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New Muslim's Frequently asked questions

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New Muslim FAQ


If your question is not answered here, please post it and we'll happily add it to this FAQ

  • How do I become a Muslim?
    Its very easy for anyone to become a Muslim. All you need is to say 2 sentences:
    There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet
    To learn how to say this declaration of faith (shahada) in an easy way, see this video.
  • I've committed many sins in the past. Will I be accepted in Islam?
    Sure. Once you become a Muslim, all your past sins get wiped out. Its your chance to have a fresh start, as if you're born the day you said your shahada.
  • But I don't speak Arabic..
    That is not required at all. Of all the Muslims of the world, only 14% are Arabs.
    There is one advantage, they can taste the beauty built-in within the miraculous text of the Quran. No translation can come close to that. But other than that, you can be a Muslim without having to learn any Arabic.
  • Is Islam also for white people?
    Islam is a complete way of life and perfect religion meant for all humans to embrace, regardless of their language, color, ethnicity or race. Islam removes all barriers and makes us all equal. Wealth, power, authority and titles has no effect at all. The only way to be better than others is by doing more good deeds in this life.
  • Why do you say 'revert' not 'convert' to Islam?
    You was born a Muslim. Everyone was naturally born a Muslim. Islam means submitting to your creator, and that is the state that we start life with, before someone changes that and make you embrace a different religion. By becoming a Muslim, you are simply reverting to how you was born in the first place. That is why a new Muslim is like a new born baby, with a clean white page and no sins whatsoever.
  • I've said my decleration of faith (shahada), what do I do next?
    Perform ablution and prayer, 5 times a day. If you're not married, stop having sex with anyone. Do not drink alcoholics, or eat pork, and do not gamble. Sisters should dress modestly. Islamic code of dress requires that they reveal only their face and hands, and use no transparent or tight cloth that reveals their figures. Read the Quran. Make it a habit to read some verses from the Quran each day.
  • Can I say my prayers in English?
    No. You need to memorize some verses from the Quran in its original Arabic text. Don't worry, we have prepared an easy way for you to do so, without having to learn the language at all. Please read the next answer.
  • How can I memorize verses from the Quran in Arabic when I know nothing about Arabic?
    In the following link, we used transliteration of the Quran, which gives you the sounds of the Arabic words and letters, but written in Latin characters. Thus, you can easily memorize the original sound of the verses, as close as can be, without having to learn any Arabic.
    At first, you just need to memorize 10 verses, and you're good to start your first prayer.
    Memorize chapter 1, 'Al Fatiha', which is 6 verses long, and chapter 112, which is only 4 verses long.
    Click here to learn how to recite small verses from the Quran. For the complete Quran, in English and many other languages, go here.
  • how do I perform ablution?
    See this video for easy learning.
  • am I allowed to have sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend?
    No. A Muslim brother can have sex only with his wife. A Muslim sister can have sex only with her husband.
    Sex outside marriage is a great sin. Islam gives great importance to family values.

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  • My parents are non-Muslims. What should my relation with them be now?
    By all means, and in whatever case, Islam always command us to love our parents and treat them with kindness and good care. You should also obey them in everything, except only in cases when they ask you to do something in contrary to Islamic faith or teachings.
  • am I allowed to drink alcoholics?
    No. Stop drinking any type of alcoholics or beer.
  • am I allowed to gamble?
    No, its a great sin to gamble.
  • am I allowed to eat pork?
  • what should I dress while performing my prayers?
    Brothers should cover the area between their navel and their knees.Sisters should cover the whole body except the face and hands.We usually take our shoes off, but you can keep wearing them if you're sure they're clean all around.
  • how do I pray?
    See this video
  • what is a 'rakaa'
    Its a unit of prayer. Each prayer consist of 2 or more rakaa.A rakaa consists of 7 body moves:1- standing up and saying chapter 1 of the Quran, (and a few other verses if its the 1st or 2nd rakaa).
    2- bowing in a 90 degree shape.
    3- standing up again.
    4- prostrating, putting your head, hands, knees and toes (7 points) on the ground.
    5- sitting in a kneeling position.
    6- prostrating a second time.
    7- sitting in a kneeling position.
  • how many rakaa should I make in each prayer?
    Fajr: 2
    Dhuhr: 4
    Asr: 4
    Maghrib: 3
    Isha: 4
  • what is 'tashahhud'?
    Tashahhud (pronounced: Tasha-hod) is what you say silently after finishing all rakaat of a prayer, while sitting on the ground in a kneeling position. If the prayer you're performing has more than 2 rakaa, you also say the first half of tashah-hod, while kneeling, after finishing your second rakaa, in addition to saying the full tashah-hod at the end of your prayer. Learn how to say the tashahhud here.
  • what is 'tasleem'?
    Tasleem means greetings. It is what you say at the end of your prayers.Learn when and how to say the tasleem here.
  • In my prayers, should I raise my voice, whisper, or make no sound?
    It depends on whether you're praying with others (in congregation) or alone. It also depends on the prayer you're performing. Here is a simple table to explain it:
    Prayer alone in congregation If you're the Imam
    Fajr voice you can hear whisper Raise your voice
    Dhuhr voice you can hear whisper whisper
    Asr voice you can hear whisper whisper
    Maghrib voice you can hear First 2 rakaa: Listen to the imamthrid rakaa: whisper First 2 rakaa: raise your voicethrid rakaa: whisper
    Isha voice you can hear First 2 rakaa: Listen to the imamthrid and forth rakaa: whisper First 2 rakaa: raise your voicethrid and forth rakaa: whisper

    Please notice that the above tables applies only while reciting the Quran (chapter 1 'Al Fatiha', and other verses). Everything else should be said in a whispering voice when in congregation or when you are the Imam (leading the prayer). If praying alone, perform the all rakaat of the prayer, in all 5 prayers, in a low voice, only loud enough to hear yourself.
  • how many times should I pray each day?
    Muslims pray 5 times each day:
    1. fajr (dawn prayer)
    2. dhuhr (noon prayer)
    3. asr (afternoon prayer)
    4. magh'reb (sunset prayer)
    5. isha (evening prayer)

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  • Are prayer times fixed for all days
    No. Prayer times change almost daily, according to the rotation of earth in relation to the sun.
  • when should I perform each of the 5 daily prayers?
    There are prayer time tables for 6 million cities around the world. Select your location from this tool to find out your prayer times.
  • what is Qibla?
    Qibla is the direction we should be facing whenever we perform a prayer. It pionts to the Ka'aba, in Makka, the first house of God AlMighty, built by the first human being, prophet Adam (Pbuh).
  • how do I know the direction of the Qibla for my location?
    It is easy to locate the direction of the Qibla from any location in the world. All you need to know is the direction of the north. Once you know that much, use this tool to find out the direction of the Qibla
  • can I do my prayers at home?
    Brothers should go to a Masjid to pray in congregation. If that's not possible, the next best thing is to pray in congregation with others anywhere else: at work, in a park, or at home. If there are no Muslims around to pray with, then its acceptable to pray alone.
    Sisters are not required to perform prayers at the Masjid. If praying in a public place, try to pick a place where you can have some privacy.
  • can I delay my prayers until I go home?
    No. Try always not to miss any of your 5 daily prayers. Ideally, you should pray when prayer time begins. If you can't, then pray anytime before the next prayer is due, except fajr (dawn prayer) where you must pray before sunrise.
  • what if I missed a prayer?
    Pray it with the next prayer. Pray the one you missed first.
  • what if I stopped praying for days or weeks
    Prayers are very important for every Muslim. They were made 5 times a day to always connect us to our creator, and make it hard for us to commit sins throughout the day. But, if the devil succeeded in making you lazy and took you away from your prayers, you need to repent, the sooner the better.
    If you didn't perform all the prayers of one or more days, the next days pray twice for each time of prayer, until you have performed all that you missed. Even if you missed months or years of prayers, you still can repent, but you must perform them all. They're like debts, they never drop. Therefore, its best that you always make sure you don't miss your prayers.
  • I don't feel comfortable visiting a Masjid yet. Will I be welcomed there
    Of course. Islam taught us Muslims to welcome anyone who reverts to Islam or even show the least interest in Islam. Muslims always welcome and greet new reverts with joy, sometimes in tears. It is an important duty for all Muslims to call others to Islam. Islam being the last message the Lord Almighty will ever send to humans, puts a great responsibility on every Muslim to deliver the message to anyone within reach. We Muslim are promised great rewards when we welcome and help anyone interested in, or new to Islam.
  • what kind of dress should I wear outdoors?
    Muslims should dress modestly. Sisters are required to cover everything except the face and hands. Cloths should not be tight or revealing. A lose 'abaya' or 'jilbab' that covers the arms and long enough to just before your feet, with a veil covering the hair, neck and chest is perfect for sisters. Some sisters prefer to wear a niqab that covers their faces, but that is not required or compulsory in Islam.
  • what are the pillars of Islam?
    There are 5 pillars of Islam:
    1. declaration of faith
    2. prayers
    3. zakah
    4. fasting
    5. hajj (pilgrimage to Makka)

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  • what is jakah?
    An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakah means both "purification" and "growth." Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
    There are 2 main types of zakah:
    • zakatul fitr
    • zakatul maal

    [*]what is 'zakatul fitr'? and how do I calculate it

    Zakatul fitr is what you pay for the poor and needy during the month of ramadan, preferably within the last 10 days, anytime before eidul fitr payer. The head of the family should pay it for each person in his family, including babies. If you're the only Muslim in your family, pay for yourself. The amount you pay should equal the price of 2.5 or 3kg of rice. For example, if the price of rice in your country is 3, then pay 8 or 9, in your local currency.




    [*]whom should I pay my zakah to?

    If you know poor or needy persons, pay them. If they are relatives, its much better. If you don't know any poor people, pay the amount to a Masjid and they will pay to the needy.




    [*]how do I calculate jakatul maal?

    Every year, you should pay 2.5% of your savings that has been in your possession for a year, after deducting all your expenses for that year.




    [*]where should I pray?

    Brothers should pray in the Masjid. If no Masjid is available, then choose a clean dry place to pray. A prayer mat is not obligatory.




    [*]how do I fast?

    Jus before fajr (dawn prayer) time, stop eating or drinking. Break your fast at maghreb (sunset prayer).

    In addition to food and drink, you shouldn't do any sexual activities, you should lower you gaze, do not lie, curse or back-bite.

    It is recommended that you read as much as you can from the Quran, perform more prayers and duaa (supplications), and seek more knowledge of Islam.




    [*]is there a particular meal to break my fast with?

    Yes, dates and milk. If neither is available, drink some water. Then, after performing maghreb (sunset prayer), enjoy your full meal.




    [*]What if during the day I forgot and did eat or drink?

    No problem, just stop as soon as you realize it, getting rid of anything still in your mouth.



    [*]when do I go to perform my hajj (pilgrimage)?

    When you are able to pay for the expenses. You are required to go to hajj once in your lifetime. But if you failed to afford the costs and died, insha'Allah (God willing) you will be forgiven.

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Great thread brother Dot.


Alhumdulillah, this thread has helped me greatly.




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