Praise be to Allaah.
To the dear inquirer:I welcome you with a warm greeting. I was besieged
with great joy as I discovered your question while browsing through the ten
questions which arrived during the past hour today, and it was the dearest question
for me. This fact is not surprising, as how could our hearts not open
to a wise man who has discovered the truth and has acknowledged and confirmed
it for himself--one who wishes to embrace Islaam and asks about the next steps?
In reality, everything that poses a problem for you is actually
an easy matter, and can be solved simply, God willing (in shaa' Allaah), so
let's take them one by one:
First: all that is required of you to embrace
this religion right now as you are reading these lines is to pronounce al-shahaadatain,
or the two confirmations and attestations of faith, to the best of your
ability. Perfect pronunciation of the Arabic letters is not required,
and the following is a transliteration of the phrases with English letters
to help you:
ash-hadu an laa ilaahah illallaah (I bear witness
and attest that there is no god worthy of worship but the One God Allaah)
ash-hadu anna muhammad-ar-rasool ullaah (I bear
witness and attest that Muhammad is the messenger of Allaah)
After pronouncing them, you should promptly hasten
to take a shower to purify yourself and prepare to start performing your regular
prayers which will be an obligation as soon as you have declared your belief.
Second: If you have not yet learned the
manner and characteristics of performing the prayer (i.e. at least the movements
and positions), appended to this message is a description from which you
can learn. What is requried from you for the time being is to say
in the beginning of the prayer and between each movement between positions
"Allaahu ak-bar" (a glorification of Allaah). While standing,
bowing, prostrating, and sitting, you should say "subhaan allaah wal-hamdu
lillaah wa-laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar." (Glory be to
Allaah, and praise and thanks be to Allaah, and there is no god but Allaah,
and Allaah is the most Exalted and Great.) Then conclude the prayer
by turning your head to the right then left, each time saying "as-salaamu
This way of performing salaat is permissible for you
until you can learn and memorize what should be said in each movement and
position of the salaat.
Third: You are not required to change your
name, and in fact, a number of scholars among the forefathers and modern-day
Muslims have indicated declared that your name is in fact the name of one
of the prophets!
I ask Allaah to aid you and ease your affairs, and to bestow
upon you the blessing of Islaam and perseverence in adhering to it.
We are ready and willing to assist in explaining or helping to solve any problem
or difficulty you may face, and to provide support and aid in any way possible.