Quora Answer: Can You become a Muslim Just by Reciting the Shahadah?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ 

The following is my answer to a Quora question: “Can you become a Muslim just by reciting the shahadah? 

If you recite the shahadah, the declaration of faith, with intent and understand and accept that there is only One God, and Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the Messenger, you are a Muslim.  This is regardless whether you are alone, or with witnesses.  The purpose of witnesses is for the community to know you are Muslim, and testify to your belonging to the faith.  It is a requirement of organised religion, and our duty to the community.  It is not a requirement of God.  Merely reciting it, however, without intent or understanding, does not make you a Muslim.  You cannot accidentally become a Muslim anymore than you can accidentally leave it.


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