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In order to enter the fold of Islam and become a Muslim, there are no specific religious rituals or customs that one needs to perform, neither in specific areas nor in front of specific people.
This is due to the fact that Islam is a direct relationship between the slave and His Lord without any intermediaries. Also one does not need to exert great efforts [to enter its fold], he merely needs to utter a few words which are easy on the tongue but very weighty in meaning.
One who has decided to become Muslim says the following words in order to enter the fold of Islam, which is called the ‘Shahah’
“Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abd-ullahi wa rasooluh.
“I testify that there is no true deity except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.”
Quran explained the meaning of this statement in Surat Al-Ikhlas (chapter: 112)
1. “Say He is Allah, the Unique.”2. “Allah, the Self-Sufficient.”3. “He does not give birth, nor was He born.”4. “And there is none equal to Him." (Quran: chapter 112)
The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with Allah. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing, and nothing is comparable to Him nor to His unique Monotheism and His inimitable Unity.
This statement is the key to the door of Islam. Whoever utters it shuns all other religions besides Islam and all beliefs which differ from it.