shahada certificates

While all one needs to do to embrace islam is utter the shahada with sincerity – la ilaha il Allah, Muhammadur rasul Allah – there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah (swt), and Muhammad (saws) is His messenger – having a certificate can be helpful down the road.

If you don’t adopt a “muslim” name as your legal name, you may have problems when you apply for a visa to make hajj. Apparently, the Saudis aren’t aware that muslims can be named Jennifer :P

In that case, a certificate declaring your conversion, signed by 2 muslim witnesses, can be the difference between hajj and no hajj.

If your local masjid does not offer a certificate, draw one up yourself and have them sign it. It would probably also be ideal to have a translation of the certificate in Arabic as well.

InshaAllah I’ll be on the lookout for more certificates and post them as I find them.  Here is what I’ve found thus far:

Alhamdulilah, while in Cairo in 2003, I had the opportunity to obtain a certificate of conversion from al Azhar University. Because it isn’t really convenient for everyone to just stop on by al Azhar to get one, I’ve written out the English text of my certificate here. The text that is underlined signifies where there was a blank on the form that was filled in with my information. My notes on the text are in italics.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Certificate of Embracing the Islamic Faith

Praise be to Allah; peace and blessings be upon His prophets and Messengers and upon the final prophet and Messenger Muhammad (P.B.UH) Al Azhar Administration hereby certifies that:

Miss. My Name

of American NATIONALITY, who had been previously an adherent to Christian, Protestant, has presented herself today 5/6/1424. A.H. (Corresponding to 13/8/2003 A.D.) expressing her desire to authenticate her embracing the Islamic Faith. (I made them write a note in here in arabic that I had converted some time earlier).
In view of the fact that the applicant has convinced us of her identity by presenting the appropriate documentary, we have discussed several points with her to make sure that sincerity is deeply rooted in her desire, we have further explained to her in general the principles and the essense of Islam, its pillars, the lawful and the unlawful in accordance with Islamic legislation (shari’ah)

She, henceforth, reiterated her acknowledgment of the Islamic Faith, saying:

أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and Messenger.

I also acknowledge that Moses, Jesus and all other Prophets are servants and Messengers of Allah. I renounce all religions other than Islam. Furthermore, I hereby and henceforth adhere to Islam as my Faith and Shari’ah.
Having realized that she has adopted Islam by her own free will, we have informed her of the rights and obligations of a Muslim. She has chosen a Muslim name as:

(I didn’t change my name, so I didn’t write anything in here)

This certificate has been issued to the above mentioned, in order to authenticate her adoption of Islam and her decision to act in conformity with its provisions.

May Allah, the Almighty, guide him permanently along the straight path. Verily Allah is the best Guide.

Declared by: (my signature)
Authenticator: (signature)
Sheikul Azhar Al Sharief: (here I have Tantawi’s autograph, ha)

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6 thoughts on “shahada certificates

  1. This is good to know. I converted a year ago and didn’t hear about this certificate until this month when I was looking for information about Hajj. Thank You for providing this.

    ~Dan

  2. Assalamu Alaikum,

    You are very welcome. I didn’t hear about conversion certificates until later either, and just had the luck of being in Cairo and having access to al Azhar.

  3. Thanks for the post! Very very good information! I think there’s a mosque in Montreal that is able to make certificates like this so I will probably go there in advance to avoid the *need* to do it in Cairo, but it’s good to know I can do it there as well if ever it doesn’t work out. And if anything, I’d love to have an Al-Azhar certificate : )

    • If you have the time, al Azhar would be the way to go. It would be satisfying to be able to whip it out when some border official in saudi arabia is hemming and hawing over whether you’re muslim enough or not to be let in. Ah yes, Tantawi said I was a muslim, so there :P I’m bringing copies of mine with me if/when we make umrah (hopefully next year for us too inshaAllah).

  4. Another bit of FYI. In Algeria specifically, maybe other countries as well, I’m not given Muslim
    legal rights unless I get a shahadah certificate from their Ministry of Religious affairs. Meaning I would not be allowed to leave for hajj from their or, God forbid, I die in Algeria I would be automatically buried a Christian w/out this certificate (doesn’t matter I took shahadah back home, pray 5 times a day, fast, etc., having all the in-laws & dh pleading I am). It’s a pain in the rear to get, but heard that if u get a shahadah certificate by an entity they recognize it makes it easier.

    • Wow, that is so wrong on so many levels. Thanks for the information though – I’ll have to do a survey of muslim countries to add that info.

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