Where can I search proper knowledge about Islam, and what are the first steps to do, to be Muslim? Can I still wear my Christian clothes after converting?
A person becomes a Muslim by proclaiming Ash hadu an la ilaha ill Allah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah, the translation for this is "I testify that There is no god except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah". Everything else is secondary in importance and you can learn it slowly and put it in practice gradually as you learn.
A Muslim is required to believe in 6 articles of faith, which are:
- Belief in oneness\unity of God.
- Belief that God has sent messengers to guide people such as Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus and Muhammad. This also entails that Muhammad is the final prophet and any other claimants after him are impostors.
- Belief that God has sent revelations to some of the Prophets, such as Torah to Moses, Psalms to David, Gospel to Jesus and Quran to Muhammad.
- Belief in Angels, as servants of God.
- Belief in the Day of Judgement. When God will resurrect the dead and judge every soul regarding its actions and will reward or punish them accordingly.
- Belief in Predestination i.e God is All-Powerful and God, being beyond time, has knowledge of events of the future.
These beliefs are largely common to Christianity, the major difference is that Islam believes that Jesus was a human prophet and that God is strictly One in person(no trinity).
A Muslim is also required to observe 5 ritual practices.
- Belief in Oneness of God
- Zakat (Obligatory Charity)
- Pilgrimage to Mecca (if one is able)
In terms of practices and rituals, Islam is closer to Judaism and the teachings of the Old Testament rather than to Christianity. For example there are highly ritualized daily prayers. Pork is forbidden and meat is only permissible to eat if it has been slaughtered according to a prescribed slaughter ritual (Halal-Kosher). Alcohol is also forbidden, and sex is only allowed within a marriage contract.
For more information, you may visit a local Mosque, meet an Imam and ask him to guide you. You may also search the web and consult articles and books tailored for new converts that explain the fundamentals. Translations of the Quran are available online, and in bookstores and you can start studying them.
The most important thing to convert to a religion, is to research and study the most sacred things in that religion.
If you want to convert to a Muslim, You first must study and understand Quran, after that try understanding the five most important pillars of Islam, like
- The Profession of Faith—The Shahada. The Profession of Faith, the shahada, is the most fundamental expression of Islamic beliefs.
Daily Prayers—Salat. Muslims are expected to pray five times a day.
Alms-Giving—Zakat. The giving of alms is the third pillar.
- Fasting during Ramadan—Saum.
- Pilgrimage to Mecca—Hajj.
Try understanding each of these points, through different point of views, i,e
They contribute the essence of understanding Islam and its contribution to each of views mentioned. Accepting Islam as your religion means, that you accept the terms and conditions of this religion. Personally, I don't know the dress code for christians but for muslim women, dress code is already defined, and should be followed exactly.
Hope it helps.