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Question: Is a bath compulsory in order to convert to Islam?

My question is motivated by this question How does one perform the bath after converting to Islam?. I had not heard about this bath until I read this question, and I didn't take a bath when converting. (I just read the shahada off my computer screen.)

This is literally Lesson 1 at NewMuslims.com:

These two phrases are known as the Shahadah, or Testimony of Faith. Through the belief and attestation of these two phrases one enters the fold of Islam. It is the central belief that a believer maintains throughout his life, and is the basis for all his beliefs, worship and existence in this world. -- NewMuslims.com

However, I found this fatwa, which suggests a bath is required:

...All that is required of a person in order to embrace Islam is that he or she pronounce the two testaments of belief in the Islamic creed, believing in their meaning, then to take a complete bath with the intention of (ritual) purification in order to start performing prayers... -- Islam Q&A

  • Compulsory in what sense? In the sense that according to Islam Allah will count you as a kafir until you bathe? In the sense that legally you will be considered a kafir under sharia until you do? In the sense that socially you will be considered a kafir by Muslims until you do (this one would probably be off-topic here)? Maybe some other sense I'm missing? – G. Bach Feb 6 '17 at 9:42
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Short answer: Because you eventually need the bath to purify yourself for prayer, so I guess it's required. But converting to Islam shouldn't be a system or a list of things to do, just Believe in Shahada and then gradually learn more and more of what you can and cannot do and how to practice, this is how islam was introduced by Allah Through the prophet.

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