? He said, Become Muslim, then fight. So the man became Muslim, then he fought, and he was killed. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: He did little but his reward will be great. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2597). He told him to enter Islam before he fought to make the word of Allaah prevail, even though the man came to him at the time of battle when the kuffaar had arrived to wage war against the Muslims. So know that there no difficulties should make you delay becoming Muslim, for once you become Muslim Allaah will make it easy for you to do the five prayers on time and other duties, so long as your intention towards Allaah is sincere and you ask Him to help you, as the Muslim always says in his prayer (interpretation of the meaning):
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything). [al-Faatihah 1:5]
The times of the five daily prayers are fairly broad, al-hamdu Lillaah, and you can do the prayer in any part of the time prescribed. If a person can take a few minutes to relieve himself in the washroom, surely it is more important that he be allowed to take a few minutes to do his prayer. Moreover in many parts of the West the individual is granted the right to freedom of worship, so you could utilize this to demand your right to practise your religion and do your prayers on time. We ask Allaah to open the gates of goodness to you and to make matters easy for you. May He decree for you success in this world and the next, for Allaah is the Owner of great Bounty.