Islam is a faith that is open to all of humanity, and the Muslim community welcomes new believers into its midst. The Qur'an advises Muslims to share information about Islam with others, and to discuss religious issues in a respectful and kind way. In the end, however, Muslims believe that guidance comes from God, so they are not overly evangelical. When a person makes a choice to believe in and follow Islam, the Muslim community strives to offer welcome and support.
The actual process of converting to Islam is quite simple and is primarily an individual effort. One should first clearly understand the tenets and practices of the faith so that one is making an informed choice. To declare faith in Islam, the individual simply recites the shahaada (declaration of faith): “There is no god worthy to be worshiped except Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” When one declares this belief with full conviction, one is considered to be a Muslim.
Are converted Muslims considered equal to Muslims born into the faith?
Upon conversion, a new Muslim enjoys the same religious and legal status as any other Muslim. Indeed, one passage of the Qur'an (28:52–54) indicates that converts to the faith may receive a “double reward” in the afterlife, as they make a conscious decision and often undergo personal sacrifices for God's sake.
It is not required to declare one's faith publicly, although many find the support offered among other Muslims to be reassuring. Muslim communities sometimes hold special dinners or events to welcome new Muslims, or pair a new Muslim with a mentor who can offer support and advice. While it is possible to convert privately, a new convert is usually advised to obtain a “conversion certificate” from a local mosque in order to facilitate pilgrimage travel visas.