If you’ve learnt a little bit about Islam and are curious about how to convert to Islam in Dubai? Then you may also be wondering, where to convert to Islam in Dubai. Some also use the term reverting to Islam. I’ve done this process personally in Dubai, so I’ll give you all the information you need about how to become Muslim in Dubai and what exactly you’ll need!
How to convert to Islam?
So what is the actual process like?
It’s actually very simple. All you have to do is say what is called the “shahada” or Islamic declaration of faith with sincerity. According to the majority of scholars, it doesn’t require any witnesses just that you believe the statement is true in your heart.
Simply saying it with the right intention is enough with Allah as your witness however many people like to make it a more formal transition by doing the shahada with witnesses at their local masjid (mosque in English) or as is more typical in the UAE. Your local Islamic centre.
However, some Masjids or Islamic centres may require you to attend Islamic classes and learn about Islam first before doing a formal shahada.
What is the shahada?
The shahada is an Islamic declaration of faith phrase that confirms our beliefs as Muslims. This phase in Arabic is “Ashadu la illaha ila-Allah wa ashadu anna Muhamaddan rasul-Allah” which translates into English as “I swear there is no god except Allah and I swear Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.”
There are also certain conditions of the shahada such as it should be done with free will, the person must be sincere, they must also be of sound mind and be sure this is the truth.
Mabrook you are now Muslim! (Mabrook is Arabic for congratulations!) Just kidding! Don’t worry you’re not now Muslim because you read it here, you have to say it with the intention of wanting to be Muslim and sincere faith in your heart.
Do I need a shahada certificate?
Also called an Islamic conversion certificate. No, you do not need a shahada certificate to become Muslim however it can be a useful document to have for the future.
It is useful for a few reasons:
- Getting married in a Mosque / Masjid
- Visiting Mecca, Going for Umrah or Hajj in Saudi Arabia
- Marrying a Gulf national as part of your marriage and visa process
- Getting married or other legal processes in a Muslim country where the courts may request it
When you get married in a mosque or masjid, they may ask for your shahada certificate as proof you are Muslim. Also when getting married in the UAE or other Gulf Countries, they will ask for the certificate as part of your legal marriage process if you are a Muslim convert.
For instance, when I married my husband I had to give my certificate to the mosque we got married in and I also had to give it as proof I was Muslim when we applied for the marriage permission process to the Saudi government. I had to give it also then as part of the paperwork.
I’ve also heard of other instances such as those involving child custody, where the courts may request a proof the mother converted to Islam. So sadly, this may be something to also think about so you have it in a worst-case scenario.
When visiting Mecca, the Saudi government recommend that you take your conversion certificate with you in case you need to prove you are Muslim. It is rarely asked for these days but it is best to have a copy just in case as Mecca is only allowed for Muslims to visit.
What documents do I need for a shahada certificate?
For Dubai you will need:
- Passport copy
- Emirates ID
- 2 passport sized photos (wearing hijab if you are female)
- Filled out form
Where to convert to Islam in Dubai?
So you can do this at any Islamic Centre of your choice or whichever is the closest to you in Dubai.
I personally converted at Jumeirah Islamic Learning Center (JILC), which has moved from Umm Suqeim to Al Warqa 4, it’s an Islamic Center that is really popular with converts to Islam. I had been studying there for around 6 months and learning about Islam in total for around 2 years before I took my shahada.
Here is me with my friends after my shahada at JILC in 2018
How long does it take to convert to Islam in Dubai?
So most Islamic centres in Dubai do require those wanting to convert to study before taking their shahada or they may do the shahada but delay the shahada certificate. This is to make sure new Muslims have a good foundational understanding of Islam and also that they are converting for the right reasons.
So you’ll usually want to attend new Muslim classes for 3-6 months before officially converting to Islam and getting your shahada certificate.
Once completed, the local Islamic centre will take the above documents from you and make a copy. You’ll need to fill out a form that includes your full name, personal information, what your religion was before you converted etc. They will submit your application and give you the shahada certificate once it is ready. So the paperwork part is super easy!
The time to get the certificate can vary depending on how busy your Islamic centre is since they need to take it to the appropriate office in Dubai but typically you’ll wait 1-3 days for it to be ready. You can also apply yourself directly if you prefer but it’s a lot easier to do it via an Islamic centre as they’ll help you with the process.
How many convert to Islam every year?
According to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Islamic Center in Dubai, over 3800 people converted to Islam in 2021 in Dubai. In the United States around 20,000 convert annually and in the UK around 5200. It’s difficult to get the figures globally but is estimated that Muslims grow by 2.2% per year as a global population.
Make sure to check out some of my other helpful Dubai articles here:
Visiting a mosque for the first time, what you need to know!
Why do women wear hijab? 10 reasons Muslim women choose to cover their hair
How to fit in salah or praying at work in Dubai; tips for the office!
Spending Ramadan in Dubai, what is it like?
So I hope this information helps and I wish you all the blessings from Allah if you are on this incredible journey. Islam really gave me a great sense of peace and purpose in my life. I met my husband around 6 months after converting to Islam as well, so it bought me many blessings! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to my Instagram!