"... Oh my Lord, indeed I have wronged my soul. I SUBMIT MYSELF ALONG WITH SOLOMON, TO GOD THE LORD OF THE WORLDS" 27:44. Many new believers are expressing their desire to convert to Islam everyday. Many of them are told that to convert to Islam they must go through specific procedures. They are told that they have to go to a nearby Mosque (masjid) and recite the two shahadas, then sign a conversion statement and then preferably change their name to an Islamic name! If these are the regulations imposed by tradition, what are the requirements set by God for any person for becoming a Muslim? Immediately, it must be said that the change of name and the signing of documents are totally man-made innovations. As far as names are concerned, please refer to the artilce 'Islamic names' (under the articles section) where it is expained carefully that there is no such thing as an Islamic name, and also that God judges us by the heart and deeds and not by our names. As for the second issue, which is the signing of documents. Once again, this may be a requirement for civil law implications, but it is definately not a requirement for God to accept people as submitters. God is not in need of references or certificates! As far as the third requirement is concerned, which is the tesimony, yes any one wishing to submit to God must confess to his/her acceptance of God's Absolute authority. "Submission" is the religion whereby we recognize God's absolute authority, and reach an unshakeable conviction that God ALONE possesses all power; no other entity possesses any power that is independent of Him. The natural result of such a realization is to devote our lives and our worship absolutely to God ALONE. This is the First Commandment in all the scriptures, including the Old Testament, the New Testament, and this Final Testament. Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is One God! Therefore you shall adore the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. [Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Luke 12:29-30, Quran 3:18] Let us meditate on God, His glorious attributes, who is the basis of everything in this universe as its Creator, who is fit to be worshiped as Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient and self existent conscious being, who removes all ignorance and impurities from the mind and purifies and sharpens the intellect. [Gayatri Mantra, Yajur Veda] To associate anything or anyone with God is known as 'shirk', the highest degree of blasphemy, which God does not forgive. This is made clear in chapter 4 verse 48. The Quran also stipulates that Muslims must profess faith in the One God and not call on anyone else.To profess their faith in Islam or to convert one will make this declaration: "I bear witness that there is no god except God " (Arabic transliteration: "Ashhadu ana la ilaaha illa Allah"). This testimony is called the Shahadah. Also There is another, not less important, attestation, which Muslims can recite to affirm their faith or to convert. It can be found in the Quran and to show this attestation of faith, the Prophet Abraham is an excellent example. "Whose religion is better than one who SUBMITS himself to God, works righteousness and follows the faith Of Abraham the monotheist? God has chosen Abraham as a beloved friend." 4:125 The next verse tells us: "When his Lord said to him "SUBMIT" he said, "I SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS" (Arabic: Aslamtu Li Rabbil Aalameen) 2:131 So here we have it. When God showed Abraham the perfect religion, He commanded Abraham to Submit ("Aslimu") and Abraham said "Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen". This is how MUSLIMS (or converts) should attest their faith (or to convert); "I SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS" The story of Abraham continues in the next verse: "The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons and also Jacob, "0 My sons, God has chosen for you the true faith, therefore DIE NOT SAVE AS MEN WHO HAVE SUBMITTED" 2:132 Abraham enjoined his sons to believe in the same things he did. He also successfully enjoined his people to say the same thing "Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen" which means "I submit myself to the Lord of the Worlds". This is revealed in the next verse: "Or were you present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons, 'What will you worship after me?" They said, 'We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac, One God, and UNTO HIM WE HAVE SUBMITTED" 2:133 This is the truth about how Abraham submitted himself to God, as it was revealed to the Messenger through the Quran. And the Messenger is commanded to follow Abraham: "And they say, "Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided. "Say; "No, We follow the faith of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters." Sura 2:135 "Say, 'We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham..." 2:136 Now it is clear that Muslims cannot attest their faith by witnessing a Messenger, especially as they cannot be seen. Witnessing on Muhammad's messengership is just the idolization of one prophet. Giving distinction to one messenger above another is strictly forbidden in the Quran as mentioned in verses 2.285 and 4.150-152. There is no doubt that the prophet Muhammad followed the faith of Abraham. "And we inspired you (Muhammad) to FOLLOW THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM, he who was a monotheist, he was never an idolater" 16:123 The Prophet did exactly as God commanded him. If anyone wants to become a Muslim should they then not follow the prophet Muhammad's example that affirmed his faith in the same way as Abraham? "Those among mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this prophet, and those who believe, and God is the protecting friend of the believers". 3:68 "Say, (Muhammad) "I am forbidden to worship those whom you call besides God, since there has come to me clear proofs from God, and I AM COMMANDED TO SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS (wa umirtu un aslima li rabbil aalameen)" 40:66 The Messenger and his companions simply submitted themselves to God: "Say "Shall we call those things besides God, which can neither harm us nor benefit us, and shall we turn back after God has guided us - like one possessed by the devils, who has companions (sahaba!) Who invite him, saying "Come to us?" Say, 'The guidance of God is indeed true guidance and WE ARE COMMANDED TO SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS (wa umirna li nuslimn li rabbil aalameen)" 6:71 The Quran also gives an incident of the prophet Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as another example of submission to God. It records the moment when the Queen reverts to Islam. She was an idolater and Solomon had invited her to Islam. To prove the greatness of God, Solomom used powers given to him to move the Queen of Sheba's magnificent palace intact, from one place to another in the blink of an eye. Seeing this, she realized God's power, immediately repented and said, "Rabbi inn salamtu nafsin, wa aslamtu ma'a Sulaimaana, lillaahi rabbiul aalameen" which means, "... Oh my Lord, indeed I have wronged my soul. I SUBMIT MYSELF ALONG WITH SOLOMON, TO GOD THE LORD OF THE WORLDS" 27:44 To affirm their faith or to convert Muslims should use the examples given in the Quran. What they should say is "I SUBMIT MYSELF TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS". (Arabic: Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen). Others who have affirmed their faith in this way are the Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Solomon and of course the Prophet Muhammad (Sura 40:66). Also the Queen of Sheba and the companions of the Prophet did the same. If you adopt their way, you will be in good company. In conclusion, a convert must attest his or her faith by submitting to Lord of the universe by saying; " I SUBMIT MYSELF TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS". (Arabic: Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen)", and by attesting to the truth that there is no other god but GOD by saying; "I bear witness that there is no god except God " (Arabic transliteration: "Ash hadu anlaa ilaaha illallaah"). Finally, submission will not be complete unless one obeys God's every command in his Glorious book, The Holy Qur'an and by observing the duties encumbered by all Muslims (submitters) such as; Salat, Fasting, Zakat and Hajj. . " When his Lord said to him "Submit" he said " I submit to the Lord of the Worlds"