Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra
Can a Muslim woman convert a non-Muslim man into Islam?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
The question of a Muslim woman inviting or facilitating a man into Islam does not bear on the validity of his conversion at all. For the woman herself, this would be permissible to assist while following the laws of modesty between genders in Islam and while safeguarding herself from any potential continued casual interaction which could lead to an untoward attraction or illicit relationship that is often bred through familiarity.
The same equally applies to a Muslim man assisting a non-Muslim woman in conversion: professional facilitation while observing the modesty of Islam is praiseworthy, but sustained casual interaction beyond answering their questions should be handed to someone of the same gender if available.
Conversion Does Not Require Another Person
A common cultural misconception is that a person is “converted” into Islam by another person; however, there is no such requirement.
In Islam, a person is a Muslim once they believe in their heart in the Oneness of Allah and His sole right to be worshipped, and the final prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), whether they say this aloud or not. There is no required conversion ceremony, ritual act, witnessing, or process to have valid belief. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]
For some legal and official purposes, however, by saying the words of the testimony of faith (shahada) in any way of their own accord in front of two Muslim witnesses, a person converts to Islam, and this can be useful (especially in Muslim countries) for marrying a Muslim, going for Hajj, and more. However, they are still Muslims if they did not do this.
Yes, this process of saying the shahada can be facilitated by another person who instructs the convert or allows them to repeat after them or acts as one of two witnesses. This is often colloquially dubbed “converting a person.” This term is also used for inviting someone to Islam by telling them about it and answering their questions. However, no one actually “converts” someone else or “makes them Muslim”- they convert themselves by their own free will.
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.