What a New Muslim Must and Must Not Do
Praise and thanks be to Allāh. And may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Prophet Muḥammad, his Family and Companions.
Allāh created the creation to worship him. He said (what means):
And I did not create jinn and humans except to worship me.Qurān 51:56
And Allāh is not to be worshipped in any way except the way he has prescribed. He sent his Messengers to clarify for people what he has prescribed for his worshippers, because worshipping him in a way not prescribed by him is false and incorrect. Allāh ended the succession of Messengers with his final messenger Muḥammad - peace and blessings be upon him, and obliged all people to follow him. Allāh said (what means):
Say (o Muḥammad): People, I am the Messenger of Allāh to you all.Qurān 7:158
Therefore, whoever does not believe in Muḥammad is an unbeliever (kāfir). The religion of Muḥammad is Islam, and Allāh does not accept any other religion. Allāh the exalted said (what means):
And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and he will be in the hereafter one of the losers.Qurān 3:85
The Islām which Muḥammad - Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him - brought to us is based on five ‘pillars’:
- To testify that none deserves worship but Allāh and that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allāh
- To maintain the five daily prayers
- To pay Zakāh (to the poor and needy)
- To fast the month of Ramaḍān
- To make pilgrimage (Ḥajj) to the sacred House of Allāh (the Kaʿbah in Makkah) if able
What a person who wants to enter into Islam must do
He says the two testimonies of faith and practices the rest of the pillars of Islam, as follows:
- He says 1 I testify that none deserves worship but Allāh and I testify that Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allāh. He does so openly.
- He prays the five daily prayers - Fajr, Ẓuhr, ʿAṣr, Maġrib and ʿIshāʾ - throughout the rest of his life. Fajr consists of two sets (rakʿah) 2, Ẓuhr has four, ʿAṣr has four, Maġrib has three, and ʿIshāʾ has four.
- He does not pray until he has performed the required ablution (wuḍū) by washing his entire face, his arms up to and including his elbows, wiping his head and washing his feet up to the ankles with clean water.
- If and when he has wealth that exceeds his living needs, he extracts 2.5% of it as Zakāh for the poor and needy, annually.
- If his wealth does not exceed his needs, he is not required to pay Zakāh.
- He fasts the month of Ramaḍān, which is the ninth month of the Hijrī calendar year. This involves the leaving off of eating, drinking and sexual intercourse with the spouse between sunrise and sunset. He can eat, drink and have sexual intercourse with his wife during the night only (for the duration of this month).
- If he has the financial and physical means, he makes pilgrimage to the House of Allāh (in Makkah) at least once in his life. If he has the financial means but not the physical means, due to age or chronic illness, he delegates someone else to make pilgrimage on his behalf once.
- All other acts of obedience and devotion in Islām complete these five pillars.
What a Muslim must not do
- He must stay away from shirk in all its forms. Shirk is the worship of anyone or anything besides Allāh. It includes calling upon and invoking the dead, slaughtering animals for them and vowing by or for them.
- He must stay away from bidʿah (religious innovation and heresy). This means any type of worship that has not been prescribed by the Messenger of Allāh, Muḥammad - may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, because he stated: “Whoever does a deed that is not according to our prescription, it is rejected.” Meaning: it is not accepted.
- He must abandon usury (interest), gambling, bribery, dishonesty in his dealings, and the selling of forbidden materials and goods.
- He must abandon zinā, which is to have sexual intercourse with someone who is not his legal wife according to Islamic law, and liwāṭ, which is to do what homosexuals do.
- He must abandon the consumption of intoxicants 3, eating pork, the meat of anything that has been slaughtered for other than Allāh and all non-slaughtered meat. 4
- He must not marry women who are unbelievers (kāfir) and are not from the People of Scripture (Jews and Christians).
- He must separate from his wife if she is an unbeliever and not one of the People of Scripture, unless she becomes Muslim when he does or during her waiting period. 5
- If it does not harm him, he gets circumcised by a Muslim doctor.
- If he is able to leave and move from the land of unbelievers to the land of Islam, he moves. Otherwise he remains in his land adhering to his religion, Islam.
Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān Al-Fawzān
Member of the Council of Senior Scholars
Translated by Owais Al-Hāshimī
Al-Fawzān, Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān. ‘What a New Muslim Must and Must Not Do’ (Arabic). Official Website of His Eminence Shaykh Dr Ṣāliḥ b. Fawzān Al-Fawzān. Web. 24 Oct. 2016. Available at: http://www.alfawzan.af.org.sa/node/13814