Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I am a Roman Catholic. I have been practicing Islam for the last past year. I want to convert over to Islam. My question is: When i recite the Shahada, do I need to do it infront of a Imam? Do I need a witness at all? Or can I recite the Shahada alone with God as my witness?
Thank You for all of your knowledge and wisdom
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verses 125-126:So (the fact is that) whomever Allah wills to guide aright, He makes his breast wide open to Islam. And whomever He wills to let go astray, He makes his breast narrow and squeezes it so tight that (at the very idea of Islam) he begins to feel as if his soul were climbing up towards the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath over those who do not believe, whereas this Way is the Straight Way of your Lord, and We have made its Signs quite clear for those who are open to advice.
God is Great! All Praise is due to God Almighty Alone, Who expands the hearts of whom He Wills, and blesses them with the Guidance of Truth! God is indeed Great!
May God Almighty expand your and our hearts, bless us with the knowledge of Truth, help us, have mercy on us, and keep us steadfast on the Path of Truth. May God Almighty bless your reversion to Al-Islam, make Islam a source of contentment for you in the life of this world, and a source of honor for you in the eternal and everlasting life of the Hereafter.
As your brothers and sisters united in the worship of the One and Only True Lord and Creator, we wholeheartedly welcome you to this beautiful and approved Way of Life called Al-Islam.
Your Question: When i recite the Shahada, do I need to do it infront of a Imam? Do I need a witness at all? Or can I recite the Shahada alone with God as my witness?
When Allah Subhanah blesses one amongst His slaves to revert to Al-Islam, it is a matter between the person and his Merciful Lord and Creator. It is not necessary that one has to go to a Imam or witnesses to recite the Shahaadah; the moment one declares the Shahadaah, even in absolute solitude, the person will enter into Islam in the sight of Allah Subhanah.
But if one goes to an Imam or declares his/her Shahaadah in front of witnesses, then one will be recognized and welcomed as a believer by the Islamic society as their brother/sister in faith, so that they may fulfill their rights to their brother/sister in faith as declared by Allah Subhanah. Or if one needs a certificate for legal purposes, marriage, inheritance, etc. it would be prudent to declare the shahaadah at any Islamic propagation center or mosque.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,