Quora Answer: If I Say the Shahadah, Do I Automatically become Muslim?
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is my answer to a Quora question: “If I say the shahadah, do I automatically become Muslim?”
The shahadah is not some magical incantation. Reciting it does not make you a Muslim, and open the gates of Paradise. You have to understand what you say, that there are no deities except the One God, and that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the final prophet. And you have to recite it with the intent of being a Muslim. As such, no one ever accidentally becomes a Muslim. Conversion is always a deliberate, conscious act.