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KeithWilson's avatar

Is it possible to convert from Christianity to Islam?

Asked by KeithWilson (833 points ) April 11th, 2011

Ive been a Christian for eight years and I am suddenly interested in Islam. The two religions differ on some very important issues, but I feel like I’ve worked most of them out. The message of Islam is very obvious and must be taken into consideration, but how do you reconcile the two? Is it possible to first be a Christian and then be a Muslim? If so, how do you go from one to the other?

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54 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

It’s been done. There are probably some personal accounts online if you’d search for them.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Cassius Clay (Ali) did it. So did Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar). So I would say yes you can convert.

As to how, you should go to a mosque or ask a muslim friend.

poisonedantidote's avatar

It’s quite possible yes.

From what I understand, all you would need to do is reject Jesus Christ as the messiah, state that you no longer believe he was the son of god, and state that you now instead believe that Mohammed was the last prohpet of god and that the Qur’an is literally the word of god.

But, before you do all that you may want to research what happens to people who decide they are no longer muslims

syz's avatar

“suddenly interested”? You might want to alter your phrasing if you want them to take you seriously.

I have no clue as to the veracity of these sites, but there are lots of How to Convert to Islam and Become a Muslim sources available.

I’m not sure how Islam will feel about welcoming a self-professed prophet, however.

YoBob's avatar

Of course there are plenty of Christians that have converted to Islam. The problem is in converting from Islam to any other religion, especially if you live in an area with a large fundamentalist Islamic population, for such a conversion is punishable under Islamic law by death.

KeithWilson's avatar

@YoBob It seems that after the conversion to islam one would not need to convert to any other religion. Seeing as how the quran says that mohammed was the last prophet.

dxs's avatar

I was just studying about how many converted to Islam from Catholicism back in the 600s when it was started. There were other concerns, of course, like taxes that muslims didn’t have to pay and catholics did, but otherwise, many turned to Islam. I myself am a Christian, but I find the Qur’an an amazing, poetic book. It has such great imagery. I don’t think I’ll convert, but I just like their Qur’an better than the Christians’ bible….

Qingu's avatar

Just stop believing that Jesus was the son of God (instead, you must believe that he was in fact a Muslim, and that the crucifixion was actually an illusion) and ignore parts of the Bible that contradict the Quran.

You may also wish to stop drinking. And the Quran suggests that you don’t associate with unbelievers.

Most of the horrid social stuff in Islam, such as its treatment of women as property of men and its cultish sensibilities, are also found in the Bible. So if you’re okay with that stuff in the Bible, you should be quite comfortable with the Quran. Though if you’ve been ignoring that stuff in the Bible, you might find it difficult to ignore it as a Muslim, since the Quran’s magical perfection plays a much more central role to the cult of Islam than the Bible does to Christianity.

KeithWilson's avatar

@Qingu It may sound simple, but this is tearing me up. I know about the atrocities in the law of moses, so i know what to expect. im looking for the marrow of a religion, not the extra flesh. It sounds so harsh when you put it that way. Anyway…good answer.

sinscriven's avatar

I think it couldn’t hurt to go to a mosque and speak to an imam, might give you some insight on Christianity from the Muslim perspective. Conversion is possible, and many ideas are somewhat similiar, as the Qur’an identifies Christians and Jews as people of the book.

One core issue separating the two means that you will have to reject the Christian core belief that Jesus is the messiah, and the son of God. Jesus is recognized as a prophet, but to call him the son of God would be a bit blasphemous. Allah is seen as too perfect a being to debase himself to an inherently flawed human form.

Qingu's avatar

Oh, something they don’t tell you early on: it’s generally accepted by Muslims that Muhammad rode up into the sky on a flying donkey creature.

Though again, if you’ve believed the Bible’s, ahem, colorful stories about talking donkeys and undead saints marching into Jerusalem, I doubt you’ll have trouble believing the hadith.

KeithWilson's avatar

@Qingu Youre pretty sharp. And it seems like you get what im asking about. Thank you for your responses.

Qingu's avatar

What do you mean by the “marrow” of religion?

The central idea of Islam is that you must submit to the will of this Arabian sky god named Allah. He speaks Arabic, is associated with legends cribbed from the earlier Hebrew sky god named Yahweh, and he seems to have a special place in his heart for meteorites, which were (coincidentally I’m sure) worshiped by the Arabian pagans around Mecca. He also handed down a set of laws and ideas, largely straight out of 7th-century Arabian culture, to a guy in a cave, via an angel.

Oh, and according to this guy in the cave (or, should I say, the god who was speaking to him), these laws are perfect and should be considered updated versions to all the religions that people in his local area were familiar with.

KeithWilson's avatar

@Qingu The marrow. Like for jews its the law and the prophets. for christians its christs sacrifice, for muslims its that god has no equal and no peer.

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah, just like you can swap roles, when playing cowboys and indians

The main difference being, of course, that cowboys and indians actually happened.

KeithWilson's avatar

lolz idler.

Qingu's avatar

@KeithWilson, that seems pretty question-begging: which god has no equal or peer, and what does he want from us? There are, after all, hundreds and hundreds of supposedly peerless gods put on the table by the world’s various religions, Allah being but one of them.

Allah, for example, appears to be unfamiliar with the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. He also says that women are worth half as much as men as witnesses. I mean, I know better than that, and I’m not even a sky god of any rank.

The_Idler's avatar

Oh and if you’re into religions, at least have the respect to dedicate your life to it!

It’s the Word of God, and it should RUN YOUR LIFE.

Why on Earth would you convert to a religion,
which is entirely based upon a book you don’t really agree with!?

auntydeb's avatar

The little I know suggests that it might be worth looking into the branch of Islam known as Sufism. This permits a personal relation with the creator, an individual direct experience of the power of god. The dress code and laws are different than mainstream or fundamentalist Islam and allow for expression of the experience as a physical and emotional reality, to be shared with others. Worth a look. I also understand that becoming a Muslim is actually incredibly simple, making the vow that Allah is the one true god, and accepting Islam as the true expression of that.

The hard bits come in realising the concrete absoluteness of the necessity to pray, 5 times daily and accept the words of Mohammed. Not for the fainthearted, but the basis of the Religion itself – the ‘marrow’ – is much the same as Chrisitanity, being moral and based in humanity. Good luck.

KeithWilson's avatar

@Qingu Well. I would say the one and only god. and taking into consideration the messengers knowledge at the time it was written. i know how to read a religious text without being overly critical. no offence.

KeithWilson's avatar

@The_Idler Christianity has run my life for the last eight years. what kind of christian would i be if i didnt know what i was up against?

KeithWilson's avatar

@auntydeb thank you for answering.

KeithWilson's avatar

and if islam is an expression of that then i embrace it wholeheartedly. i just have to know if it is or not.

The_Idler's avatar

I’m just saying that you can’t take a religion and strip it to the bone, before adopting it “as your own”.

I mean, what gives you the right? What do you know!?

The Koran is the Word of God, and if you don’t believe that, you’re not a Muslim!

Qingu's avatar

@KeithWilson, I don’t think you’ll find much support for that kind of interpretation (the messenger was ignorant so that’s why the holy book is wrong about lots of stuff) in Islam. But maybe with some of the more liberal groups of Sufis.

And I don’t think I’m overly critical of these books. We are after all talking about texts that condone rape, slavery, murdering apostates, and (in the Bible’s case) genocide, and make claims about reality that are brazenly counterfactual and clearly the products of the (by our standards) ignorant cultures that wrote them. Why shouldn’t we interpret them the same way we interpret the Code of Hammurabi, or the writings of Aristotle?

And more importantly for the question at hand, why do you feel necessary to attach yourself to the cult centered around one of these books when you seem to agree that it’s obviously wrong and barbaric in many ways?

The_Idler's avatar

@KeithWilson I’m not in a very eloquent mood, but @Qingu did it for me…^

KeithWilson's avatar

@Qingu I have had had little choice in the past eight years to deny christ. Even if it is difficult to be a part of any religion. Before i was eighteen i was on the fast track to atheism. and i would have played ball for them and probably would have done really well. either way i cant deny christ and that opens the door to so much stuff. im no idiot. i know how to interpret scripture. i am just in transition now and i need a little bit of help. thanks….

Qingu's avatar

Well… depending on what you mean by being unable to deny Christ, you might run into trouble with Islam. Jesus is quoted in the Quran as saying he is not the son of God. He is not a central figure in Islam. Muhammad, however, is… but he doesnt have the same magic powers that Christ did.

But I think you should explore why you have such an attachment to Christ in the first place. You said Christianity ran your life for eight years. Now it appears you want another cult to run your life. Do you honestly think you need a religion, or a cult figure like Christ or Muhammad, to run your life? You obviously seem like an intelligent person who is capable of figuring out morals on his own (otherwise you wouldn’t have pause with the Bible’s condoning of genocide).

Anyway, I do wish you luck. And I hope whatever happens, you will continue to find the strength to be a good person… even if it means ignoring swaths of what your holy book says.

KeithWilson's avatar

@Qingu I just had to make sense of what happened to me. what i had seen. the bible was there for me when i needed it. and i have seen the truth of it many times. now i am evolving and this path im on is taking me exactly where you said i need to be. that is not letting jesus or mohammed run my life. when i have completely cleared my plate in this regard i will be able to stand on my own and live my own life. until i understand scripture completely i will be under its shadow. yet for me the time is fast approaching where i will rise above their influence and use the knowledge i have gained to do for myself what i please. i meant no offence when i said thanks. it sounded a little sarcastic in retrospect, but i do appreciate your help.

The_Idler's avatar

Mate, you don’t need religion, it fucks with your mind.

You are a very clever animal, and that should be enough.

KeithWilson's avatar

@The_Idler On the other hand, i am an information junkie and religion is teeming with difficult challenges. i have a lot of fun tackling these issues. this post has really gotten to me. you guys are right. im going to catalog this information and use it when it becomes necessary. thank you.

crisw's avatar

May I suggest a book for you?

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

It is a gripping, moving, informative story of one woman’s experiences with Islam.

josie's avatar

Why would you switch. At least the Christians won’t issue a fatwa and demand your death when you jump ship. Your Islamic bretheren just might, if you decide to go back to Jesus.
That alone tells you something.
But suit yourself. I practice no faith, and I have no dog in that fight.

Qingu's avatar

@KeithWilson, while I’ve never been religious, I do understand that Jesus and religion in general can change people’s lives for the better.

Beyond what I’ve said already, I would only add that Islam does not really focus on the thing I admire the most about Christianity: the importance of forgiveness, of turning the other cheek (and the closely related “render unto Caesar”). The Quran is not bereft of forgiving sentiment, but it is usually in the sense of cultish imperfection (i.e. Allah will forgive you if you forget to pray 5 times a day every now and then, as long as you try). It’s not as deep as Jesus’ message, and in many ways is much closer to the eye-for-an-eye Judaism that Jesus was trying to reform.

Qingu's avatar

@josie, a couple of points.

“The Muslims” don’t issue fatwas.

Fatwas are decrees by Islamic clergy.

Almost no fatwas call for people’s death.

Very few Muslims believe that apostates should be killed. In most schools of thought, a Caliphate would be necessary to enforce any such law, in which the act would be characterized more as political treason.

Christians murdered apostates for hundreds and hundreds of years as well. The religion has a 600 year headstart on Islam in terms of reform.

josie's avatar

@Qingu Whoever issues the fatwa, he still follows the Prophet, and he is still Muslim.
But you may be on to something.
I will counsel @KeithWilson to wait about 600 years. Then if Jesus calls him back, he won’t have to worry that he disappointed the wrong Islamic clergyman.

Judi's avatar

My nephew did it. He lives in Dubai now and the FBI visited my sister.
I don’t know what jis thought process was, but his devotion kept him out of trouble. (He was having legal anger management issues before.)

Qingu's avatar

@josie, I guess I’m not sure why you’re heaping such a disproportionate amount of scorn on Muslims. I mean, I’m pretty sure; it’s probably because you’re a conservative and your media has scared you witless of the Muslims.

But let’s try to keep things in perspective. And you don’t have to go 600 years in the past to find incidents of Christian insanity. A few years back Ugandan Christians made homosexuality a crime punishable by life in prison, or even death, and murdered a gay rights activist.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

How does being interested in Islam make you want to convert? It is possible to study religions, take the good ideas from them and apply it to your life, and learn from the ideas they discuss without actually joining up. I am impressed by many of Jesus’ words, but I am not a Christian. The same applies for many other religions. I suggest you are sure of every aspect of your beliefs before you consider becoming a Muslim, since converting usually means accepting all their teachings as divinely inspired truth.

auntydeb's avatar

@KeithWilson, I am intrigued by the sense that you want to move away from Christianity and are attracted by Islam. Both faiths involve a lot of book-work and ask certain levels of obedience. Before taking on a religious practice that is from another culture (although with exactly the same heritage), what about ‘stripping’ your own faith down to the core; have you considered or come across Quaker practice?

People coming together to sit and simply listen for, or await, a connection with something deeper is a powerful and unifying experience. Islam is a worthy religion to take on, with it’s own fine and dark points. But if you believe in and feel a connection with a creator or numinous presence, maybe simplifying your practice could help? Quakers have their own ‘varieties’, but universally practice the silent listening, which can be soooooo… enlivening. Honesty sits at the heart of the practice too. Transparency, culpability… Just a thought, might be worth a closer look, or some direct experience.

josie's avatar

@Qingu
Not meaning to totally corrupt the words of Samuel Johnson, but it seems that all too frequently on this site, Political labeling is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Perhaps it is because there is no good way to be selective about who can join.

I’ll do this one more time, but I get sort of tired of it, so it may be my last time.
I am atheist.
I am opposed to capital punishment
I don’t care when or if women get abortions.
I don’t care who makes love to whom.
The problem with illegal immigrants is that it is too difficult for them to do it legally.
I thnk more money should be spent on defense, and less on projecting military might.
I think banks should be regulated, and their executives held to the highest fiduciary standards.
Etc.
So what is it about that makes me conservative?
And what is “my media”? Do you mean my iPhone?
Josie out.

dxs's avatar

…such classical fluther debate posts…

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, in our secular societies with freedom of religion it is possible. No one will kill you.

Is it possible to convert from Islam to Christianity?

No, in most Muslim countries it is not. In some even the death penalty applies.

You can’t even disagree with the Prophet. Free speech does not exist. When you use the wrong words it can get you killed. Like it was for Christianity centuries ago. A good example is Giordano Bruno. He was burned at the stake as a heretic.

It seems your choice is a one-way street.

YoBob's avatar

@mattbrowne

You said: “Like it was for Christianity centuries ago”

It seems that both Christianity and Islam have gone (are going) through a period of zealotry around 1000 years into their existence. I can’t help but wonder if this is just coincidence or if there is some other larger sociological factors at work.

Anyone out there know if Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhists, etc… also went through a similar period of zealotry somewhere around the 1000 year mark?

Qingu's avatar

@mattbrowne, it’s not a one-way street if he stays in a civilized country.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, Jews certainly had a long period of zealotry. The Jews of ancient Greece and Rome were the ancient equivalents of the modern-day Taliban. The Macabees, the heroes of the Hannukah story, were religious zealots who rebelled against the Greek government so they could start a Jewish theocratic state. They murdered Jews who were not sufficiently religious, and their theocratic laws, based on the Biblical code, were probably worse than the Taliban’s.

Hinduism and Buddhism have also had problems (and today, the BJP in India is every bit as bad as American evangelicals), but I think these religions are fairly different. Hindus have always been much, much more comfortable with conflicting religious claims and sects than the Abrahamic religions. Some Hindus worship Shiva as supreme, others worship Vishnu; they have rarely fought over this, and their “dogma” is much less enshrined than the Bible or the Quran. I’m not as familiar with Buddhism.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Qingu – In civilized countries the actually killings are being replaced by death threats that are usually not executed. This is why ex-Muslims need organizations like

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Council_of_Ex-Muslims

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is the British branch of the organization, representing former Muslims who fear for their lives because they have renounced Islam. The Council plans to protest against Islamic states that still punish Muslim apostates with death under the Sharia law. The Council is led by Maryam Namazie, who was awarded Secularist of the Year in 2005 and has faced death threats.

@YoBob – In 2011 ex-Christians do not fear for their lives. The worst that can happen is nasty polemics coming from ultra-conservative Americans talking about damnation to hell.

Qingu's avatar

@mattbrowne, eh. First of all, aside from some high profile cases, I haven’t heard of ordinary Muslims facing death threats for becoming apostates on a large scale. Maybe because this doesn’t happen often, or because it’s undereported… and I’m sure ex-Muslims face massive shunning by their friends and family. But so do American ex-evangelicals, who form similar support groups, whose families often threaten them and abuse them.

I’m not trying to equate the scale of Islamic cultishness with modern Christianity; I would definitely agree that Islam is in a much worse state. I have zero problem with people like Ayan Hirsi Ali who focus on this side of Islam, too. But sometimes people give Christianity a free pass in this regard, which is unfortunate.

The_Idler's avatar

<unnecessary anti-Americanism>
Yeah it’s easy to forget that huge parts of America are just a fucked-up, ignorant, backward, religiously, racially prejudiced lala-land with next to no provision for the poor and oppressed minorities, exhibiting all the worst problems of the Old World culture (that everyone went there to escape from in the first place), and literally none of the good parts of it (read: real bread, real beer, real cheese, &c.).
Oh well, it was a good idea at the time =}
</unnecessary anti-Americanism>

So…
yeah, it is different in Europe (where me and @mattbrowne live), but I reckon it’s possible that, in the USA, the Christianity is actually in general just as insanely closed-minded, controlling and facilitative to extremism, as is the (local) Islam…

And, by that token, it would be relatively easy to find (in any given town) a particular group or groups of Christians, who are more extreme than the average local Islamic population.
For one coming from that background, Islam could look quite appealing, relatively speaking!

mattbrowne's avatar

@Qingu – I never gave Christianity a free pass in this regard. But I’m glad that insanely closed-minded Christianity doesn’t exist as a widespread phenomenon in 21st century Europe. Not in Germany, the UK, France, Italy nor in Spain. There are some insane fringe groups like Opus Dei and there are a few young-earth creationists in Italy.

Yet the number of insanely closed-minded Muslims in Europe is significant, though still a small minority. Almost every German teacher has made several very negative experiences with ultra-conservative Muslim parents. There are hundreds of imams and other Islamic leaders in Europe who actively promote the sharia and gender apartheid and ask students to disobey teachers and not follow school rules. Quran rules come first and they can overrule the laws of our countries. I’m not kidding.

Forced marriages occur all the time. Young German and French women are being called trash when they have sex before they are married. The result are gang rapes. This is European reality. And we are not talking about a few incidents here. Take a look at this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ni_Putes_Ni_Soumises

It seems that Muslims in the US are far more liberal. Therefore it’s perhaps sometimes difficult to understand the European situation.

Qingu's avatar

Oh, you lucky, lucky Europeans. (well, regarding Christians. Not so much the ‘slims.)

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syed_shaji's avatar

Assalamualaikum(may peace be on you)...

Ofcourse Brother you can revert from Christianity to Islam…. its quite easy actually…..
You just have to say few words and InshaAllah you will become a Muslim.

How to do it…..
please go this link given below

http://wechooseislam.wordpress.com/convert-to-islam/

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