If a non-Muslim wants to convert to Islam does he need to choose between Shia or Sunni point of view at the time of conversion? Or is it just a matter of belief and he doesn't need to choose between that?

  • This question should be closed immediately. There is no doubt that there will be conflict in the comments on which sect is the right sect. Jun 12, 2017 at 7:09
  • 1
    No, he/she just converts, you don't need to mention anything about what sect/madhab you want to follow (even if you dont know). That would just make everything hard and scare away converts!
    – Kilise
    Jun 12, 2017 at 10:40
  • 4
    I'm non-denominational. (: Jun 12, 2017 at 10:43
  • @RebeccaJ.Stones Your personal choices aren't doctrinally instructive, I don't think that'll help people passing through here figure out what Islam has to say about the question.
    – G. Bach
    Jun 12, 2017 at 15:33
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    I don't understand how people can be non-denominational. @RebeccaJ.Stones You even said that you learnt the 'Hanafi' way to pray. Jun 12, 2017 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


A non-Muslim who elects to convert to Islam, at the time of conversion, does need not to select between different sects, different schools of jurisprudence, or otherwise. The requirement to become a Muslim is to say Al-Shahadatayn (testimony of faith) in private or in public, which marks a person as entering the fold of Islam. It is preferred to perform ghusl (wash) then to pray two rak'as after the testimony of faith.

To continue being a Muslim afterwards, one has to uphold the five pillars of Islam:

  1. Al-Shahaadatayn (testimony of faith)
  2. Salah (prayers)
  3. Zakaah (financial dues)
  4. Sawm Ramadan (fasting the month of Ramadan)
  5. Hajj (pilgrimage)

There are numerous verses that enumerate the pillars. Here is a hadith that is quite well known:

بُنِيَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ، وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ، وَالْحَجِّ، وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ

Islam is based on [the following] five [principles]: To testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger (ﷺ), to offer the [compulsory congregational] prayers dutifully and perfectly, to pay Zakat [i.e. obligatory charity], to perform Hajj [i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca], and to observe fast during the month of Ramadan.

Sahih Al-Bukhari 2/1


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